Well, maybe we are when it comes to food; at least EATING food.. Food gets served to us, and whatever it is, we eat it.....ALL of it. At least that's what the "EatThis.." guys are counting on. Because they are here to tell you what you CAN eat, most in all the fast food holes THAT YOU SHOULD NOT BE IN ANYWAY (WHAT are you doing in Burger King, I ask you??). The vast majority of tips they give, any one of us could figure out on our own.........if we wanted to. But maybe that's the problem? Most of aren't thinking when it comes to food? Case in point--
ETNT ("EatThisNotThat") suggests that an "Ultimate Turkey Burger" found somewhere, I think it was Applebees, contains a whopping 1300 calories. But with THEIR help, they can tell you what else to do or make that can save you X number of calories. But do we really need their help? Let's figure this out. What happens when that burger is put down in front of us?-----OK, let's stop here. What DOES happen here? I think it's perhaps a moment of insanity? Like sex (the kind of insanity that makes infidelity happen?) I think our brains, the sensible, do right part, just goes on the frittz!! There's some kinda black hole moment where we just go to hell and we're in the burger and it's gone! The next words we remember are--yes, you guessed it-- "I can't believe I ate all that!!" OK, so we need a PLAN, something to do at that moment. I mean not everyone eats the sloppy burger, not everyone cheats, right?
A quote comes to mind. I think Bill W. said it in "As Bill Sees It"...I forget exactly where it's from.... "At this moment we must fetch ourselves up sharply". Well, this is THE MOMENT". Get a hold of yourself, man!!! You are NOT having that burger; not the way it is now. OK--open the top of the bun---creamy sauce--rake it off. cheese-out. bacon--off. Anything else I can't imagine but is also there, you know--fatty crap. When you are down to the turkey, pickles and no fat condiments and two pieces of bread, dig in!!!! OH---and hope you didn't order the fries!!! If so, count out 10 pieces--NO! Not all the big one; of various sizes, and give the rest back of the kitchen.
OK Let's go over the plan--without the help of those people. When we get our food, whether we've ordered wisely or not--we go into action when the food arrives. WE ARE NOT FOOD VICTIMS-DO NOT JUST START EATING.
1. Assess your plate of food. Is there too much food on your plate; more that you should eat? Of COURSE, there is. So rake off what you should NOT have and put it on another plate immediately. Get the attention of a wait staff person. You are giving food up.
2. Look at what is left. Is there anything there that is grossly fattening that you will feel bad about LATER? Get rid of it NOW.
3. Savor what is left by eating slowly and enjoying your company.
**P.S. I've just seen a tweet by ETNT--they want us to have a Bailey's and coffee drink at Red Lobster for 180C with 8g fat and 15g carbs after our dinner. If I followed their advice, I could look like the broad side of a barn.
If you haven't figured it out already, my point is this--We have to apply some John Stewart sensibility to this food problem (even though he himself is looking pretty paunchy these days, but aren't most folks)? We need to find some logic and sensibility--we are all out on a limb somewhere when it comes to food. Food is way too available. Processed food is totally calorie dense. There are hidden fatty calories. Sugar IS fat because we eat too much of it and store it as fat. SO--do not eat it! STOP! DO NOT EAT THIS, OR THAT. DO NOT EAT EITHER ONE OF THEM!! DO NOT BE A FOOD VICTIM--BE IN CHARGE OF YOUR FOOD!!!
OK! Here we go--Men, belts loosened a notch; Women, elastic waists in place! We are ready to sit down to the meal of the year. IF this is NOT the meal of the year for you, WELL, you have got some heavy thinking to do. Maybe a quick dose of the flu would serve you better right now! But do we really have to start feeling guilty before we even sit down?? NO, WE DO NOT! We can enjoy this meal and not look back---and still look down and see our feet!
The Thanksgiving meal, even if we try our best--or worst--can weigh in around 3,000-4,000 calories TOPS! SO--we COULD gain ONE POUND of fat. It may seem like more initially---we eat allot of sodium, carbohydrate (which holds fluid in the bodies' cells)--so we feel really BLIMP-O. But one pound is really about it---that is, if you really WANT to feel that gross. Frankly, I opt out.
