- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.
Friday, April 9, 2010
The Effects of White Flour and White Sugar
Let's talk about the effects of white flour, white sugar, in your diet. I have talked to you about this before in previous blogs, but we need to revisit it again.
White flour and white sugar are the main ingredients in most of our processed foods. If you are eating a diet that is full of these two products, the consequences of this could be very negative for your health.
At the Brookhaven Obesity Clinic located in New York, they know first hand what happens to people who ingest white flour, white sugar, processed foods as the main part of their diet. This clinic has 75 beds, and admits patients that are 400 pounds to over 800 pounds.
These people are food addicts, and it is processed non nutritious foods that they are addicted to. They are used to eating 3,000 to 5,000 or more calories in a day. Most of these calories come from things like fast foods, pizza's, soda's, cake, cookies, donuts, fried foods, and other white flour, white sugar, products.
Studies have shown that when a person eats large quantities of these types of foods, the part of their brain that releases dopamine changes to only release it when white flour, white sugar, processed, foods are being eaten.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, a chemical that is responsible for transmitting between the nerve cells of the brain. Simply put, it is a chemical that helps us to feel good. Dopamine is much more complicated then that, but we will just stick to that basic concept for this discussion.
This kind of food addiction is the same thing as having an addiction to drugs or alcohol. The difference is that you can get away from drugs or alcohol, but you have to eat food to survive. When food addicts eat healthier types of foods, they do not get the same dopamine release like they do when they eat the unhealthy foods.
The reason they get to be 400 to 800 pounds is that they only feel good for a short period of time after ingesting the junk food, so they need to eat it again and again to maintain that dopamine release and feeling good.
At the Brookhaven clinic, patients sneak junk foods in through a myriad of ways. Many of the patients can not walk because they are so big. They need others to assist them in sneaking the unhealthy foods in. Their behavior is no different than that of a heroine addict.
White flour and white sugars are void of nutrition. This is one of the main reasons they are so bad for us. Sugar will negatively effect every organ in your body. (see blog on sugar) So by eating these products as your main sources of food, you will be making a very unhealthy choice.
If you have been reading my blogs you know what the good choices are. Let me reiterate them for you once again.
Fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and lean sources of proteins such as chicken, fish, beef, and eggs. Low fat dairy products such as yogurts and cottage cheese are also good choices unless you are lactose intolerant.
So stay away from the white flour, white sugar foods if you are wanting to be healthy and fit. Eating them occasionally will not kill you, but the key word there is occasionally. Choose health....eat healthy!