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Halloween may be over but don't get "tricked" into holiday eating mindset...


Yep. Halloween came and went (and hopefully most of that candy "went" too!) I'm NOT one to say, "Don't have any candy." I'm pretty real when it comes to eating and the holidays. It's all about balance, moderation, and a little self control. If you choose to have halloween candy, just have one small piece or one small portion. You eat the whole bag, and well, it could lead you down a path that isn't so pretty in terms of your glycemic reactions and could possibly just stay stored in your body as, um, FAT. UGH! Really? Yes, really.

The University of Utah Health Sciences Radio interviewed Liver Specialist Dr. Juan Gallegos on how sugar is stored as fat. Fascinating stuff! Here's an excerpt from the interview:

Interviewer: ...I don't know if this is true of not, but I've heard that if you eat an excess of sugar that your liver can't process it properly and it just turns it immediately into fat. So if I'm eating a tub of ice cream every night, I'm going to get a lot fatter because of that, is that true?

Dr. Juan Gallegos: That is partly true because we know there's a very close interplay between the liver, which is the chemical factory of our bodies, with the pancreas, which is the main regulator of your blood sugar, and with the fat cells or adipocytes, which are also a big endocrine organ. So that interplay has to do with changes in your blood sugar, the things that you eat and trying to control the blood sugar back to normal levels, and it also has to do with making cholesterol, making triglycerides which are fat molecules that store energy. So yes, if you eat too much sugar or too much carbohydrates, basically, all this energy has to be stored somehow and normally that storage is inside the fat cells or fat droplets, and those can accumulate also inside the liver, and cause what we call fatty liver disease.

Interviewer: So what exactly is happening? I eat a whole bunch of sugar, it goes into my body, goes into my stomach, gets ingested by my system and then what?

Dr. Juan Gallegos: Then it goes into your blood stream and then the blood stream, when your pancreas senses that there's very high blood sugar levels, then it will secrete something called insulin, and that insulin will make that sugar, that glucose go back into certain cells, especially liver cells, muscle cells and other cells so that they can use that as energy. But that excess energy that you have, if it's not used then it has to be stored somehow.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Dr. Juan Gallegos: The way it's stored is basically in the fat cells or adipocytes, but also sometimes it's stored in other places where it shouldn't be.

Interviewer: What about the part of the thing that I heard, that the liver can't process it all, what does that mean exactly?

Dr. Juan Gallegos: It's not necessarily that it can't process it all, but the way, if you overcharge the system, then the processing of those things might be abnormal and that's part of the reason why people who have issues with their weight or have diabetes and high blood sugar can have something called fatty liver disease and that's because the fat starts accumulating inside the liver cells as they try to adapt to all this excess fat that's coming into the system, through your meal, but also through increased blood sugar that ultimately is transformed into fat deposits if it's not used elsewhere.

(See full transcript here... http://healthcare.utah.edu/the-scope/shows.php?shows=0_7frg4jjd)

So, basically Dr. Gallegos is saying that if you have excess sugars as well as excess carbohydrates, the liver gets over taxed and fats start to accumulate in the liver cells, and if they are not used as a needed fuel or nutrient, then they get stored as FAT deposits in your body. Note the keyword... EXCESS. Focus on MODERATION. The first step is to stop with EXCESSIVE sugar/carbohydrate consumption. Consume only the amounts which your body needs to function, or can handle without making an IMBALANCE. Make sense? Find a BALANCE. It's okay to have a treat from time to time, just not the WHOLE BAG of potential Fat Deposits...um...I mean..treats, especially in one sitting. (Put the bag of FAT Deposits down, and no one gets hurt!)

Yes, you can have a cookie...(and not the jumbo, extra thick, sugar cookie-loaded-with-tons-of-frosting kind! Have a half instead...) Remember that sometimes when you deprive yourself of something, you can become obsessed with it, and then when you ARE able to have it, you go extremely overboard and consume too much.

BALANCE. MODERATION. A LITTLE SELF CONTROL.

Yes, there is a way to develop those healthy habits...it's called PRACTICE and ACCOUNTABILITY...and a good Nutrition Coach... hehehe!

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