The truth about sugar revealed, Find out the not so sweet truth about sugar
Jillian | Smith
Much of today’s dieting and health advice centers around calories, carbohydrates, trans fats, and saturated fats. All of this is ignoring the real culprit behind many of the issues Americans face today: sugar.
In the United States, it is estimated that 93 million Americans are affected by obesity following information gathered by the Obesity Action Coalition. More than 9 million children and teens, six to 19 years-old are considered overweight according to the Obesity Action Coalition.
Sugar is in all of our processed foods, school lunches, even some of the snacks that we think are healthy. If we can eliminate these massive quantities of sugar from our daily diets, we can potentially reduce childhood obesity, diabetes and various cardiovascular dangers.
While there are many critiques of this argument, the truth is, whether sugar is the real cause of all of America’s obesity woes or not, individually, we consume an average of 130 pounds of sugar a year. There’s nothing wrong with cutting that number down a bit, right?
Here are some important facts about sugar, left out of the books in health class, that can seriously affect your weight as well as your overall health.
What happens when you eat sugar
A few different things happen when we eat sugar that affect different areas of the body. According to Alexander, the instant the sugar touches your tongue, receptors in your brain cause dopamine to be released. (This is why it feels pretty awesome to eat a hot Krispy Kreme doughnut, even if you know you shouldn’t.)
The Sugar Smart Diet explains how sugar then goes into your stomach where acids break it down into fructose and glucose. Glucose seeps through the walls of the small intestine, signaling the pancreas to secrete insulin. Insulin attaches to glucose and carries it from the blood to cells where it can be converted into energy.
Fructose also seeps through the walls of the small intestine and goes to the liver to be processed. According to Alexander, our livers, as well as our cells, can be easily overwhelmed by too much sugar.
Eventually, the consumption of too much sugar can cause the liver to stop processing fructose, causing fatty growths. It can also cause the cells to become “immune” to glucose-carrying insulin molecules, leaving them floating throughout your bloodstream. These two problems can quickly lead to non-alcoholic liver cancer and diabetes Alexander says.
What to do about it
So on average, we should be consuming six to nine teaspoons of sugar every day according to the American Heart Association. This is about 100-150 calories from sugar per day. To put that into perspective, one 12oz can of coke contains 140 calories from sugar.
“When we pair snacking with zoning-out activities, such as TV, we tend to over-consume, said University Dining dietician Danielle Mayber. “Another strike against us is that our typical choice of snack late at night is generally high in sugar and fat.”
Sugar is all around us and added sugars are in most of our foods.
“Choose healthy snacks reach for veggies, low-sugar fruits or low-fat dairy, and you are good to go. Also, eat every few hours. That built-up hunger spins your cravings out of control at night, so follow these tips and avoid the lure of late-night junk food binges,” she said.
We don’t pig out on high sugar foods only at night, however, so remember when you’re on campus thinking about what to eat, avoid any food or drink that contains more than 50 calories from sugar. While that is still about half of your recommended daily amount, it is a good rule of thumb to realistically begin incorporating a low-sugar diet into your daily routine.
Every month, try to get that number even lower. Maybe try aiming for 40 calories from sugar next month, 30 in December and so on and so forth. You may be surprised by the results!
Zoe | Wilson
The trending gluten free diet has many people assuming it is a healthier choice to grab something with that fancy “Gluten-Free” sticker. There are many misconceptions about this diet, especially because it can increase risk for becoming overweight. Find out the facts about gluten before you decide to ditch it.
Gluten is simply a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye and barley. Digesting these proteins for people with celiac disease can damage the lining of the small intestine and cause major irritations. Experts estimate about one percent of Americans have this celiac disease. There are no pharmaceutical cures for it, and the only existing treatment for its symptoms is a gluten-free diet.
While only a small percentage of the population actually need a gluten-free diet, marketers estimate that about 30 percent of consumers want products that do not contain gluten, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation. There are no medical recommendations or clear reasons to eliminate gluten in diets for people who do not have celiac disease. In fact, choosing processed foods that use alternative substitutions for gluten, such as adding in more sugars, sodium, or fats, can be more harmful than the food’s original recipe .