1. Have a plan. None of this "I know I'm going to give in to everything so why bother trying". What a piss-poor attitude!
2. Eat NOTHING, got it--NOTHING--until you sit down to table. (this is, besides breakfast). If you know you are going to have a cocktail when you arrive, or your guests arrive, make sure you've eaten something earlier, or right before, or with.--Something means a handful of something--not 1000 calories of cheese with "some" nuts. Because if you do that, you've already HAD your meal. Go home. If you haven't had the nuts, you may ask for a sliver of pie to go, and then go home.
3. Divide and conquer! Scan the table--What do you really love? You do NOT have to eat Aunt Matilda's surprise casserole just to be nice; you've never really liked it, so stop! Do you like gravy? No you don't! Would you pour heavy cream or melted butter over your meal? How about lard? Now--do you like gravy? Didn't think so! I have a concept! Ask for the drumstick! Score! It's time consuming and filling--along with some cranberry sauce--yum! Fill your plate with what you love; you do NOT have to take everything. And please, you do NOT need any bread today.
4. Half way through your plate of food STOP! FORK DOWN! Have a personal moment and ask yourself, "Am I still hungry? If I continue eating am I actually stuffing myself with food?" HMMMM
"Stuffing myself with food" That sounds quite unpleasant, doesn't it??? Don't you just want to kick me right about now?? Well, then--You can then say, "Perhaps I should stop eating and then I can SAMPLE some desserts later--OR ask to take some HOME."
This sounds like a perfectly lovely evening to me. If a MORE satisfying evening for YOU is the kind where you repair to the couch with your swollen belly and lay out on your back, oh well! You are maybe only one pound heavier! All you have to do is deprive yourself of 3400 calories less to loss it.......or run for about seven hours.......no problem!
Happy Thanksgiving!!! ****This is to be printed out and re-read BEFORE going to your dinner!
Lori MaRose Jackson
AKA, Your Spoiler!!!
I was at the gym yesterday, hanging out between clients and the "out front" talk was all about the upcoming holiday, Thanksgiving. Of course, the conversation was totally food-centric. After a few minutes, I realized I wasn't feeling well. The room was feeling warm and small....and my head was pounding. I actually felt ill. It was the conversation! All the talk of desserts, gravy, stuffing, oh groan!! I HAD to get out of there..........
WHY is this a fun thing, something people cannot wait to do?? To literally STUFF themselves with food until they can barely get up from the table? In fact, this behavior is just about built in to the meal. There are triple the amount of offerings than what should be in a main course; most all calorically dense. And then if that isn't bad enough, here comes the GRAVY! I am finally ready to revolt. This is just not fun for me!!!
Last year, my husband, daughter and I did a fun thing. We went on an outing for this holdiay and I almost got it right. This year, with a few changes, I hope to nail it! We drove about 30 minutes outside NYC to Tarrytown. Our destination was The Castle. This used to be a residence and is still standing, built in the robber baron days, stood barren for a time, and is now restored beautifully to an award winning status small inn. It is, indeed a castle, turrrets, spires and all. Inside, along with gorgeous artwork, tapesties and roaring fires (AH! someone will come and light the fire in our OWN fireplace in OUR suite as well!) is--The Equus Restaurant. Last year, after our meal, we explored the Castle, up and down the winding staircases, into the turrets, looking out the small windows overlooking the Hudson River. It was wonderful. Sophie has been saying it was her favorite holiday and cannot wait to repeat it....Thanksgiving??? A child's number one holiday?? Beating out Christmas and her birthday?
This year, I will still do the dinner. It's a two against one thing. But I will not wear a white long sleeved sweater with mink cuffs, nor will I request a table next to the fireplace--this is where I went wrong. A woman of my age should know better. I will also stick to my plan as I tell my clients!! Out of boredom while waiting for my main course, I did it, yes I did--I caved to the bread basket. Then when my meal came, I could not do much more than look at it. You see, I have worked hard and long to train my body to accept small meals and small meals only. Any excess food just will not fit. It's an excellent plan but special occasions are worthless on me. I eat as slowly as possible, push food around my plate and make sure I come to table with a few topics of conversation to use while everyone is still eating--or overeating.
