Sugar In All The Hidden Places

June 4, 2022

In a recent Dishing Up Nutrition episode, we talked about how and why sugar has a hold on us. Today, we want to cover all the places sugar may show up in the foods around us. Some might be obvious sources of sugar and some might surprise you! Once you know what to look for, you’ll know what to avoid and what to eat instead to reach those health goals and reduce the hold sugar has on you.

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TERESA: Hello, this is Teresa, one of the dietitians at Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Before we start today's podcast, I have some exciting news to share. We have launched a private Facebook group just for you, our Dishing Up Nutrition listeners. Have you ever wished you could ask the hosts a follow up question related to a specific Dishing Up Nutrition episode? Or maybe you've wondered how you could learn more information about a topic that really resonated with you.

Well, now you can. The Dishing Up Nutrition Facebook group is a supportive community where you can ask nutrition or episode specific questions. You can share ideas or just get inspired. And as a member of the group, you will have access to special periodic Dishing Up Nutrition bonus content. To join the conversation and support one another in a shared journey towards better health, we invite you to join this private Facebook group by going to facebook.com/groups/dishingupnutrition. Again, that's facebook.com/groups/dishingupnutrition. We look forward to seeing you in the group. Thanks for listening to dishing up nutrition and enjoy the show.

CAROLYN: Well, good morning, everyone. Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. I'm Carolyn Hudson, and I'm one of your hosts today. I'm a licensed dietitian, nutritionist, and I've been practicing nutrition and dietetics for the past 40 plus years.

TERESA: Good for you.

CAROLYN: So, but I officially retired from actually just seeing clients at Nutritional Weight and Wellness last November. But as you hear, I'm here today

TERESA: And we're so grateful you're here.

CAROLYN: I love doing the radio show and I still do occasional corporate training classes as well. So you might say that I know a thing or two about nutrition and eating real food. In all of our classes, we teach about the danger of excess sugar and where sugar is hiding in processed foods. Our cohost dietitian, Teresa Wagner, also knows a lot about sugar and where it is hiding in our foods.

And recently Teresa helped Nutritional Weight and Wellness conduct a sugar challenge for all of our radio and podcast listeners. Teresa, I understand that you helped many listeners get off sugar. So I'd like you to tell us a little bit about the sugar challenge itself and maybe some of the success stories. You know, I really like the comment one participant made midway through the challenge. She said, “Before day one of the challenge”, and I got to quote this here because it was really cool, “I would eat sugar nonstop. Having two to three Cokes a day, eating, maybe jellybeans throughout the day and endless amounts of sugar for as far back as I can remember.”

Now, keep in mind, this was like on day three of the challenge, then she continues to say, “Since last Monday I have cut out all my Cokes and sugar. This has been huge for me. So I feel so much better. My joints feel like they did 10 years ago and I have much more mental clarity. I can tell a huge difference eating more balanced meals. And I have hardly had any sugar cravings. I never thought I could make such a big shift in my eating, but this challenge has been an absolute game changer.” So Teresa let's hear some more of those.

TERESA: And I it's, it's funny you pick that quote, because I love that one too. Yes, we had a five day “Breaking Up with Sugar Challenge” to help people get back on track. You know, it's been a stressful couple of years and the challenge was set up to help, like I said, give people back on track. It was free to anyone who signed up and close to 500 people.

CAROLYN: Wow. Five hundred people. That is amazing.

TERESA: Yes. And it was a very active group actually. So while maybe not all 500 were involved, there was a lot of activity on that, on that or in that challenge. So, so like I said, there was 500 people that or close to 500 people that took the challenge to kick that sugar habit. And we all know that during the pandemic that sugar sales increased dramatically, as did sales for alcohol.

CAROLYN: Yes. We heard that.

TERESA: And all processed carbs, you know, chips and cereal, pizza, bread, bagels, waffles. If you found yourself grabbing a candy bar or a brownie in the afternoon, you were not alone. Basically, everyone knows those high sugar foods are not good for our waistline. Right? We know that.

CAROLYN: Yeah.

TERESA: We also know that they're not good for our heart health or for our cancer risk or even for our aches and pains. These sugars are very addicting and are hard to give up. And a client of mine who also participated in the challenge told me that this challenge was as hard or harder than when she was quitting smoking.

CAROLYN: Mm-Hmm.

TERESA: Amazing.

