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Sunday, June 27, 2010



Sugar is a tricky, tricky thing.  As you may know from reading my past blog on Carbohydrates, all Carbs (good and bad) eventually are broken down into their simpler parts. These "parts" are actually different sugars. When we eat a whole grain, the fiber and other wonderful bits are digested slower into our blood streams. This is a major Thumb Up! When we eat simple carbohydrates (all the white stuff) we absorb the sugar so rapidly that it is dangerous to our hormone levels.. Thumbs wayyyy Down.  

This hormone reaction ( you may have heard of insulin spikes, or insulin resistance) can cause many ailments to our bodies including Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, and Cancer!
Now.. I have also talked about fruits being a source of Natural Sugar.  Fructose is the sugar found in fruits and it is actually digested and absorbed in our bodies similarly to other refined (bad) carbs. 

So what gives?? "Why is fruit considered healthy and my pastry so terrible?"
Lets have a closer look...

Fruit grows in nature. Anything that grows from the ground, or has a Mother is considered Natural. Pretty simple, yes? The wonderful thing about foods provided in nature is that they have been grown in a natural package. FOR EXAMPLE...

An apple has it's outer skin which is rich in fiber and enzymes that aid in digestion, etc.  The apple itself is rich in vitamins and minerals. When the apple is eaten in it's Whole, natural form, it is digested slowly and your body will retain all of its nutritional benefits. 

But take a slice of apple pie for instance...Same fruit, yes, however, the apple's skin has most likely been peeled. The apple is cut up and covered in spices and of course... refined sugar. (I wont even get into the detrimental effects of eating it's crust)..  The point is, now that it's skin is removed and it is cooked at a high temperature for a long period of time, the nutrients have been virtually removed and you are left with a load of refined sugars.

(of course there are exceptions to every rule but try to remember...)
*Food in its natural state-good
*Food taken from nature and altered-not good

WHAT'S MORE: When your body consumes refined sugars, it still requires the same enzymes and vitamins, that are normally found in fruits and vegetables, for digestion. So where does your body attain these enzymes? ... Your body will actually leech those essential nutrients from storage in your cells. This causes immune system malfunctions and cause people to get sick.

***FUN FACT***
I often hear people say to me "but sugar is natural." Sugar grows on a sugar cane. The initial product is a natural sweetened plant. But that sugar is taken to a factory and refined and you are left with a refined white powder. BEAR IN MIND...COCAINE IS ALSO GROWN ON A PLANT. When refined- cocaine and sugar have similar white consistencies. Just because something grows on a plant, does not ALWAYS mean that is healthy for our bodies. 

(click picture for more info on sugar cane) 

You may think that you are not consuming a lot of sugar in your day, but I urge you to take a better look at what you consume.

With all of the processed foods we eat, we are literally consuming more sugar than our bodies can handle and it is causing people to get very ill.  


Below is a list of sugars that are hiding in your foods:

  • barley malt
  • molasses
  • dehydrated cane juice
  • beet sugar
  • cane-juice crystals
  • cane sugar
  • caramel
  • carob syrup
  • corn syrup
  • corn syrup solids
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Raw sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Demerara Sugar
  • Dextrose
  • Free Flowing Brown Sugars
  • Fructose
  • Galactose
  • Glucose
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Honey
  • Invert Sugar
  • Lactose
  • Malt
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltose
  • Maple syrup
  • Muscovado or Barbados Sugar
  • Panocha
  • Powdered or confectioner's sugar
  • Rice Syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar (granulated)
  • Treacle
  • Turbinado sugar
  • Diastatic malt
  • Diatase
  • Ethyl maltol
The Recommended Daily Allowance for sugar does not exist due to it's lack of nutrients. Added sugars are not meant to be consumed on a regular basis.  Remember that anything in moderation is okay, but it is hard to gauge how much sugar is a moderate amount due to it being hidden in our everyday foods. As usual, I urge you to read your ingredients! Check those sugar levels and try to moderate your intake.

Try these tips to help you with your continual road to success!!

