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A Bowl of Sugar with a Few Corn Flakes?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

There was an interesting article in my Toronto Globe and Mail this morning which suggests that not all calories are created equal. Some calories are just more fattening than others!

New research indicates that our bodies derive different levels of energy from different types of calories.

Low fibre, high Glycemic Index calories (for example, from white bread) are must more easily digested than high fibre, low Glycemic Index calories (for example, from leafy green veggies).

So: 100 calories is not always 100 calories when it comes to what gets deposited on the hips and around the middle. It depends upon how much work the body has to exert to digest a given 100 calories. Raw or unprocessed foods leave fewer net calories behind (or on my behind!)

Apparently the body doesn't much distinguish between highly processed corn flakes and highly processed white sugar . . . biologically, a bowl of sugar with a few corn flakes is processed pretty much the same as a bowl of cornflakes with a little sugar!

A long time ago I decided that white bread and white pasta and white potatoes all make me fatter than their calories counts suggest that they should. So: I pretty much stopped eating them.

Those huge lunch salads are way more satisfying, even if I adjust for portion size so that I'm comparing the same calorie count as, for example, a small cheese sandwich on two slices of bread.

I've gotta manage the metabolism I've inherited or acquired. I've gotta accept that some calories (the pre-processed ones) are just too easy for my body to grab hold of. And hold onto. And hold onto. And hold onto!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    So true! I feel so much better and more satisfied when i eat lots of fiber.
    1855 days ago
  • KANOE10
    I am with you. I am staying away from sugar and refined carbs. My body is happier for it.
    1855 days ago
    Definitely true - not all calories are the same. But I wonder if it isn't different for different people. In the Galloway running book he says that 100 calories of potato satisfies him and gives him more energy than 100 calories of apple. I suspect that may be true for me, too. I've not had any problem with white potatoes or sweet potatoes. I don't eat white bread because it just seems empty and devoid of taste and nutrients. I prefer whole wheat pasta, but sometimes have to compromise on white. There is no doubt that calories are not equal. I'm not sure that what works with one person, though, will work for another. Sugar seems to be my real achilles and a terrible trigger for me.
    1857 days ago
    I am SO WITH YOU re: "A long time ago I decided that white bread and white pasta and white potatoes all make me fatter than their calories counts suggest that they should. So: I pretty much stopped eating them. "

    I think that is the cornerstone of healthy eating for me, swapping out processed carbs for non-starchy veggies.

    1858 days ago
    Eating a mostly low-glycemic diet really has
    helped me both lose and maintain my weight
    eating more food than I though possible in the
    past. And the good news is that these are healthier
    foods as well! emoticon
    1858 days ago
    Fascinating - I wonder if the taste buds could distinguish?
    1858 days ago
    Yes, the less processed the better.

    It also takes so much longer to eat that salad. I'm chewing and chewing and suddenly lunchtime is over!

    1858 days ago
  • NANCY-
    Sometimes individuals will sacrifice nutritional value in order to save on calories. Yes a calorie is a calorie, but the body does not benefit from the empty calories and actually may be harmed by it. (ie. diabetes)
    1858 days ago
  • DEBRA0818
    It's wonderful that these articles are getting out there in the press more and more; it's important for some of us to realize a la Gary Taubes' Good Calories, Bad Calories (or his easier to read Why We Get Fat), that certain foods stimulate blood sugar, insulin secretion and fat storage, and others don't. Certain foods create a high level of satiety, and others send us looking for the next bite, and the one after that. Adding complexity to the mix is the idea that not everyone reacts the same way to different foods -- so what triggers you doesn't do a thing to me. We're all, therefore, a sample size of one in the great weight loss experiment!

    1858 days ago
    Great info.
    1858 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Too true! I have had way more success keeping the weight off with my mostly raw freggie food choices. Its a bonus you can eat so much for so few calories!!
    1858 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    emoticon emoticon
    1859 days ago
    Yeah, I've found over the years that an apple actually makes me hungrier than I was before I ate it! Add an ounce or two of low fat cheese and I'm full. Weird, but basically it's the sugar/glycemic thing with the apple. (They are just so good, though!)
    1859 days ago
    Great information. I think I sorta noticed the same thing but didn't really understand it. Good stuff.
    1859 days ago
    I've come to believe that though lots of readings and by cutting carbs way down since summer of 2012

    I highly recommend reading Gary Taubes book "Why we get Fat" it's an easy to understand, well written, and well researched book explaining that not all calories are created equal

    Good luck!
    1859 days ago
    Not only are they easier to digest, they also simply do not satisfy. Eating refined and processed foods is a double whammy! Long live the huge lunch salad! emoticon
    1859 days ago
    Makes perfect sense to me!
    1859 days ago
    1859 days ago
  • JO88BAKO
    That is the truth! Good info- thanks for sharing
    1859 days ago
    1859 days ago
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