Like my title? Haha. But first let’s get down to business with some eats! Dinner last night was awesome! We had leftover rotisserie chicken, so I searched for a soup recipe that called for it, and boy did I pick a winner. Since I’m attempting the whole Whole30 thing, I wanted a recipe that was paleo, so I found one on Against All Grain. The recipe is for leftover roast chicken soup with roasted vegetables. My family and I could not get enough of it!Image

On the side was an artichoke and dipping sauce made from store bought garlic aioli and vinaigrette salad dressing.

And guess what I did this morning guys?!? SPIN CLASS! I was so pumped to be back in it, and even though it was a 6 am class, I was up before my alarm. It felt awesome. It wasn’t that difficult of a class (and I didn’t try to make it harder) so it was the perfect class to come back into. I listened to the radio in the car and realized that lots must have happened while I was sick because I didn’t recognize half of the songs!

After a good workout, I had a smoothie and some mashed potatoes.ImageThe smoothie is a few weeks old, and was the second half of a smoothie I had when I was sick. It is much better when my throat isn’t so swollen up! I’m not 100% sure what is in it, seeing as I didn’t make it myself, since I was incapable of leaving my bed, but I know it has 2 kinds of grapes, and strawberries. And is fancy because it was made from an actual recipe. My mom has been begging me to finish it all week because we got new glasses and she wanted to get rid of the old ones. Notice the new glasses?ImageI also had half a banana with peanut butter. I am trying to have low quantities of nuts every day so that I don’t completely lose my tolerance. Sigh. The only thing better than an early morning workout? Going back to bed after an early morning workout. Yay spring break! Well kind of. I had to finish a paper today. Which is worth like half my grade. Let’s just say I spent a long time staring at a computer screen today. Actually, I’ve been on the computer way too much these past few days. Everything is starting to get blurry. When I was finishing up my research late tonight I had to blow up the words so I could read them. So sorry if I have a ton of typos in this!

I was hungry by 10:30, but at 11, I had to take a field trip to the grocery store to do research for my paper. I recorded the sugar content of tons of different foods, more on that later, as well as empty health claims. Yeahh I’m kind of angry about marketing right now! Anyways, staring at the worst junk food for about an hour while you are hungry turns out to not be the best idea. I ended up picking up some flavor blasted goldfish which just happened to open themselves in the car. Goodbyeee Whole30. Lunch was leftover soup and nachos (tortilla chips with melted cheddar cheese).ImagePlus a probiotic chocolate bar. Gotta recover from all those antibiotics, right?? My mom picked up Poptarts at the grocery which were on my mind all afternoon, so yeahh that happened. HahWHOLE30hah. Dinner was Whole30 though, mostly because I planned it out ahead of time.ImageTurkey burgers (Minus the bun), sweet potato “fries”, green beans, and tons of homemade ketchup of course! I made a delicious last minute decision to add garlic powder just as the burgers were finishing up in the oven. The sweet potato fries (which we made with yams) were delicious. We just cut up yams and roasted them in the oven. They weren’t exactly crispy, but I’m not a fan of crispy fries anyways!

Today was another reminder as to why I really need to do this Whole30 thing. I don’t think I will survive break (which is extra long, this week is technically finals week but I don’t have any) if I don’t have some sort of control! And I seriously do feel better when I stick to it! Plus, I’m going to go into the scary world of sugar in a bit! But first:ImageImageMy failed attempts to convince my sister that she really is missing out on cat time.

Ok, onto my paper! I just finished writing a 12 page research paper on the connection between sugar consumption and the obesity epidemic, as well as other health problems. So lucky you guys, you get to hear all about it!

So first let’s talk about why sugar causes people to gain weight. One of the biggest factors is that it doesn’t suppress ghrelin, the hunger hormone, to stop telling you that you are hungry. Additionally, it the fructose half of sugar does not trigger any insulin response, which therefore doesn’t trigger leptin, the hormone that tells you you are satiated. But it gets worse. Chronic sugar consumption can cause a condition called leptin resistance. Leptin is produced by fat cells. Back in the caveman days before we messed up our hormonal signaling, this would regulate body weight. If we were underweight, fats cells would not send leptin signals telling the brain to stop eating. Instead, the brain would be instructed to eat more and move less (to conserve energy). If we were overweight, the fat cells in our bodies would be full, and therefore signal the brain that we don’t need to eat as much. Here’s where leptin resistance comes in. It is believed that chronically high insulin levels somehow block the leptin signal. Anyway, what happens as a result is that if you are leptin resistant and overweight, your fat cells will send leptin signals to the brain, but the brain won’t be able to “see” these signals, so it will think you are starving, driving you to eat more and move less. If you are dealing with this hormonal jungle, how can you possibly lose weight? And did I mention scientists can induce leptin resistance in rats by feeding them sugar? Yeahh kind of scary.

I’ll briefly do through some other scary sugar related diseases. If you want a full explanation of the processes, feel free to email me! ( Metabolic syndrome often comes with obesity, and is a whole set of diseases including Type 2 Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, fatty liver disease (yes, like the kind alcoholics get), and heart disease. Oh yeah, and there are links between sugar consumption and cancer. Pretty scary stuff! But of course this all only happens with EXCESS sugar consumption (which pretty much sums up MY day haha!).

