Choosing Sides in War on Sugar

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This article raises some very valid thoughts and questions toward the new labeling for ‘Added sugars”.

Cooking with Kathy Man

Justin Fox wrote

The people at candy-maker Mars Inc. have something to tell you: Stop eating so much sugar! According to the Wall Street Journal, the manufacturer of M&Ms, Snickers and Twix has thrown its weight behind a U.S. Food and Drug Administration push to include measures of added sugar on food labels. Non-candy food manufacturers such as Campbell Soup Co. are opposed to the change, but Mars figures that people already know their candy bars are full of sugar. From the WSJ story:

“It might appear to be counterintuitive, but if you dig down a bit more, we know candy itself is not a diet,” said Dave Crean, global head of research and development at Mars. “It shouldn’t be consumed too often, and having transparency of how much it should be consumed is actually quite helpful to consumers.”

In a comment letter submitted to the government Thursday, Mars also…

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Are Artificial Sweeteners Bad?

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I always thought I was doing myself a favor when I would use an artificial sweetener or sugar substitute in my tea, cereal, or anything else I would sprinkle it in, or on. Now all of a sudden I hear advertising claims for the use of sugar.  What gives?

Artificial sweeteners can raise insulin levels, which in turn will send a message to the brain to store fat, which leads to weight gain. It may be psychological as well. When we are told that something has no calories or less calories, we automatically believe that there is room for more. Maybe by cutting calories in your diet soda intake, you justify the burger, fries, chips, second portion of mashed potatoes or whatever you have.

Did you know that as little as one diet soda a day can increase your risk of diabetes or metabolic syndrome? Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that includes increased cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, larger waistlines and elevated glucose. This raises your risk of stroke, diabetes and heart disease. Other negative affects can be headaches, tooth enamel loss and an increased risk of depression. Lower bone mineral density in female soda drinkers, raises the chance of osteoporosis as well.

Nutritional Value? Forget it. Not with an artificial sweetener. Do yourself a favor and drink water. So you like the bubbles? Get sparkling water, or put a straw in the glass and blow bubbles. Just kidding about the straw, I wanted to see if you were still reading. But I enjoyed it as a kid. My dad wasn’t so thrilled with me though.

If you are weaning yourself off of regular soda, a diet alternative soda may be for you, but only if it is short term. Our brains are wired to receive the signal that it had sugar, Not an artificial sweetener.

Our brain responds to sweets by telling us to have more. When we take in a sweet flavor without calorie content, the craving is not satisfied and we drink or eat more sweets to try to make up that difference, thus taking in more calories. Remember that the excess is stored as fat. Sugar actually sends a signal to the brain that it has received it’s reward, Sucralose, (my sweetener of choice),will not do that. So the viscous cycle continues. I will throw a word of caution about the excessive use of refined sugars. Moderation!

I am not a licensed medical professional, registered dietitian, nor do I claim to have all the answers. I am trying to raise your awareness of the possible dangers or hurdles you could face with a weight loss program. If you question this, please research for yourself. Knowledge and the application of it will take you extremely far. 

In fitness, Bob

Eat more to lose weight?

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 No I’m not crazy or selling some scientific designer drug, or even jumping on a band wagon for the latest herb fad. When most people hear the word diet, they usually think it means to eat less. This is why so many people are turned off when the word diet comes up. They instantly think starvation

Diet actually means the sum, (amount), of food consumed by a person or organism. When I say that you need to eat more, I am referring to eating more nutritiously. This would be a healthy diet. Incorporating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains into your consumption of your daily intake. Doesn’t that sound better without the word diet

Too many people actually throw their body into a starvation mode and begin to store fat. You may think that makes no sense since starving would mean no food. Let me explain. Without the proper ratio of macro nutrients, (carbohydrate, protein, fat), and a consistent eating schedule, your brain will send a signal to turn your food into fat, so that it can use it as a fuel source later. If you don’t burn that fat reserve, it stays as a fatty deposit. 

Starting your day with a good breakfast, within an hour of rising, will provide you with fuel to burn and give you more energy. Eating a healthy midday snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner will keep your body fueled. White breads and sugars are usually the culprit for the crashes we feel. Then the brain craves more to bring back the feeling of satisfaction. This becomes a vicious circle and before you know it you’ve had too many sodas, sweets, processed meals, potato chips or whatever else your go to food is. 

Sometimes we get caught up in what others may think about us because we pack our lunch or eat healthy snacks. Well I don’t know about you, but I’m not doing it for what they think. This is about me. This is an investment in my life. I want to spend time enjoying life, family and whatever else comes at me. I enjoy having the energy to carry out my day, play with grand kids and yes, zip lining.

Isn’t it time you did this for you? Have an extra serving of vegetables and fruit throughout the day. Start using whole grain breads, and be mindful of what a portion is. Find some cargo rice or six grain rice for a change. Incorporate more lean protein into your diet and slowly increase your fiber and water consumption. The changes will occur. Getting fat or out of shape is a process and so is reversing it. March in place while reading your email or the paper or whatever you choose. Consult your doctor and begin an exercise program. Take your first step to changing your life for the better.  .                                              In fitness, Bob