Sep. 30.

Welcome to the Sweet Side

Welcome to the Sweet Side

sugar

What is sugar?

Sugars come in the form of carbohydrates. There are two basic categories: complex and simple.

Complex: Have 3 or more sugars linked together. Complex, usually contain fiber and more micronutrients, causing a slower rise in blood sugar levels.

Simple: Have 1 or 2 sugars linked together. They are quickly absorbed in the blood stream and first to be used for energy. They will cause a quicker rise in blood sugar levels.

A list of sugars:

Sucrose

Glucose

HFCS

Fructose

Maltose

Lactose

Galactose

Maltodextrin

 

How is sugar used in the body?

Sugar enters the body via the blood stream. Once blood sugar levels rise the pancreas starts to produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that communicates to cells to absorb glucose and use it for energy. As cells take in sugar the blood sugar level will drop. This will then signal again to the pancreas to produce glucagon; glucagon communicates to the liver telling it to release stored sugars. This process insures the body is getting adequate energy along with the brain.

Sugar is needed because insulin is needed. Without insulin the body will not use glucose for energy.

The glycemic index indicates how fast various carbohydrates enter the blood stream. The higher the number the faster it enters the blood stream. Fifty-five or below is considered low on the GI index, on behalf of Tour de Pizza we would like to mention how low pizza is on the glycemic index!

gi-chart

Who should watch sugar intake?

Most Americans eat 22 teaspoons of sugar a day, equaling 350 extra calories, by the end of the week that’s 2,450 extra calories!  Sugar intake probably should be monitored by most Americans. Also those with type 2 diabetes, for their bodies either ignore the insulin or don’t produce enough of it. Type 1 diabetes the body does not produce insulin.

If you do not have health concerns where you are recommended to watch your sugar intake, moderation is key. A Few cookies a day or a small cup of ice cream will not hinder your fitness goals.

When is best to indulge?

It makes sense to most to eat sugar in the morning, allowing it to be used all day for energy not causing fat gain. This may actually have the opposite effect.  In the morning you are just waking from a fast, making the body more sensitive to insulin. Whether you eat a donut before bed or at breakfast, glucose and insulin are the same to the body, the only difference is the body may be slightly more sensitive to the insulin in the morning, after fasting through the night.

Pre and post workout are good times to use insulin to help with recovery and performance. Eating a larger amount of glucose pre workout will help fuel you muscles during the workout since blood glucose is readily used for muscle contraction. Sucrose is ideal for it is made of both glucose and fructose. This may be because mixtures of sugars absorb quickly and cause the greatest break down of carbohydrates for energy (oxidation), which will in turn increase performance. Post workout sugars will fill glycogen stores that were burned while training; promoting a faster recovery and avoiding an energy crash after exercise.

Artificial sweeteners and hunger

Without diving too deep into this topic, artificial sugars and natural sugars need to be balanced in ones diet. If the body is too low in sugar it will cause hunger and most times a fat craving causing excess calorie consumption. High carbohydrates diets are less likely to provide excess energy (calories) than those of high fat diets. High carbohydrate diets are also more sustainable over a long period of time.

 

Too much or too little of anything can be harmful and/or toxic.

By Sarah | Posted in Nutition | Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

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