Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Two Things That Make You Fat

There are two main causes of all of today's obesity problems. These two evils are sugar and saturated fats.

Sugar is extremely sweet, and therefor addictive and easy to eat a lot of. When you eat sugar, your body digests it so quickly that your insulin levels spike and you receive a huge boost in energy. The thing is that all of the insulin transports the sugar throughout your system very quickly, so after a while your huge energy boost crashes and you are left feeling de-energized and hungry again a mere hour or so after eating the sugar. Replace sugar in your diet with good carbs - whole wheat everything (refined white-bread digests almost as quickly as raw sugar and is just as bad), beans, legumes, etc. Eating better carbs will cause your energy levels to remain stable all day and will keep you feeling fuller longer, making you eat less throughout the day. Thats a biggy for losing weight.

The second evil is saturated fats. These fats give all fats a bad name, but that is not fair. Unsatured fats and EFA's (essential fatty acids- they must be obtained from your diet - the body cannot produce them), although caloricly dense (9 calories per gram compared to 4 for carbs and protein), are good for you and your heart. Saturated fats on the other hand raise your LDL cholesterol and lower your HDL cholesterol and are very bad for your heart and body. It has also been shown that high levels of saturated fats in your diet can lower your testosterone production, thus lowering your metabolism and increasing your chances of putting on weight.

The easiest ways to cut saturated fats from the diet is to switch to skim milk, eat lean cuts of beef and pork (chicken is extremely lean as it is), make sure all of your dairy products (cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc.) are low-fat, and start using olive and canola oil to cook with. Remember - all fats are not bad but you have to be careful when eating any fat because a gram of fat has more than twice the calories of a gram of protein or carbs. But if you cut out the saturated fats, you'll be sure to improve your health.

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