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One way to reduce soda consumption

Sara Bleich from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health provides an interesting insight into recognizing the partial impact of caloric intake and the amount of exercise needed to ‘burn’ those calories.  One can of coke equals 50 minutes of running.  When that information was placed before people where ordering of soft drinks took place, the amount of soft drinks ordered decreased.  Although she correctly points out that ‘a calorie is not a calorie,’ anything that changes the behavior of drinking soda pop is a good thing.  Just a reminder of the 5 things wrong with soda pop: 1) the sweetener, as bad as sugar is aspartame is worse 2) acid content (coke does make the best cleaner of chrome and grease spots) 3) phosphorus added so carbon dioxide (the fizz) does not become carbonic acid [unfortunately phosphorus is matched with calcium in the body, so the calcium is taken from the bones contributing to osteoporosis] 4) many sodas have caffeine, which is addictive, is a stimulant and is a diuretic 5) some people think drinking soda replaces the amount of water they need to drink (wrong).
For a more complete look at Sara Bleich’s insight and research, read the article by James Hamblin [The Atlantic].
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You should eat more fat

Here is another article (from with strong scientific support for what we have been saying for the last 20 years–low fat, high carb diets cause obesity and bad health.  There was none to little scientific support 50 years ago for the ‘recommendation’ (that became tradition and later law) that fat causes fat, and therefore should be avoided.  Multiple strong scientific studies (and the observational data is also strong) have gone against the ‘recommendation,’ but it still lingers on.
Because nutritionists follow the ‘party-line dogma,’ I would never hire a traditional nutritionist to counsel my patients.  They even teach the food pyramid as truth, when it is more lobbying and political than science.
Read the article and send it to your friends.
Dr. Gardner
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On Orange Juice

This is a fascinating article (from the New Atlantic)about the history of orange juice production in the U.S.  Anything in a can or box has most likely been processed, which means we have lost control of our ability to easily know how it was made, what was removed and what has been added back into the product.  If you juice your own oranges you will know exactly how it was made.  When you juice an orange, the fiber is separated from the juice, thus reducing its nutrient value.  Also, and glass of orange juice has the fructose content of several oranges, thus making it a sugar drink without fiber.  When you eat an orange you typically eat only one and eat the fiber with it.  Eating an orange is the best way to ingest oranges–orange juice is a ‘sugar drink.’

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Soda Pop

From Pacific Standard on new psychological research provides clues as to why consuming such drinks can actually lead to weight gain:

A body that believes it is getting an energy boost (as the sweet taste of the soda implies) and then does not may react by going into WTF mode (Where’s the Fructose?). This translates to cravings for the next high-calorie option that crosses our path.

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Frozen food consumption on decline

Fresh fruits and vegetables will always trump frozen. But frozen foods are healthier than ‘not-fresh’ fruits and vegetables. Freezing foods does not make them unhealthy. Foods become unhealthy when processors add preservatives, non-food ingredients, toxic additives, flavors, and colorings. The article is right on:

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Sugar and Obesity—Is There a Relationship?

We have been told for years that if you eat fat, you will become fat. This experiment on the American public, without scientific support, was done without our consent. The food industry has taken full advantage of this ‘theory’ and placed sugar in place of fat in our food—fat-free, reduced fat, ‘healthy’ (because it has no fat). Since that time, the rate of overweight and obese people has jumped at the same rate as the increase in sugar consumption.

It is now estimated that the average American ingests about ½ pound of sugar each day. Of the 600,000 food items available on the grocery shelves, 80% of them have added sugar. A child who drinks one can of soda pop per day increases his risk of obesity by 60%.

I found this interesting bit of information. Let’s say it takes 2000 calories a day to maintain your body’s basic functions—thinking, muscle movement, digestion, other organ functioning. Sugar is converted into energy (ATP) to perform those functions and many more.

If you eat 2000 calories a day, you feel good, and you don’t gain weight because that is what your body needs.

However, if 500 calories of sugar is added to your 2000-calorie diet, it is immediately converted into fat, because the body does not need that much sugar that fast. This means that you will only ingest 1500 more calories during the day to maintain basic body functions. Since the body needs 2000 calories, the body feels hungry, and you may even have low blood sugar. Basically, you feel crappy (a medical term!). So, you eat 500 more calories to meet your caloric needs and you feel better. You are now on a 2500 calorie diet, and gaining weight in fat.

So how much is 500 calories of sugar? It is equivalent to 31 teaspoons of sugar. There are 512 calories in a 44 ounce Super Big Gulp; 364 calories in a 32 ounce Big Gulp; 210 calories in a Mrs. Fields chocolate chip cookie. As you can see, it is easy to eat or drink 500 calories of sugar in a day, and much of it could be in one sitting. Some people I have know buy a Big Gulp in the morning and drink a little bit all day long, extending their fast intake of sugar throughout the day.

What can you do about it?

Stop eating sugar! But that is much easier said than done. Because sugar is added to processed food, you must read the label on everything in a can or box. Although there are over 250 different names for sugar, most of them you can recognize. Most everything that ends in -ose is a sugar. And don’t be fooled by the label that has sugar as the 3rd ingredient, but has fructose, maltose, and who knows what else at ingredient number 6, 9 and 11, making sugar the #1 ingredient.

Some people have found a friend who will do the sugar-free push with them and provide support and insight. This makes it a lot more fun. There are books and programs that are also helpful.

Some people who are addicted have needed the insight and help of a health coach.

Is it worth it?

Sugar, with its accompanying insulin, is highly inflammatory in the body. Inflammation causes discomfort and pain. This may include headaches, joint pain, muscle aches, poor sleep. Sugar feeds viruses, bacteria and cancer cells. Yeast and Candida organisms thrive on sugar. These cause gas, bloating, itching and a whole host of other problems.

When you are off sugar, your energy will improve, discomforts will reduce, your mind will become clearer and freedom from the shackles of sugar will be exhilarating. It is definitely worth it.

I will soon be releasing my highly successful program, Sweet Freedom From Sugar. If you would like to be placed on the interest list to learn more about it, sign up here.