Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fat Tax Out; Sugar Tax In

I overheard a conversation between two woman on the elliptical equipment @ the gym earlier this week about pizza. "I scrape most of the toppings off of my pizza to get rid of the excess fat. It's the fat in pizza that makes you fat, you know" said one woman.

The other woman responded "Are you crazy!? It's the carbs that make you fat! I eat ONLY the toppings and give the crust to my dog!"

So, is it the fats or is it the carbs that make you fat?

I wanted to jump in and explain that they're both right in a way - too much fat and too many carbohydrates can both be problems leading to weight gain. But ... they were also both wrong.

Because, at the end of the day, it's really all about total calories that matter:
Calories consumed = Calories spent + fat gained.

And because no good Minnesotan would explain the errors of their ways to strangers, I kept my mind-my-own-business mouth shut. But, I probably should have at least warned them about the latest conversations around sugar. In particular, Beverage Sugar.

For what The New England Journal Medicine published last week about sugared beverages' effect on obesity was nothing short of shocking. Because their report, published on April 8th, quite literally blamed obesity on Excess Beverage SUGAR.

Additionally, while I've been on the soap box in the past for advocating a Fat Tax (taxing highly saturated and trans fat foods), these guys took it one step further and are now suggesting a Sugared Beverages Tax.

And while there's plenty of room in Obama's budget for BOTH (fat and sugar) taxes, the sugared beverages tax makes good sense. Excess sugar intake from beverages is "... associated with increased body weight, poor nutrition, and displacement of more healthful beverages; increasing consumption (of sugared beverages) increases risk for obesity and diabetes ..." the Journal reports.

What to do? Withstanding the tax (which, in my opinion could take years to legislate), simply recognize that that Coke could be costing you a lot more than the 2 bucks you dropped into to the vending machine. It could be costing you your health.

One simple suggestion: simply reduce or replace that Pepsi with good old fashioned water, unsweetened green tea, or unsweetened, low sugar content juices like grapefruit, cranberry, or tomato. You won't get the unwanted excess sugar, and you will get healthy nutrients in your drink.

What to go one better yet?

Buy a juicer and start making your own juice! The Health benefits of juicing are innumerable. Fruits and vegetables are anti oxidant rich, and boost your immune system. Additionally, fruit and vegetable juices provide a wide array of phytonutrients ... non essential nutrients proven to improve health.

Here are a couple of great places to get started with juicing:

Drink up!

1 comment:

Rika Susan's Juicing For Health said...

Juicing is simply great, especially when you lose your appetite due to ill health. I have been ill for about 2 months recently. I really struggled to eat during this period, but I continued to juice regularly. I was absolutely amazed by how easy it was to maintain optimal nutrient levels thanks to the fresh juice, in spite of eating very little.