I made progress developing Funky for my son. He likes it to be made from thicker yarn. So I scaled the pattern down. Here a first swatch. Not the colour scheme it's meant to be. I still don't. I asked my son which colours he would like and the answer was black. I said: Black? Yes, he said, like the Shades of Grey spoof. And I said: Shades of Black? How am I supposed to do that? Black, black and black? He grinned. Meaning, you can come up with something, Mama.
So why too much fruit salad isn't good for you: there is nothing wrong with fruit salad itself. I want to make that very clear. This is not about condemning fruit salad. And if you like it a lot it's a much better option than refined or free sugar from sugar cane, sugar beet, maize, coconut and all the other plants table sugar or free sugar - that is added to processed food - is made from.
Table sugar is sucrose, a disaccharide (a sugar with two simple sugar molecules or monosaccharides) made up of the monosaccharides glucose and fructose in equal proportion. About 80% of glucose is used by the body as fuel or stored as glycogen, and only about 20% is transported to the liver. The liver can deal very efficiently with glucose by transforming it into glycogen, fuel storage. That sounds all very nice and you wonder what is the problem. The problem is the fructose.
The liver is the only organ that can deal with fructose, and as it happens it doesn't store it as fuel as it does with glucose, but turns it into fats called triglycerides. That in itself isn't bad. Triglycerides are needed for the skin, for example. But the body doesn't need a lot of triglycerides for that purpose. Given that the liver is the only organ that can deal with fructose, all those triglycerides have to be stored somewhere. Part of them are stored in the liver and cause fatty liver disease, but most of them are transported via the blood to fat cells causing them to become bigger and bigger, making humans fat and diabetic. But the fats also clog up arteries and can cause heart disease and stroke. If you only eat some fructose, let's say from five pieces of fruit that make up your five a day, the liver can deal with it. But most people eat way more fructose from free sugar. Because the fructose comes free, i.e. without the fibre that is contained in fruit, it can get to the liver very quickly so that the liver is swamped with the fructose. If you eat an apple the fibre in the apple prevents quick release of the fructose to the liver. That way the liver can deal with the fructose bit by but. But, if you, for example, extract the juice from an apple the fibre is thrown away and only the free sugar in the juice goes into the body. There is nothing that prevents the fructose from the juice to hit the liver quickly and all at once.
The WHO now recommends that men eat no more than 9 cubes of sugar, and women no more than 6, which equals about 36g of free sugar or 18g of free fructose and 24g of free sugar or 12g of free fructose respectively. You've guessed it. That isn't much. A 100g bar of milk chocolate contains about 52g of sugar, and therefore 26g of fructose. Some people get down a bar of chocolate quite easily, especially when they are stressed or depressed, well or both. And often the chocolate bar comes on top of what people eat over the day. The obvious sugar foods are not even the biggest problem as most people are aware that they are eating sugar when they are eating chocolate, cakes and other sweets (it becomes a different thing, of course, when you market sweet stuff to children in TV commercials). The problem are all the hidden sugars in non-sweet foods that very often are also marketed as healthy options. Free sugar is in almost 80% of food items available in supermarkets. It's put into everything because it's cheap, it enhances flavour or masks bad flavour and makes people want to eat more and therefore buy more. Free sugar is indeed hard to avoid. That is when eating a lot of fruit salad is the better option.
My account of what fructose does to you is very simplified. If you would like a more detailed account watch this video of a talk by Prof. Robert Lustig from UCSF. You can also watch this very much longer one by him that gives you even more detail.
So, what do I do.
I don't eat any free sugar.
I don't even drink fruit juice (see above).
That means I don't eat any processed foods (except pasta, cheese and honey if you want to call them processed).
Instead I eat everything else and in any quantity I like that isn't processed: veg, seeds and nuts, meat and eggs, dairy, pasta, rice, and fats such as vegetable oils and butter and whatever comes with the meat. No calorie counting, no worrying about how much I eat. I eat when I'm hungry and stop when I don't and it's no problem to stop, at all. No cravings, no thoughts about sweet things.
I practically eat anything I like as long as it doesn't contain free sugars. There is one restriction: I eat no more than five pieces of fruit per day and only one of them can be a teaspoon of honey. But I'm not religious about it. That would take the fun out of not even trying to make my life difficult.