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Three: Sugar is your Enemy

Here’s the problem.  Everyone knows that sugar is bad for you.  Many of my patients will even say, “But I don’t add or use sugar!”

Maybe you’re exercising more, cutting out the “bad” fats and limiting the sweets. You’re all good right? Not even close. Even if you don’t have a sweet tooth, you might still be eating far more sugar than you think. Sugar comes in many forms and much of it is hidden in our favorite foods.

These foods look healthy, but they contain hidden processed sugar that jacks up their calorie count.

  • Foods-with-hidden-sugarTomato sauces – up to 200% of the daily limit (twice the daily limit!!!)
  • 2 slices of bread – up to 125% of the daily limit
  • 1 Glass of soy milk – up to 50% of the daily limit
  • Vitamin water – 271% of the daily limit
  • Granola bars – 195% of the daily limit

Other foods to watch out for:  Baked beans, canned fruits, fruit juices, dressings and condiments, cereals and lunch meats.

“But food I buy is organic!” LOL…that’s fine, you’ll just be organic and fat 🙂

The best-known sugars are fructose (“fruit sugar”) and sucrose (“table sugar”). But they are also listed as: honey, dextrose, fructose, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, sorbitol, fruit juice concentrate, galactose, lactose, polydextrose, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, maltodextrin and turbinado sugar.

All of these will turn on your fat genes, here’s how:

1. Sugar (aka Sucrose) is 50% glucose / 50% fructose.
2. High Fructose Corn Syrup is 45% glucose / 55% fructose (there are other versions, but this is what’s used in beverages)
3. Metabolically speaking, they’re processed the same by your body. How they are produced is irrelevant
4. The glucose is absorbed directly into the bloodstream, triggering an insulin response and gets stored as fat immediately. Higher sugar content equals a larger insulin response equals more stored as fat.
5. The fructose is processed by your liver and, when consumed in rapid abundance (ie. drinking a soda or vitamin water), gets processed into and stored as fat.

So both Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup (including Fructose) are bad for you regardless of how or where they come from.

6. Continued over consumption of either sugar or fructose is likely to lead to insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes, obesity, heart disease and high cholesterol, among other health risks.
7. Even slightly elevated levels of blood glucose produce Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs) that cause hardening of the arteries, inflammation and lead to high blood pressure, arthritis and more. They also interfere with the vascular dilation (erectile dysfunction) and vascular permeability (stroke/hemorrhage).
8. In the absence of glucose, your body will burn fat for energy. In the presence of glucose, you will store fat as energy.

sugar vs hfcs

Summary:
If you want to be healthy and get/stay lean, avoid Sugar, Fructose and HFCS in any form. Whole fruit, in most cases, contains far less fructose than sugary beverages and snacks, and can be eaten in moderation without harm. Just skip the fruit juice all together.

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