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WELLNESS COLUMN

Getting the Skinny on the “Fatjacket” may actually be less than the above. The biggest, long-term influx of sugars in the U.S. diet is from soda consumption (between 8-16 teaspoons for a 12 oz can). Following that, look at your labels, a single serving of instant “healthy” oatmeal from one of the country’s largest fast-food chains contains 32 grams of added sugar per serving. Take the grams and divide by 4 (4 grams per 1 teaspoon); and you have eaten 8 teaspoons of added sugar before 8 AM. What can we do…check labels!

1. Identify the Added Sugars

10 Marine Log // November 2016

linked to this increased glucose circulation. Moreover, if we have no “fatjacket” system, meaning our body does not know what to do with the excess glucose; we can be thin, but the thin body may suffer the diseases sooner in life, 20’s and 30’s, instead of 50’s and 60’s. The biggest question is “How much added sugars in our diet is too much?” The American Heart Association puts the sugar intake

Sugar, consumed in too high a dose, is a liver toxin, hormone disrupter, and general body annotator for a “normal” male at 9 added teaspoons a day, women at 6 added teaspoons, and children at 4 added teaspoons. Added teaspoons are those that are not inherent to a product, and are put in there to increase taste. The World Health Organization and U.S. Government have identified about the same level for someone with a normal metabolism, but here is the rub—most of us are not normal. Almost 70% of the U.S. population is overweight/obese, according to the CDC. One in four will die of heart disease, and upwards of 45% are already suffering from some level of diabetes/pre-diabetes, and/or metabolic syndrome. “Normal” is a fallacy, so the number

2. Check Dietary Fiber Content A good rule of thumb is the higher the fiber, the less the insulin spike from the pancreas. Fiber extends the length of time for sugars to digest.

3. Ween Down Your Sugar Intake The National Institute of Health has identified that sugars have an addictive property much like alcohol, drugs or tobacco (perhaps even stronger). You suffer from the same dopamine dump in the brain through repeated exposure to sugar, and thus, if you stop sugaring-up “cold turkey,” you many not feel very well for a bit. The good news is the symptoms of withdrawal diminish over time.

4. Move the Snack Table Put the cookies and candy in a draw or cabinet, and put easy-to-eat fruit, nuts, etc. out on the counter instead. Lower the temptation level and the ease with which we can put hands on addictive things that deteriorate us. Please remember that nothing in this column constitutes medical advice, it is for educational purposes only. For more insight, you can check out the University of California movie The Skinny On Obesity.

Emily Reiblein

Crowley Maritime Corporation, Labor Relations-Union Wellness Programs/ Operations Integrity

Shutterstock/Marcos Mesa Sam Wordley

M

unching on a tray of cookies or cakes in the galley can be a very satisfying end to a long, tiring, hot shift. But that indulgence comes at a price. Sugar, consumed in too high a dose, is a liver toxin, hormone disrupter, and general body annotator. It takes us down piece-by-piece, until there is nothing left but a disease-ridden, overweight human being. Some of the latest science and research says when we consume sugary or sugar “producing” foods (high carbohydrate content), the body processes it into glucose. The glucose gets distributed around the body to power the brain, cells, muscles, organs, etc. When every bit of you is filled with energy, the pancreas releases insulin, and the excess energy is stored as fat for later use. It’s a brilliant system that gives humans the ability to sustain periods of nutritional uncertainty, famine, and starvation. But, what if we just keep adding more sugar to our system, and never burn off that stored energy? In short, we gain weight and start to get sick, too. Think of your fat cells as a lifejacket or life-saving “fatjacket,” only designed to save your life for a period of time. After bobbing around in adverse conditions, the jacket starts to deteriorate and becomes ineffective. Our insulin pumps can give out, hormone production can decrease in some critical areas like testosterone, and fat becomes like another organ and starts producing its own hormones, and triglycerides increase. Our organs, hormones and brain start to feel the effects of this systematic breakdown. There is every indication now, that heart disease, diabetes, pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome and maybe even dementia, are all

Currently, it is not easy to see on a Nutrition Label, because “added sugars” are not identified. While that is changing, the only way to know now what is added is to compare products. For example, oatmeal has no sugar in its unadulterated form. If you read the label of oatmeal, and it states there are sugars in the product…you know they are added.

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November 2016 Marine Log  

November 2016 Marine Log  

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