Saturday, August 11, 2018

Added Sugar: BMI = 27.0

Sugar is sugar, but not all sources of sugar are equal. I recently encountered someone who argued that there is no chemical difference between the fructose in their sugary beverage and the fructose in the fruit that I eat at breakfast. While they were right about fructose being fructose, they were very wrong in thinking that it doesn’t matter how you source that fructose.

To begin with, sugar is not an essential nutrient – it is nothing more than a source of empty calories. The can of soda pictured above contains more sugar than the bowl of fruit next to it and no other useful nutrients. Both are sources of sugar, but the bowl of fruit provides essential fiber, vitamins and minerals. Also, that bowl of fruit fills my belly much more than a can of soda ever could.

Even though that bowl of fruit contains lot of great micronutrients, that doesn’t mean you can eat as much fruit as you want. The Canada Food Guide recommends that I eat 8 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. It also recommends that I include one serving of dark green and one serving of orange vegetable in those 8 servings. That means that if I skip all other vegetables, I should only have 2 bowls of fruit as pictured above.

If I choose to have a sugary beverage in place of fruit, then I am cheating myself of essential nutrients. If I choose to have a couple of sugary beverages as well as all that fruit, then I am simply doubling or tripling my sugar intake for the day. Not all sources of sugar are equal.

By the way, I am now 6 weeks into my experiment of eating an extra 900 calories per day and I’ve put on 3 lbs. I think that I will have gained nearly 5 lbs by the end of August and then I intend to cut out that extra 900 calories to see if my rate of weight-loss goes back to what it was in the early days of my reformed diet.

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