CAROLYN: Yeah. And I, I don't know if you caught the show a few weeks ago when Nell and I were on.

TERESA: I did.

CAROLYN: We were talking about how sugar and alcohol addiction are very similar.

TERESA: Yeah.

CAROLYN: So you know, those people who struggle with alcohol addiction say it's really, really hard. Well, sugar is just as hard.

TERESA: Yeah. It's very hard. It's very difficult. So we offered this “Breaking Up with Sugar” challenge to help everyone refocus. Perhaps you're no longer grabbing that candy bar, but maybe you're resorting to getting your sugar fix from chips and crackers, cereal, or even toast.

CAROLYN: You know, or any of those snack foods. Right?

TERESA: Yeah. Yeah.

CAROLYN: That snack aisle is like calling people.

TERESA: Yeah. I mean, I have people tell me that they're like, they'll make piece after piece of toast, you know, where it's, you know, just buttered toast or buttered with cinnamon and sugar or jam. And that it's just, well, why can't we stop with, with one?

CAROLYN: Yeah.

TERESA: And it's that sugar connection. And just even speaking of, of toast. One of, one of another, one of the participants in the challenge said, and this is a quote as well: “Since the sugar, okay, let me, let me rephrase that. This is her quote: “Since the sugar challenge, I have been pretty successful in not eating bread, but after just a few days of no toast for breakfast, along with my veggies, eggs and bacon, I thought, you know, a piece of toast instead of my usual half cup of berries might just hit the spot. Especially since the bread I was eating was, you know, a healthy bread. It was a sprouted whole wheat bread.

She, she goes on to say, “I could only eat two bites because I found it too sweet. What a revelation. I haven't had any since.” So yeah. You wouldn't think, I mean, I, and even when I read it, I was surprised because toast does not strike me as a sweet.

CAROLYN: As sweet. Right.

TERESA: Mm-Hmm.

CAROLYN: I mean, we often hear that about someone who's really cut back on their sugar intake and then they have a cookie or a cupcake or a piece of cake or something like that. And they say, oh, it was just like way too sweet.

TERESA: Mm-Hmm.

CAROLYN: You know, but just plain bread; don't often hear that. So that's very cool.

TERESA: So it's very interesting. I'm glad she had that experience just to share with us, you know?

CAROLYN: Yeah. That's very cool. So today we want to help you realize that there is sugar in many hidden foods that may not contain added sugar. Some of them do contain added sugar, but even when they don't have that added sugar, they break down into glucose, okay, or sugar, sugar in your body. So processed carbs, you know, anything processed are the main source of hidden sugars. For example, like you were talking about, that slice of bread has about 24 grams of carbohydrates. Now those 24 grams of carbohydrates are going to include just the regular carbohydrates that come from the flour.

TERESA: Yeah. The wheat.

CAROLYN: The wheat. Okay. But there are also going to be some added sugars that you're not going to be able to tell from that label on the, on the nutrient label. You got to go to the ingredient label.

TERESA: Yes.

Carbohydrates break down into sugar in the body

 

CAROLYN: And then if you see sugar there, that's added sugar, but it's hard to tell exactly, you know, where those carbohydrates are coming from. But the fact is that 24 grams of carbohydrates breaks down to glucose, whether it's naturally occurring carbohydrate or that added sugar carbohydrate. So you really just need to look at that total grams of carbohydrate, right?

TERESA: Mm-Hmm.

CAROLYN: And that 24 grams of carbohydrate breaks down to six teaspoons of sugar; six teaspoons of sugar. So a sandwich with two slices of bread, that's going to be 12, 12 teaspoons of sugar. And that six-inch sub, oh my gosh, that contains 25 grams or nine teaspoons of sugar. That's not even counting the chips that you might add, the soda, or maybe even that cookie that they always try to tempt you with.

TERESA: Right at checkout, right?

CAROLYN: Mm-hmm.

TERESA: You know, a fun teaching activity to do with kids is to, or adults actually is to show them the number of carbs on the box of frozen pizza, and then divide that number by four to get the teaspoons of sugar, then measure out that, that I'm amount of sugar and put it in a jar and have them look at it. So one slice of pizza, if it's at rising crust kind, you know, a thicker crust, 39 grams of carbs. If they ate two pieces of that pizza, that's almost 20 teaspoons of sugar.

