The Contrast

The Contrast
Lift Big, Sing Big, Look Great Doing It.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Let's Talk Sugar

The title should not be confused with "Let's talk, Sugar..." which is kind of creepy.

Ahhhh, fructose glucose!

People love to demonize sugar, they love to put the brand of "unhealthy" on it. However, this is only done on assumption because they see people who's diet is composed primarily of high sugar foods and their physiques may not be great and thus the correlation equals causation equation was born. We all know this is a fallacy, yet we indulge in this practice regularly. 

And although I still see "I need to stay away from carbs" all the time from people who are novice to the fitness game, most people have learned that carbs aren't a force of evil. People are attached at the hip to his assumption that sugar is somehow to blame for their woes.

But what sugars?


Glucose - Dextrose or grape sugar occurs naturally in fruits and plant juices

Fructose - Fruit sugar. Occurs naturally in fruits, some root vegetables, cane sugar and honey and is the sweetest of the sugars. It is one of the components of sucrose or table sugar.

Galactose - Does not occur in the free state but is a constituent with glucose of the disaccharide lactose or milk sugar. It is less sweet than glucose.


Sucrose - found in the stems of sugar cane and roots of sugar beet. It also occurs naturally alongside fructose and glucose in other plants, in particular fruits and some roots such as carrots. The different proportions of sugars found in these foods determines the range of sweetness experienced when eating them.

Maltose - formed during the germination of certain grains, the most notable being barley, which is converted into malt, the source of the sugar's name. A molecule of maltose is formed by the combination of two molecules of glucose. It is less sweet than glucose, fructose or sucrose.

Lactose - naturally occurring sugar found in milk. A molecule of lactose is formed by the combination of a molecule of galactose with a molecule of glucose. It is broken down when consumed into its constituent parts by the enzyme lactase during digestion.

The Two Biggest Scape Goats: 

Table Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup.

All of these sugars have Identical results in regards to body composition. In this recent post by Menno Henselmans on Bret Contreras Blog, he points out a few excellent facts.

"A 6 month study of 390 participants found that this is true for all simple carbs, like fructose (fruit sugar) and lactose (milk sugar): whether you consume simple or complex carbs does not affect your body composition [1]. Or, for that matter, your blood lipids, an important marker of your cardiovascular (heart) health.

While it is easy to classify simple carbs as bad and complex carbs as good, the distinction between simple and complex carbs is in fact completely arbitrary. It is merely a medical tradition that we call carbohydrates with 3 or more sugars ‘complex carbs’ and we call carbohydrates with 1 or 2 sugars ‘simple carbs’."

If you hate sugar, then you have to hate sugar gliders....and who could hate a sugar glider?

The Caveat

So, assuming your calories are in order it truly doesn't matter what kind of carb sources you chose to have WITH THE EXCEPTION THAT YOU HAVE SUFFICIENT FIBER INTAKE.

People assume that I'm advising individuals to push aside that plate of broccoli and to pick up a pack of skittles when that could be farther from the truth. I just think demonizing food and placing the blame on to other people for your weight or is not only irresponsible, but lacks intelligence and self respect.

My concerns are Calories, protein and fiber. Once you've hit those three numbers, I'm not really too particular on where you decide to get the most of your energy from, fat or carbs. I personally believe carbs are a better option, but with the current American diet it's difficult to get a consistent low fat diet combined with the average person's hectic schedule. So, pick your "poison" and find foods that you like, fill you up, and don't make you want to binge. This tends to be foods that are often deemed "healthy" by general society, but the minute you start thinking you're better than other people.

Until Next time,

Lift Big, Sing Big, and Look Great Doing It.

The Opera Bro

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