Naturopathic Fun Facts:
by Sarah A LoBisco, ND
My latest blog on dr-lobisco.com discusses how to find the perfect diet for you amongst the weight loss gurus and panaceas of calorie burning pills. One of the main discussion points in every modern diet is changing to lower sugar or glycemic foods. Now, you may think you already do that, but do you?
Here is a list of hidden sugar-ridden foods:
Are You Eating These Sugar-Laden “Health” Foods? (Dr. Mercola)
All of these also have more sugar than a Twinkie …
• Yogurt: Most commercial yogurt is loaded with sugar – as in, over 30 grams for 6 ounces! This, along with the fact that commercial yogurt is pasteurized (and some also contains artificial colors and flavors), is why you should walk right on by the yogurt section at your supermarket. Watch out, too, for “light” yogurt brands that boast less sugar due to toxic artificial sweeteners.
On the other hand, yogurt that is made from raw organic milk, and which you eat either plain or only minimally sweetened with some berries or liquid stevia, is a true health food. This is something you can easily do at home and use the healthiest raw ingredients, including organic grass-fed raw milk as the starter.
• Tomato Sauce: A cup of tomato sauce can add up to over 20 grams of sugar, and considering that most people eat that tomato sauce on top of pasta, another carb source, this could send you into sugar overload. Watch out, specifically, for brands that contain added sweeteners. Tomato sauce is a far better choice than a candy bar, but, ideally, make your own sauce at home, and serve it over shredded spaghetti squash instead of noodles.
• Granola Bars: Sugar is often one of the top ingredients in granola bars, and, in fact, most are not much different than a candy bar, nutritionally speaking. Even the granola is simply another form of “hidden sugar” that most people eat far too much of. Remember, sugar and dietary carbohydrates (including grains like granola, which break down into sugar) lead to excess body fat, obesity and related health issues. No amount of exercise can compensate for this damage because if you eat a lot of sugar, it could be “reprogramming” your body to become fat.
• Fat-Free Salad Dressing: When manufacturers take the fat out of a food, sugar is often added back in as a replacement. Fat-free French or Thousand Island dressings can contain over 40 grams of sugar as a result, turning a would-be healthy salad into something more resembling a dessert. Don’t be fooled by the “fat-free” label — it’s the carbs that are the culprit in weight gain and chronic disease.
• Muffins: The high amount of carbs in most muffins will profoundly interfere with your leptin and insulin levels, and that is true even if it’s a “healthy” muffin, like a bran muffin. Of course, in order to make a bran muffin palatable, it probably contains quite a bit of added sugar, on top of the grains it’s made with. Many muffins are also jumbo-sized, easily packing over 30 grams of sugar, or more.
• Canned Fruit: Fruit in and of itself can be problematic if eaten in excess, as it’s a source of naturally occurring fructose. But many canned fruits are also packed in sugary syrup, loaded with high fructose corn syrup. Just one cup of canned peaches or pears can contain over 30 grams of sugar. You’re far better off with a fresh piece of fruit instead, but use moderation. I recommend restricting your consumption of fructose to no more than 25 grams per day, with a maximum of 15 grams a day from fresh fruit. If you’re already overweight, or have cancer, heart disease or diabetes (or are at high risk of them), then you’re probably better off cutting that down to 10-15 grams per day — fruit included.
Source: Dr. Mercola. 6 Surprising Foods with More Sugar than a Twinkie. May 6, 2012. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/05/02/sugar-leads-to-obesity.aspx?e_cid=20120502_DNL_art_2
Want to lose Weight? Don’t Watch the Scale!
An important measure in weight loss is to know what numbers are most important, and this doesn’t come from the scales! Many people are unaware that weight can fluctuate up to five pounds a day- based on fluid retention and that muscle weighs more than fat. In fact, it’s possible to gain weight and lose inches when you are on your path to burning up fat by adding more muscle.
Therefore, the below measures are more helpful in determining if you are meeting your ideal weight and health goals. Dr. Mercola explains:
BMI might not be that accurate. Instead, considering measuring leptin, your waist, or determining your % fat may be the best route to determine risk of obesity associated diseases.
Your waist size is also a powerful indicator of insulin sensitivity, as studies clearly show that measuring your waist size is one of the most powerful ways to predict your risk for diabetes. Determining your waist size is easy. With a tape measure, figure the distance around the smallest area of your abdomen below your rib cage and above your belly button. If you’re not sure if you have a healthy waist circumference, a general guide is:
• For men, between 37 and 40 inches is overweight and more than 40 inches is obese
• For women, 31.5-34.6 inches is overweight and more than 34.6 inches is obese
The other tool, which many experts are now leaning toward as the most accurate measure of obesity, is body fat percentage. As it sounds, this is simply the percentage of fat your body contains, and it can be a powerful indicator of your health. Too much body fat is linked to chronic health problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Too little body fat is also problematic and can cause your body to enter a catabolic state, where muscle protein is used as fuel.
A general guideline from the American Council on Exercise is as follows:
Classification Women (% fat) Men (% fat)
Essential Fat 10-13% 2-5%
Athletes 14-20% 6-13%
Fitness 21-24% 14-17%
Acceptable 25-31% 18-24%
Obese 32% and higher 25% and higher
Mercola, J. New Study Shows Obesity Rate Is Actually Far Worse than Previously Recognized . April 12, 2012. Mercola.com. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/
Competing Men Lose More!
And, another fun weight fake to dig at men. It just proves how men can accomplish anything relating to a good competition…. (Ladies, this is why your husband always loses more than you on a diet)!
If you’re A Male & Want to Lose Weight, Bet and Compete (Healthy Wage)
This report describes the results and our conclusions about the HealthyWage 10% Challenge Weight Intervention Program (the “Program”)–a custom incentive-based weight loss “betting” program in which 66 Fortune 50 Health employees participated from August 15, 2011 through February 15, 2012. The Program allowed participants to make a $100 “bet” on whether they would lose 10% of their weight in the next six months, and paid them $400 if they succeeded.
In short, the Program led to significant weight loss for a stunning portion of participants–male participants in particular. 63% of male participants lost at least 10% of their weight, and thereby successfully completed the program, as verified by a third party fitness center. Overall, 29% of participants lost 10% of their weight, and thereby successfully completed the program. A staggering 47% of participants self-reported weight loss of at least 5%