CAROLYN: Oh my gosh. That's a lot of sugar.

TERESA: It sure is.

CAROLYN: And sugar causes inflammation. So I have a little bit of a story about inflammation when we come back from our first break. So you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Summer is suddenly, finally upon us. And that means pulling out those summer clothes or those bathing suits. And if you're like most people, the pandemic has resulted in needing to lose a little bit of weight to be comfortable in that bathing suit or your summer clothes. The Nutrition for Weight Loss series in person and virtual is starting the week of June 6th. After the break, Teresa is going to share some more of those details with you and we'll be right back.

Nutrition 4 Weight Loss program

BREAK

TERESA: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. As Carolyn mentioned before break, the in-person Nutrition for Weight Loss classes start the week of June 6th. We will have class series starting in Wayzata, St. Paul, Woodbury, North Oaks, Eagan and Maple Grove.

CAROLYN: Wow. That's almost all of our locations, right?

TERESA: It's all of them. Yeah, I think so. The Zoom class, unfortunately, or fortunately I should say, is closed currently because we've had it filled.

CAROLYN: Cool.

TERESA: But if you are interested in taking Nutrition for Weight Loss via Zoom, we will be offering classes in the future. So we'll keep you posted on that. The Nutrition for Weight Loss class series includes two, one-hour appointments with the nutritionist of your choice. And that comes with any format of the class, whether it's Zoom, online or, or in person. So I encourage you to sign up. Make the commitment to yourself that this summer you are going to do something for yourself.

CAROLYN: Yeah. That's, that's really important. And I, I think most of our clients, well, I would say a hundred percent of our clients really love the series, but also love that fact that they get those two, one-hour sessions one on one with a nutritionist.

TERESA: Yes. So, so we can tailor it, tailor the class.

CAROLYN: Yeah. And that's what it's all about because a class is like general information. We can do a little bit of specifics here and there, but where you're really going to hit, you know, your target is with that nutritionist.

TERESA: Yes.

Sugar causes inflammation in the body

 

CAROLYN: So, so before the break, Teresa was talking about sugar and how it can cause problems in our body, and sugar basically causes inflammation because it help, it, it retains water in your body a lot of times. Right?

TERESA: Yeah.

CAROLYN: And that causes some kind of swelling or irritation. And for me, when I had too much sugar before I had, I had a hip replacement a couple years ago, I had a lot of pain. And the way I controlled that pain is by really controlling the amount of carbs that I ate at any given time. So, and pizza was one of those that really flared up my hip. It was fine that night.

TERESA: Yeah.

CAROLYN: But the next day, oh my goodness. And actually it would take a couple days for it to calm down.

TERESA: Oh.

CAROLYN: So inflammation that, or the sugar, the inflammation that sugar causes can be a real problem for a lot of people. And it just depends on where that weakness is in your body. Right?

TERESA: Mm-hmm.

CAROLYN: So all of us have weak points in our body. And that's where it's going to go.

TERESA: Yes.

CAROLYN: It knows that target.

TERESA: Yes, it does.

CAROLYN: I don't know how it does, but it does.

TERESA: And you know, what's interesting about that is, Carolyn, because you eat very well most of the time.

CAROLYN: Yeah.

TERESA: You know, none of us claim to be perfect.

CAROLYN: Yeah. We're human.

TERESA: Right. So you can identify that when you have that particular food, that that's where the pain came from, where I think a lot of times people are living in chronic pain because they're because of a, a consistent, you know…

CAROLYN: How true that is. Yeah.

TERESA: So you can't identify, the pain just seems like it is constant, and there's nothing you can do about it. But perhaps if we would change some things in our diet, we could start to pinpoint what's causing that pain.

CAROLYN: Exactly. Exactly. So that's why you need to talk to a nutritionist. All right. So, you know, I really like your teaching trick with your kids. And we often do that. That was the like showing the actual sugar in the, in a container of the number of carbs. And we often do that in our Nutrition for Weight Loss classes. So people can see the actual amount of sugar in that processed carbs. Because a lot of times when we say sugar, people are just thinking like table sugar. Right?

TERESA: Mm-hmm.

What are macronutrients and micronutrients?

 

CAROLYN: But they have to remember that all carbs turn into sugar in your body. So I want to do a little more educating about nutrition. You know, there are three macronutrients, right? There, it's carbohydrates, protein and fat, and then there are little micronutrients. And those all come from the macronutrients.