April Parker, a senior majoring in political science, was diagnosed with a gluten allergy. Parker does not recommend a gluten-free diet for those not allergic to gluten because she thinks, “Making food gluten-free takes a lot of the nutrients out of the food. I think the best way to lose weight would be to cut out all bread, but not all carbs!”
The rule of moderation definitely applies to eating gluten, as it would for any food. It would not be healthy to over consume gluten-containing products since a lot of them have simple carbohydrates and sugars. These are digested so quickly that it will make someone hungry faster, therefore causing them to intake more calories that could cause weight gain, according to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.
Not eating gluten is not necessarily the healthiest option. For starters, gluten itself doesn’t offer any special nutritional benefits, but the actual whole grains that contain gluten are rich in different vitamins and minerals. Studies revealed foods with whole grains have the ability to reduce risks for heart disease and type-2 diabetes.
Nutritionists recommend that a healthy diet should have carbohydrates make up about half of the calorie intake. Choosing the right carbohydrates will give your body the fuel it needs to have an energetic day. Meeting this dietary goal is a lot more difficult without eating gluten because it eliminates the majority of American food.
Photo: Kathryn Covington, a sophomore studying park agriculture tourism, along with others, use the treadmills at the Playgound located in Carmichael Fitness Center September 29. The Playground provides several cardio and weight training machines, free weights, Plasma screen TV’s, and a stretching area.
Threa | Almontaser
Freaking out about that exam next week? Have you already been flunking the quizzes and have no idea how you’ll make it through the actual exam, so you’re seriously contemplating the most outrageous scenarios like making a (wolf) pact with your fellow classmates to all fail and go down together? Or maybe you just have zero time to hang with your friends, and have annoyingly become that one friend that always bails out because of papers and study sessions? These may be stressing you out to the max, but don’t worry, it isn’t the cause of the recent baby Chewbacca in your shower drain. Paradi Mirmirani, a dermatologist in California, says that daily stress has no actual correlation with hair loss.
Common data shows that a normal head of hair contains about 120,000-150,000 strands. About 90 percent of those hairs are in a growing phase of about 1/2 inch each month which lasts for two to three years. From there, your hair will go into a resting stage, which lasts for 3 to 4 months before it falls out and is replaced by new hair. You may not even notice the typical “100 hairs a day” falling out.
Stress because you’re late to class or have a ton of assignments isn’t going to cause you to lose hair. Short-term, everyday stress doesn’t affect your body enough to cause immense hair falling out. A larger stress that makes you lose sleep at night is what can cause that problem. Severe illness or infections, major surgery, and a strict low-calorie diet are some examples of serious traumatic stress. So, make sure to find time in between your daily class schedule to grab a loaded meal, rather than eating from the vending machine all morning and afternoon. Also, try applying castor oil on your scalp as a natural remedy. Wellness Mama’s blog says castor oil’s antibacterial and antifungal properties help increase circulation and improve hair growth, as well as help cases with dandruff issues.
Exercise has also been proven to help hair grow. “If exercise came in pill form, it would be hailed as the blockbuster drug of the century, ” said Dr. John Ratey, an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
When you work out, you sweat. In that sweat, toxins and wastes are flushed out from the pores. Sweating from the scalp helps to unclog hair follicles, giving your head enough space for new hair to grow. The increased blood flow also helps bring in more nourishment and oxygen.
Working out can help your entire body, not just your head. If you aren’t sure how to get started, there are plenty of professional trainers at Carmichael Gymnasium to help your progress at the service desk. Take group classes like cycling, yoga, or full body workout on the second floor to have that community vibe. Or hit up The Playground with a buddy who’s already got the workout flow going. It can be an easier transition and you won’t look like an amateur spending half your gym time reading the labels on the machines and trying your best to get them in the right setting. Staying hydrated is the most important thing that lots of students seem to forget. Keep refilling that water bottle! Carmichael gym even has fountains that fit those bottles perfectly, so you won’t have that hindrance or awkward mess from a fountain with a traditional spout.