I'm getting there; but I can't say that if I was totally in charge, I'd vote to skip the dinner entirely, just go up to our suite, order some movies and room service, have popcorn and diet coke, and enjoy the fire and my family without tthe fuss....or the calories.
Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy precious time with family; it is the best time there is!
My mom used to give my brother and I two days--TWO DAYS!--to possess our candy before THE DAY--the day it was disposed of. Therefore, I consider myself quite lenient. My kid gets two weeks. During the two days that I would actually own my stash of Halloween candy, it was pure anguish trying to decide which ten pieces I would keep; because I would be allowed to choose ten pieces to hang onto on into infinity. And boy, did I! I would sort, re-sort, and sort again, trying to get it right before the DAY, the day before I finally had to part with all of my trick-or-treat collection save for the ten. And then, I would parcel it out as if there would never be another Halloween in my life. Those ten pieces lasted.......and lasted. My brother, however, would gobble his down hastily, and then come knocking on my bedroom door, begging for bits of mine. It was pitiful. I'd make him do my chores and other odd jobs that didn't even need to be done, just for the hell of it, all because he didn't possess the same willpower as I. I hated Halloween for this reason--for having to part with what I'd gone door to door collecting--and now it's my daughter's turn.
Well, tough! I didn't invent this holiday where kids go door to door collectting sugar laden crap! Why not collect money instead? Go around collecting change? I'd love to get rid of some. But I guess Kraft and Mars wouldn't like that! So, I'll just have to follow in my mother's foottsteps as the Halloween Gremlin. I didn't appreciate it at the time, of course, but it set in place some very good food habits that are still working for me today. Perhaps you'd like to be a Gremlin, too?
To all my Beloved and Valued Clients, Friends, and Colleagues,
When we work together in the studio, for the most part, it is indeed that, work. We have little time to chat, for you to ask questions, and for me to share the newest and best information out there in this sometimes confusing industry. I receive alot of information each week from IDEA and A.C.E., just to name a couple of this industry's most reliable sources, that I always wish I could share with you. And there are times when you bring me interesting articles, yet again, we do not have much time in which to discuss that topic or any others.
So! Here we are. I've had it in my mind to create a Blog for this express purpose, to sift through much of the info that comes out on diet, health, fitness and exercise and share with you the best and most accurate reportings. So much of what gets put out there is questionable, and it's hard not to fall for one of those "magic pills" or "fountain of youth" promising products. Of course, I will be adding my own comments, critiques, and recommendations along with the articles. These will be research-based, "Let's get to the bottom of this"-type presentations, and you are invited to comment and question as well.
This will be a learning experience for me, too, as I am not Blog savvy; not at all! In fact, as soon as I find out how to link some of these articles to the blog, I will do so, then all of this scary, scrolling text won't need to be here. Thank you for being patient and please excuse as I fumble along -- help and advice is welcome!
We're going bigger and fatter, that's where. I do not see the obesity problem stopping or getting better anytime soon, or at all. It's a trainwreck and one that will wreck this nation sooner than anything else. And I'll tell you why.
Food is altogether too accessible. Here's the crazy part--When my clients tell me what they have overeaten, most often the food came right out of their own kitchens and they bought it for themselves! What do you think was going through their minds? **This time it's going to be different--I'm going to have two cookies a week" **I'm buying them for the kids. **I'm just going to keep them around for company. **They aren't really that bad, are they? Well, I'm always told how bad, wrong and bloated they feel after the whole bag has been consumed in one night. Geez, why would you want to give that to your kids?
It is also really scary to observe what people look like while consuming bad or too much food.......that vacant stare.....the arm moving up and down, up and down, like it is being manipulated by puppet strings! It actually looks like the people are not there doing the deed themselves! Hmmm...they are eating the bad thing, but do not want to be PRESENT to face the music of DOING the bad thing.
