More Anti-Sugar Advice

Lifehacker has a pretty in-depth article based on the April NY Times piece about how sugar is really bad for you. It does a great job of walking through exactly what’s bad about it: that the glucose half of sugar isn’t that bad, that the fructose half is really bad, and that eating fruits is just fine because the fiber in fruits keeps you from eating too much fructose. Sodas and pudding though, don’t have any fiber and you can just eat tons and tons of fructose without ever feeling full. This in turn causes the liver to work really hard, produce a lot of fat, and cause all kinds of problems — from high-blood pressure to diabetes to cancer.

Photo by Nick Depree. It may look good, but it's evil.

 

The article, however, goes further to say that the reason processed foods are bad, is related: fiber makes food spoil faster, so it’s removed during processing. Eating fiber-free food keeps the brain from knowing it’s full as fast, and we end up eating more (there are also all kinds of benefits to fiber besides weight-related ones). Finally, there’s some good advice on how to successfully give up sugar:

  • Eat fruits. They’re sweet, so it’ll feel like you’re drinking soda, but just try to down three apples in a row and see how that goes.
  • Check labels for sugar. It can be in pretty much anything, so don’t assume something doesn’t have sugar just because it doesn’t seem like it should.
  • Don’t have sugar around. If it’s not in your house or office, it’ll make it that much harder to eat it. Do keep fruit around, to quell the craving.
  • Don’t quit cold turkey. It’ll help you not fall off the wagon. It’s fine to have cake once in a while, but make it the exception, rather than the rule. Eating sugar should be a rare thing, but not unheard of.
  • Burn it off. A lot of fructose is actually helpful to replace glycogen after, for example playing basketball. Conversely, if you accidentally eat a cupcake or drink a soda, go run a 5k or something to give your body a reason to replace glycogen. And yes, you do actually need to run a whole 3 miles to burn off just one cupcake.

From Lifehacker

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