Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Our sugar addiction

Americans are becoming more obese because we eat so much sugar. Here is a small section of a highly informative infographic:

Click and read the whole graphic.

Sugar is added to almost everything you buy in a grocery that is not plain raw. Glucose, sucrose and  fructose are found on a shockingly high number of nutrition labels, just see for yourself. Fast foods are packed with added sugar. Sugar is literally addictive. Eating a high-sugar diet - the typical American diet - leads directly to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

So how interesting that Michelle Obama is promoting to schools the new federal guidelines that want pupils to eat more fruit and vegetables. That is literally a recipe for childhood obesity. Fresh fruit today has been bred for many generations to have the highest fructose content possible. If you bite into a fresh apple you are just eating a large hunk of crunchy sugar with a dietary-insignificant amount of nutrients.

Dietary carbohydrates are sugars once they are digested. Simple carbs break down to sugars very quickly while complex carbs less quickly. But both simple and complex carbs become sugar in the bloodstream. Carbs are found in a amazing number of vegetables. Potatoes of course, are high carb, but so are many veggies that most people would consider "safe." Green, leafy vegetables are in fact safe, but is the only category of vegetable that is safe in its entire.

It is dietary sugar and carbohydrates, pure and simple, that make you fat.  Dietary protein and dietary fat not only do not make you fat, to the contrary, if you eliminate sugars and carbs from your diet you will drop weight literally within 24-36 hours and will not be hungry while you slim.

Rules of thumb for food shopping and eating:
  • The more ready to eat something is, the quicker it will make you fat and give you diabetes. 
  • The more processed a food is, even if it requires a lot of preparation, the quicker it will make you fat and give you diabetes. 
  • The more simple carbohydrates a food has, the quicker it will give you diabetes because it spikes the blood-glucose level so fast, leading over time to insulin resistance. 
  • Read labels of everything. Foods with one or less carbs per serving are pretty much free, but should be eaten with meals, not as snacks.
  • Meat, fish, poultry (MFP henceforth) and eggs are on limits in all particulars except when they have sugars added, such as glazed ham. Read labels on packaged meats.
  • When you are hungry, eat MFP until you are sated. Don't worry about weights, measures or calorie counting. Just don't keep eating once you are satisfied. Don't worry about how often you eat MFP during the day, as long as you are actually eating to satisfy hunger. 
  • Drink water, not sugared soft drinks or sweet tea. Diet drinks are fine, but remember that aspartame, the most common artificial sweetener in them, seems to stimulate insulin production, lowering blood glucose, and that typically leads to snacking. That's one reason that diet drink consumers eat so much.  Saccharine, however, is safe (the pink envelope stuff). Caffeine apparently stimulates insulin production, too (hence the famous coffee and donut break) so drink decaf beverages if you can. 
This list is simple summary of what you will learn if you read this absolutely invaluable book. Amazon's page is here. (BTW, I don't make money off this link.)
Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It

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