The food that is immediately accessible when we are "hungry" is CRAP--we can't just grab a trout! This means we really need to evaluate our "hunger" before we just start eating---- HUNGRY. This is a huge part of the problem. What ever happened to three meals a day? I rarely, if ever snack. But most people now do. WHY? Because they SAY they get hungry. But let's think about that. Just HOW hungry can one possibly be? As hungry as the people in Dafur? Or perhaps just an annoying twinge of hunger? AH! One little twinge and hells bells! We FR-REAK!! "I'm HUNGRY! I have to EAT something!"! REALLY? Are you sure? I think we need to ask ourselves some questions first. Here's a great example----
I was at the airport last weekend facing a 3.5 hour delay. After two hours, JetBlue made an announcement that altthough they could not do anything about the weather, they could try to make us more comfortable by providing us with free beverages and snacks--immediately. WELL--I had to move my belongings closer to me, because here came the Migration of the Wildebeest! The wide majority of people sittting around the area could NOT have had the time to ask themselves these simple questions:
1. Am I hungry?
2. How long is it until my next meal?
3. Will I be alright without food until my next meal? (no
drop in blood sugar causing dizziness, no mood
change for the worse, no headaches, etc.)
4. If I DO need something, what is the least worst thing
I can find here, and what size/caloric content approx.
should it be?
But instead, people just took the food because it was free, because they were bored, or just because they wanted to eat it (as my husband will exclaim as he makes his way through a big plate of food, "I'm now eating for taste only!!!").
More often than not, people are eating for reasons other than real hunger, and this is a big, big problem.
So here is my brave new idea.....it is going on all over the globe and has been going on throughout history ever since the beginning of time. Americans just don't have a CLUE how to do it......be hungry.....just somewhat hungry. The feeling goes away after a little while....it comes back and then goes away again. I live hungry.....it doesn't bother me one litle bit. I know that I WILL eat...in a little while. It may be an aquired taste, but I certainly prefer it to the alternative. I'm not going to say anymore just yet.....just think about it.
Lori Jackson SoBHungry, LLC
Even the WORD agave sounds appealing; no danger here! Certainly a nicer word than schlag! Or popover. Agave....Amore! Svelt-e.......But it's just another trick. One of those AHA! moments where we get to realize that, yes, we must be ever vigilant. Because agave is another big, fat, ball of calories out to get us. But it's blue.....how often do we get to do blue food. Well, we don't. This swill has MORE calories, and is sweeter than sugar. And, let's go through the drill again, OK???Excess sugar like this one, is WHAT? That's right, a tri-glyceride. And what's that? A fat...a big, bad, fat. Eat too much fat and be fat. End of agave! LJ
Dr. Joseph Mercola.Physician and author
April 15, 2010 .
Many people interested in staying healthy have switched to agave as a safer "natural" sweetener. They want to avoid well documented dangerous sweeteners like HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) but are unaware that most agave is actually WORSE than HFCS.
This expose will offend many hard core natural health advocates because they have been convinced of the agave hype by companies that are promoting it.
Some have even criticized me for having "ulterior" motives. But nothing could be further from the truth. Although I do offer natural health products for sale on this site, I sell no competing products to agave.
Rather, I recommend other options such as stevia products. You can also use xylitol in small amounts or glucose which is sold as dextrose and can easily be purchased on Amazon for $1 per pound. I do not sell any of these products.
My only purpose for sharing this information is to help people understand the truth about health. In case you haven't noticed, we have an epidemic of obesity in the US and it wasn't until recently that my eyes opened up to the primary cause - - fructose.
I had similar epiphanies about omega-3 fats and vitamin D since I started this site, but this is the most major health appreciation I have had since I learned about vitamin D over five years ago. This is serious business and it is my intention to make the public fully aware of it and let you make your own choices.
Yes it is all about freedom of choice. It is hard to have freedom if you aren't given the entire story, and up until now that has been the case with agave.
So Just What is Agave?
Blue agave is an exotic plant growing in the rich volcanic soil of Mexico under a hot tropical sun, boasting a stately flower stem that blooms only once in its lifetime. "Agave" literally means "noble." It's generally recognized as a superstar of the herbal remedy world, claiming to offer relief for indigestion, bowel irregularity, and skin wounds.
Ferment it, and you have Mexico's favorite adult beverage -- tequila.
Just the name "agave" conjures up images of romantic tropical excursions and mysterious shamanic medicine.
