Food for Fitness


In today’s world of fitness, simply having a workout routine doesn’t seem to be enough (especially the older we get – am I right?). We must also focus on the food we put in our bodies. You hear one professional talk about the evils of salt, one about eggs, beef, fruit, cereal, the list goes on and on, but SUGAR has become the hottest food topic in the last several years.  Lets look at what some well known doctors say about food for fitness and you be the judge.

Doctor Sanjay Gupta said in an interview on CBS NEWS in January of 2012, “that beyond weight gain it can take a toll on your health, worsening conditions ranging from heart disease to cancer.  Some doctors call it a TOXIN.”

Doctor Oz says, “when you eat sugar it stimulates the release of dopamine in your brain, which makes you feel pleasure. The brain recognizes and likes this feeling and begins to crave more.  It may startle you to learn that heroin and morphine and sugar all stimulate the same receptors in your brain.”  Doctor Oz adds to what Dr. Gupta says about health conditions by adding kidney disease to the list of physical dangers.

Authority Nutrition web site ( gives 10 reasons why too much sugar is bad for you. ( Note the use of the word “added”.)

1)  Added sugar contains NO essential nutrients and is bad for your teeth.

2)  Added sugar is high in fructose, which can overload your liver.

3)  Overloading the liver with sugar can cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

4)  Sugar can cause insulin resistance, a stepping stone to Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes

5)  The insulin resistance can progress to Type II Diabetes

6)  Sugar can cause cancer

7)  Due to it’s effects on hormones and the brain, sugar has unique fat-promoting effects.

8)  Because it causes the release of dopamine in the brain, it is highly addictive.

9)  It is the leading cause of obesity and children and adults.

10) It isn’t the fat…it’s the sugar the raises your cholesterol and gives you heart disease.

We talked with some of our members that are in the health care profession about food for fitness and they all conceded that sugar is something pay attention to but not to avoid completely.  Dr. Mark Hawkins had this to say, “Anything is bad for you if you eat too much of it.  We need sugar but not too much of it…all things in moderation.  Same with fats, carbohydrates and red meat.  They’re OK, just keep it balanced  and don’t forget to workout!”

So what can we do to make good choice in using food for fitness?  Continue educating ourselves and look for healthy food alternatives that don’t include added sugar.  Find ways to trick your brain (Dr. Oz had a few ideas) and most important DON’T GIVE UP!  Your health and fitness…your life is much too important.  Oh!  And maintain a solid workout routine.  The YMCA of Catawba Valley has an amazing staff of trainers waiting to assist and encourage you with your fitness journey!


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