Sorting a Sugar Issue..

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 20, 2010 12:44 PM GMT
    I've been using MyFitnessPal for the last month to track my diet, and by and large it's all pretty good. Adequate protein, not too much fat, good spread of the other nutrients, and my caloric intake is about where it needs to be.

    I've also been consciously trying to break my food intake down into more frequent, smaller meals, and it's definitely upped my metabolism - now I'm hungry every couple of hours or so.

    The big weakness I see in all this is that I regularly exceed my target on sugar, and I know *that* won't be helping my crusade to be a ball of lean muscle.

    Thing is, I can't quite work out *where* that sugar is coming from, and therefore what to do about it.

    I don't eat junk food, take away, or highly processed foods. I don't drink soda, I very rarely drink alcohol and I don't even put sugar in my coffee or tea. I might have a single scoop of icecream or a couple of squares of 70% dark chocolate maybe a couple of times a week maximum - ironically the days I do have these splurges are not necessarily the ones where I go over on my sugar. So WHERE is it sneaking in?

    I'm keen for advice about all the places sugar hides that clearly I'm not aware of, and how to substitute/avoid. If it helps, I don't mind providing a run down of whats in the food diary..
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 20, 2010 6:56 PM GMT
    I have a hunch it's in what you're drinking; but I could be wrong.
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    Sep 20, 2010 9:39 PM GMT
    I'm not familiar with MyFitnessPal. I googled it and took a quick look. Two thoughts:

    First, read your food labels and look out for high fructose corn syrup, especially if it's listed as the 1st or 2nd ingredient. It's the absolute worst kind of sugar sweetener--can trick your body into obesity, diabetes, etc. This stuff is in almost every manufactured food--spaghetti sauce, ketchup, yogurt, bottled juice, etc. Soft drink manufacturers use tons of it. The best way to avoid it is to eat homemade. For many manufactured foods, you can find at least one brand that is made without any high fructose corn syrup. (e.g., In the U.S., Hunts ketchup and Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail proudly proclaim that they are made without it). MyFitnessPal may recognize high fructose corn syrup for what it is and give it extra weighting as far as counting sugar.

    Second, MyFitnessPal may weight sugar based on the glycemic index of any given food. Google that term. Basically glycemic index takes into account how easily your body can turn a given food source, such as a potato, into sugar (by breaking down the starch). White potatoes have a very high glycemic index, but sweet potatoes (yams) are just the opposite. The same is true for a slice of white bread vs. a slice of dark rye bread. If you google the glycemic index of the foods that you are eating, you will see one very important way that sugar is sneaking into the equation.

    Hope this helps.
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    Sep 20, 2010 9:41 PM GMT
    If you eat a lot of fruits that contains an awful amount of sugar, but don't stop eating the fruit its good for you, tropical fruits are the highest in sugar things like pineapple also contain good amounts of fiber which help slow down the sugar entry into the blood stream.

    Do you drink water when you aren't having tea or coffee or something else?

    You might not had a lot of takeout and such but what processed foods do you eat? Some yogurts have a huge amount of sugar in them but you cant tell because its hiding the revolting flavor and doesnt seem ultra sweet.
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    Sep 20, 2010 9:49 PM GMT
    Perhaps it is an issue of basic definitions.

    There is sugar, as in refined sweetener from the sugar cane plant, corn syrup, honey and the like. And then there is sugar as in simple carbohydrates where breads and fruits are packed with. So, while you be indulging on a little piece of dark chocolate a few times a week (and it would be a miserable existence if you didn't) you may be getting the bulk of your sugar from that mango, the pasta, and the oatmeal. Even if they are nutritious, whole-grain carbs they still have a ton of sugar.
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    Sep 21, 2010 8:13 AM GMT
    Hmm. Ok.

    Paulflexes: Don't think it's my fluid intake, I only drink coffee (espresso with a dash of millk), green tea, water. I have a berocca once a day and maybe a couple of beers or a whiskies (straight) once a week, tops? There was one day I went over my sugar limit because I had a lemon lime and bitters, but that I expected.


    The rest of you..

    Good point re how the App calculates 'sugar' . . . I don't actually know the answer to that. Sugar is listed alongside fibre under total carbs, and within my suggested 1940 calories/day target, it thinks I should be having 39g of sugar?

