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Lets talk about sugars (Read 1011 times)

    So, I am at a loss for how to interpret the sugars line in the "Nutrition Facts" label on food.  I know there are different types of sugar (sucrose, lactose, fructose) are some of them  "good" sugars and "bad" sugars or are they all more or less created equal?  A candy bar or donuts are full of sugars, however, so are the organic vanilla yogurt, granola and banana I ate for breakfast this morning.

     

    I am looking to make generally healthier food choices and am not sure how sugar fits into the whole picture.  Part of the problem is that so much nutritional information out there seems to focus on weight loss.  I am six feet tall, 155 pounds....I don't want to loose any weight.  Blood pressure, good and bad cholesterol, triglycerides are all great.  The objective measures available would not seem to be able to measure if I was eating a "healthier" diet.  What am I going to gain by avoiding the donuts?

     

    I have a general concept of glycemic index as it relates to rate of adsorption and insulin spikes which ultimately drive hunger, but I am not trying to loose weight so does this matter?  Also, along those lines if I eat a slice of chocolate cake after a plate of whole wheat spaghetti does the fiber from the spaghetti effectively lower the GI of the cake.....does it matter?

     

    I'm sorry I don't have a more concise well formed question, I am mostly curious what other people think and know.  I am also curious how you know what you know.  It seems that with nutrition, as with all things, a lot of people have ideas that are not based on anything solid.  I guess the core of my questioning is:  "If you are not trying to loose weight, what is it that makes sugars (all or some) unhealthy, how do they negatively affect you, and do you have any scientific evidence of this?" 

     

    I will be disappointed if Trent doesn't reply with his "Eat food, mostly plants, not too much", and while I accept it, I am curious what makes this true as opposed to just a cute saying.  Wink

     

    Thanks

    Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.

      This is the article that spurred many, including Trent, to think about eating in terms of food and not nutrition labels. I think you will find some answers to your questions here, but also a way into an alternative paradigm of thinking that may be healthier. It provides the frame of thought behind the cute saying.


      just a simple cat

        High Fructose Corn Syrup = bad

        Donuts = good  

         

        mmmmmm, donuts.........

         

        I  guess as you get more bodacious, you begin to lose more brain cells, because there is a limit to how much magnificence your body can house

          BUT, donuts probably have high fructose corn syrup in them Sad

           

          Sugar is such a broad term. It is not all bad. Without sugar/carbs, we are not able to fuel our work outs. There are some basics regarding sugar. For athletes like us who work out, we can get away with a bit more sugar and ideal time would be right after a work out when our body sucks it up to replenish glycogen stores. Now, ideally, we want nutrition with sugar and this can come from fruits, vegetables, grains......When you add some fiber to the equation - that is good!  Fiber does buffer the blood sugar response a bit but not as much as adding protein and fat to a carb/sugar meal.

           

          High fructose corn syrup is bad as Ilene mentioned. It kills in my opinion. Google its harmful effects. It is cheap which is why it is used so much but our bodies don't like it even though our taste buds do.  I think the two worst additives to the American diet are High Fructose Corn Syrup and "hydrogenated oils".  These two ingredients in abundance will make you fatter and unhealthy. We all deserve a treat and it all comes back to moderation. Eat mostly good stuff but an occasional treat for all of us, especially us work out fanatics, is just fine!!!! 

          No donuts everyday though Smile

          Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!


          A Saucy Wench

            Do you really think that if you are a healthy weight that it doesnt matter what you put in your body?

             

            If you are "looking to make healthier food choices" then really the question of is there a difference between donuts and bananas shouldnt even come up. ( or is it someone else who wants you to make better choices and you really dont want to?)

             

            Is the only way you measure health  a distilled list of the cheapest, fastest and most rudimentary of measurements of well being (weight, bloodtest) ?

             

            (and your organic vanilla yogurt?  Probably not much better than the candy bar.  Roughly 8g of that sugar is from the milk and real food.  The rest of it is just the same as the candy bar.  Or at least an organic dark chocolate candy bar. )

             

            MTA: and if you are going to have a donut find a non -chain place that makes them fresh on site.  Probably not HFCS then and so much more worth it

            I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets

             

            "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7


            A Dance with Monkeys

              Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

                Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

                 

                That took longer than anticipated :-)


                Feeling the growl again

                   High fructose corn syrup is bad as Ilene mentioned. It kills in my opinion. Google its harmful effects.

                   

                  Googling does not necessarily bring up factual information.  I don't think the stuff is great for you but what conclusive evidence there is does not paint it as quite the red-handed killer some claim it to be.