So let’s talk about sugary foods for a minute. I won’t go into WHY sugar is in everything we eat (hint: low fat trend and High Fructose Corn Syrup), but let’s talk numbers. Let’s talk advertising. The maximum recommended daily consumption of added sugar is 20-24 grams. That’s not very much, considering the average American eats 88 grams. I could easily make a day of eating that gets the sugar count up to 88 grams. Here’s the example from my paper:

‘Many people may read about the dangers and sugar and think, “well, of course that isn’t talking about me. I don’t eat too much sugar.” However, it is amazing how fast the sugar adds up. The American Heart Association recommends Americans eat no more than 20 grams of added sugars a day (Main). But how much are we really eating? Adults eat about 88 grams of sugar a day (Krum). It is estimated that Americans consume nearly 500 calories of added sugar every day (Krum). Where is all this sugar coming from?  A health conscious person may start the day with a bowl of Raisin Bran. That is 18 grams of sugar right there. For a snack to “satisfy hunger longer” as the box claims, this person might drink a delicious 18 grams of sugar in a Special K protein shake. For lunch? How about 6 ounces of low fat Tillamook vanilla yogurt? That is 34 grams of sugar, although it can be assumed that 10 grams of that is due to natural lactose sugars, leaving us with 24 grams of sugar. Our health conscious person might as well have an entire Hershey’s chocolate bar for 24 grams of sugar. The yogurt alone puts our healthy friend here over the maximum daily sugar recommendation. For dinner, he has a cup of Campbell’s tomato soup, for 14 grams of sugar, most of it in the form of High Fructose Corn Syrup. But the soup comes in  a microwaveable container that serves two, so he finished it off for a total of 28 grams of sugar. A health conscious person can easily consume the average amount of sugar an American eats in a day, 88 grams, without eating a single dessert.’

Children eat on average 128 grams of sugar a day. That’s what, 6 times the recommended quantity? And I can certainly see how. I made up a meal with the sugar quantities I found at the grocery that a child could easily eat for lunch at school. Let’s say he starts with a 12 ounce Pepsi. 41 grams. 2 slices of whole wheat bread, 6 grams each. 1 tablespoon of grape jelly, 13 grams. Peanut butter? 4 grams. Then for dessert, some fat free (!) devil’s Food Cookies, 2 at 7 grams each. That is 84 grams of sugar in a single meal. A meal many children might take to school. So let’s say the student is a little healthier and takes apple juice instead of soda, as many kids do. that’s still 28 grams of sugar, that’s still 71 grams of sugar in a meal. That’s about the size of 4 ping pong balls. This is all so crazy! No wonder we have so many obesity problems! And how many people realize this? How many parents buy these foods trying to do something healthy for their children, not realizing these foods are laced with sugar? I started to get really annoyed at marketing as well. Fig Newtons. “100% Whole Grain.” Healthy, right? How about 12 grams of sugar a serving (not TERRIBLE), and full of High Fructose Corn Syrup AND trans fat? Who still puts trans fat in foods anymore?? And how about frozen yogurt. Ben and Jerry’s frozen yogurt has like 24 grams in a half cup serving. That’s not horrible, given there are probably 10 grams of lactose sugars, but it is misleading, because seriously, who eats half a cup? Or one of my favorites, the Heart Healthy stamp of approval. As we’ve seen, sugar isn’t particularly heart healthy. All foods need to be to get that stamp of approval is low fat, and the company must pay money. On the sugariest soup I found (14 grams for a cup) was the heart healthy stamp. 

And cereal. Guess which cereal wins the prize for most sugar? Not Lucky Charms. Not Cocoa Puffs. Raisin Bran. The traditional “healthy” cereal has 18 grams of sugar for a cup! At softball tournaments, hotels we stayed t usually had raisin bran and fruit loops. This used to be the one time I would have fruit loops. Then, I became more health conscious and switched to Raisin Bran. Heck, I should have just gone with the Fruit Loops! they have less sugar! How crazy is that??

My other favorite: I was looking at Nesquick mix, and it had huge writing on one container that said “25% less sugar!” I examined the regular Nesquick, which was in a different container, and was utterly confused when I saw they had the same sugar content. Then I read the fine print. It was actually “25% Less Sugar Than Chocolate Syrup.” I saw this marketing trick on a couple of other things. The product seems like a healthier version of itself, but the fine print reveals it is just slightly healthier than some other brand or something.

Ok, rant over! I hope you guys learned something interesting! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or comment below!

What marketing do you find misleading?

I don’t eat pork, but I just found out the chicken sausages my family buys are made with pork casings! SO MAD!

4 comments on “Let’s Talk About My Paper Because I Just Finished and I Swear it is Interesting

  1. Miranda @ Miranda Runs

    Wow! Long but interesting post! I just read a book on metabolism and the effect sugar has on the hormones, and wow!

    1. astottler

      It’s so interesting! If you’re interested, another great resource is the youtube video Sugar: The Bitter Truth. It’s long but worth it!

  2. Ashlee@HisnHers

    That soup looks yummy! Hope you’re feeling better!
    That’s really interesting! I think the “whole grain” marketing is very misleading for a lot of people! Whole wheat vs whole grain can be so misleading if you dont really understand the difference!

    1. astottler

      Definitely! And it can be really hard to find good information! And thanks, I’m doing way better!

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