So all of our vitamins and minerals, those things are our micronutrients. So carbohydrates are a macronutrient. Some are good carbs, like vegetable carbs. I would say those are the best carbs, rather than just good, best carbs. And some are not so good carbs. I'm not going to call them bad because you know, all of us have carbs, right? So, but the not so good ones are like chips or cereal or some of those real snack foods that are just pure carbs.

Protein of course, is another macronutrient. And we like protein sources best from grass fed animals, wild caught fish, organic eggs. Maybe some poorer choices would be something like a soy burger or all those nitrate filled bacons or sausage or lunch meats. And you have to really watch a little bit with some of those farm raised fish.

TERESA: Yes. Yeah. And the third of the three macronutrients is fat. And we have certainly talked about good fats and fats to avoid on Dishing Up Nutrition. But just as a recap, butter is good.

CAROLYN: Butter is very good.

TERESA: We tell you to avoid soybean oil. Avocado oil is good and vegetable and margarine are not so good. Because of the expense of using good fats though, many restaurants and all fast food places use cheap damaged fats in both their cooking and in, in things that they're not cooking necessarily like ice cream or, or buns, chips, muffins. To stay clear of these fats. We have to cook our own foods or really read labels on the foods that we're buying.

CAROLYN: Mm-Hmm.

TERESA: Refined damaged fats have been shown to slow down our metabolism and that leads to weight gain.

CAROLYN: And, you know, I think you can still go to a restaurant. You know, we don't want to totally, you know, say you can't ever go to a restaurant. You have to cook all your own food. And maybe there are some people out there that do have to go to that extreme. But personally, after this pandemic.

TERESA: Yeah, we got to get out there.

CAROLYN: I got to get out. So I just choose wisely.

TERESA: Right.

CAROLYN: You know, I'll, I'll have a piece of meat. So let's say I have a steak. I mean, that's a, that's a fine piece of meat, right? Four, five ounces. If it's more than that, I might take some of it home.

TERESA: Yeah.

CAROLYN: You know, I'm going to have probably a salad with that or a hot vegetable. I'll ask for, you know, butter on the side. I might have a baked potato. And if it's too big, I might cut that in half and put that in a container to take home. But you can do it. You just have to choose wisely.

TERESA: Yes. Mm-hmm.

CAROLYN: So, and most restaurants are going to give you more carbs, cause they're cheap. So, so just don't order the French fries, you know? I mean, that's a pretty easy thing not to do. You know?

TERESA: Yeah. Yeah. Anything fried is going to have those, those oils.

CAROLYN: Mm-Hmm. And they're just going to be too many carbs if you're doing those French fries.

TERESA: Sure, sure. Yep.

CAROLYN: So good carbs, the best carbs come from vegetables and are filled with those what I said before, the micronutrients, the vitamins, the minerals. They're going to keep you healthy. So if you eat one or two cups of vegetables at every meal, that will be really good for your body. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you have listened to one or more of our podcasts, you either liked it or it helps you conquer a health problem. So let us know. Give us a review for each podcast. Hours and hours of research go into the preparation of this. We hope we are making your life and health better. Our mission is to encourage everyone to eat real food for better health. And we'll be right back.

BREAK

TERESA: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. So many clients tell me, “I have tried all the weight loss programs and even several times. And I lose a little weight. And then I gain it back because I go back to my habits.” We think that the Nutrition for Weight Loss series is different because we encourage you to focus on your health and not on your weight. Getting healthy is a process. You don't run a marathon by getting off the couch and going and running 26.2 miles. You practice. First it may be just that mile, then maybe three, and then maybe more. It is the same way to learn and practice a real food plan. It takes commitment and planning and support and practice. And one question that we get too that I just want to, to mention is no, we don't have weigh-ins at our class.

CAROLYN: No.

TERESA: We don't require you to say your weight in front of people. But, but during the class, we'll ask if, if people are losing weight, but we don't require you to share. And usually the people who are losing weight are happy to share that information. But we're never putting people on the spot. We don't use shame to try to motivate people. That is not, that is not our thing. So if that was a question of yours, if we do weigh ins, no, that is not what we do. If you are interested in taking these classes, call us at (651) 699-3438. And we can answer any questions that you may have about this and get you signed up. And after the pandemic, we are all in the process of getting healthy again. So practice makes perfect. And this class is perfect for that.