If you have a busy schedule full of classes and clubs, there’s always the basics you can get done. Not a runner? Don’t skimp out! Bike to school. We have plenty of racks available near each classroom. Try getting off the bus a few stops earlier, or park your car farther away to extend your walking time. Skip that elevator in Daniels Hall and lunge up those stairs two at a time, your backpack can be your weight. According to the American Heart Association, the benefits of these simple tasks can reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer, obesity, and high cholesterol.
Finding time is all it takes. Take it out from your daily 16 Netflix series binge, or from that other 22 hours stuck in the dark, never-ending abyss known as Tumblr. As long as you stay hydrated, eat your greens, do your squats, and put those cute–but also practical–Nike Roshe’s to good use, then you’ll be set for the semester. It’ll all workout anyway.
Rupert W. Nacoste, Ph.D.
When Pope Francis arrived in the U.S. he was warmly and respectfully greeted by President Barack Obama. Seeing Pope Francis on American soil should remind us that Americans once were afraid to have a Catholic as our President. Presidential candidate John F. Kennedy, a Catholic, had to over and over again highlight his belief in the separation of church and state.
Verbal expression of resistance to an American President being a Catholic was religious bigotry. The same goes for expressions about an American Muslim. Dr. Ben Carson was an outstanding, groundbreaking neurosurgeon; he is not outstanding as a political leader. In public, Dr. Carson firmly said no American Muslim should ever be “…allowed” to be President. Anyone running for President should know that the U.S. Constitution says that “…no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
Ben Carson’s statement then, is not a part of our American political structure; it is religious bigotry. Yet Dr. Carson has been surprised by the objections to his statement about Muslim American citizens. He is surprised because his is a primal bigotry. It is a prejudiced belief so firmly and confidently held that the person does not understand how anyone would disagree or be repulsed by that bigotry. Bigotry can be about any group. Nowadays too many are confused about that fact. Anybody, you see, can be a bigot. Skin-color does not prevent or absolve bigotry.
That is why talking about racism at the individual-psychological level is inaccurate, misleading and confusing. Yes, there has been a long, painful history of racism in America. Yes, there continues to be pockets and remnants of racism in America. But racism is a system of institutional and organizational patterns of law, policy and action that support individual prejudice and bigotry. Through the Civil Rights Movement’s grass root protests and legal challenges based on our Constitution, we have successfully attacked and dismantled the systems of racism, sexism and gender-ism. If we had not, someone who tried to violate the Supreme Court’s rulings on unconstitutional (racial, gender, religious, sexual-orientation) discrimination would not end up in jail like Kim Davis did.
Talking about racism as if it occurs at the individual-psychological level is what has led some to try to absolve black people as a (once) racially oppressed people, of being able to have racial prejudice that can be expressed in verbal, nonverbal, and other behaviors (bigotry). Yet skin-color does not eliminate the possibility of bigotry coming from members of any group. When it comes to individual’s feelings about people from different groups, bigotry can come from anyone; there are no innocent.
Social psychologists, like me, have analyzed intergroup tensions this way since the 1954 publication of Gordon Allport’s classic book, “The Nature of Prejudice”; prejudice is not bigotry; bigotry is not racism. Back then discussions of bigotry focused mostly on race-relations, but now the issues of intergroup tension are multi-dimensional. In today’s age of neo-diversity, there are so many American groups that individuals can feel prejudice towards; homosexuals, Muslims, transgendered persons, Christians, women, persons with visible bodily-conditions, military veterans, persons with mental-health conditions, interracial-couples, and on and on. Neo-diversity gives all us individuals lots of targets for expressions of anti-group feelings (prejudice) that can be expressed in behavior (bigotry). Especially in that neo-diversity context, anyone can be a bigot. Any college-educated person who believes that skin-color prevents bigotry has been miseducated. Ben Carson is just one example of an apparently upstanding person, who happens to be black, being a religious-bigot.
Dr. Rupert Nacoste is Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor of Psychology and author of “Taking on Diversity: How we can move from anxiety to respect.”
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