These are the mental images many agave "nectar" sellers want you to hold. They use agave's royal pedigree to cover the truth that what they're selling you is a bottle of high-fructose syrup, so highly processed and refined that it bears NO resemblance to the plant of its namesake.
Such a high fructose content isn't typical of all agave products. "Depending on how the syrup is processed, it may or may not contain more fructose," says Roger Clemens, a professor at USC and spokesman for the Institute of Food Technologists, whose research has focused on functional foods, food processing and nutrition.
Depending on the source and processing method used, agave syrup can, therefore, contain as little as 55% fructose, the same amount found in high-fructose corn syrup -- in which case the syrup would offer no advantage.
What is the "Real" Truth about Agave?
If you knew the truth about what's really in it, you'd be dumping it down the drain -- and that would certainly be bad for sales.
Most agave "nectar" or agave "syrup" is nothing more than a laboratory-generated super-condensed fructose syrup, devoid of virtually all nutrient value, and offering you metabolic misfortune in its place.
Unfortunately, masterful marketing has resulted in the astronomical popularity of agave syrup among people who believe they are doing their health a favor by avoiding refined sugars like high fructose corn syrup, and dangerous artificial sweeteners.
And if you're diabetic, you've been especially targeted and told this is simply the best thing for you since locally grown organic lettuce, that it's "diabetic friendly," has a "low glycemic index" and doesn't spike your blood sugar.
While agave syrup does have a low-glycemic index, so does antifreeze -- that doesn't mean it's good for you.
Most agave syrup has a higher fructose content than any commercial sweetener -- ranging from 55 to 97 percent, depending on the brand, which is FAR HIGHER than high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which averages 55 percent.
This makes agave actually WORSE than HFCS.
It is important to understand that fructose does not increase insulin levels, which is not necessarily good as what it does do is radically increase insulin resistance, which is FAR more dangerous. You see, it's okay for your insulin levels to rise, that is normal. You just don't want these insulin levels to remain elevated, which is what insulin resistance causes.
That is why fasting insulin is such a powerful test, as it is a very powerful reflection of your insulin resistance.
In addition to insulin resistance, your risk of liver damage increases, along with triglycerides and a whole host of other health problems, as discussed in this CBC News video about the newly discovered dangers of high fructose corn syrup. The study discussed in this news report is about HFCS, however, it's well worth remembering that agave contains MORE fructose than HFCS, and in all likelihood, it's the FRUCTOSE that is causing these severe liver problems.
How Agave is Grown and Produced Proves it is Unnatural
Agaves grow primarily in Mexico, but you can also find them in the southern and western United States, as well as in South America. Agaves are not cacti, but succulents of the yucca family, more closely related to amaryllis and other lilies. Edible parts of the agave are the flowers, leaves, stalks and the sap.
A mature agave is 7 to 12 feet in diameter with leaves that are 5 to 8 feet tall -- an impressive plant in stature, to be sure. There are over 100 species of agave, in a wide variety of sizes and colors.
Although the industry wants you to believe that agave nectar runs straight from the plant and into your jar, nothing could not be farther from the truth.
In spite of manufacturer's claims, most agave "nectar" is not made from the sap of the yucca or agave plant but from its pineapple-like root bulb[i]. The root has a complex carbohydrate called inulin, which is made up of fructose molecules.
The process which many, if not most, agave producers use to convert this inulin into "nectar" is VERY similar to the process by which cornstarch is converted into HFCS1.
Though processing methods can differ among manufacturers, most commercially available agave is converted into fructose-rich syrup using genetically modified enzymes and a chemically intensive process involving caustic acids, clarifiers, and filtration chemicals[ii]. Here is a partial list of the chemicals many producers use:
Cationic and ionic resins
Sulfuric and/or hydrofluoric acid
How natural does this sound?
The result is highly refined fructose syrup, along with some remaining insulin.
Most agave "nectar" is neither safe nor natural with laboratory-generated fructose levels of more than 80 percent!
Is There Really a "Safe" Organic Agave?
Part of the problem leading to the confusion is that there are some natural food companies that are indeed committed to excellence and in providing the best product possible. But let me assure you that in the agave industry, this is the minority of companies.
