Food as a Drug
When rats were given a choice between morphine and Oreos, there was no contest. They went for the Oreos, especially that white sugary filling. JJ Virgin explains that sugar, gluten and dairy act as drugs. They, and other substances, designed to make us crave the products they are added to, are insidious. Even foods that we think are healthy, like those green drinks to give us veggies and fruits, are loaded with sugar. They can get around the added sugar label by using fruit concentrates and purees that do the same thing. In fact, they could be higher in fructose which can lead to fatty liver and an increased storage of body fat. She explains how the glycemic index is not an accurate way to look at sugar because fructose doesn’t raise blood sugar as much as glucose or sucrose (or carbohydrates that break down to them) but can be worse because of its effects on the liver.
Steps to eliminate the bad
JJ has people do an elimination diet and then do challenges with foods that were eliminated to see what happens. If someone tries a food after an elimination diet and then develops joint pain or brain fog, they will be able to connect the dots between what they eat and how they feel. Then when someone offers them a cookie, just like the alcoholic who can’t take that first drink, they will realize they need to say no. She has evaluated foods according to whether they have a high sugar impact or a low sugar impact to help people make better choices.
Where the risks really come from
One hundred years ago, our food was much different than it is now. And the toxins from food or the environment are stored in body fat. Those toxins increase the risk of obesity. While we thought that obesity led to diabetes, it turns out it is the toxins in the fat that really increase that risk. The foods that have those toxic ingredients can cost more than the simple food with no ingredients. JJ gives advice about what to buy, including what to use for sweetening. JJ did a challenge where she bought what she needed to eat for a week on her diet, things like grass-fed beef and organic vegetables and fruit. She had someone else purchase a week’s worth of typical “healthy” food. It turned out that her cart cost $36 less, eliminating the argument that it is too expensive to eat properly. There is a lot of ignorance out there, a situation which JJ is doing her best to correct.