Nutrition 4 Weight Loss program

The best carbs are vegetables

 

CAROLYN: Yeah, exactly. So before we went to break, Teresa, we were talking about the best carbs are vegetable carbs.

TERESA: So yeah, so you, yes. And we know that and most people know that, right? You don't need a degree in dietetic to know that.

CAROLYN: I don’t know that most people know that.

TERESA: True. I guess what I was thinking is that vegetables are good.

CAROLYN: They know that vegetables are good, but they don't know that they're carbs.

TERESA: Right. Exactly. Yes. I've actually, I've heard that like broccoli is a carb. Because we're so conditioned to think that carbs are bad or just kind of how, how…

CAROLYN: Society has deemed carbs, right?

What are some high sugar, low-quality carb foods?

 

TERESA: Yes, exactly. Yes. Thank you for clarifying that. There are also some carbs though, like what people are assuming we're talking about when we're talking about carbs, that aren't so good. You know, they may be filled with flour, which when you're eating flour based foods, those foods quickly break down into glucose or sugar in your body, and they're best to, you know, eat more sparingly. So most baked goods, such as muffins and bread, cookies, bagels, even wraps, they're pretty high in sugar when they, when we digest them. Other carbs that can put stress on our body because of how quickly they digest are grain type carbs, such as white rice, pasta, breakfast cereals, chip, cereal bars, maybe even some of those energy bars.

CAROLYN: Yeah. We have to be careful with some of those, right?

TERESA: Yeah. Protein bars. If you have gout, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cancer, heart disease, or high cholesterol, perhaps it's time to eliminate some of these foods. For many who want to lose weight, they also find that just by switching from pasta to vegetables, they can lose maybe even two pounds a month.

Processed carbs break down into sugar

 

CAROLYN: So when we eat these processed carbs, your body breaks down those carbs into glucose or sugar. I think I've said that already before, but that's a good review. So if you are a diabetic or a prediabetic, it's best to avoid things like breakfast cereal, because something as simple as a couple cups of corn flakes contains 48 grams of carbohydrates. So that's going to break down to 12 teaspoons of sugar, even before you're adding maybe some more table sugar to that.

TERESA: Yeah. We maybe a sprinkle of sugar on those.

CAROLYN: Right. Or milk because milk has naturally occurring lactose, which is a sugar, right, to your cereal. And when we talk about hidden sugar in foods, we are really talking about, again, the amount, the total amount of carbs in that serving. So if you sit down to breakfast and have those two cups of corn flakes, a glass of juice, a piece of toast, you have just eaten 22 teaspoons of hidden sugar.

TERESA: Yeah.

CAROLYN: 22 teaspoons.

TERESA: And it's hidden because we wouldn't think of it like having dessert where we know it's more sugar.

CAROLYN: Right. We know that. Or adding, you know, that table sugar. We think of that, but we don't think of the corn flakes or the orange juice or, you know, even that milk, you know, we don't think about that. So we could call that kind of a weight gaining breakfast, and it's also going to, you know, really raise your cholesterol numbers. Like it's going to raise your LDL and your triglycerides and actually lower that good cholesterol, the HDL.

TERESA: Yeah.

CAROLYN: So that's really not good. And it's really not good for your A1C or if you're prediabetic or diabetic.

TERESA: Yeah. Your blood sugar numbers.

CAROLYN: Yeah. Yeah. Blood sugar.

TERESA: Well, and maybe you're not a cereal person, but maybe, you know, you need something a little faster and you grab a, a bagel or a muffin. How much hidden sugar do you think is in a bagel? Well, most bagels contain about 48 grams of carbs. And those break down into sugar in your body. And that's about 12 teaspoons of hidden sugar, which reminds me of another comment from the challenge. During the challenge, our participant’s workplace had bagels delivered to, you know, I mean, that's a nice thing to do, right, is give bagels to…

CAROLYN: Oh yeah. One of mine used to do it every Friday.

TERESA: Yep. Yep. So in an effort to stay on course, this participant looked up how many carbs were in her favorite bagel, took that number divided by four and imagined herself eating that many teaspoons. Her favorite bagel, the kind with the cinnamon and sugar on it, was about 20 teaspoons of sugar. So picturing herself eating 20 teaspoons of table sugar stopped her from having that bagel.

