In which I finally yell at my computer.
I realize that things like this happen to people all the time. Like so many others, I’ll just be sitting there, blowing off some time, maybe perusing Facebook or another form of social media, when all of a sudden the browser sidebar flashes a message aimed right at me:
“Lisa, do you want to reduce tummy fat? Follow the tip of eliminating bananas. Click here, now, for more tummy reducing tips.”
Sometimes the message varies a bit. I get this one frequently:
“Rachel Ray lost 30 pounds of tummy fat by cutting bananas out of her diet. Click here to learn more of Rachel’s slimming tips.”
But dear computer, don’t you realize that this kind of thing unnerves me?
How do you know that I’d love to reduce tummy fat? And furthermore, why is it always the poor banana that needs to get removed from my diet? Wouldn’t someone who wants to slim down have a better chance of achieving this goal by cutting out almost anything else before a simple piece of fruit?
Better that you should counsel me to eliminate carbohydrates, stop putting so much cream in my coffee, and log off of you and get to the gym more often, don’t you think? Those at least would be suggestions I could understand. I may never actually implement them, but they’d make sense. But really, eliminate bananas?
Sometimes I think you’re just stupid. Or worse: that you think I’m stupid.
The truth is, I don’t even eat all that many bananas.
Oh yes, my wily companion, I know all about the pesky glycemic index (GI). I am fully aware that the glycemic index theory posits that there are certain foods very high in sugar and these foods should be avoided, and that nutritionists tell us that this is true even if the sugar occurs naturally, for instance in certain fruits and vegetables. Yes, yes, these “high glycemic” foods will trigger spikes in blood sugar, and that which goes up must come crashing down. These blood sugar spikes are inevitably followed by sharp drops in blood sugar levels. For many of us – read “women of a certain age” – this leads to food cravings.
And of course I know that, in some cases, food cravings actually lead to food consumption – apparently the population sample for this theory did not include either California or France – and that consuming food has been known to lead to … cozy feelings of well-being and satisfaction.
Of course I meant to write “tummy fat.” Can’t slip one by you, can I, my little officious friend?
So yes, certainly I know there is something to the theory that “when blood sugar levels are kept steady, the body does not crave starchy, sugary foods.”
But your suggestion that the glycemic-laden carrots in my salad are somehow bad for me seems silly. Few of us who’d like to reduce our well-padded tummies got where we are by over-consuming carrots and bananas.
Let me cut to the chase. Putting aside all your fancy language, here’s what I think you’re saying: if a food item tastes pretty good, it probably scores high in the glycemic index, whereas if a snack tastes like bird food or sawdust, it probably possesses a low GI and is safe to eat.
You are no fun.
Oh, by the way, meddlesome computer, I’ve found a way to still eat bananas: by slathering the sugar-laden fruit in peanut butter, I have inserted pure protein into the glycemic phenomenon thereby obfuscating the ensuing craving
What? Peanut butter has a lot of sugar in it too?
Darn. I’m logging off now, you irritating infernal machine!
No wait – hold on a second.
Can I check my email first?