    Looking back through my diary again after reading your reponses, it seems that the days I go over are days when there has been a fair bit of fruit and/or grains (like rice, semolina or oatmeal porridge, etc)..
    On the one hand I know they're nutritious, but if 'excess sugar' seems to be my dietary weak spot, I wonder what I should be doing about that..

    (And I'll most definitely go read up on/keep an eye out for 'high fructose corn syrup' and glycemic indices - thanks for those tips.)

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    Sep 21, 2010 4:17 PM GMT
    r_evolutionary saidHmm. Ok.

    Paulflexes: Don't think it's my fluid intake, I only drink coffee (espresso with a dash of millk), green tea, water.
    If you drink green tea from a bottle, check the label.
    Many are LOADED with sugar.
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    Sep 21, 2010 4:31 PM GMT
    You'll want to reference The USDA SR22 food database. We have it on metroplexfitness.net, or you can go get it, for free, from the USDA. It will give you better break down.

    When you eat small meals, often, you do activate your metabolism to a degree, but, even more so, you manage your insulin response more appropriately. Many folks who are fat are fat not just because they are inactive, or perhaps eat too much, but also because they fail to understand, and research, the effects of insulin.

    Loosely bonded carbon chains such as "fast" sugars drive your insulin up. Insulin shuttles nutrients into your cells. While insulin IS necessary, too much can mean being a lard ass. Folks who drive their insulin up via large meals, with simple sugars, and then eat, infrequently, turn their bodies into fat storing machines. You NEED some sugar to drive your insulin response, and appetite. Just yesterday I spoke to my buddy who is doing Nationals in bodybuilding in a month. He's eating white rice because that way he gets hungry, and his muscles stay full. White rice is fairly fast, but, of course, not like some other sugars. Sugar, starch, alcohol, and everywhere in between are carbon chains, basically. Having an understanding of how fast they break down is important. Too much sugar, too often, with too many calories, along with inactivity (VERY IMPORTANT) leads to insulin insensitivity and....TYPE 2 diabetes (100% preventable). Being ACTIVE completely changes a several things: 1. Your glucose utilization (especially weight lifting, and HIIT), 2. your insulin sensitivity, 3. Your metabolic rate. Of course, having more muscle ALWAYS means you burn more calories at rest, so having muscle makes it easier to stay lean, and fit, and to have good insulin sensitivity. Only muscle BURNS calories at rest. Restricting calories is a plan for failure, and causes feast famine syndrome which turns your body into a fat storage machine. You have to eat; you have to be active; you should lift weights.
    In the U.S. it's real hard to keep sugar down.

    One other other thing: insulin response trails blood sugar in a delayed fashion. That's why if you eat a candy bar, or slam some coffee, you later crash. Your insulin drives your blood sugar down and keeps driving it down for a while longer than it needs to. That's why fat asses binge (part of the reason, certainly not all of it) is because they ARE hungry because of a high insulin response which then caused their blood sugar to plummet. coffee can drive your blood sugar down, too, as does alcohol. Small meals often is the best way to properly manage blood sugar, encourage good eating, and keep insulin levels at reasonable levels (instead of bouncing insulin levels from high to low in deep peaks and valleys).
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Sep 21, 2010 4:37 PM GMT
    Yes, look closely at the nutrition labels. Carbs will be broken down into sugars and fiber.

    My diet would like me to have 30 grams of fiber daily. That is hard to do.

    Also, look up the carb content of food. Google same. You may be surprised to find that things like milk and peanut butter have goodly amounts of carbs. the fiber helps to move the carbs on through your sysstem, so that is why brown rice, whole wheat bread and bran are desirable. My dietician also says to avoid fruit juices because of the concentrated sugars in them. Better to eat whole fruit because of the fiber content.