CAROLYN: Wow. What a good visual.

How does sugar affect mental health?

 

TERESA: Yeah and it kept her, kept her on, on, in the challenge successfully. So maybe you're thinking, well, I don't have bagels. Maybe a low-fat muffin is better. Well that low fat muffin, it could have 75 grams of carbs or 18 and a half teaspoons of sugar. We know that that much sugar can lead to weight gain, but maybe we don't realize how that can affect our mental health. How does sugar affect depression? After looking at several research studies, the concerning statement was the more sugar you eat, the more likely you are to have depression.

CAROLYN: So I think it's really important here, Teresa, to share the results from about like, I think it was at least 10 previously published studies with over 37,000 people with depression. And they found that if a person drank two cans of soda a day with 25 teaspoons of sugar, the risk for depression increased by 25%. That's a huge number. Now, given the mental health crisis in this country, I think we should all be really taking note of that.

TERESA: And all the anxiety in our teenagers.

CAROLYN: Oh yeah, yeah. And how, I mean with the state of everything going on.

TERESA: Oh yes.

CAROLYN: You know, it, it is going to raise that anxiety. So if those people limited their sugar to just one can of soda a day, the risk factor was only 5%. Even five percent's too much though. Right?

TERESA: Right.

CAROLYN: I mean, we don't want to raise that. The more sugar consumed the greater the risk for depression. So each can of soda can contains about 12 and a half teaspoons of hidden sugar. And one of our clients basically stopped drinking soda and really noticed a significant improvement in his moods. And, and of course he did lose a little bit of weight, but the more important piece there, again, let's focus on the health, was the reduced depression.

TERESA: Health first; weight loss follows.

CAROLYN: Yes. Yeah. All the time.

TERESA: Yep. You may have actually noticed that when you drink a soda, you may experience more low moods and depression. And to me, this is very interesting when this is noticed, because so many of my clients say that they're emotional eaters. When they feel sad or down or something bad happens to them, they reach for sugar to feel better. So maybe this is a chicken or egg kind of situation. Did the depression come first? Or was it the sugar? To understand why sugar can cause depression, we need to understand the biochemistry of the brain. The brain uses glucose or sugar. You know, they're the same thing; from our food to function. That's its primary source of energy. Over 24 hours, the brain needs only about 62 grams of glucose or 15 teaspoons of sugar. Now keep in mind when I'm saying sugar, I'm talking about the sugar we get from any carbohydrate.

CAROLYN: Right. Not just, not just the added sugar.

TERESA: Right. So we now know that carbs, whether they're from fruit, vegetables, bread, or brownies, all carbs break down into sugar in digestion. You can easily get the amount your brain requires from eating three to four meals of real food containing a couple of cups of vegetables. The problem occurs when you eat processed carbs with hidden sugar and the brain is flooded with too much sugar or glucose. Flooding your brain with sugar can lead to inflammation in the brain, which can result in depression.

CAROLYN: So I want to review again how we convert that number of carbs on a label into the teaspoons of sugar. So remember I, I said two cups of corn flakes equals 20 or 48 grams of carbs. That's going to turn into 12 teaspoons of sugar even before you add that sugar or milk. So an easy math equation is to apply, to apply is for every four grams of carb, that's going to break down into one teaspoon of sugar in your body. So often these high carb, high sugar processed foods, such as bread, pasta, bagels, don't taste sweet, but your blood sugar responds to the foods as though it was sugar. And also your brain responds to it. Because it's sugar and that's really, you know what our brain needs for its functioning. So too much sugar, too many carbs increases your risk for depression, but also diabetes, heart disease, cancer, all those other things you said. And really, if you think about it, if, if sugar increases inflammation, inflammation is the base cause of almost every single disease.

TERESA: Right.

CAROLYN: Right?

TERESA: Mm-Hmm.

CAROLYN: So that makes it really difficult to you know, really, or, well, maybe it's not difficult. If you can make that connection between the carbs and your health state and whatever's going on, wherever that inflammation is in your body, and maybe that will give you the incentive to change that dynamic, your dynamic with sugar, right?

TERESA: Yes. Yeah.

CAROLYN: And hopefully keep you going strong and reduce the amount of carbs that you're having in your, in your diet.

TERESA: Yeah. Well, and I think we should just reiterate too, that we're not saying that all carbs are bad and people should avoid carbs.

