Are You On A Sugar Diet?
The chances are good you are and didn’t even know it! In fact, up until February of 2003 the U.S. Government advocated this sugar diet!
Yes, that right, the government had us on a sugar diet for ages and the result was fat Americans! But, you say to me, I’m careful how much sugar I consume. Think again, more than half the foods you probably eat are turned into sugar within two hours.
The body needs sugar. It’s what makes us run. Without a constant, moderate supply of sugar in the bloodstream we get weary, our thoughts stray, we feel sluggish and tired. That’s called fatigue and it generally comes from low blood sugar levels.
Too much sugar, however, does not do a body good, in fact it does a body bad! Excessive amounts of sugars, especially in the forms of starches (rice, potatoes and carrots) are turned by the body into fat cells which are stored away for future use.
From the foods you eat there are three basic elements and we call these:
Proteins, which are used to build and create new cells in the body.
Fats, which are almost impossible to avoid and the worst of these comes from meats.
Carbohydrates, which includes all fruits, grains, alcohol and most of your veggies. All carbohydrates are turned into sugar starting right in your mouth and finishing up in your intestines.
A breakfast of cereal with skim milk, a banana and a glass of orange juice has about 400 calories of which 80% of these are carbohydrate sugars! That’s right you just ate 312 calories worth of sugar.
Now, you might actually need a little of this sugar at 7 am, but so far you are on an 80% sugar diet. So, if you are wondering why are you getting fat you might want to look at what you eat and see what your body turns it into!
Up until February of this year the food pyramid called for this. You were told to eat 7 – 9 portions of grains, fruits, vegetables, breads and pasta each day. Two or three servings of each with every meal! In fact the health authorities and experts at the gym have been telling people to “carb up” for ages. As a result Americans have well over 60% sugar producing carbohydrates in their diets each and every day. Some people consume more than 80% in carbohydrates so instead of building new body cells all they are doing is building a gut and this can happen even if you exercise!
How is this so? During the first 30 minutes of exercise you are burning blood sugar not fat. Fat cells don’t start converting until late inside your first hour of exercise. All those figures you see on the treadmills, by the way, are total calories of which only 35 to 50% account for calories from converted fat.
Weight lifting exercise is even worse, for this only uses direct sugar stored in the muscles as reserve (called ATP). When you run out of this direct sugar your muscles start to ache and you no longer feel like you can continue working out. So, you’re not melting fat, only burning up the energy your body needs to think, stay awake, walk and breath.
With a carbohydrate anywhere from 35 to 75% can be converted to fat cells, even if your are exercising. What you need during exercise is actually sugar, the best being fructose from something like orange or grape juice. This will give you energy to continue working out.
Under the new food pyramid carbohydrates have been moved from the base (the largest part of your diet) to the summit (the smallest part of your diet) and fats have been moved down.
Fats are being pushed by the government? Well, yes, healthy fats. Some fats are healthy and can actually reduce heart disease and cholesterol. Peanut butter and peanut oil, for example. Also olive and canola oils. These are the kinds of fats the government wants you to start consuming in your diet, not meat fats or margarine!
Meats, by the way, are also way down on the list. Even fish, which is strange because fish has virtually no fat, no cholesterol and is now shown to help lessen the incident of stroke.
Of the meats fish and skinless white meat chicken breast that is broiled or poached (steamed in water) not pan fried in grease or baked in animal fat, are you best choices for weight reduction and low instance of heart disease.
Fish has between 200 and 300 calories of almost pure proteins per serving with next to no fat (unless you add it during cooking and if you do, use olive or canola oil) or carbohydrates. Chicken has between 300 and 400 calories per serving with about 10 to 15% not so good fat, but this fat is still a lot better than what comes from red meat, which is considered a killer by mean experts.
So, now we are being told to give up the big, heavy carbohydrates (bread, cereals, rice, pasta and potatoes) in favor of smaller carbs which create more sugar and less fat (fruits and green veggies).
We are being told to switch to more poached or broiled fish.
We are also being told to watch our calorie intake. Remember it takes about 2,000 calories just to breath. If your diet is over this amount you will gain weight. If your diet goes under 1,000 calories you will go into starvation mode and create the artificial body sugar in a condition called Ketosis. Some diets advocate this approach but many medical experts say this might not be healthy for everyone.
Over the next year all the labeling on food products will be changed a bit to reflect the new trend in eating. It may have a lower maximum for carbohydrates in an effort to get you to “carb down” instead of “carbing up!”
If you want some help in keeping track of what you are eating we detail a FREE DEMO calorie calculator in our Technology Software section that might be of some help to you!