In 2009, the average person consumed 150 lbs of sugar in a year = almost ½ lb of sugar a day.
If you haven’t read Emily’s previous 3-part post, “Is that cheat meal sabotaging your gains?” then do so and come back to this post.
True sugar addictions are real, but conquerable. In Part 3, Emily concludes by proposing that one completely cut sugar from the diet for 60-90 days or until you no longer crave sweet foods. I am committing to this challenge along with Emily and anyone else willing to do it.
I briefly want to say a few things about genetics first. Everyone has a genotype and a phenotype. The genotype is the way we were born. The phenotype is what we make ourselves become. Epigenetics is an expression of our insides. Genetics may make life harder, but that does not mean you’re doomed. “We may be genetically disposed to carry more fat, but we still have to eat the calories. We can have the BRCA 1 gene that causes breast cancer, but it still takes eating sugar to make it grow. Don’t blame your genetics, blame your choices. http://gopractice.biz/2012/01/8-things-a-new-and-veteran-crossfitter-should-know/ What I mean is, by choosing to not eat sugar (by cutting it out for 60-90 days), you can down-regulate your “reward receptors” and your craving will change.
Sugars are carbohydrates in the form of monosaccharides, disaccharides and oligosaccharides. The most important monosaccharides are glucose, dextrose and fructose. Glucose can be stored in the muscles or liver. Fructose is only stored in the liver. This is why you should limit fruit intake, by the way. Fructose stores fill up faster and excess is turned into fat. Most sugars can be identified by their characteristic “-ose” suffix. Table sugar is a disaccharide (one molecule of glucose and one molecule of fructose) while high fructose corn syrup is very similar, being 55% fructose and 45% glucose.
You do not need sugar to survive, although it is not ideal to cut it out completely. The body is designed to convert other molecules into energy if you are not consuming enough carbohydrate. You cannot live without protein and fat but you can live without sugars.
The major problems with elevated sugar and insulin levels include:
1. Mal-coordinates the immune system and reduces its functional ability.
2. Dehydrates the cells and depletes the body of critical electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, & sodium leading to cell death and chronic muscle spasms.
3. Depletes the body of chromium, copper, zinc and other trace minerals that help sensitize cells to insulin. This further accelerates cell membrane insulin resistance.
4. Induces cancer cell division and proliferation and inhibits mechanisms that slow down tumor growth and that inhibit cancer cell apoptosis (programmed cell death).
5. Creates tissue damaging Advanced Glycolytic Enzymes (AGE’s).
6. Depletes the body of anti-oxidants such as glutathione, vitamin C & vitamin E.
7. Inhibits Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and elevates cortisol levels.
8. Inhibits cellular protein synthesis, which results in dysfunctional bone, muscle, and joint chemistry. This accelerates the risk of osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and chronic muscle and joint pain.
9. Promotes the growth of pathogenic bacteria and parasites such as Candida and other yeast like organisms. This also depletes the body of good bacteria and can lead to chronic infections in the gut, respiratory tissue and sinuses.
10. Leads to obesity, elevated triglycerides, abnormal LDL:HDL cholesterol levels and elevated arterial inflammatory risk factors.
11. Opens up the blood brain barrier, depletes the brain of trace mineral stores and allows toxins and other heavy metals to accumulate in brain tissue.
12. Destroys nerves leading to chronic pain, neuropathies, vision disorders, and accelerated organ dysfunction.
In a nutshell, sugar can lead to fat gain, may cause cancer and can cause all of your hard training to go down the drain. You CANNOT out-train a bad diet.
WHOLE 30 AND COOKING CLASSES COMING UP:
In January we will have a Whole30 challenge as well as paleo cooking classes. We will have sign-ups for the cooking classes shortly, but here are the dates and times:
Sunday, January 6th at 11:00 a.m.-2 p.m.
Sunday, January 13th at 11:00 a.m.-2 p.m.
Jan will be hosting these classes. I’ve heard great things about her! For more info on Jan, here is a link to her website: Jan Can Cook 4 You