Just 4 Today, I won’t eat between meals, I won’t take seconds and I’ll try not to eat anything with added sugar.
A couple of days ago I was reading about new studies that give much more specific information than we’ve ever had about the affects of sugar on our health. The lead story in the April edition of one of my favorite magazines in the world, Nutrition Action Health Letter (Center for Science in the Public Interest.) Sugar Belly: How Much is Too Much Sugar, by Bonnie Liebman. The story isn’t online yet (they wait a month to post their stories.) But, I want to talk about it while I’m still reeling:
The whole thing is pretty shocking. Although to be precise, the studies in this story were all about drinking extra sugar — in soda, tea or fruit juice.
Studies find that people may “compensate” for the calories they get from solid foods by eating less later in the day. But that doesn’t seem to happen when people drink liquid calories.
“In one study, people given jelly beans consumed less at subsequent meals than those who were given the same calories as liquid sugary beverages,” says Malik.
Well, I’m here to tell you that the person they’re describing up there isn’t me. I haven’t had a sugared drink with any regularity since the 1970s. Also, I’ve done my own studies and eating sugar disables the stop button on my appetite. I might have mentioned in the early days of this blog that there was a time in the early eighties when I’d gotten a good grip on my weight. I was feeling good – confident even. I think my weight was pretty stable for some number of years. Then I went to a movie and bought 1/4 pound of malted milk balls. And the next thing I knew, I weighed 50 pounds more.
Readers, I snapped. After that it was a long, long time before I got myself together again. So, in spite of the above disclaimer regarding the limits of the studies, I took this article very much to heart.
I’ll be going into it in more depth once it’s online but here are some of the highlights:
- Calories from fructose (which is found only in added sugars ad fruit) may be more likely than other calories to aim for your waist
- The fructose in most added sugars appears to boost liver, muscle, and visceral fat. Excess fat anywhere in the body increases the risk of insulin resistance and diabetes. B;ut a fatty liver and visceral fat may increase your risk the most.
- “Fructose gets metabolized by the liver very quickly,” says Welsh. “When there is more sugar than the liver can process it converts the sugar to fat. Some of the fat goes into the bloodstream, and that’s why we get elevated triglycerides.” …. What’s more, in Stanhope’s study, the fructose drinkers burned less fat (and more carbohydrate) “The body doesn’t make fat and burn fat at the same time,” she explains.
“The body doesn’t make fat and burn fat at the same time”
Their advise is to “Shoot for 100 calories (6-1/2 teaspoons) a day of added sugars if you’re a woman and 150 calories (9-1/2 teaspoons) a day if you’re a man. Even less may be better for your heart.”
So that’s my plan. Just 4 Today anyway….