Tag Archives: calorie consumption

Sugar, it isn’t always so sweet to your body

By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

With Halloween coming quickly, I felt it relevant to share a fantastic posting through the American Council on Exercise which discusses the negative effects that “Sugar” has on ones’ body.   Who can deny our societies love for “Sugar”? Shoot, I cannot even deny my own sweet tooth cravings at times. According to the US Department of Agriculture, the average American consumes roughly 47 pounds of sugar and 35 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup per year. Wow, if I were to have guessed at how much “Sugar” I consume, my guess would have been pretty far off. With so much “Sugar” being consumed, this being simple table sugars and high-fructose corn syrup, it is important for us to understand the effects it is having on our bodies.

Let’s examine “Sugars” effects on our bodies from head to toe:

Brain: Sugar impairs memory

UCLA researchers found that fructose may actually damage memory and slow learning. Results of the studies with rats showed that sugar can affect neural connections in the brain and have a detrimental effect on these functions.

Stomach: Increases appetite

Sugar is fantastic at providing us with little more than empty calories that seem to aid us with putting on those unwanted extra pounds. Researchers are finding that the consumption of “Sugar” may trigger you to eat even more calories. This study out of Yale, found evidence suggesting that fructose may actually increase appetite by interfering with the body’s satiety hormones.

Circulatory System: Increase the risk for heart disease

New research is suggesting that sugar is having a big impact on heart health. Certain levels of sugar intake may even double the risk of heart disease. This being from the increased risk factors; being sugars effect on weight, blood pressure, triglycerides and negative impact on insulin.

Mouth: Creates a breeding ground for bacteria

Eating sugar increases the acidity in your mouth creating a perfect environment for bacteria. Increased bacteria can wreak havoc on tooth enamel and cause plaque and gingivitis that can lead to periodontal disease in not controlled.

Pancreas: Increased risk in developing diabetes

After a thorough review of over 175 countries; scientists found a direct correlation between rising levels of sugar in the food supply and rising rates of diabetes, independent of obesity rates.

Heart, Joints: Increase joint inflammation

Chronic inflammation is a contributing cause of processed sugars and other refined carbohydrates. This has been shown to have various negative effects on the body from increased risk of heart disease to muscle and joint pain.

Entire Body: Affects energy levels

Simple carbohydrates like sugar, are processed quickly and cause blood sugar to spike and inevitably crash. As blood sugar crashes so does our energy, so case in point remove yourself from simple carbs and work towards consuming more complex carbs such as whole grains.

We all realize that the transition away from “Sugar” will be a difficult journey, but may this article be a resource towards pointing you in a healthier direction, well, then that would be fantastic.

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Sources:

  • American Council on Exercise Science
  • Registered Dieticians @ Evolution Nutrition

The New Science of Counting Calories

“Recent research shows why nuts, fresh fruits and uncooked foods can be attractive choices for weight-conscious clients.” According to Kadey, Matthew, MS, RD in an article produced by Idea Fitness Journal.  

If you didn’t know, and I know I didn’t, the current method to determine the energy value of food is called the “Atwater” system which assigns a set number of calories to a food’s macro-nutrient components, being: carbohydrates, fat and protein.  “Atwater” determines that carbohydrates and proteins possess 4 kilocalories per gram, while fat has a lofty 9kcal/g. 

Lately, however the century old “Atwater” system has come over scrutiny and is not showing us the complete calorie value of some foods especially when consumed in their raw state.  

For example, when eating an ounce of nuts we generally consume an average of about 170-195 kcal.  But, this is where the Atwater has received some criticism.  According to the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” scientists determined that 1 ounce of almonds deliver about 129 kcal 30% fewer than the roughly 167 kcal determined by the “Atwater” system. 

Another important note to take from this article is the importance of moving away from the stove and cooked meals and begin to harness that power of “raw foods”.  Take this food for thought.  In his book (Catching Fire: How Cooking Made us Human – Wrangham),  while the benefits of cooking helped ancestral humans meet their energy needs in an environment of scarcity, most of us today spend our days in front of a computer snacking on heavily processed cooked food instead of foraging or hunting for dinner.  Could this be a contributing factor to excess caloric consumption and weight gain?  Well, provide your thoughts and leave me with some feedback.

Point in all of this is to be ware of what we decide to consume and how often we decide to consume it.  Maybe instead of taking that bag of potato chips with you to work, try packing a pre-packaged bag of almonds an apple and some peeled carrots.