Every action has a positive and a negative effect on your body. Eating is good, but can be bad. Exercise is good, but can be unsafe. We all need movement to activate our bodies, and food to fuel that movement. How does Food Fuel our Body.
Nature provides us with all sorts or simple sugars, which store the energy from the sun. Plants are pretty simple organisms, so sugars are a basic structure, just a few carbon atoms combined with some oxygen and hydrogen.
All plants have sugars in one form or another, and when we eat them the soluble sugars are absorbed into the body, and the insoluble ones are passed through the gut as roughage or “fibre“.
Humans take some time to ingest, digest, absorb and utilise these food fuel sugars, as the body strips them down and reforms them into the sole sugar it uses: glucose.
This process is time-consuming, so when you eat most naturally occurring sugars you don’t get a sudden rush of glucose into your bloodstream, you get a trickle. In general, the more complex the sugar the longer it takes to get into the bloodstream.
How does Food Fuel our Body
Bee’s diet is basically sugars, and they can survive on it because all sugars are packed with energy. Humans are used to a diet where simple sugars as food fuel are scarce, and this is why we really crave simple sugars when they are available.
One of the problems associated with our diet is that we add man-made simple sugars. Our bodies love sugar, but aren’t really designed to use a lot.
Nearly every processed food you buy contains sugar of some sort as an additive, because our body’s innate love of sugars will make the food attractive to eat no matter how bland or bad it tastes.
What happens when we eat food with a high sugar content?
Well, two things happen. First, the body’s ability to maintain blood-glucose levels, which are important in providing short bursts of energy, declines with age.
Second, the body’s ability to produce insulin, which is like the gatekeeper that allows sugars into and out of cells, also declines with age.
Both of these put together mean that if you eat sugars regularly you will have an increased risk of developing Type II, or adult-onset, diabetes, and cardiac disorders.
This is not just a disease of old age, it is a disease associated with poor lifestyle, and is occurring more commonly in younger people. The body was designed for a diet based on fruits, vegetables, and grain, with occasional meat.
This diet was rich in vitamins and minerals, fibre, and water, but low in concentrated energy and fat. The body was also designed to be moving for a large part of the day, and resting at night.
By contrast, we now eat food with little vitamin, fibre and mineral content, food fuel which is high in salt, fat and sugar, and we are sedentary for most of every day: a recipe for chronic diseases like adult-onset diabetes.
Not everyone over 50 has diabetes, but the risk of getting it is certainly higher if you have a poor diet and you don’t exercise.
One of the main roles of insulin is to maintain the levels, of blood sugar. When you eat, the excess blood sugar is stored in the liver till it is needed.
If you exercise and start to use up your blood sugar, the liver releases sugar into the bloodstream to keep the supply up to the working muscles.
Once again, a simple equation. Reduce your intake of simple sugars and increase your use of them through daily exercise and you’ll reduce your chances of getting Type II diabetes as you age.
Try to monitor your simple sugar intake over a normal day. Read the labels of any processed food you buy and see if it contains simple sugars.
Look for words ending in “-ose”, like sucrose, fructose, glucose, and so on. These are all sugars.
Look out as well for “hidden” sugars, in such things as “corn syrup” or “honey”. These sound healthy, but are just simple sugars.
Each time you eat something with simple sugars, put a tick in your diary or on a piece of paper. So a tick each for orange juice, bacon, bread, margarine, jam, peanut butter, cereal, and the sugar in your coffee. And that’s just breakfast!
Once you realize how much sugar you are pouring into your body, look for ways to cut down. Don’t add sugar to foods you prepare for a start, and look for unsweetened processed foods.
No matter what your age, you need to exercise regularly to keep your blood-sugar level in checks.You want exercise that will gently stimulate your body without putting excessive strain on its ability to supply and utilize glucose as a fuel for your working muscles.
This means low-intensity exercise that continues for at least 30 minutes, every single day. It does not mean working yourself up to a slavering, sweating, gasping, exhausted mess.
It does mean finding a form of exercise you enjoy, and then exercising at a gentle easy pace that leaves you feeling fresh and invigorated: walking to work, playing tennis, going for a run with friends.
It’s getting out there and enjoying life, not watching it pass you by on the TV as you eat another processed lasagne with chocolate chip cookies and ice cream for dessert.
Natalia, a Health-Beauty researcher and freelance blogger who has great enthusiasm for discovering, biking, and blogging about diet, health and beauty. She has worked as an lifestyle editor for Life Tips. Here’s a list of her published masterpieces: 7 Day Fruit and Vegetable Diet, 15 Tips on Cardiac Diet Plan, and The Simple 14-Day Diet.