Sugar and Food
BALANCE is everything!
The most stable entities in biology and life as a whole are those that hold a good balance and equilibrium. This concept rings true with our nutrition. For decades, scientists, nutritionists, and physicians have discussed various diets, the food industry simultaneously influencing our habits as well. The only idea that remains true with each of these alternatives is the benefit of keeping a balanced diet. In doing so, we will thrive.
We all need proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in our diet. The questions are: “What types and how much of each macronutrient is appropriate, and what is the end-goal of the diet?” The goal of a diet differs depending on the patient. For example, some may need to gain weight if malnourished, others may need a low-fat diet to prevent gallbladder disease. Some may require a low-protein diet because of gout, while diabetic patients might need a low carbohydrate diet, or perhaps a low-salt diet if they are instead suffering from kidney disease or high blood pressure.
For an adult, obese patient with a desire to lose weight, the appropriate nutrition is a balanced diet where all macronutrients are utilized in the correct composition.
A daily intake of 1200-1400 calories composed of 50-55% protein (barring any medical contraindications), 20-25% healthy fats, and 25% carbohydrates is conducive to weight loss. This translates to approximately 100-120g of proteins, 30-40g fo fats, and 80-100g of carbohydrates with 30g of daily fiber.
Sugars constitute a class of nutrition called carbohydrates. Many sugars are naturally occurring in our diets, such as glucose, and are necessary for optimal metabolism; others are added to our foods to make them sweeter. Added sugars, often sucrose or high fructose corn syrup, are utilized in beverages such as sodas and juices. If these added sugars go unchecked, metabolic problems such as obesity and diabetes may often occur.
One cube of sugar is equivalent to 4g of glucose. Simple sugars such as those naturally occurring in our fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts are important sources of immediately available energy necessary for our bodies to function optimally. However, even too much of a good thing can be bad. Hence, it is important to have an awareness of how much sugar is in our diet and to keep the BALANCE!
By utilizing various applications, or “apps,” on your phone or computer, some of which are available to you through our website, you will become aware of how to navigate your nutrition so as to keep it optimal. For example, knowing that a cup of blueberries has 4x the sugar content of a cup of raspberries can help improve your natural sugar consumption.
Examples of high sugar content fruits are: mangoes, grapes, and cherries. Of course, you may still enjoy them, but in moderation. Examples of low sugar content fruits are: cantaloupe, papaya, raspberries, and strawberries. Vegetables tend to have lower sugar content and high fiber content which will serve to reduce glucose absorption in the gut. As I aforementioned, it all boils down to maintaining the BALANCE.
Natural sugar substitutes such as Stevia and honey can be used in moderation. Synthetic sugar alcohols like Xylitol/Sorbitol, Splenda, and Aspartamate are alternatives, but they should be used sparingly, as they have been shown in animal models to cause medical concerns at high doses.
In summary, be informed that food, and particularly carbohydrates, are not taboo, or to be completely avoided. We simply need to eat the correct composition of foods, enjoy and savor our meals, keep a healthy, balanced diet with a bit of everything as mentioned above, and remember “we are what we eat.”
As part of preserving a fulfilling, balanced lifestyle, we should continue to maintain favorable micronutrients, such as vitamins, most of which will need increased intake after weight loss surgery, in addition to good hydration with up to 64 oz of water per day and appropriate sessions of cardiovascular exercise to maintain the weight loss. This exercise routine should occur about three times per week for up to 45 mins each time. And finally, low levels of stress, good sleep, and fun and laughter are proven to greatly benefit all of our lives.
Wishing you good health always!
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