Monday, November 23, 2015

Currently Eating 11/23

Apparently I'm just going to continuously write about vaguely controversial things on the Boylan Blog, and the subject for consumption and chewing this week is sugar alcohols. So for those who don't know what sugar alcohol is, Wikipedia defines it as "white, water-soluble solids that occur naturally and are used widely in the food industry as thickeners and sweeteners." In real-people terms, this means sugar alcohol is used in processed foods sometimes in lieu of actual sugar as a sugar substitute. And I consider it to be the way of the future.

Now, you may be thinking that natural sugar is the safest and best additive to processed foods. "If you're going to add sugars," I hear people saying, "wouldn't you want it to be honey or something au natural?" Hypothetically, yes. But no matter where the sugar comes from or how pure it is, adding 30g of sugar to a product is going to spike your blood glucose levels and send your system into a tizzy. That's where sugar alcohol comes in.

According to the American Diabetes Association, 29.1 million Americans had diagnosed diabetes in the U.S.A as of 2012. This was 9.3% of the population. And at the same time, 37% of U.S. adults were prediabetic. This is horrifying.

But. But. Sugar alcohols are different. Take Erythritol for example; it's a sugar alcohol (which, by the way, occurs naturally in some fruit and fermented foods) that's made by fermenting glucose with a specific yeast. It's a bit less sweet than table sugar but hear me out: it's only 60-70% less sweet; it's nearly noncaloric for you calorie-counters (note: don't be a calorie-counter); it doesn't cause tooth decay; and it's only 10% absorbed into the bloodstream. This causes much less of a spike in the bloodstream of one's blood glucose level, so it's very viable for diabetic and prediabetic individuals.

People aren't going to start cutting processed foods completely out of their diets, and they're not going to stop using vending machines. So while, yea, sure, it's best to avoid processed foods, that's not a viable option for everyone. So instead let's be smarter about the sugars we shove in our faces. Sweets are great and great sources of energy; let's embrace the good ones.

BONUS weirdness:

I love making analogies between ridiculous things, and this includes foods. Ask me sometime about my scale of sexual kink as measured by ice cream flavors. (Hint: the lowest level is vanilla) Or, for example, last night I correlated a bunch of sandwiches with different age ranges in the human life cycle. If you don't feel like watching me ramble, here's the working list. Feel free to critique and offer suggestions and debate with me about it!!

Very young - ~6yo: Ice cream sandwiches
7-11: PB&J sandwiches
12-14: cold cuts
14-18: Egg/breakfast sandwiches
Twenties: Meatball subs
Thirties: Artisan Smorgasburg-esque sandwiches
Later middle life: Tuna sandwiches
Retirement: PB&J's
Retirement home: Ice cream sandwiches

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