                   

                  That said, most people get way too much sugar (of all kinds).  Whether it is high fructose corn syrup or pure glucose, if you are constantly spiking your sugar it's not great for you.

                   

                  When I am running a lot I don't worry as much about it....if I am getting good nutrition in my standard 2000cal I'm eating whether running or not, it does not mean so much if there are more "empty" calories in the additional 1000-1500cal I must eat to fuel my 10-15miles/day of running.  Not that I fuel them with Krispy Kremes.

                  "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

                   


                  Imminent Catastrophe

                    Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Pixy Stix.

                     

                    FTFY

                    "Able to function despite imminent catastrophe"

                     "To obtain the air that angels breathe you must come to Tahoe"--Mark Twain

                    "The most common question from potential entrants is 'I do not know if I can do this' to which I usually answer, 'that's the whole point'.--Paul Charteris, Tarawera Ultramarathon RD.

                     

                    √ Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 20/21 July 2013

                    Boston Marathon 21 April 2014

                    Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 19/20 July 2014


                    A Dance with Monkeys

                      Jeff beat me to it. And I'm on the road with wonky internet.

                         Wow Ennay I feel like I got you all worked up. I numbered you statements so I can answer them.

                         

                        1)  Do you really think that if you are a healthy weight that it doesnt matter what you put in your body?

                         

                        2)  If you are "looking to make healthier food choices" then really the question of is there a difference between donuts and bananas shouldnt even come up. ( or is it someone else who wants you to make better choices and you really dont want to?)

                         

                        3)  Is the only way you measure health  a distilled list of the cheapest, fastest and most rudimentary of measurements of well being (weight, bloodtest) ?

                         

                        4)  (and your organic vanilla yogurt?  Probably not much better than the candy bar.  Roughly 8g of that sugar is from the milk and real food.  The rest of it is just the same as the candy bar.  Or at least an organic dark chocolate candy bar. )

                         

                        5)  MTA: and if you are going to have a donut find a non -chain place that makes them fresh on site.  Probably not HFCS then and so much more worth it

                         

                        1)  No I don't really think that, and don't even think i alluded to that.  My question was more what makes sugar bad, and why, and how do you know what you know.

                         

                        2)  Why should the difference not even come up?  There is this basic assumption (that I am not necessarily disagreeing with) that just because something is natural it is better than something not.  I'm wondering if there is justification for this assumption beyond "It seems obivious".  In the end food is just matter there is not some ineffable magical quality of healthy to something that grows which then vanishes when it enters a manufacturing plant. 

                         

                        3)  Not at all, what would you propose to use as an evaluation of what constitutes health?  I pointed to the problem of measurement of health when I said "The objective measures available would not seem to be able to measure if I was eating a "healthier" diet.  What am I going to gain by avoiding the donuts?"  The eat healthy argument has to be stronger than "Eat natural food, it will make you healthier.  Granted not in a way you can feel or measure, but trust us you are better off.....No we can't tell you what better off is."

                         

                        4)  I agree, but back to the original question....why is the candy bar bad?

                         

                        5)  HFCS is bad....why?

                         

                        I hope I don't sound combative or pissy or anything like that.  I'm looking for a good discussion, not trying to attack you or anything like that.  I should mention that I eat a generally very good diet, and am not looking for some way to justify my sugar addiction.  What led to this post was me looking at my yogurt nutrition information this morning and saying "Wow, this is crap" and then wondering "What makes it crap?", "How do I know it's crap?"

                        Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.


                        A Dance with Monkeys

                          Read the article Jeff linked.  Better yet, read the book from which it was abstracted.  All your answers are there.

                            I hope I don't sound combative or pissy or anything like that.  I'm looking for a good discussion, not trying to attack you or anything like that.  I should mention that I eat a generally very good diet, and am not looking for some way to justify my sugar addiction.  What led to this post was me looking at my yogurt nutrition information this morning and saying "Wow, this is crap" and then wondering "What makes it crap?", "How do I know it's crap?"

                             

                            You are looking for a good discussion, but you obviously did not read the article that directly addressed these questions.

                              Read the article Jeff linked.  Better yet, read the book from which it was abstracted.  All your answers are there.

                               What book was it from, I'm going to run MCM solo this weekend so will have a bit of time to read. I quick scanned the top and bottom of article and didn't see the reference, if it is there never mind I'll see it later.

                              Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.

                              Twabi2


                                Good question, and simply stated: no, not all sugars are created equally.

                                But don't take it from me, listen to this guy:

                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

                                It's a lecture by Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology. 

                                It's amazing how 1 carbon atom difference (Glucose = 6C, fructose = 5C) can make such a difference.

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