What are simple sugars, and why are they bad for you?
There are almost as many different human metabolic variations as there are people in the world. Our genetics make us all unique in ways that vary the way we can lose weight or even gain weight. On the other hand, we all had to descend from humans who survived famine, lack of water and lack of nutrition sources, so in one way we are all the same…we have genes that helped us survive times that required of us the ability to maintain our weight even without eating! The people who genetically were unable to gain fat and keep it to hold them over during famine just didn’t make it to an age they could procreate. The rest of us whose ancestors survived, have given the majority of us the genes to maintain body fat.
Unfortunately, we have been blindly unaware of what man’s evolution and progress has led us to physically, and most of us are over-fat, and have trouble losing it! The very genes that allowed us to survive the beginning of man’s existence, are the same ones that make it hard to become slender. In addition, in our current societies in the western world, food is plentiful and inexpensive. Our genes have not changed, but our environment has, and we are becoming sick because of our obesity…how do we survive this “new world”?
You may hear a lot about insulin resistance, and I talk about it a lot on my Healthcasts, but it is insulin resistance that has allowed us to survive and has also led us to obesity today. The humans who were insulin resistant who also held on to their fat in times of starvation are also the humans who have become obese in the face of plenty. We can’t change our genes, but we can turn some of the obesity genes off through lifestyle and sometimes with the help of medication.
Despite our basic sameness, we are also each individual, and genetically programed so that some of us lose weight if we restrict calories, others lose weight only if they exercise; Some of us don’t lose weight with exercise; some people don’t lose weight with carbohydrate restriction or fat restriction, and some do. This is the ugly truth that lies behind the millions of books on diet, none of which work for more than a small number of us, and because it is a diet we can’t maintain it…what we need is to determine is the best weight loss program for each of us, by using trial and error, or by using genetic testing that tells us what our best pathway to a normal weight looks like.
To begin we must take baby steps and learn about food and what the words mean that we use when referring to food. Because there are many people who may have several hurdles to jump before they can live at their healthy weight, we need to all speak the same language of weight loss.
So let’s start with a bit of education about food.
WHAT IS A SIMPLE SUGAR?
A simple sugar is a nutrient meant to give you energy for physical activity. Eating a small amount of a simple or a complex sugar before exercise is a good idea. However, if you sit most of your day, working with your brain instead of your body, simple sugars can increase your fat storage because you aren’t physically working. This is true whether restricting sugar is your genetic method of weight loss or not. Too many simple sugars make you hungry and cause everyone to overeat.….causing weight gain and fat gain. So what are simple sugars?
Examples of simple sugars:
- Sugar, white, cane and brown
- Regular Soda
- Syrup-maple or any
- Rice, white and brown
- White potatoes
- All Grains: wheat, oats, rice, corn and anything made from them including flour
- Sweet tea
- All Cakes, brownies, candy, chips, and many energy bars
- All bagged snacks like pretzels, chips, cookies, and fruit with sugar added
- Pies and most desserts, except fresh or frozen fruit.
- Dried Fruit (has sugar added eat frozen fruit instead.)
- All non-milk-based salad dressings except plain Olive oil and vinegar.
Note: All diet sodas have chemicals that stimulate insulin like sugar. There are a few brands that use Stevia (an herb that is sweet, and not a chemical) and they are the exception so you can drink those without stimulating fat production. Other options are unsweetened bubble water or plain water.
Eventually eating a diet filled with simple sugars leads to obesity, and diabetes no matter who you are, therefore if you are in not working physically with your body all day, every day ( machinists, farmers -in the summer, factory workers, outdoor laborers) you should not eat these foods except in small amounts with a protein to lengthen the time until you feel hungry again. The rest of us should rarely eat these foods. They should be considered foods for “special events”.
If you exercise aerobically and/or with weights for more than an hour at a time, then you may eat a small amount of simple sugars but eating small amount of complex sugars is healthier to help you maintain your muscle mass and your exercise stamina while losing fat.
COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES: EAT INSTEAD OF SIMPLE SUGARS SWEET POTATOES
Sweet potatoes taste sweet and have complex Carbohydrates so it takes longer for them to be digested which means they do not stimulate the secretion of insulin as fast or as high as white potatoes. They are a complex sugar.
Sweet Potatoes also have several health benefits including antioxidant healing role and anti-inflammatory properties.
CHICKPEAS (GARBANZO BEANS, BLACK BEANS AND LENTILS)
Legumes like chickpeas, black beans, and lentils are not only complex carbohydrates buy are a great source of dietary fiber, making them wise choices for a filling you up and satisfying the pre-workout carbohydrate requirement.
Quinoa is a good source of plant protein. It can be a substitute for bread or pasta.
WHOLE GRAIN BREADS LIKE DAVE’S LOW CARB & HIGH PROTEIN BREAD
Whole grain bread like Dave’s Bread has enough fiber and nut protein to prevent excessive stimulation of your insulin. Too much insulin leads to insulin resistance and causes fat gain instead of giving your cells energy. One piece of bread per meal is all you should eat if you are overweight and or have Type II diabetes in your family. Make sure you are not eating more than 25 grams of carb in any meal.
WILD RICE- is a seed and not a “rice”
You should eat wild rice instead of any other type of rice and only in small amounts. All complex carbs should be eaten in small portions because in large portions they act just like simple carbs and increase weight gain.
NUTS: Cashews, Almonds, Walnuts, Chestnuts,
Nuts of all kinds can be a substitute for carbs in any form. A handful of nuts should be enough to decrease your hunger and increase your protein as well as decrease insulin response to eating. The Combination of foods that you eat is also important. If you are going to eat any carbohydrate it should be paired with a protein and or a fat. For example: If you are going to eat a piece of bread, then you can eat it with butter and or peanut butter or cheese or eggs. This slows the absorption of the carbohydrate from the bread and prevents your blood sugar from surging and plummeting after you eat, leaving you fatigued and sleepy.
The Dr. Maupin’s Diet in my book the Secret Female Hormone, I recommend eating multiple times a day and controlling simple carbs and carbs from sugar and grains. Scientifically it is a fact that if you eat 25 grams or less of carbohydrate foods from sugar or grains per meal then you can prevent Insulin resistance and the additional fat that follows insulin resistance. It is also a good way to lose fat. In my diet a person can eat as much fruit and veggies as they desire, except white potatoes and bananas.
WHAT YOU EAT, IS AS IMPORTANT AS HOW MUCH YOU EAT!
Other Strategies for weight loss include eating a protein with each carb which decreases the total volume of food you eat and increases satiety.
- Saving your carbs to be eaten before exercise.
- Portion Control of all food.
- Limit alcohol. 0- 4 drinks a week
- Daily exercise for over an hour/day.
- Drink a glass of water before you eat.
- Skip dessert
- Eat a salad daily
- Eat more than half your weight in grams of protein (Meat, cheese, eggs, milk products, whey protein and more)
The basic information was from my over 45 years of practice and Information provided by Inbody.
If you know by experience or you have had your genetics tested to reveal that limiting carbohydrates is needed for you to lose fat, then I hope this blog helped you understand what I mean when I tell you to limit your carbohydrate intake to less than 25 grams per meal.
This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author. www.BioBalanceHealth.com • (314) 993-0963. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel and please check “ Like “. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram at BioBalanceHealth.