Nevertheless, these ethical companies seek to provide an outstanding product. There are a few companies who commit to and actually achieve these criteria and actually:
Work with the indigenous people,
Use organic agave as the raw material, free of pesticides
Process it at low temperatures to preserve all the natural enzymes
Produce a final agave product that is closer to 50% fructose instead of over 90%
Fructose is bonded or conjugated to other sugars and not floating around as "free" fructose, like HFCS, which is far more damaging.
The VAST majority of companies however do not apply these principles and essentially produce a product that is, as this articles states, FAR worse than HFCS.
If you are going to use agave you will certainly want to seek out one of the companies that adhere to the principles above. However you will still need to exert caution in using it.
Just like fruit it is quantity issue. Fructose only becomes a metabolic poison when you consume it in quantities greater than 25 grams a day. If you consume one of the typical agave preparations that is one tablespoon, assuming you consume ZERO additional fructose in your diet, which is VERY unlikely since the average person consumes 70 grams per day.
Even a hundred years ago, long prior to modern day food processing, the average person consumed 15 grams a day.
Listen to YOUR Body
Many people will not be convinced by my arguments and data. They certainly can choose to do that but they are only hurting themselves. Fortunately there is a very simple way to learn if the fructose level you are consuming is safe.
When you consume fructose over 25 grams per day it will very likely increase its metabolic byproduct, uric acid, in your blood. So you can go to your physician and have a simple uric acid level done.
This is not a fasting test and is very inexpensive to do, it's typically free with many automated chemistry profiles.
If your level is above 5.0 you will want to consider reducing your fructose level until the level drops below 5.0. This will provide you with a valid, objective parameter to let you know if the information I am sharing is correct for you and your family.
Sales are Sweet for Agave Companies and Bad for You and Your Family
Growing consumer resistance to HFCS has been a hole-in-one for the agave industry. Need a healthy alternative to those evil HFS products?
Agave syrup to the rescue!
In case you doubt the influence of marketing in setting trends and consumer buying habits, look at these statistics:[iii]
New agave products more than tripled in number between 2003 and 2007, from 56 to 176. Agave syrup is now appearing in products such as energy bars, cereals and organic ice creams.
Revenues for the category "other liquid sweeteners," which includes agave, rose to more than $10.3 million in 2007, which was a 50 percent jump from 2006.
McCormick & Co., a major food manufacturer, placed agave syrup in its "top 10 flavors" list for 2009.
Two of Mexico's largest agave syrup manufacturers, Iidea and Nekutli, are sending increasingly large shipments of agave syrup to Germany, Japan and New Zealand due to growing global popularity.
Agave is also quickly crossing over from the health food market to mainstream grocery chains, restaurants and taverns, and consumers (especially vegans and raw food enthusiasts) are replacing their honey and maple syrup with bottles of agave after being duped into believing it's a more healthful alternative.
The Myth of Agave as a "Healthy" Sugar Substitute
It's important for you and your family's health to remember that agave syrup is neither healthy nor natural.
As reported by Dr. Ingrid Kohlstadt, a fellow of the American College of Nutrition and an associate faculty member at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health:
"Agave is almost all fructose, a highly processed sugar with great marketing."
Agave syrup is not low calorie -- it has about 16 calories per teaspoon, the same as sucrose (table sugar). The glycemic index is immaterial, once you understand the full extent of the risk this product poses to your health.
The consumption of high amounts of sugar is what is inflating America's waistline, as well as escalating rates of diabetes, blood pressure and heart disease.
Although overall sugar consumption is definitely something to be concerned about, even more problematic is one type of sugar that wreaks extraordinary havoc on your body: FRUCTOSE.
And if you want fructose, agave products next to pure fructose, have the highest percentage of fructose of any sweeteners on the market, over 50 percent more fructose than high fructose corn syrup.
Why You Need to Understand Why Fructose is so Important
All sugars are not created equal, in spite of what you might have been told.
Glucose is the form of energy your cells were actually designed to run on. Every cell in your body, every bacterium -- and in fact, nearly every living thing on the Earth -- uses glucose for energy.
But as a country, regular cane sugar, or sucrose (50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose), is no longer the sugar of choice. It's now fructose.