  1. Nix the soda! (even diet sodas are filled with artificial chemical sweeteners that act as addictive drugs in our brain causing us to crave more sugary snacks throughout the day)
  2. Try Stevia instead of your pink, blue, and yellow packets! Stevia is the only 0 calorie sweetener that is 100% from a plant called the stevia plant. (My favorite brand- Stevia in the raw! Try 1 packet  in your next cup of coffee or sprinkled over some plain yogurt..mmm)
  3. Eat more fruit! Next time you crave something sweet grab some berries! The full package of enzymes and vitamins to build your health and immune system! 
  4. Dilute your Juice.  If you are a juice drinker, try to cut your juice to half water and half juice. This virgin cocktail can be a real treat! (try sparkling water, splash of cranberry and a squeeze of lime for great summer virgin cocktail without all of the sugar/ calories!!)
  5. Dark Chocolate!  If you just have to have candy, go dark (more than 70% dark) Dark chocolate is a great source of antioxidants for fueling your body and brain!
Stay Well

****FUN FACT****
One teaspoon of granulated white sugar is equal to about 4.2 grams! Imagine a bottle of soda with 40 grams of sugar. Now imagine eating roughly 10 teaspoons of sugar...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Beware of Canola..despite what your Registered Dietitian says...

Almost 100% of rapeseed(Canola) in the US and Canada is chemically altered by a devil company called Monsanto. Although Canola Oil is said to have high levels of Omega-3 (healthy) is a highly modified food and it's risks outweigh it's benefits. Stick with Mediterranean Olive Oil despite it's slightly higher cost. For more info check out the link to the video below. No Farmers=No Food. Down with Monsanto!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Size it up for GOOD measure

Now that you are getting the gist of what foods are good for your body, it is time to take control. Control of the PORTIONS of these foods. No matter what foods you are eating, too much of anything is NEVER a good thing. I often hear "but what about eating a lot of vegetables, or drinking a lot of water?" The answer is the same. When it comes to our bodies, it is usually not the "poison," rather the dose that does us in...

Think of broccoli for example. It is full of wonderful vitamins (especially C) and fiber. When we eat too much  broccoli however, that fiber expands in our stomach and can give us gas or a stomach ache. Is this as harmful as too much of an unhealthy snack? Of course not, but it is still proof that too much of a good thing can be bad as well and therefore, we need to learn how much food is suitable.

An easy way to gain control of your portions and calories is to MEASURE your food. For some, this may seem tedious and unenjoyable. I totally get it. However, once you start measuring your food, you can accurately gauge what you are eating and how much you need to eat to lose, maintain, or gain weight. To measure your food simply look at your food package and measure the amount of calories you want by following the serving size listed above the Nutrition Facts. For more accurate measurements, purchase a food scale, liquid and dry measuring cups, and measuring spoons. (all can be purchased at most supermarkets or chain superstores).  Remember once you purchase them, USE them! You will soon notice that you do not need to measure all of the time because you will have familiarized yourself with correct portion sizes!

Of course, there are other ways to gauge correct food amounts and eat less without measuring...

  • USE SMALLER SERVING PLATES: When we serve food on smaller plates, we eat less! It is proven that people like to fill their plates. So if you get a smaller plate, you can make your meal look just as appealing.  Your brain wont know the difference and your body will thank you!
  • SLOW DOWN: When you take your time eating, your brain receptors have more time to recognize your satiety level. Many people eat until they are full rather than satisfied and believe it or not it may NOT be a question of gluttony.  It takes about 20 minutes for our brain to recognize and send appropriate signals to the rest of our body when we are in fact, satisfied. So unless you slow down, your body will let you eat and eat until finally you have a stomach ache and decide, enough is enough. *TRY THIS*: The French are known for their rich foods, yet also known for their slim figures.  One habit they practice is to put down their fork in between every bite. Every bite of every meal is savored.  In turn, they enjoy food more, eat less, and don't stress about their diet. Now wouldn't that be nice?
  • SIT DOWN: When you hover over a counter top or eat on the go, you are less likely to appreciate and enjoy your food.  When you sit down, you naturally slow down and enjoy your meal, hence, reducing the chance for feeling a need for more food.
  • SOCIALIZE: Now this can be tricky...There are PROS and CONS to eating with company. The great part about eating with others is the social interaction. When we talk, we tend to slow down our meal time, which we now know is key to not over eating. However, eating with others can also be dangerous. If our friends or families enjoy unhealthy foods in surplus, we tend to feel comfortable indulging as well. After all were among friends, right? Not so much... Enjoy the company and the relaxing atmosphere but be mindful of what and how much you are eating. 
Below are 3 links that will help you on your way...

1)The Mayo Clinic has a very comprehensive article on portion sizes. I advise you to click on the link and bookmark it so that you have a point of reference.  

Stay Well

questions? Leave a Comment!