My wife and I are looking into The Whole 30 Challenge. We are reading, It Starts with Food, by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. They are certified sports nutritionists, but not M.D.’s, nor PhD.’s in nutrition research. . Their approach is based on the paleo diet. I am not totally convinced anyone knows what cavemen ate, or if the original people we cavemen. So much of the evolution narrative for humanity is a mythology created to fit the theory, but that’s a different issue. I can compare the Whole 30 to Eat to Live, by Joe Fuhrman, MD, which is based on the China Study. The China Study was authored by T Colin Campbell, Ph.D. and Thomas M. Campbell II, Ph.D. The Campbells are nutritional researchers who do lab based studies. In my opinion, the paleo diet seems more like a popular theoretical diet. Both approaches have some good things for health. One of the major differences is that the paleo approach advocates meats, eggs and no legumes or grains. Whereas, Eat to Live/ China Study sees meats as a major problem and especially red meats. They also recommend no eggs. Some unrefined grains can be eaten. Both groups say to remove all seed based oils. The paleo methods believes animal fat to be okay, whereas the China Study says all fat goes directly into making fat. However, both agree on one issue: sugar must be removed from the diet. Both also advocate vegetables. Likely vegetables are the best part of both diets.

I haven’t been able to adhere to the China Study approach. So, we have been looking at the While 30 approach. On the whole 30 you are to eliminate any added sugar entirely from all food sources for the duration of the 30 day challenge. We are not yet doing the challenge, but trying to see if we can any of the diet.

Removing sugar has been a challenge and a revelation. I knew sugar was added to cereals. However, as I began to read ALL of the labels, I became appalled at the level in which the food industry is dumping sugar into everything. I’m certain it is all about marketing. They discovered people want sweet food, so everything gets sweetener. Look for yourself. Read every label. You will be surprised how almost every product except raw vegetables has sugar added to it. Tomato paste, every brand of breakfast sausage, almond butter (as an alternative to peanut butter, which we buy without sugar) almost all beverages, and on and on. Americans are overweight. I have too many pounds, myself. Is it any wonder we have such a problem? For the average person who is not focusing on what they eat, they are consuming sugar in ways they don’t realize. Add their sugared-food from the store to the sugar drinks and sugared fast food diet, and people are puffing up without a clue as to why. Sugar and refined foods are loading people with nutrient deprived calories which the liver turns to fat. So, part of the solution on the Whole 30 is to eliminate added sugar from the diet. Natural occurring sugars from fruits are allowed. Fruits provide fiber and nutrition as well as sugar. The fiber helps slow down the sugar uptake. Fruit drinks, on the other hand, are straight shots of sugar without the fiber. So we eat fruit, not drink it.

So today I was at the meat isle at my grocery store and trying to find sausage that contained no sugar. They have a whole section of breakfast sausage. All of it has added sugar. So I found an Italian sausage, next to the special packaged turkey meat. Maybe it will be okay. No. The label says sugar. I had been standing there a while staring at the meat rack, when a store worker asked me if he could help me. I replied, Stop adding sugar to everything you make.