Category: Sugar

How Much Sugar Is Recommended Per Day?

By now, American exceptionalism is a universally-accepted truism. Like dogs over cats and Star Wars over Star Trek, it’s simple fact that America is qualitatively different than other nations. Some would say “superior,” but I think modesty is more becoming of a nation of our stature, providence, and history. Why else would extraterrestrials decide to land on the White House lawn, as they do in every culturally relevant piece of sci-fi, if we weren’t exceptional? Would American parents everywhere claim their kids were special if they actually were not?

But perhaps the most conclusive evidence of our exceptionalism lies in how our nutritional labels relay information about sugar. If you go to a place like Germany or the UK and flip over a package of Haribo Goldbären (gummy bears), it’ll tell you how many percentage points the sugar in the candy counts toward your daily limit. Point being: everyone else has an upper limit for sugar consumption.

But the US? We have no upper limit on sugar. And when it comes to added sugar, it’s a total free for all. It’s not even listed.

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25 Ways to Improve Your Insulin Sensitivity

Insulin does a lot of important things for us. It pulls glucose from the blood and fritters it away into our cells to be burned for energy or stored as glycogen. It prevents hyperglycemic toxicity to neurons, pancreatic cells, the arterial walls and the generation of excessive levels of reactive oxygen species. It even promotes muscle protein synthesis and helps augment muscular hypertrophy, especially following resistance training. Clearly, we need insulin. Without it, we’d die, as type 1 diabetics readily do without an exogenous source.

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Dear Mark: Burning Off Holiday Sugar, Long Bike Commute, and Low Calorie Diets for Teens

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’re answering three questions. First up, how can you mitigate and overcome an acute holiday sugar binge? What are the best exercises for getting rid of all that sugar, fast? Next, is a long (like, really long) bike commute congruent with a healthy Primal lifestyle, assuming you also want enough energy and time to lift weights, run sprints, and play with your kids? And finally, are there any downsides to calorie restriction in teens? Probably, so read on to find out.

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Sleep Deprivation as Hormesis, Sweet Cravings, CrossFit, and More

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got a three-parter that’s really closer to a five-parter. First are a couple of questions from Joe, who first wonders about the hormetic benefits of acute sleep deprivation (are there any?) and then asks how he can beat a sweet tooth he suspects is brought on by lack of exercise. The second pair of questions concern CrossFit (is it an example of Chronic Cardio and should I be recommending it?) and breadfruit (does it have a place on the Primal eating plan?). And finally, Andy asks for the origin of the popular “gut is 80% of our immune system” statement.

Let’s go:

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Artificial Sweeteners May Leave You Absolutely Gutted

Several years ago, I covered the popular artificial sweeteners sucralose, acesulfame-k, aspartame, and saccharin, finding mixed results and little to confirm the widely-held view that they provoke an insulin response. I also wrote about diet soda in general, coming out generally against them while acknowledging the lack of hard evidence either way. But artificial sweeteners may be interfering with our metabolic response to food by an entirely different avenue: the gut biome. According to a new study (PDF) that has nothing at all to do with the cephalic-phase insulin response, artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the composition of our gut microbiota.

There were a few different stages to the study:

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Is the Obesity Epidemic Exaggerated?

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions. People are fat and getting fatter, with no end in sight. Even kids are fat these days. Right? We’ve all seen the picture of the McDonald’s-eating toddler and heard the dire nightly news reports about growing obesity narrating back shots of anonymous overweight families trudging along with wedgies and short shorts. But just as the public at large bemoans the pervasiveness of the obesity epidemic, many critics are claiming the opposite: that the obesity epidemic is exaggerated and overinflated; that the “overweight” and “obese” categories are ploys by insurance companies to get more money from policy holders; that obesity in and of itself isn’t actually a health hazard. Some, like Paul Campos, are even arguing that America’s weight problem is “imaginary.”

Could this be? Am I tilting at windmills when I decry our collective weight problem?

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