123

How Bad Is Sugar? (Read 392 times)

L.Chang


    I'm rather confused about something (or maybe just miffed : ): many health experts stress the fact that *all* sugar is bad. It seems to me as if they make it sound as if sugar is actually a poison for your body. I've even heard that things like honey and agave nectar are also not good.

     

    Now, I'm not exactly drinking 1 can of Coke a day, but I do consume a bit of sugar. Could sugar really be that bad for our health? Has anyone hear eliminated sugar altogether and seen an improvement in their running? What do you think?


    Labrat

      Sugar is essential for your health.

       

      (Red blood cellls and the brain function using sugar, though both can make do with ketones at a pinch)

       

      Carbs are the primary source of fuel when exercising.

       

       

      ADDED sugar is not necessarily desirable, as it can lead to excess caloric intake, and sugary drinks are a major cause of this.

       

       

      Some sugar from fruit, or a bit of cake at a birthday party ? Don't sweat it.

      5K  23:21*  (Vdot 41.53)   10/13/12

      10K  51:48 (Vdot 38.39)  7/15/12

      HM 1:46:23 (Vdot 41.95) 11/9/13

      FM 4:28:33 (Vdot 33.01) 11/12/11

      *Gun time, all others are chip time

        If you have 90 minutes to burn:

         

        Watch "The Skinny on Obesity" with Dr. Lustig:

        http://www.uctv.tv/skinny-on-obesity

         

        I've never watched the whole 90 minutes but I remember some parts where the Dr mentions that there are times when the body needs sugar...like right after strenuous exercise. However, for the majority of people that get very little exercise, sugar isn't good.

         

        I have a female co-worker that doesn't believe it. She insists that eating fat makes you fat.  All day long she snacks on pretzels and high-carb foods, and she drinks a lot of diet pepsi. She works out, strenuously, a lot. Yet, week over week and month over month, she's complaining that she's getting fatter and fatter (and it's noticeable).   Because I've worked with this woman for many years and we razz each other quite a bit I can get away with sending her little pieces of news about sugar and fat.  I know my boundaries though.  And, she's still not buying it... but keeps gaining weight.

          My personal dislike of "sugar" (more accurately processed sugar, especially white sugar) is more chemical than philosophical.

           

          Processed sugar is highly refined sap from either sugar cane or sugar beets, refined to the point where all of the essential minerals and other trace elements have been removed.  From a chemical perspective, sugar is a vacuum; in the world of physics there is a truism which says, "horror vacui" or "Nature abhors a vacuum", and while not 100% true all of the time, it will suffice for this discussion.

           

          So, we eat white sugar, and once inside of our bodies, the sugar does what it knows how to do, it latches on to all manner of essential minerals (principally iron) inside of us and effectively leaches them from our bodies when the sugar is passed.  The more refined the sugar, the more aggressive it is at leaching minerals from our bodies.

           

          The above said, I *love* Dark Muscovado Sugar; it is a classically milled dark brown sugar (as opposed to domestic brown sugar which is refined to white sugar and then has some molasses added back into it) from the island of Mauritius.  It has such a rich and pungent fragrance that folks walking by my cube in the morning (after I've added a bit to my morning oatmeal) always stop by and ask what smells so good.  Smile

          scappodaqui


          rather be sprinting

            I'm a big fan of real food and moderation.  Molasses, for example, is sugary but high in iron and B6.  Maple syrup isn't quite as vitamin-rich but IS delicious on pancakes or French toast, though abominably expensive (I want to buy some but oy vey).  Bananas contain a lot of sugar depending on ripeness but are excellent running fuel/Gu substitutes--same for grapes.

             

            I do tend to avoid things with high-fructose corn syrup or tons of added sugar because they seem to derange my appetite a bit, but there's room for up to 10% of calories from added sugar in an overall healthy diet.  And in fact, when I eat fast-digesting carbs (read: sugar) around my workouts, they simply make me perform far better, thus RAISING my overall health and fitness, not lowering it.

             

            I think artificial sweeteners are WAY worse than sugar.  Tricking your body with such substances puts you out of touch with your real physical requirements.

             

            But limiting carbs, even simple natural sugars, due to fear of sugar is absolutely asinine for anyone who runs decent mileage and does speedwork, which is glucose-dependent.

            PRs: 5k 19:25, mile 5:38, HM 1:30:56

            Lifting PRs: back squat 176 lb


            Feeling the growl again

               

               

              So, we eat white sugar, and once inside of our bodies, the sugar does what it knows how to do, it latches on to all manner of essential minerals (principally iron) inside of us and effectively leaches them from our bodies when the sugar is passed.  The more refined the sugar, the more aggressive it is at leaching minerals from our bodies.

               

               

              Sugar does not chelate iron.  Sugar also does not "pass", it is burned to release energy and leaves our body principally as CO2 which we exhale.  As a cell and molecular biologist I can say there is no scientific basis for what you understand sugar to be doing.

               

              In terms of diet I think the reason people have problems with consuming high amounts of simple carbs is that they do not suppress appetite very well.  I can eat high-carb stuff for breakfast and I'll be hungry again by mid-morning.  Conversely I can eat a single hard-boiled egg and go without hunger twice as long.

              "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

               

              bap


                Everything in moderation. Try and avoid packaged or fast foods but a bit of natural sugar in your coffee or the odd slice of cake won't do you any harm.

                Age 52

                2016 Targets - 100 - 13.2s, 400 - 62s, 800 - 2:30, Mile - 5:40

                jimmyb


                  haiku

                  sugar delivers

                  Twinkies kidnap my tastebuds

                  Kit Kats own my will

                  Log    PRs

                    Everything in moderation. Try and avoid packaged or fast foods but a bit of natural sugar in your coffee or the odd slice of cake won't do you any harm.

