‘My Sugar is Better than Your Sugar’
By Peter San Nicolas
Fructose, sucrose, lactose, galactose, simple sugars, complex sugars, monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides. Call them what you want. They are all sugar.
Are all sugars equal and do they make you fat? Does sugar make kids hyper and do they all have the same calories?
It is true an over consumption of sugar will cause the body to produce more free fatty acids (FFA) and will drive glucose into the cell and, over time, if that stored glucose is not used for energy it will be stored as adipose tissue, better known as body fat. Here’s the hitch — over consumption of any type of macro nutrient, i.e. carbs, fat or protein, will produce more FFA and in turn cause one to increase adipose tissue.
I hear it day after day, “How many grams of sugar does that have in it?” My response, “Why?” “Cause I can only have 50 grams per day.” “Why?” “Cause I’m trying to lose weight.”
If you have read my column before, you most likely have heard me say it is all about calories in versus calories out. I cannot beat this into your head enough. It’s is 100 percent true, all things being equal and if you’re at an equilibrium with your weight, that if you cut out 200 grams of sugars per day you will most certainly lose weight. These sugars are accounting for 800 calories of energy.
The same is true for fat calories. Cut out 800 fat calories, all things being equal you will most certainly lose weight.
There is still yet another hitch. Our bodies are made to be run on carbohydrates or glucose. Remove carbs or sugars and your body is forced to run on less more crude inefficient sources of fuel. Inefficient in that your body must convert protein or amino acids for energy into their carbon skeletons and are converted to acetyl CoA, which enters the Krebs cycle for oxidation, producing ATP, an energy source for shorter, more intense bursts of energy. The process of converting protein into fuel can be hard on the kidneys because of the waste products produced.
At first glance you could say that sugars make you fat, BUT there is more to the story. If your intake of carbohydrates is too low, your body is going to have a hard time sustaining energy and in turn your total energy expenditure can be lessened. Living in Ramona, we are all too familiar with the term “Fuel for the Fire.” To fire up our metabolism and work out harder, run longer, have energy to keep up with the kids, we need to fuel ourselves with carbohydrates and some simple sugars.
I have seen many clients come in for their workouts and just not have the “fire” to push through the workout. After some questioning, I find that they skipped that bowl of oatmeal and fruit for breakfast. I can check either their Bodybugg or heart rate monitor and actually see that they have burned less calories due to their lack of sugars or carbohydrates. This lessens their total caloric output for the day and therefore hinders their body fat loss.
The proper balance of carbs, fats and proteins is going to give you sustained energy, curb your hunger and help you repair your tissues as well as enable you to do the physical activities you desire. Combine that with the proper calories and those carbs and sugar in the right amount can help even lose body fat!
Peter San Nicolas owns Ramona Fitness Center at 558 Main St. Questions and comments may be posted on Facebook at Ramona’s Trainer and Ramona Fitness.
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