Recently a lot of people have reported to me that adding the good old-fashioned white powder to their diet has made them “feel like a new man (or woman).” I’m talking about good old cane sugar of course. Sucrose.
We discussed the possibility that sucrose has special properties, with a tendency to increase carbohydrate oxidation more than other carbohydrates, and potentially raise carbon dioxide (an anti-stress substance) levels more than other carbohydrates. Ray Peat who we overdosed on in May is certainly a big fan of it, and his support of it comes with tremendous academic backing. Josh and Jeanne Rubin have shared many positive testimonials for the white powder as well.
Yet, historically, white powders are on a short list of foods that displaced many calories in traditional diets, followed by a predictable decline in health in virtually every way. While many modern humans seem to be better adapted to eating refined foods, it’s still pretty hard to believe that sucrose could comprise a significant portion of the diet and not create some kind of nutritional sinkhole. It is pretty much the only food on earth with no nutrient content. And the nutrients that come packaged with other foods have been found relentlessly to be necessary for the proper metabolization and assimilation of those foods over the long haul. The fact that Americans get nearly 1/4th of their calories from nutrient-free added sweeteners doesn’t provide much comfort in the thought of eating a high refined-sugar diet.
So there’s quite the cognitive dissonance going. On one hand white sugar makes you feel great. Warm, energetic, frisky, strong like bull. On the other it seems like a fatal attraction. It seems almost like the credit-driven economies of the world – providing a false sense of affluence while racking up a completely unpayable debt with inevitable consequence. The illusion of wealth.
So I have no choice but to recommend sucrose-rich fruits instead – foods that are some of the most nutritionally-robust on earth packaged with this wonderful sucrose molecule. They seem like a much better “investment.” To give you an idea of the nutritional superiority, if you were to eat 3,000 calories of white sugar, you would get 0% of your recommended allowance of vitamin C and zero grams of protein. Eat 3,000 calories worth of pineapple and you are looking at 5,309% of the RDA in vitamin C and roughly 30 grams of protein (and 70-80 grams of fiber vs. 0 in the white sugar for those like myself that think fiber has unique metabolically-stimulating properties). Foods like cantaloupe, clementines, peaches, and super-sweet Hawaiian Gold pineapples top the list of foods richest in sucrose (a generalization would be to say that citrus, stone fruits, and melons are highest in sucrose – you can see a list of foods highest in sucrose here).
The focus of this post is pineapple. I kind of turned on pineapple years ago after noticing that it pretty much brutalized my lips, tongue, and throat every time I ate it. Pineapple is a very rich source of bromelain, which is a strong protease (a digestive enzyme that breaks down protein). This seems to me to be the most reasonable explanation for this phenomenon. While unripe pineapple might be great as a marinade for making meats more tender, it seems to be capable of tenderizing your mouth and throat when you eat it anywhere short of full ripeness.
So the following video shows some of the simple tricks I use for making sure my pineapples are very ripe before I cut them – as well as the technique that I find most efficient for cutting pineapples. Sitting down and eating pineapple all by its lonesome to the point of complete satisfaction is an incredible, refreshing, invigorating snack that completely eliminates the need and desire for sweet junk foods like brownies, doughnuts, sodas, and candy. For the $2.99 I pay for them, they are worth every penny.
How to RAISE YOUR METABOLISM.