Monday, November 03, 2014

So I read this article today from The Active Times. It's titled Give Up These 5 Things to Get Rid of Your Gut for Good.  My only grief is that the writer is a personal trainer not a dietitian or nutritionist. However, the advice in the article is solid and a registered dietitian was interviewed for the piece.

So, if you don't want to click over and read the article for yourself; I'll give you the points and my thoughts.

  • First was to give up soda and juice. 
    • We all know soda is bad for you (even diet sodas). It's nothing but sugar and empty calories. Drinking soda is also a hard habit for most to break (me included...but I'm happy to say I'm one week soda free, woot woot.) If you have a soda drinking problem, by problem I'm meaning you drink it daily and probably multiple times a day; to the point that your intake of other fluids is greatly diminished (i.e, you don't drink water), the first step to a healthy life will be forcing yourself to stop drinking.
    • Okay juice. Juice isn't bad, right? We give it to our children as an healthy alternative, because it's not soda or sweet tea. Since it's not soda it's healthy, or so we assume. Sorry, juice isn't healthy. It really is not any better than opening a can of Coke and chugging that. One cup of 100%  apple juice has 117 calories, 27g of sugar, 2% Calcium, 172% vitamin C. Compare that to a cup of Coke: 1 cup has 88 calories, 25g of sugar, no value of vitamins/minerals. So yes you do get a nice jolt of vitamin C from the juice, along with a large amount of sugar (more than a cup of Coca-Cola) and has more calories than Coke. For what it's worth, a serving of juice is 4 ounces or just half a cup. So if you are watching your serving sizes like you should be and are eating healthy the rest of the time, one serving of juice isn't too bad. The thing is, who drinks just 1/2 a cup of juice?  I like to occasionally put about a tablespoon of 100% fruit juice in a glass of carbonated water for a bubbly treat. Sort of like a homemade soda. I think if you want to consume juice this is the way to do it. Your calories would be around 13, 3g of sugar and you still get 20% daily value of vitamin C. 
  • Second was to give up late nights. This was simple, we need sleep to be healthy. There have been many studies done that show the ill effects of getting too few zzz's. 
  • Third is alcohol. This should be a given, like soda. Alcohol is made from carbohydrates, carbohydrates are turned into glucose for our body to use for energy. If we don't need the energy, then it gets stored as adipose...fat.  Also, our body doesn't metabolize alcohol like it would other kinds of carbohydrates. It's metabolizing method is closer that of fat. I'm not going to dig out my textbook right now to explain it, but you can do a google search and find articles.
    • I drink alcohol only a few times a year and  I'm a one beer and I'm done kind of person. I also try to make sure that I'm eating a healthy meal to offset the unwanted calories of the alcohol. My thought is that being drunk isn't fun or cool, but the occasional alcoholic beverage is okay.
  • Fourth is stress. Well, I really would like to know how to truly give up stress. Again, like sleep, there have been studies done on the ill effects. However, I believe it's nearly impossible to give up stress. I suppose that you could try to stay away from situations that are stressful for you.
  • Fifth thing to give up is artificial sweeteners. Another thing that has been studied and ill effects are found, though artificial sweeteners are labeled as reasonably safe. My thought is to try to get used to consuming products that are unsweetened, or at least light sweetened. If you must sweeten then use a product that is as little processed as possible. Some examples are molasses, maple syrup, honey, stevia, sucanat.  I will choose regular white sugar over artificial sweeteners, and just use a lot less.

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