Sunday, October 21, 2012

Why drinking 'fat coke' really is like drinking fat.

Lately I have been posting a lot of links on sugar on my facebook page. In my previous blog I also mentioned sugared beverages are bad and promised to explain why. If you want the complete picture you can watch the The Skinny on Obesity clips on YouTube but if you want to go straight to the bitter truth you should watch Ep. 2: Sickeningly Sweet. That clip describes very well how what we call sugar is treated by the body.
We all know now that sugars are carbs, but most people don't know what a carb is. Some will get to a carbohydrate which is the complete word. That still doesn't mean anything to anyone. People might now it's energy. Very good. But not all carbs are just energy. Some are toxic. Like alcohol, hence the word intoxicated. Alcohol is metabolized (changed into something else or used as energy) by the brain and the liver. The liver is the place in the body that handles all toxins. There is another carb that the liver deals with: fructose. That's sugar, right? Sugar from fruit. How is that bad? Wasn't fruit supposed to be good for you? Yes, it is. Fruit contains a lot of vitamins and minerals and fiber along with glucose and fructose. Glucose is the good kind of sugar, the kind that your entire body can use for energy. That's the kind of sugar/carb you want. The fiber helps keep the fructose in your bowels where it can be eaten by the bacteria living in there. They are the good guys that help you get rid of the toxins. So only a small amount of the fructose is absorbed and your body can handle that just fine. That tiny bit is moved to your liver where it is broken down and part of it is burned and that tiny last bit that's left will be turned into fat. If you live a healthy life and don't sit around all day you will burn that bit of fat later on, no problem. But that's fruit. What about juice? Isn't that just fruit as well? Sure, but without the fiber. And without the fiber your body will absorb the whole lot of fructose. That's just the beginning.

Let's take a look at coke. 240 calories per serving according to the Coca Cola website, of which 65 grams of sugar. That's everything. There is nothing else in there. So how is this fat coke? Those 65 grams of sugar are half glucose, which is fine, and half fructose, which is bad if you absorb it because, like I said, some of it will get turned into fat. Unless there is fiber of course. Now lets take a look at what they say about that. "Not a significant source of fat calories, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron." No fiber. None what so ever. So all the calories from fat coke go straight to your liver and get turned mostly into fat. And that is how fat coke really is like drinking fat.
But honestly, the same goes for any drink that has sugar (as the companies call it without discriminating between different types like glucose and fructose) that doesn't contain any fiber. The only drinks that are really good are water, tea and smoothies (if properly made with fresh fruit, preferably unpeeled). Coffee is a different issue and an ongoing debate I first need to reed up on more before I say anything about that so for now let's just ignore that one, just leave out the sugar from now on.

It gets even worse when it comes to soda. Look at the amount of salt: Sodium 75mg. You need to double that for the total amount of salt. 150 mg of salt in one serving. Salt makes you thirsty and you drink more. So you get another coke, and absorb more fructose and salt. Check out Ep. 3 on how fructose makes you hungry and you will see how sugared beverages are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the sugar problem. It's the core of what we in Dutch call welvaatsziektes, freely translated to prosperity illnesses which I think covers the load quite well. If you want to lose weight and become healthy and fit, cut out the fructose (except when taken with fiber like in fresh fruits). That's the best thing you could ever do for your body.

The full lecture: Sugar: the bitter truth.  There is a lot more information about this out there but I have found this the most accessable for most people. If you want you can do a bit more research yourself or keep an eye on my facebook page as I will post a link to the articles I come across.

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