I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about the role of 'use it or lose it' in terms of health, and the patients I see. We are all familiar with the concept of a lack of exercise leading to wasted muscles. But this concept is not often applied in terms of the rest of our health and body processes.
A good example of this concept are eating disorders: Those of you who have suffered with an eating disorder will be familiar with how your gut muscles atrophy; and after a number of months of over restriction, binging, purging or laxative abuse the familiar bloated belly appears. This is a result of the chronic constipation which is associated with these conditions: The gut muscles want to work and lose their ability to do so if not exercised (by eating).
The same goes for how healthy foods are for us: Our enzymes want to be challenged; they want to work. Our gut muscles want to work hard to help the enzymes break down and draw out nourishing nutrients from foods. The work is even harder with natural, whole foods where nutrients are not immediately available e.g. through the rougher skin of a bean or seed.
In contrast, when we eat something that has been highly processed by the food industry and is not in its natural state, such as white bread or fruit juice, the digestive system has very little work to do: The calories go in, they shoot through the digestive process, they are dumped into our blood sugar; turned rapidly into glycogen and fat and we get hungry again. Not satisfying at all.
Today I watched the video below which was released by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. It is about the impact of sugary drinks on our health and worth a watch!
The bottom line of the video, and of what we see in clinical practice, is that if you want to take one good step towards health; remove sugary or artificially sweetened drinks from your diet: They require NO digestive work whatsoever.
A cup of tea or coffee once or twice a day with a teaspoon of sugar is alright. But glugging fruit juice, fizzy drinks and 'energy' drinks is a recipe for disaster for your health. Some facts from CSPI (more available on the link below):
- Each additional sugary drink consumed per day increases the likelihood of a child becoming obese by about 60%.
- Drinking one or two sugary drinks per day increases your risk for type 2 diabetes by 25%.
- Liquid calories are more conducive to weight gain than solid calories, because the human body doesn't compensate by reducing calorie intake later in the day.
- Coca-Cola and other colas undermine that healthy life with loads of obesity-promoting high-fructose corn syrup, mildly addictive caffeine, caramel coloring with its carcinogenic 4-methylimidazole contaminant, and tooth-rotting phosphoric acid.
Your body wants to work to get the calories out of the food it eats. If you drink your calories, there is no work to be done: It does not satisfy your appetite for nourishment so is an act of complete excess with regards to your health. The spikes and subsequent drops in blood sugar generate even more cravings for sugary drinks and foods. Try to stop it if you can. Read and watch some more at this link: