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Danielle Prestejohn, NASM CPT, MS Nutrition, is a devoted CrossFitter, Group Fitness Instructor, and Health Coach. Residing in Boston, MA she is the blogger behind CleanFoodCreativeFitness.com and has a passion for all things nutrition and fitness. She hopes to share this passion and enthusiasm for health with all those in the Diet.com community!

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Danielle Prestejohn
by Danielle Prestejohn, Fitness and Nutrition Expert

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Short Science Lesson

There are two types of sugar in the foods we eat: Monosaccharides (glucose, fructose, galactose) and Disaccharides (Sucrose, maltose, and lactose)

These two types of sugar both enter our bodies and cause an insulin response. Insulin is a hormone in our bodies that gets released when we eat and there is excess sugar in our bloodstream. When insulin gets released it causes our bodies to absorb glucose (the singular form of sugar) from the bloodstream and store it in the body to be available for later use.

An example: If I eat a banana before CrossFit my body will break down the sugars and release them in my bloodstream. My pancreas will send out insulin to pick up the glucose and store it in my body as glycogen. When I go to CrossFit and begin my WOD, my body will use the glycogen (stored from the glucose) to give my body the energy to move. When I run out of stored glycogen (sugar), I will begin burning off stored fat for energy. If I eat three bananas before CrossFit, I will have stored more sugar in my body than I may need for energy, and not only will I not burn fat as my energy source, but I will also have stored excess sugar in my body... eventually leading to weight gain.

The Problem

With heart disease, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and Alzheimer's disease growing in incidences in the United States, we are beginning to correlate excess in sugar consumption with our poor eating behaviors. We already know that when people develop type 2 diabetes, their body becomes insulin resistant due to the body constantly pumping out insulin and exhausting the pancreas and causing blood sugar to rise... hence the diabetes. Could this resistance develop due to over-consumption of sugar?

Sugar is everywhere!

Not to sound crazy but sugar really is everywhere! It is often hidden on labels under these names:

Evaporated cane syrup/juice

High fructose corn syrup

Pretty much any ingredient ending with syrup

Any type of sugar (i.e. beet sugar, yellow sugar, brown sugar…)

Maltodextrin

Honey

Molasses

Caramel

Sorbitol

Mannitol

Caramel

Anything ending in –ose (i.e. fructose, sucrose, lactose, glucose...)

Here is one of my favorite articles on the controversy over sugar: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?pagewanted=all

What are your thoughts on sugar? Good in moderation? Avoid it?.....

For more articles check out my blog...Clean Food Creative Fitness! 

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