Glucose, fructose, and sucrose? What sugar is worse?

What sugars are bad for you, what are good? How does your body break them down? What choices should you be making?

Did you know 1 can of 340mL soft drink a day can lead to 6-7kgs of body fat gain?! Or that the average 8 year old child has had more sugar than the average person did in the lifetime one century ago?? How do these choices we make affect our body composition and long term health?

So what sugars are good?

Glucose – is sugar in its simplest form and when consumed 80% of glucose in broken down and used for energy in the heart, muscles, lungs etc. Only 20% of the glucose is sent to the liver for processing and any remainder is to be stored as fat. Glucose is really important for our day to day activities and our body can only store so much within these organs. Glucose is found moreso in our wholegrains and vegetables. Make sure you are consuming a varied amount of wholegrain and vegetables throughout your diet to give your body the energy it so readily needs!

What are the sugars to avoid??

Fructose on the other hand is a completely different story. There are two kinds of fructose – the natural one and the processed one. Natural fructose is found in fruit, vegies and honey and food products that should be consumed daily, this is broken down quite easily within the body. However, the second kind of fructose (the processed one) only the liver can break down this fructose. If processed fructose is consumed in excess the body basically freaks out and cannot break down the fructose fast enough to use for energy. It is like having 10 soccer balls thrown at you at once. There are only so many you can catch and throw away. The rest go into the goal. The same goes with the liver – there are only so many fructose molecules the liver can break down in one time to use for energy. If it cannot – it will store the fructose as fat within the liver.

This results in increases insulin resistance, non alcoholic liver disease/fatty liver; or could be a reason as to why you have high results on a liver functioning tests.

So where do you find refined fructose – almost everywhere. Start reading your food labels. The majority of processed foods contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), like soft drinks, juices, baked products, some breads, flavoured yoghurts, cakes, lollies, chocolates, canned foods and sauces.

So try and cut out all the HFCS products and also increase the FIBRE in your diet – (found in fruits and vege/wholegrain products/legumes/oats). Fibre decreases the rate of fructose breakdown, which allows the liver to pick up the fructose molecules at the right rate rather than being bombarded and storing it as fat!

Lastly there is Sucrose; which is cane sugar or table sugar and its composition is 50% glucose and 50% fructose. Even though it is half glucose, the other half will be a struggle for your liver to digest! So be wary about how much white/brown/raw sugar you do add to your cooking or even food you buy!

My biggest tip is check your food labels – look through what you have stored in your cupboard, just because it doesn’t say sugar, does not mean it does not contain fructose or sucrose of some kind! Look for ingredients such as fuctofuranose, D-arbino-hexulose, fruit sugar, levulose. Most things that end in –Ose are a sugar of some kind! Think about what you are feeding your family, even if you feel you are fine, what options are you giving your kids or friends? Are these options really going to increase their longevity in life or open them up to lifestyle diseases?

Chocolate Banana Breakfast Quinoa

quinoas

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

1/3 C of uncooked quinoa

1 C of reduced fat milk (lactose free if needed) or if using unsweetened almond milk

1 large banana

30g of chocolate protein powder

1 tsp of vanilla essence

1 tsp of honey

dash of salt

Method:

Add quinoa, milk and salt into a small pot and bring the mixture to the boil.

Once the mixture has boiled, turn the heat down and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer the cooked quinoa into a bowl.

Mash the banana and add it to the quinoa, along with the honey, protein powder and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.

Add in an extra 1/4 C of milk and a couple more slices of banana if you wish to serve.

Makes 2 serves

Note: For those who cannot have normal/lactose free milk, you can swap it out for unsweetened almond milk. Increase the quinoa to 1/2 C and add an extra 1/2 C of water into the pan when boiling.

 

 

 

 

Emotional, binge, or stress eater? How to fix it!

The last month I have spent the a significant amount of time learning about eating behaviours, neural patterning, and the real psychology behind why and how people eat. I find it so interesting about how we can be our own harshest critic because we don’t get the outcome we want with our body composition, training, in work or even in relationships. How we treat and talk to ourselves significantly impacts how we behave, think and eat, whether you are aware of it or not.

So how do we identify if what we are doing is a consequence of how we think?

These unhelpful thinking styles are just a few that can affect how we eat

  • All or nothing thinking: This is going with one extreme or the other. You either train and eat at 100% or if you injure yourself or motivation goes out the window, so does your eating habits, because what is the point if you cannot do both?
  • Mental filters: Only filtering in the negatives and not listening to the positive changes you have made in the past.
  • Jumping to conclusions: That you know what someone thinks of you, that they think you are fat, or you make assumptions of what will happen in the future. That you have struggled to lose weight in the past and you always will. Or you are addicted to chocolate or alcohol and you always will be.
  • Catastrophising: Blowing situations out of proportion and view the situation as something that is completely uncontrollable and one of the worst things you have gone through, but in reality is something you will forget about the next day or can be solved easily.
  • Shoulding and musting: Something that puts a significant amount of pressure on yourself to reach a task. I should already be 5kgs lighter after a couple weeks or that I must look a certain way.
  • Labelling: How do you speak about yourself? Do you mentally call yourself fat or feel like other people are? What are the other names and self loathe that creep in?
  • Magnification and Minimisation: this looks at magnifying the great attributes of other and minimising your own. I know I do this all the time especially with my own training.

These are many thinking styles that I have gone through myself and watched many, many people think throughout my short career.

But the question is how do you change?

How do you stop sabotaging yourself and pull yourself out of this rut. Unfortunately the answer isn’t as simple as you want to be and it takes time. But breaking habits are never easy. It takes at least 66 days to concrete a habit into our daily routine, not 21 but 66 – 12 weeks.

  1. My first advice is to start writing in a diary.

Find the link between the triggering events, with how you feel and what you do next.

For example it could be a stressful day at work or someone said something mindless which was confronting. These events made you feel worthless, or frustrated. At this point would you go to the vending machine and pick something out to eat or drink to help make you feel better for that moment? Or would you go home and binge on a number of different food items? Once you consume something sweet, dopamine is released from the brain which signals almost a calming relief and basically makes you feel good. However, once you begin to associate the stressful day at work, or anxiety about being around a certain person, will that then trigger you to eat that extra food? This is how a habit is formed, and until you are aware of the triggers that set off how you act, then it will be very hard to change, which will lead to another failed diet or weight drop or regain.

So my first tip is to identify those triggers that set you off, which could be in your environment, friends around you, work, stress or training, or just the need to reward yourself for being so good.

  1. Next find some strategies that work best for you to distract yourself from eating.

Go for a walk/exercise, call a friend, set an alarm for the next time to eat, watch a movie or TV show, or learn to sit there with the issue and calm yourself; the pain will only be temporary and be as painful as you continue to make it. It will get better, but feeding yourself with something that is only temporarily relief will make you feel worse in the long run. Decide what the pro’s and con’s of eating that food will be.

If you need help, that is what I am here for. I want to challenge your thoughts and replace them with new ones that will realistically help you reach your goals. We can break it down into small steps and work toward those changes.

The psychology behind why we eat is so much stronger than what most may think, but it is something to address and realise that we all need help in setting our mindset in the right direction.