“Bananas Are the Devil!” Should you stay away from ALL sugar?

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Recently where I work, we all had to attend a training course about health and fitness. The instructor made some really good points, but she made a really bad one too. Not in my class, but in others she apparently said, “bananas are the devil. They’re as bad as drinking a Mountain Dew.” Now, I wasn’t in this class (thankfully!!) but it was said enough that that phrase has been quoted and quoted in the halls here. Bananas are going to kill me!! NO THEY’RE NOT!

I am against this idea with all my heart and soul (and nutritional knowledge!) Say what you want about what it means, but I did pass the NASM nutrition course. And I lost 50 lbs while eating fruit 2-3 times a day. 

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Yes there is sugar in fruit (and veggies) but it is SO NOT AT ALL the same as a can of soda. Let’s break down sugar!

There are a few different kinds of sugar but to keep this as simple as possible, I’m going to stick to talking about sucrose and fructose. What’s the difference? Both are monosaccharides, aka simple sugars. But they are processed differently in the body. Sucrose is your “blood sugar.” It’s what gets broken down and used as energy or stored as glycogen. Unlike with fructose, insulin is secreted in response to sucrose with is what raises your blood sugar levels. Fructose is not the preferred energy source and does not cause insulin to be secreted. It is broken down in the liver and treated more like a fat, which can raise triglyceride levels.

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So does eating too much fruit cause weight gain? Yes, actually it does. A study had participants eating fructose as 25% of their diet. For a 2,000 calorie diet that’s 500 calories of fructose– that would take 20 apples to reach. 20 apples, every day? Yeah, don’t do that.

But every nutritionist, the FDA, WHO and FAO all say to eat fruit, usually 2-3 servings a day, as part of a balanced diet. In fact, dietitian Dr. Alan Barclay said in an interview:

Fruits are a core food and Australians only eat a piece a day on average which is appalling. The minimum recommended amount per day is two and anyone who suggests it contributes to obesity is wrong. We’re eating so little of fruit, how could it possibly be contributing to obesity when two-thirds of the population are overweight or obese. It’s absurd.

Humans have been eating fruits since the beginning of time! But what we haven’t been eating, what’s really changed in the Standard American Diet (SAD… literally) is the amount of added sugar we’re eating. Sugar is added to EVERYTHING. Natural and non-natural sugars and that is what is really killing us.

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Like Mountain Dew. So are bananas just as bad as drinking a Mountain Dew? Let’s take a look.

1 serving according to NLEA is 126 grams of banana (a medium sized one -ish) and according to Pepsico 1 serving of MD is 12 fluid ounces.

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You know what I also should have added to the ingredient list under bananas?? Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folate, Panothenic Acid (all B vitamins), Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, and Selenium <– all micronutrients that are vital for living.

So tell me again how eating a banana (that will fill up your stomach and keep you full) is “just as bad” as drinking a MD??? To me, it’s not even close!

EAT YOUR DAMN FRUITS.

*Here, of course, is where I caution you and remind you it’s about balance and portion. But against dried fruit. I LOVE dried fruits.  I could eat a handful of dried bananas in one sitting… which could easily be the equivalent to eating 6 bananas at once. Has anyone ever sat down and eaten 6 fresh whole bananas??

Pick whole fresh fruits over dried. Pick dried over juice. Pick juice over… soda? Idk. Don’t bother drinking juice.

 

 

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It’s been so long!

Hello again!

It’s been a while since I’ve updated here. I sometimes feel so silly writing into the void of this little blog but I think it really does keep me somewhat accountable. And lately I’ve been holding myself accountable for well, nothing! So let me take up this little corner of the web and ramble. 🙂

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What have I been up to?

I joined a diet bet! I was so good for the first week and then so bad for the second. I have till 6/18 to lose 7lbs or I gotta pay up! Time to really buckle down. (how many times have I said that lately??)

I decided that every day in June I’m going to workout. I WILL work out for a mere 10 minutes every day. I can run, strength train, do yoga, anything for 10 minutes. I made this decision after I already got to work but didn’t want to let even 1 day go by so on my 1 and only break before the clock turned 12:00 I ran down to the gym and used the treadmill for 10 mins in my jeans and sandals. But hey, I got it done.

I have a half marathon this Saturday! The Wildfire Half in Pinetop. I really have not been training very hard and didn’t really let myself comprehend what I was getting myself into. I always think half marathons are like literal walks in the park but they are HARD. I have ZERO time expectations on this one. It’s a pretty small host and it’s up in the mountains with a high elevation so I’m just going to take it easy, go slow and my own pace, enjoy the scenery and run through the forest and hills. (that picture is from a couple weeks ago when I went up to Pinetop/Show Low for a hike. It’s so beautiful up there! Being outside, near the water. that’s all I need!!)