    The comment about HFCS is right on. The stuff has gotten so much bad press that the industry is now trying to change its name to corn sugar to make it seem less harmful. Avoid it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 21, 2010 4:41 PM GMT
    Actually carbs are sugar and starches.
    [url]
    http://www.metroplexfitness.net/food_database/display_food_item?NDB_No=07032[/url]
    water 60.30 g 60.30 g
    Energy 241.39 kcal 241.39 kcal
    Protein 13.60 g 13.60 g
    Total lipid (fat) 18.70 g 18.70 g
    Ash 3.40 g 3.40 g
    Carbohydrate, by difference 4.00 g 4.00 g
    Fiber, total dietary 0.00 g 0.00 g
    Sugars, total 0.00 g 0.00 g
    Calcium, Ca 58.00 mg 58.00 mg
    Iron, Fe 0.91 mg 0.91 mg
    Magnesium, Mg 16.00 mg 16.00 mg
    Phosphorus, P 253.00 mg 253.00 mg
    Potassium, K 294.00 mg 294.00 mg
    Sodium, Na 1080.00 mg 1080.00 mg
    Zinc, Zn 2.00 mg 2.00 mg
    Copper, Cu 0.08 mg 0.08 mg
    Selenium, Se 34.60 mcg 34.60 mcg
    Fluoride, F 36.30 mcg 36.30 mcg
    Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 0.00 mg 0.00 mg
    Thiamin 0.60 mg 0.60 mg
    Riboflavin 0.19 mg 0.19 mg
    Niacin 3.45 mg 3.45 mg
    Pantothenic acid 0.52 mg 0.52 mg
    Vitamin B-6 0.26 mg 0.26 mg
    Folate, total 3.00 mcg 3.00 mcg
    Folic acid 0.00 mcg 0.00 mcg
    Folate, food 3.00 mcg 3.00 mcg
    Folate, DFE 3.00 mcg_DFE 3.00 mcg_DFE
    Choline, total 66.30 mg 66.30 mg
    Betaine 6.50 mg 6.50 mg
    Vitamin B-12 0.81 mcg 0.81 mcg
    Vitamin B-12, added 0.00 mcg 0.00 mcg
    Vitamin A, RAE 0.00 mcg_RAE 0.00 mcg_RAE
    Retinol 0.00 mcg 0.00 mcg
    Carotene, beta 0.00 mcg 0.00 mcg
    Carotene, alpha 0.00 mcg 0.00 mcg
    Cryptoxanthin, beta 0.00 mcg 0.00 mcg
    Vitamin A, IU 0.00 IU 0.00 IU
    Lycopene 0.00 mcg 0.00 mcg
    Lutein + zeaxanthin 0.00 mcg 0.00 mcg
    Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.27 mg 0.27 mg
    Vitamin E, added 0.00 mg 0.00 mg
    Vitamin D 44.00 IU 44.00 IU
    Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 0.00 mcg 0.00 mcg
    Fatty acids, total saturated 6.97 g 6.97 g
    4:0 0.00 g 0.00 g
    6:0 0.00 g 0.00 g
    8:0 0.00 g 0.00 g
    10:0 0.07 g 0.07 g
    12:0 0.07 g 0.07 g
    14:0 0.39 g 0.39 g
    16:0 4.24 g 4.24 g
    18:0 2.19 g 2.19 g
    Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 8.59 g 8.59 g
    16:1 undifferentiated 0.67 g 0.67 g
    18:1 undifferentiated 7.92 g 7.92 g
    20:1 0.00 g 0.00 g
    22:1 undifferentiated 0.00 g 0.00 g
    Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 2.02 g 2.02 g
    18:2 undifferentiated 1.77 g 1.77 g
    18:3 undifferentiated 0.25 g 0.25 g
    18:4 0.00 g 0.00 g
    20:4 undifferentiated 0.00 g 0.00 g
    20:5 n-3 0.00 g 0.00 g
    22:5 n-3 0.00 g 0.00 g
    22:6 n-3 0.00 g 0.00 g
    Cholesterol 58.00 mg 58.00 mg
    Phytosterols 0.00 mg 0.00 mg
    Tryptophan 0.21 g 0.21 g
    Threonine 0.72 g 0.72 g
    Isoleucine 0.75 g 0.75 g
    Leucine 1.35 g 1.35 g
    Lysine 1.51 g 1.51 g
    Methionine 0.44 g 0.44 g
    Cystine 0.23 g 0.23 g
    Phenylalanine 0.69 g 0.69 g
    Tyrosine 0.56 g 0.56 g
    Valine 0.80 g 0.80 g
    Arginine 1.12 g 1.12 g
    Histidine 0.68 g 0.68 g
    Alanine 0.91 g 0.91 g
    Aspartic acid 1.55 g 1.55 g
    Glutamic acid 2.63 g 2.63 g
    Glycine 0.75 g 0.75 g
    Proline 0.79 g 0.79 g
    Serine 0.67 g 0.67 g
    Alcohol, ethyl 0.00 g 0.00 g
    Caffeine 0.00 mg 0.00 mg
    Theobromine 0.00 mg 0.00 mg
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 21, 2010 4:44 PM GMT
    You may be surprised to learn that most diary products are over the top in fat.