This happened in the 1970s as a result of technology that made HFCS far less expensive to produce. Believe me, it was NOT done for its health benefits. This was purely an economic decision.
Let me clear up any confusion here, as fructose is the primary sugar in most fruits. It isn't that fructose is intrinsically evil -- it is just the MASSIVE DOSES you and your family are exposed to that makes it dangerous. Because it is so cheap and makes foods taste so much better, it is added to virtually every processed food.
There are two overall reasons fructose is so damaging:
Your body metabolizes fructose in a much different way than glucose. Fructose is broken down in your liver just like alcohol and produces many of the side effects of chronic alcohol use, right down to the "beer belly"
People are consuming fructose in quantities that are 400-800 percent higher than they were 100 years ago due to its pervasive presence in just about all processed foods
Fructose Turns to Fat and Makes You Fat!
Unlike fructose which is nearly exclusively broken down in your liver and is directly converted to dangerous fats. This is one of the reasons why fructose is the leading cause of obesity. However, only 20 percent of glucose is metabolized in your liver. This is related to the fact that nearly every cell in your body can directly use glucose as a fuel source, so it's normally "burned up" immediately after consumption.
It is also important to understand that the fructose in fruits and vegetables is not the same fructose molecule you'll find in synthetic high-fructose corn syrup, which is manufactured in the lab. Naturally occurring fructose comes along with fiber, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, whereas fructose sweeteners have no nutritional value at all.
Additionally it is actually attached to other sugars and molecules and needs to be broken down before it is absorbed which limits the damage it causes. In HFCS it is a free fructose molecule, just as the glucose. Because these sugars are in their free forms their absorption is radically increased and you actually absorb far more of them had they been in their natural joined state which would cause a higher percentage of the fructose to pass to the intestine unabsorbed.
But the menace of fructose doesn't stop there.
Fructose also elevates your uric acid levels, which is actually more dangerous than elevated cholesterol levels as it causes chronic, low-level inflammation, which increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, arthritis and premature aging.
Fructose also "tricks" your body into gaining weight by fooling your metabolism -- it actually severely impairs your body's normal appetite-control systems.
Excessive fructose rapidly leads to weight gain and abdominal obesity ("beer belly"), decreased HDL, increased LDL, elevated triglycerides, elevated blood sugar, and high blood pressure -- i.e., classic metabolic syndrome.
Fructose metabolism is very similar to alcohol metabolism, which has a multitude of toxic effects, including NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease). Metabolically it's very similar to drinking alcohol without the buzz.
Remember to RADICALLY Reduce Your Fructose
These biological changes are not seen when humans or animals eat starch (or glucose), suggesting that fructose is a "bad carbohydrate" when consumed in excess of 25 grams per day.
However, it is important to remember that because fructose is so cheap it is added to nearly all processed foods. So even if you are seeking to eliminate it from your diet you will EASILY exceed 25 grams per day because it is "hidden" in so many foods. This is made worse by the deceptive and lax labeling laws which frequently allow gigantic loopholes for agribusiness to include it in the product and not identify it.
Making matters worse, your body easily becomes sensitized to fructose.
Fructose activates its own pathways in your body -- those metabolic pathways become "upregulated." In other words, the more fructose you eat, the more effective your body is in absorbing it; and the more you absorb, the more damage you'll do.
You become "sensitized" to fructose as time goes by, and more sensitive to its toxic effects as well.
Let me be clear that it isn't fructose that is the problem -- but excessive fructose. And especially the concentrated amounts of fructose that your body was never designed to process, such as what's in HFCS and most agave syrup.
Agave nectar is even worse than HFCS because it's even higher in fructose than HFCS (80 percent and higher), making it an even worse metabolic menace.
Other Reasons You Should Steer Clear of Agave
Poor Quality Control. There are very few quality controls in place to monitor the production of agave syrup. Most agave sold in the U.S. comes from Mexico. Industry insiders are concerned that the majority of agave producers are using lesser, even toxic, agave plants due to a shortage of blue agave.
Pesticides. There are also concerns that some distributors are cutting agave syrup with corn syrup -- how often and to what extent is anyone's guess. In addition, the FDA has refused shipments of agave syrup due to excessive pesticide residues.