CAROLYN: Right.

TERESA: We're just saying that, that too much carbohydrate and especially too much processed carbohydrate, that those types of carbohydrates break down quickly into sugar, which can have lasting effects.

CAROLYN: Right. Exactly. So it's time for our third break here. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you were out of town last Saturday and missed the show that was titled Everyday Foods for Natural Detox, I encourage you to listen to the podcast and order the packet of free recipes that Marianne put together. She even has a recipe for roasted beets. I love roasted beets. So when is the last time you roasted beets? They are delicious and very healthy. And we’ll be right back.

BREAK

TERESA: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. As we all know for many people, the pandemic brought on weight gain. But it also brought on sleep problems. And I think like Carolyn, we were talking about earlier, you know, the current situation state of life right now, there's so much stress. There's so much going on. There's so much to think about that keeps us up at night. So with this time there's been more sleep problems that we've been dealing with. Well, for the month of June, we have our Nutrikey sleep supplements on sale for 15% off. This includes all of our Nutrikey magnesium supplements, which I think we have several of. And it also includes 5-HTP and L-Theanine. If your sleep has been suffering now is a great time to stock up on sleep supplements all throughout the month of June.

CAROLYN: Well, I don't know by you, but I can't survive without my magnesium glycinate.

TERESA: I know.

CAROLYN: I take it every night.

TERESA: I do too. And if I travel, that is one thing that is a mandatory pack.

CAROLYN: Oh yeah, absolutely.

TERESA: Yep. Well, before a break, we were talking about carbohydrates, and I just want to reiterate that for our health, we don't want to eliminate all carbohydrates. My intention is to never make people think that carbs are bad. I just want to educate people on the different types of carbohydrates and their effect on, in your body.

CAROLYN: Right.

TERESA: So, and researchers have evaluated the types of carbs found, excuse me. And they found in this research that vegetable carbs are quality carbs, and do not raise blood sugar too high. There are a few vegetable carbs that it's best to limit the portion size because they contain higher levels of carbohydrates. The starchy vegetables, such as white potatoes, corn, carrots, and peas, these types that we recommend keeping it to more like a half a cup per meal, but this doesn't make them bad. Sometimes, there's that idea that if you're limiting it, that makes them bad. No, it's not bad. It just means that we don't need as much of them to reach our nutrient needs.

CAROLYN: Yeah. And so if you go beyond that half a cup that might then trigger that inflammation that's going on in your body.

TERESA: Yeah. Raise your blood sugar; create the inflammation.

CAROLYN: And, and everyone's a little different. Right? So we have to remember that. So some, maybe somebody can go a little bit beyond that, but generally speaking, a half a cup of those starchy veg carbs is a good guideline.

TERESA: Yes.

CAROLYN: Right?

TERESA: Mm-Hmm.

CAROLYN: So recently, you know, I had a dinner at a local restaurant. Yes. I go out to eat. I'm human. I love my restaurants. But when the plate of food arrived, you know, I thought this is perfectly balanced. Of course, I, I looked at the menu and…

TERESA: Right. You were intentional about it.

CAROLYN: I was intentional. And if I didn't know the restaurant, I would've looked online at their menu before I went.

TERESA: Yep.

CAROLYN: You know, so I got meatloaf. There's about four ounces of that. I got about a cup of broccoli. And then I got a dollop, maybe about a half a cup of a mashed sweet potato. So it wasn't that whole big sweet potato that you can often see or sweet potato fries. Right? I got a little butter on the side. I had a lovely green salad, you know, and water to drink. Sometimes I'll order like a club soda or sparkling water and ask them to put it in a wine glass.

TERESA: Oh yeah.

CAROLYN: Yeah. You know, I feel a little more like I'm with the crowd that's drinking the wine, you know, but there was no hidden sugar in my food. But my friend, guess what she had? She had one of the appetizers and that's of course the tortilla chips and the guacamole. Well that guacamole and the salsa are going to be okay, but the tortilla chips, those are full of those hidden sugars. Just one ounce of tortilla chips contains about 17 grams of carbs. But who's going to stop at one ounce. Right?

TERESA: I'm not, I know that.

CAROLYN: Perhaps two ounces, then that's going to be eight and a half teaspoons of sugar. So, you know, again, remember the restaurants are going to load up on the carbs. So they're going to give you that basket of tortilla chips.

