After reading my last blog, did it get you thinking about the sugar hiding out in your everyday foods? I hope so, because it will make a huge difference in reaching your health goals. If not, here is some added incentive…read on.
If you’re struggling with shedding those extra pounds, it’s helpful to know how the body processes sugar.
Sucrose (refined table sugar) is comprised of 2 molecules – fructose and glucose. Your body needs glucose. Glucose is GOOD. Your blood carries it throughout your body to be transformed into energy by your cells. All of your cells, and especially those in your brain, need a steady supply of glucose.
But…fructose? This bad boy is not so great. In fact, fructose goes directly to the liver where it is turned into belly fat. (All together we say, “UGH!”)
Let’s go back to sucrose, which is the blend of fructose and glucose. Sucrose is in a lot of foods, but here’s the deal: many food manufacturers prefer to use a slightly different ingredient known as High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). It was introduced in the 1970s. In addition to being very cost effective for the manufacturing plants, it helps to prevent foods from spoiling on the shelves of grocery stores – this increases the shelf life. But here’s the kicker: HFCS seriously decreases nutritional values as fiber is removed from the food. Fiber has many health benefits, but in terms of weight loss, it’s a gold mine: it stabilizes blood sugar and increases satiety (you stay full longer, meaning you eat less, meaning fiber is your weight loss friend!). The more foods with HFCS that you eat, the less fiber you’re getting, meaning you’re ditching your weight loss bestie. We can’t have that.
Perhaps an even BIGGER problem with HFCS is, unlike sucrose, the molecules are NOT bound together. Are we back in high school chemistry lab? All you need to know is how this impacts your food. Well, this is problematic because often food manufacturers will add MORE fructose to make their products sweeter. You’re consuming MORE fructose that goes straight to the liver to create MORE belly fat.
In addition, and this is the kicker, fructose is also the addictive part of sugar. It down regulates your dopamine reactors in your brain’s “reward system” — so what this means is that today’s candy bar will be yummy, but you’ll need MORE candy bars tomorrow, and you’re going to need even MORE as time passes for you to get the same feeling that you had when you ate the single candy bar TODAY. On top of that, it also fools your brain into thinking you’re starving – so you will eat more. Does this sound crazy? It’s mad science and all factual.
And it’s sad (we love candy bars) and frustrating (we don’t want belly fat), but it’s the stone cold truth.
Here’s the hard part of eating well these days: it seems like HFCS is in everything. So this is what I’m going to recommend: start looking at your food labels. Here are some examples of products that often contain HFCS:
- Sauces (such as ketchup and BBQ sauce)
- Energy bars
- Soft drinks and fruit juices
- Processed baked goods
- Ice cream
- Salad dressing
- Potato salad
- Most packaged snack foods
- Cough syrup (yep!)
Do you eat any of these foods? Now that you know about the effects on your system, do you want to wean yourself off them? It’s a great idea to cut significant amounts of HFCS out of your diet. And I mean seriously GREAT IDEA because it’s ultra unhealthy…I’d love to help you pull this ingredient off your shelves and meals.
If you are inspired to ditch this rebel ingredient, drop some belly fat, or just get busy amping your energy levels with clean eating, then you’re going to want to join my next group coaching session. Can’t wait to help you reach your goals.
To Your Amazing Health,
* This information should not be seen as medical advice and is not meant to take the place of seeing a licensed health professional. You should discuss any dietary supplement use and should not discontinue any prescription medication without first consulting your doctor.