Saponins. Agave is known to contain large amounts of saponins. Saponins are toxic steroid derivatives, capable of disrupting red blood cells and producing diarrhea and vomiting. There is also a possible link between saponins and miscarriage by stimulating blood flow to the uterus, so if you're pregnant, you should definitely avoid agave products.
Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF). Some agave syrups contain a contaminant called hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF, also called 5-hydroxymethyl furfural), an organic heat-formed compound that arises in the processing of fructose -- in both agave syrup and HFCS. HMF has potential toxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic effects[iv]. HMF is EXTREMELY toxic to honey bees, which is a problem since commercial beekeepers feed HFCS to the bees to stimulate honey production when field-gathered nectar sources are scarce[v].
Nutrient Void. Agave syrup is not a whole food -- nearly every brand is fractionated and processed, devoid of the nutrients contained in the original, whole plant.
Enzymes. Agave syrup is not a live food. The natural enzymes are removed by most companies to prevent agave syrup from fermenting and turning into tequila in your food pantry or cabinet.
Addictiveness. Agave is, for all intents and purposes, highly concentrated sugar. Sugar and sweeteners wreak havoc on your health and are highly addictive.
FITNESS EXPECT CHALLENGES IDEA THAT STRENGTH TRAINING REDUCES FLEXIBILITY
Posted by Editor • August 5, 2010 •
The popular notion that strength training with weights makes a person less flexible may not be true, according to a study conducted at UND.
The research shows that strength training over a full range of muscles and joints can improve flexibility more than conventional static stretching, said Jim Whitehead, associate professor of Physical Education, Exercise Science and Wellness and supervisor of the graduate student who conducted the study.
Former graduate student Sam Morton ran the study comparing stretching and strength training as part of his master’s thesis in kinesiology. Morton is now the wellness director at the Missouri Valley Family YMCA in Bismarck, N.D.
The results are of very practical interest to people involved in fitness,” said Whitehead, who is the second author on the study, which has received a lot of national attention. “The old dogma was that if you do strength training, it’s going to tighten you up. Surprisingly, until now, nobody had done a study to back that up.
The results suggest that carefully constructed, full-range resistance training regimens can improve flexibility as well as—or perhaps better than—typical static stretching regimens,” Whitehead said.
He cautioned that the research results are preliminary and that additional research with more participants is needed to verify them. However, the study called into question some widely accepted ideas on flexibility and exercise.
With strength training, flexibility gains were greater, and you’re going to get stronger as well as more flexible,” Whitehead said.
In addition to other research on stretching, the study added to the data suggesting that intense stretching before strength training is probably unnecessary and possibly counterproductive.
In practical terms, it doesn’t mean that you probably don’t need to do static stretches in warm-ups,” Whitehead said. “Doing callisthenic-type exercises to get warm is likely a better choice before you strength train.
Whitehead presented the results of Morton's research in June during the American College of Sports Medicine’s 57th annual meeting in Baltimore. Out of thousands of presentations, it was one the organization chose to highlight. WebMD, a Swedish fitness magazine, and several other sources have published columns on the UND study.
When it comes to exercise, Whitehead said, more research is needed to separate myth from reality.
Exercise science is a young area of applied science,” he said. “Stretching has been the neglected area of research. A large amount of information is based on what we think is correct and not scientific research.
-- Patrick Miller, writer/editor, University Relations, 777-5529, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Slow motion trainers have always maintained that stretching is unnecessary. When we train, our style, our bodies are stretched through functional ranges of motion. What more do we need? Do we need to work on getting more stretchy? Why and for what purpose? Well, we should be flexible enough to protect ourselves from injury. So, can you pick something up off the floor easily, with not more than a slight bend in the knees? Do you struggle to get out of a chair? If so, what is the problem? Do you need stretching? Probably not. You probably need more muscle! WHY does everyone want to be stretched? BECAUSE IT FEELS GOOD, that's why. Of course, if you are involved in yoga practice, or a sport like hurdles, yes, by all means stretch. But the best way to not feel stiff is to simply be active. If you feel like you need a stretch, maybe you've been in a chair for too long. ;>) Now please read this interesting article and research from Patrick Miller, University of North Dakota