Monday, October 6, 2014

Calories in, calories out...the biggest lie ever sold.

 The predominant misconception is that all fat people are just lazy overeaters.

Our body chemistry and biology has been manipulated from a young age due to the consumption of  fake over processed food. The food industry has spend millions of dollars on making our food more and more addictive and less and less nutritious. They target their advertising and packaging to innocent and impressionable children. Their food chemists work tirelessly to ensure that we remain clueless and addicted. We are an obese starving nation.

To run off a happy meal would mean running for 4 miles everyday for 7 days. Exercising off the sugary, fake, fast food most people consume would take a very, very long time and current research indicates that it would not solve the problem anyway. Add to that the fact that these fake, sugary foods only cause a spike in energy briefly and then we crash. We feel terrible after that quick high and are therefore less likely to have the desire to exercise.

There are also many skinny fat people running around due to the over consumption of fatty, fried, over processed foods. Skinny fat people can contain almost the same amount of visceral fat as obese people. It is important to note that visceral fat (the fat surrounding our organs) is the most dangerous form when it comes to chronic disease risk factors. Unfortunately this fat is also the least visible to the naked eye as it does not show on the outside but coats our organs on the inside impairing their function.

Visceral fat, also known as organ fat or intra-abdominal fat, is located inside the peritoneal cavity, packed in between internal organs and torso, as opposed to subcutaneous fat‚ which is found underneath the skin, and intramuscular fat‚ which is found interspersed in skeletal muscle. Visceral fat is composed of several adipose depots including mesenteric, epididymal white adipose tissue (EWAT) and perirenal fat.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s insightful and powerful imaging techniques were discovered that would further help advance our understanding of the health risks associated with body fat accumulation. Techniques such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging made it possible to categorize mass of adipose tissue located at the abdominal level into intra-abdominal fat and subcutaneous fat.    (wikipedia)

Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In women, it is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery.

So enough of that, let's talk about calories. It is not the calories we consume as much as it is where the calories come from. Eating 160 calories in a handful of almonds as apposed to a 160 calories from a low fat, high sugar snack will not have the same effect on and in your body. The almonds have more fiber and a lower GI (Glycemic Index)than the sugary snack. This means the rise in blood sugar is slower and the liver does not need to send an alarming signal to the pancreas to bring down the blood sugar by releasing insulin (a fat storing hormone). This results in more fat being stored from the calories of empty foods (High Fructose corn syrup (HFCS), low fat, processed foods) and simple carbohydrates, than high fiber nutritious foods. 
It does not take a rocket scientist to see that foods high in fiber and nutrients, like vegetables and fruits are a better use of your calories than foods that fill you briefly but ultimately leave you feeling empty and addicted.
When eating fiber rich, nutritious, healthy, real food, we feel better, look healthier and do not over eat. We feel satiated and there is not a crash in energy after eating. The calories we consume should be energizing not exhausting and as all calories are not created equal, chose wisely.

Here's a thought....if you are what you eat, then don't be cheap, easy or fake!

(I also highly recommend the documentary FED UP...discusses this topic in more detail)

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