PT 360 March 2019

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fasting. As the thinking goes, the faulty cells die first during fasting, enabling the stem cells to start regenerating key tissues. The science backs up some of these claims, but there are a few issues regarding fasting research. Most of the research behind fasting

days, opting for calorie-free fluids instead. Finally, there is the “fasting mimicking diet,” which involves intaking highly limited, plant- based calories for several days each month. People who use this technique like it because they believe they get the benefits of fasting without missing out on key nutrients. The underlying philosophy behind fasting for weight loss is pretty self-evident — if you don’t eat for periods at a time, you’re bound to burn off some weight. But proponents say the diet’s success can be attributed to more complex factors as well. They argue that as the human race shifted from hunter-gatherers to world-conquering agriculturalists, we left our evolutionary path. Before crops existed, we weren’t wired to eat three square meals every single day. Instead, we made do with what we could find, often fasting for days at a time out of necessity. In addition, some researchers who advocate fasting point to the benefits it can offer regarding disease prevention and longevity. Autophagy, the process by which the body eliminates and replaces damaged cells, is believed to accelerate during intermittent

doesn’t examine its effect on weight loss, and most of it comes from animal trials, not human trials. Though there are a few human trials on fasting that show it can improve health, they have very small sample sizes, and there is not enough data to be conclusive. It’s worth noting that fasting to lose weight can be an extremely difficult strategy to stick to, and according to one literature review, as many as 40 percent of fasters drop out of the diet. Furthermore, at least one study indicates that fasting is not superior to the average calorie-counting diets. In short, fasting is promising, but the data is inconclusive. It may help you live longer and fight off disease, but it is also notoriously

tricky. The average dieter is just as well off with regular calorie counting, especially if you’re not looking to get too intense with your diet plan. Before you start skipping dinner every day, visit your doctor. If they say fasting is right for you, go for it. Just because the jury is still out doesn’t mean you can’t reap the benefits of the trend — just go into it with a healthy attitude, be safe, and understand that fasting is not magic.

K eep T his O ff Y our B reakfast T able S ugary C ereals A re N o B etter T han C andy

the combination of puffed rice and a lack of proteinmeans you won’t feel full until you’ve overindulged. By eating twice the recommended serving (about two cups), you’ve consumed the same amount of sugar found in one can of soda. Honey Smacks is the worst of the two because it contains hydrogenated vegetable oil —one of the unhealthiest food-based oils you can consume. This type of oil keeps the cereal shelf-stable for longer, but the American Heart Association points to it as a major dietary cause of heart disease. Many other cereals are just as bad, including Kellogg’s Froot Loops and General Mills Trix. These two cereals hide behind the guise of“fruit,”which many people associate with better nutrition. But you won’t find balanced nutrition in either of these cereals. Froot Loops is just under 50 percent sugar by weight, andTrix is just under 40 percent. Both cereals also contain artificial food dyes and flavorings. Trix also contains corn syrup, which has been linked to the rising rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes. When you eat 10 grams of sugar in any form— which is in just one cup of Trix—or more, depending on the cereal, you can expect a spike in blood sugar. A blood sugar spike early in the morning can often translate to low energy later in the day. Over time, a diet high in sugar can lead to insulin resistance, which can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.

It’s no secret that most breakfast cereals are loaded with sugar and

carbs. Starting your day with a hefty bowl will inevitably give you a sugar high that crashes into a haze of fatigue not long after. What’s worse, however, is that some cereals are even more unhealthy than you might realize. Do you remember the old Reese’s Puffs slogan:“Candy?! For breakfast?” Reality isn’t far off.

Kellogg’s Honey Smacks and Post Golden Crisp are two of the biggest offenders when it comes to sugar content. By weight, Honey Smacks and Golden Crisp are more than 50 percent sugar. That’s more sugar than your average cake or cookie. And there isn’t much more nutritional value to make up for the excess sugar. These puffed rice cereals contain less than two grams of protein and one gram of fiber per serving, which is remarkably low. For reference, Honey Smacks lists 1 1/4 cups as a serving, while Golden Crisp considers 3/4 cup a serving. That said, most people don’t measure out food based on the recommended serving size. With these two cereals,

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