The Dog Days of August are certainly here and many of us are seeking relief from the heat at our local beaches and swimming pools. While it’s nice to escape the heat, you can’t escape what you see at these places. The obesity epidemic is pretty much staring you in the face. And to “tell it like it is” this is driving disease rates and health care costs to new highs. I just received my health insurance quote for next year. It’s up 19.8% (on top of the 20% last year) and my agent told me that’s not too bad! The insurance company tells me the pool I’m in has seen increasing costs – well it certainly isn’t me, but it doesn’t matter. Too bad we can’t choose our pool. Why can’t I be in the pool with the other healthy people? The unfortunate situation and reality is that regardless of your health, you are being impacted by everyone else’s poor health, and it is driving your costs up. I’ll stop with the politics here and move to the nutrition (which actually has its share of politics too!).
While there are many factors contributing to obesity I believe the biggest is our overconsumption of carbohydrates, particularly in the form of sugar, refined grains, and processed foods. This issue of my newsletter focuses on two areas that directly relate to this – the importance of blood sugar levels and insulin; and starting your day off with a healthy breakfast.
Blood Sugar and Insulin
The bottom line is that to your body all carbohydrates are sugar and if you have too many carbohydrates the sugar is turned to fat. Yes, we use carbohydrates for fuel, but they are meant as short term energy; we use fat for longer term energy. Think of it this way – in your personal fire sugar is like paper. You put it in the fire and it burns up quickly. Fat is like a log – a nice steady burn. When our body is working efficiently it will use the correct mixture and we will be “lean, mean, fighting machines.” Insulin is the hormone that moves blood sugar/glucose from the blood stream into cells for energy or storage. Insulin is essentially a fat storing hormone. Again, a simple equation: too much carbohydrate = too much sugar = increased demand for insulin = fat storage.
One of the major reasons we are consuming too many carbohydrates is because the diet dictocrats have told us that fat is bad for us. If we don’t eat fat, we are left with carbohydrates. While fat was said to be the culprit behind heart disease, strokes, cancer, and diabetes, the actual truth is this is caused by too much sugar (or TMS as I like to call it). For a detailed explanation I link to Gary Taubes’ 2007 article in the New York Times Magazine: What if it’s all been a big fat lie?
He also has a more recent article called Is Sugar Toxic? Another excellent read. He is the author of the books Good Calories Bad Calories and Why Do We Get Fat?
I could go on and on about blood sugar and insulin, but since Taubes has written these excellent articles I encourage you to read them.
Another great source is this YouTube from Merritt Wellness which explains the blood sugar roller coaster. http://www.youtube.com/user/merrittwellness
Avoid the Carb Overload at Breakfast
I’ve written in the past about breakfast. As part of the no-fat campaign we’ve been encouraged to eat the “breakfast foods” – cereal, toast, pancakes, waffles, orange juice, and skim milk – all sugar. Most Americans are starting there day with the blood sugar roller coaster and it continues through the day. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We are fueling our bodies for the day after 10-12 hours of no food. You’d think it would want something nutritious. I have two articles on my blog about breakfast – what to eat, what not to eat, and why.
Breakfast foods to avoid:
Ideas for healthy breakfasts:
Designs for Health Supplements Available From My Website
While Standard Process is my number one supplement brand many of my clients also use Designs for Health products – particularly the Paleo line of products as well as CoQ10 and a few others. Designs for Health is a Professional product line and as such are only sold through health care practitioners. You can now purchase these products directly through my web site (Store page) or by following this link: http://brwellness.ehealthpro.com/
I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer!