Dr-Fix-It! Notebook Archive:
On That Diet . . .
Dave, the electrician, was returning from the vending machines in the break-room. As he passed me in the hallway, he handed me an unopened beverage can. "Here", he said, "You can have this. I thought an Iced Tea would be low on carbs but it has 33 grams of sugar. I'm back on that diet again. 33 grams of sugar is just too much."
"Thanks Dave, I replied, "But I don't think I want 33 grams of sugar either. 33 grams is about 7 of those little bags of sugar that you get at the restaurant. Seven bags of sugar! That's too sweet for me. If I order tea in a restaurant, I usually only use maybe one or two bags of sugar - not seven."
Dave took the can back. "I should have known that you would be able to calculate exactly how much sugar 33 grams is . . . That's OK. My helper will drink the tea. He usually drinks three or four cans every morning anyway."
"Yuck, I responded, "Too much sugar."
"Yuck, Dave agreed, "Too many carbs."
It seems like everybody around me is 'on that diet' lately. Dave is on the Atkins Diet but some other people at work are following similar diets with different names. I don't know much about the Atkins Diet except for what I have learned in casual conversations with Dave. To some extent, protein and even fats are OK but watch the carbohydrates. Dave swears the diet works for him.
I am not dieting. I have recently reached one of those magic points in life where, all of a sudden, I can't eat stuff like I used to. When I reached 45, my eyes suddenly quit focusing. From one day to the next, literally, I went from cool-and-young contact lenses to stodgey-and-old bifocals. The same phenomenon seems to have happened to my digestive tract when I hit 50. I used to have 'a cast-iron stomach' but now, I am routinely finding I can no longer stomach my old favorites.
There must be a lot of people watching carbohydrates all of a sudden. Restaurants and food manufacturers are churning out "low-carb" offerings by the score. That will work for me, too. I am not 'on that diet', but consuming a few less carbs certainly won't hurt. Next time I go out for a quick bite at lunch, I'm going to try one of those 'wraps' and try a sip of that new low-carb Coke.
Unlike my dieter friends, I don't watch ALL carbohydrates. I still think breads, grains, pastas and potatoes have a place in my diet - namely, I can still eat them. The carbohydrates I watch the closest are sugars. It seems to me that so much of what we buy to drink is overloaded with sugar so I try to limit my intake of soft drinks (fructose), sweet tea (sucrose), and even milk (lactose).
Have you ever heard of a beverage called a 'shrub'? It is a drink made from fruit juice and vinegar. I have been experimenting with various 'shrub' recipes. I find the tongue-'twang' of a vingar-based beverage to be quite refreshing compared to the cotton-mouth that sugar drinks cause.
I have had to forget beer and booze, too. Despite what the major breweries say, there really isn't a "low-carb" beer. It can't happen. Beer is made from grains and hops. It simply is going to have 'carbs' in it. Alcohol has a configuration of it's carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms very similar to sugar. Certainly , from a chemistry perspective, alcohol is a carbohydrate. From a dieting perspective, it is just junk calories. Those that know me might find it noteworthy that I have eliminated alcohol from my diet as well. (Yes, It is time to sell your stock in Budweiser and Early Times.)
One of my childhood recollections is me watching aghast as my 92-year-old grandfather happily ate a breakfast of oatmeal and warm water. That young boy could not imagine breakfast without milk or sugar. Now, I understand completely . . . At my age, as a matter of fact, a big plate of oatmeal and warm water actually sounds pretty tasty!
I wonder how it would taste with vinegar....