Oh Sugar!

As I was sitting in bed watching tv and popping sour patch kids like they were going out of style last night, I realized that it was probably time to revisit my diet.  I had decided during the renovation that I just wasn’t going to worry about what I was eating.  For a while there, all we had was a microwave and I was really limited on what I could “cook”.  Bagel bites?  Done.  Corn dogs?  Perfect.  Taquitos?  Tasty.  If it could be cooked in a microwave, we ate it during November.  The kids were in heaven.  I liked the ease of it but it was maybe not the best way to fuel up to try to get back into shape.

So in an attempt to scare myself away from the sour patch kids, I googled effects of sugar on the body.  In case you were wondering, there’s a lot written on the subject!  And none of it’s good.  The first hit was this article.  Sure we know that eating too much sugar makes you gain weight, but apparently, it’s also awful for your heart.

Sugar can damage your heart
While it’s been widely noted that excess sugar can increase the overall risk for heart disease, a 2013 study in the Journal of the American Heart Association displayed strong evidence that sugar can actually affect the pumping mechanism of your heart and could increase the risk for heart failure. The findings specifically pinpointed a molecule from sugar (as well as from starch) called glucose metabolite glucose 6-phosphate (G6P) that was responsible for the changes in the muscle protein of the heart. These changes could eventually lead to heart failure. Approximately half of the people that are diagnosed with heart failure die within five years.”

Well that’s not good.  And there was more.

“Sugar and alcohol have similar toxic liver effects on the body
A 2012 paper in the journal Nature, brought forth the idea that limitations and warnings should be placed on sugar similar to warnings we see on alcohol. The authors showed evidence that fructose and glucose in excess can have a toxic effect on the liver as the metabolism of ethanol — the alcohol contained in alcoholic beverages had similarities to the metabolic pathways that fructose took. Further, sugar increased the risk for several of the same chronic conditions that alcohol was responsible for. Finally, if you think that your slim stature keeps you immune from fructose causing liver damage, think again. A 2013 study found that liver damage could occur even without excess calories or weight gain.”

That’s doubly not good.  I guess eating sour patch kids while drinking wine is exponentially bad.  UGH.  So, I went ahead and finished up that bag of sour patch kids (it seemed wrong to waste them) and decided it was time to make a change… uhhhh… again.  No, I’m not giving up sugar, that’s just crazy talk.  But it’s time to start paying attention to what I’m putting in my body again.  In addition to the increased training that’s coming as I ramp up for Boston, I’m still healing.  My legs are not 100% so I really should probably be fueling up with foods that promote healing or at the very least, don’t hinder it.  I spend a ridiculous amount of time icing, rolling, and stretching right now, it seems I could spend a fraction of that actually planning some simple meals.

So, that’s a good way to start the year.  Looks like it’s time to revisit my love of oatmeal and blueberries.

And in other completely unrelated news, this came today!!!

boston1

I’m under strict instructions that it must go in the back of my closet not to be seen again until I cross the finish line in Boston in April.  It’s hard for me to really believe I’ll be running another marathon in April after so many frustrating setbacks this year.  So I’m just taking it one run at a time for now.

Tomorrow we’re heading tubing for Sean’s and my niece, Sophie’s, birthdays.  Between my sister and I we have FIVE birthdays between Christmas and New Years.  Lauren and Sean both share birthdays with their cousins.  And no, we didn’t plan it!

Happy New Year!  Looking forward to an exciting 2014!

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