The Dieter’s Dilema...

Patty Christopher, MS,PT


Advanced Weight Loss & Wellness

….Fat, Calories, or… SUGAR? Which nutrient should we focus on while dieting? This is a complicated question with a complicated answer, and the nutritionist, diet specialist and health professional will tell you every time, you need to consider them all. But if there is one thing to limit severely, it is sugar or simple, refined carbohydrates.

Fat is essential to our well-being, though we need to be mindful of consuming healthy, unsaturated fats from vegetables versus saturated or hydrogenated fats found in fatty meats, full dairy and vegetable oils that are solids at room temperature or are hydrogenated, a process the food industry implements to make vegetable oils shelf stable and more tasty.

Monitoring Calories is part of the equation in weight loss strategy, but not all calories are the same. Dieters should seek nutrient-dense calories, colorful and varied foods that provide plenty of vitamins and minerals… and healthy complex carbohydrates found in vegetables and fruits. Eliminating refined carbohydrates and nutrition-less sugar, frees up more calories for nutrients your body needs to be healthy.

Refined carbohydrates, including sugar, are easy for the body to breakdown. What is not used immediately is then stored in muscles and the liver, for use at a later time when energy demands are high. Once glycogen stores in the cells are full, excess glucose is stored in fat stores.

Refined sugars are not only detrimental to weight loss attempts, but also to good health. Excess blood sugar leads to insulin resistance and can eventually lead to Type 2 diabetes. Diets high in sugar can also increase triglycerides, negatively changing lipoproteins and increasing the risk of heart disease. Also associated with high sugar diets are: tooth decay, acne, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, hypertension, certain types of cancers, accelerated skin aging, accelerated cellular aging, accelerated cognitive decline, and increased risk of depression, kidney disease and gout. For more healthful nutrition tips, go to