    Corn syrup (however you wish to call it) is in about everything.
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    Sep 22, 2010 10:02 AM GMT
    paulflexes said
    r_evolutionary saidHmm. Ok.

    Paulflexes: Don't think it's my fluid intake, I only drink coffee (espresso with a dash of millk), green tea, water.
    If you drink green tea from a bottle, check the label.
    Many are LOADED with sugar.


    Nup, don't do pre-bottled drinks.
    My green tea is the japanese stuff - just the leaves brewed in hot water.


    chuckystud, not sure how much USDA will help me given I live in Australia, but thanks for the insulin lesson - very helpful.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 22, 2010 6:15 PM GMT
    mmmm

    You´ve cut the obvious stuff (and a whisky or glass of wine is not worth cutting if you enjoy them).

    Fruit?

    White bread/pasta/potatoes?

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    Sep 25, 2010 12:46 PM GMT
    r_evolutionary said
    paulflexes said
    r_evolutionary saidHmm. Ok.

    Paulflexes: Don't think it's my fluid intake, I only drink coffee (espresso with a dash of millk), green tea, water.
    If you drink green tea from a bottle, check the label.
    Many are LOADED with sugar.


    Nup, don't do pre-bottled drinks.
    My green tea is the japanese stuff - just the leaves brewed in hot water.


    chuckystud, not sure how much USDA will help me given I live in Australia, but thanks for the insulin lesson - very helpful.


    As I understand it, meat in Australia is still meat, bread is still bread, but, perhaps there's something you know that I don't.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 27, 2010 5:36 AM GMT
    Lostboy - yep. I think it probably does come down to fruit, pasta and maybe bread (I eat multigrain.) I assume rice should be okay given I only eat brown rice.

    Chuckystud - for sure, whole/unprocessed foods are pretty much of a muchness between the continents, it gets more tricky when you're looking at branded products, as there's less cross over there. But it's a good resource, for sure.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 27, 2010 6:33 AM GMT
    r_evolutionary saidI've been using MyFitnessPal for the last month to track my diet, and by and large it's all pretty good. Adequate protein, not too much fat, good spread of the other nutrients, and my caloric intake is about where it needs to be.

    I've also been consciously trying to break my food intake down into more frequent, smaller meals, and it's definitely upped my metabolism - now I'm hungry every couple of hours or so.

    The big weakness I see in all this is that I regularly exceed my target on sugar, and I know *that* won't be helping my crusade to be a ball of lean muscle.

    Thing is, I can't quite work out *where* that sugar is coming from, and therefore what to do about it.

    I don't eat junk food, take away, or highly processed foods. I don't drink soda, I very rarely drink alcohol and I don't even put sugar in my coffee or tea. I might have a single scoop of icecream or a couple of squares of 70% dark chocolate maybe a couple of times a week maximum - ironically the days I do have these splurges are not necessarily the ones where I go over on my sugar. So WHERE is it sneaking in?

    I'm keen for advice about all the places sugar hides that clearly I'm not aware of, and how to substitute/avoid. If it helps, I don't mind providing a run down of whats in the food diary..


    Hi Revolutionar:

    I have been using MyFitnessPal for about two months through my Droid X and have been losing the weight...based on your response is hard to pinpoint a specific item....I know that for me it was about a month ago in view that I was frustrated...in my case I pinpointed to coffee+ sugar+ cream...which was accounting to about 500 calories a day extra, additionally I saw that my bread was also loaded with sugar and sodium, so now I purchased a low sodium bread, with less than 2grams of sugar. Additionally, I now do not drink coffee at all, but switch to tea with no sugar, and through out the day I have water, with a slice of real lemon, also any diary products such as yogurt had excessive sugar in my case...I then switched to low sugar greek yogurt which is Fage, not sure if you have this in Australia. Also, look at the amount of sodium that you are consuming the greater amount of sodium you are in taking the greater the amount you are retaining in water weight. Continue with the great progress, and try to pin point specific the foods, this is what I did in my case and is working. Also, like you I was consuming dark chocolate, but when I compared at the amount of daily calories in a single day and fat, I dropped that completely I do not even touch it. Hope this helps.