TERESA: And let's be honest. We stop when the basket is empty.

CAROLYN: Exactly. Exactly. You are right on there, Teresa. Or that plate of French fries is gone, right?

Refined fats and high sugar foods are damaging for the brain

 

TERESA: Yes. Mm-Hmm. Right. And you know, like I said, we're just, we're just trying to help understand that high carb diets and processed foods contain so much of those hidden sugars that is consumed daily. What are some of the health concerns for eating too many processed carbs and sugar? Well, this type of diet called the Western diet or the standard American diet, which is usually high in refined, damaged fats and high in sugar containing foods, high carbohydrate processed foods, can alter the brain pathways that are necessary for learning or memory or good moods, like we were talking about before.

Unhealthy fats and too many processed carb foods affect the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex. These are areas of your brain. Researchers have found that diets high in unhealthy fats, like refined oils and sugar, can actually damage the hippocampus. Sugar actually shrinks the hippocampus part of the brain leading to memory problems.

CAROLYN: Wow. Wow. I think that's really important. And the other piece of that, you know, the, the damaged fats, so the reason that's so bad or those refined oils is our brain is made up of fat and water.

TERESA: Fat and water. Yeah.

CAROLYN: Fat and water. So we want to give our brain healthy fats. If we're not giving our brain healthy fats, we are probably doing some sort of damage.

TERESA: Yes.

CAROLYN: You know, I wish we knew a lot more about that or, or everyone knew a lot more about that.

TERESA: Right.

CAROLYN: But you know, this is, this is why we're here people.

TERESA: Yes.

CAROLYN: We want you to listen to us. So, but you know, it really doesn't stop there. The hippocampus is responsible for regulating how much food we eat.

TERESA: Isn't that interesting.

CAROLYN: Yeah. Think about that.

TERESA: How many people think to themselves, if only I would just stop with a smaller portion. I'm eating okay. But I'm just eating too much. Well, maybe…

CAROLYN: So maybe they've been eating damaged fats, which would be totally understandable. Because we've been led to believe that all these refined oils.

TERESA: Are healthy.

CAROLYN: Are healthy; are good for us, you know, but damage to the hippocampus from sugar can make that portion control very difficult. Which what, in turn, that's going to lead to, you're going to be overeating and you're going to create a cycle that can be very hard to break. So often people are going to need that weekly support and accountability. So again, people it's not about willpower.

TERESA: No.

CAROLYN: It's about changing your basically your body chemistry, brain chemistry, blood chemistry, all of that. So it takes a lot more than willpower to break this cycle. It takes a time of refeeding, retraining, restoring that hippocampus. And you can do it. People think, oh no, I damaged it all. Now I can't do anything about it. No, you, you can do it. There is so much more to weight loss management than just calories in and calories out.

TERESA: Right. Absolutely. And you know, from the breaking up with sugar challenge, so many people commented on how surprised they were at how many foods sugar is hiding in; things we don't even think of as foods that could contain sugar, like salted plain peanuts, pickles, salad dressings, condiments like barbecue sauce and ketchup, foods like flavored cream cheese or peanut butter. Sugar is everywhere. Three quarters of the foods at the grocery store contain added sugar. That's just at the grocery store. Sugar infiltrates our lives at every turn: celebrations, at work, at sporting events, at church. It's given as gifts. It really seems that you can't go anywhere without it showing up. By doing this challenge… And you can do this at home now. So it's not like you missed out.

CAROLYN: Right.

TERESA: You can do this at home. Just start by reading labels. It puts a spotlight on how much we are actually eating. Someone commented on how in the past she literally thought she would die if she didn't have something sugary ASAP.

CAROLYN: I've heard that before.

TERESA: But she was able to push through. I mean, it was hard and there's no doubt it's hard; like there is a few days that are kind of difficult, but she was able to push through and she's now without cravings.

CAROLYN: Wow.

TERESA: So think about that.

TERESA: Pushing through for like give yourself 3, 4, 5 days, and then you can be craving free. I mean, freedom, right? So many people were surprised on how quickly they felt better. Sugar addiction is real. And for some it's important that we approach it like it's an addiction.

CAROLYN: Yeah. So, you know, there are not bad, bad carbohydrate's, just not so good ones out there. So be careful. Our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you for joining us today. And we'll see you next week.

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