                     

                    Moderation? This is a running forum, isn't it?  To most, we're way being being moderate.... :-)


                    CT JEFF

                      My 2 cents.

                      I believe added sugar is bad. I believe HFCS is worse. I believe artificial sweeteners are worse. I believe that there is not enough information about "natural" sweeteners.

                       

                      I have watched some of the videos and read some books on the subject, and am not 100% in agreement. One video says, "fructose is bad for everyone, except maybe endurance athletes, and I dont know any, do you?" - um actually, yeah, quite a few. Anyway.

                      Over the last 2 months I have significantly reduced my sugar intake. I was putting 4-5 tsp in each of my 3 decaf coffees per day. I still have jelly once a week. I only eat real maple syrup - that fake sh#t is bad tasting as well as a chemical concoction. Bottom line, 2 months is a short experience, but in this time, my weight has dramatically dropped. My cravings for food in general have declined. I still grab sugar, but an apple, orange or banana at times in the day. I tried some raw honey in my steel cut oatmeal this morning.

                       

                      As for results, Ive lost weight, so Im running faster. It took me a solid week for the cravings to subside, or the addiction. It seemed more like a habit I was breaking - "decaf with cream and sugar". Next Im planning a week without dairy to see if I notice improvement in how I feel.

                       

                      BOILER TOM - one of my favorite lines, "and how is that workin' out for ya?"

                      SHIPO - thanks for the info on Dark Muskavato Sugar. I believe the statistics are that most of our table sugar is from sugar beets unless specified as cane sugar. 90% of the worlds sugar beets are Genetically Modified Organisms.

                      RUN SAFE.     Barefoot 1st: 6/9/13. PR: 5k=22:50 10k=47:46 HM 1:51. FM 4:28

                      Sept /27 Sat. 9am (scheduling conflict) Hogsback HM -

                      October 11 Sat 8am Hartford Marathon.

                      November 15 Sat 12:30pm- Spartan Race with DW in Fenway

                      Jan 1 Gordys First Race. 10k. Jan 18 Disneyland Star Wars HM 5:30am

                        Highly recommend the uctv video sugar: the bitter truth on YouTube  by Dr. Robert Lustig who is fighting hard to change the FDA sugar regulation. He explains why high fructose drink is poison. Basically fructose can only be digested by liver, the same as alcohol. you can start from 42:00 where he starts explaining how glucose, ethanol and fructose is processed by our body, how they become fat and why people keep getting hungry when their body is full of unprocessed food.

                        5k - 20:56 (09/12), 7k - 28:40 (11/12), 10k trial - 43:08  (03/13), 42:05 (05/13), FM - 3:09:28 (05/13), HM - 1:28:20 (05/14), Failed 10K trial - avg 6:10/mi for 4mi (29/08/14), FM - 3:03 (13/09/14)

                          Highly recommend the uctv video sugar: the bitter truth on YouTube  by Dr. Robert Lustig who is fighting hard to change the FDA sugar regulation. He explains why high fructose drink is poison. Basically fructose can only be digested by liver, the same as alcohol. you can start from 42:00 where he starts explaining how glucose, ethanol and fructose is processed by our body, how they become fat and why people keep getting hungry when their body is full of unprocessed food.

                           

                          That's the video I linked to above. Agreed. Highly recommended.

                           

                          Knowing is one thing, and changing behavior is another.

                            He explains why high fructose drink is poison.

                             

                            I don't drink a lot of sugary drinks, and I really don't have a bias or strong feelings on this question, but when I read stuff like this above, it erases nearly all credibility in my mind from the "sugar is evil" side of the discussion.  Believability just evaporates.  At least for me it does.  Real life experience just doesn't jive with these kind of extreme statements at all.

                            - Joe

                            all running goals are under review by the executive committee.

                              I'm trying an experiment of one right now.  About the sweetest thing I've eaten in 4 months is 2 servings of bread and butter pickles after a 7 mile run.  There's about 8 grams of sugar in that.  I don't drink milk due to the sugar in it and most of my carbs come from veggies.

                               

                              It's interesting to try and experiment once in a while.  I have never had a problem on a run with crashing due to no carbs/sugar.  But I don't run much over an hour at this point for my longer runs.  So I have no idea how long I'd have to run before it would bother me.

                               

                              On the plus side I'd dropped over 25 pounds in those 4 months and I've been able to get running again after a long time off due to PF pain syndrome.  So all in all it's working fine.  Even though I'm still ~208 on the scale I'm wearing 34 and 36 waist pants so I'm getting close to where I need to be to have body fat in the 11-12% range.  Another 10 pounds should get me there.  Anyway, I will echo what others say about sugar/carbs... you just don't really feel hungry when you don't eat sugar.  And I really don't miss sugar, it feels like I have no need.  If anyone were to stuff a cookie in my mouth I'd be more mad then anything because it would mess up my experiment.  Maybe that's the OCD side of running leaking over.

                              In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion

                              http://htwins.net/scale2/scale2.swf?bordercolor=white&fb_source=message

                               

                               

                               


                              Feeling the growl again

                                 

                                I don't drink a lot of sugary drinks, and I really don't have a bias or strong feelings on this question, but when I read stuff like this above, it erases nearly all credibility in my mind from the "sugar is evil" side of the discussion.  Believability just evaporates.  At least for me it does.  Real life experience just doesn't jive with these kind of extreme statements at all.

                                +1.  That and when people point me to YouTube videos and such as "evidence".  I had a fun time yesterday with someone and their "drug companies are hiding the cure for cancer" comment using similar hyperbole and "evidence".

                                "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                                 

                                123