The One Thing You Can Do To Dramatically Improve Your Diet

….if you want to lose the excess body fat, reduce your risk of Type II Diabetes, and generally feel better.

There’s a growing body of research that strongly suggests that this one thing, one food substance, can be traced as a potential cause for diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, obesity, and even cancer.

Sugar.

Specifically fructose.

Sugar, the refined sugar as we most often think of or table sugar, is actually a combination of fructose and glucose (or also known as sucrose) and the body processes the two differently. Fructose goes to the liver and is almost turned to fat. Glucose however is metabolized by the cells in your body. So when you eat a potato – a carbohydrate – it will be converted to glucose not fructose where as a Snickers bar is nearly all refined sugar – a much higher percentage of fructose- (and I’m not just picking on Snickers – all candy bars are essentially nothing but refined sugar).

Now, I’m not suggesting that you stop eating fruit which also contains sugar. An orange has about 9 grams of sugar but only 2.5

Snickers Bar

grams of fructose. So in addition to being obvious – an orange is healthier for you than a Snickers bar, it’s also a different blend of sugar.

Not all fruits though are the same in their sugar content or blend. Apples tend to have more fructose than, for example, an orange or a blueberry (here’s a table comparing various fruits and their sugar content).

But the bottom line on fruits is that you have to eat a LOT of fruit to have the same type of load on your liver as refined sugar.

And, I’m not suggesting you can’t have a bite of dark chocolate to satisfy your sweet tooth either. In small concentrations, your body can handle the sugar load (and it appears what is “small” varies by the individual). And if you add exercise, especially the kind found in the ActiveAge Blueprint, you can dramatically increase the metabolism of sugar and therefore your tolerance.

Two detailed resources for those of you who want to dig into the science of sugar and its potential deleterious effects on the body are Robert Lustig’s 90 minute lecture, Sugar the Bitter Truth,  and this article, Is Sugar Toxic?, in the NY Times.

Remove refined sugar from your diet and you’ll lose weight, lower your risk of really nasty diseases, have more energy, and generally feel better.

But, I have to admit, I’m a sucker for dark chocolate 🙂

How about you? How much sugar do you eat?

Photo: Uwe Hermann


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About Doug Kelsey

DK_bball_post Doug Kelsey is a physical therapist and healthy lifestyle “guru”. Doug is formerly an Associate Professor and Assistant Dean for Clinical Affairs at the University of Oklahoma Health Science and is the owner of Sports Center Physical Therapy in Austin, Tx. He writes on how to “actively age” – how to get healthy and fit over your lifetime and take charge of your health. He and his brother Joshua created the ActiveAge Blueprint.

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