I’m not really one to get into internet feuds. If you’re not aware, everyone on the internet is an expert at everything and arguing with these individuals is a complete waste of time and energy.
But just recently, someone replied to a comment I had made on my sister’s post that just rubbed me the wrong way.
Quick background on how all this unfolded. My sister posted this exact picture to Instagram with a caption that read something similar to ‘coworker is leaving, but he left these to soften the blow of his departure.’
A kind gesture by the guy who’s departing for sure. He sounds like a swell guy.
I also happen to know my sister is currently participating in a ‘biggest loser’ type competition at her work, where dropping body fat is the name of the game.
Now, I’m by no means a nutrition expert, but I can confidently say that over the years as a coach and trainer, I’ve learned that ingesting excess sugar is without a doubt the easiest way to pack on the fluff and cause detriment to your overall health. To be more specific, it’s excess table sugar that’s the worst… aka the kind found in lots of processed foods, cakes, cookies, and candy.
So, since my sister essentially asked me to ‘coach’ her through this competition, I left a comment on her post.
“Better not eat that.”
All is well with the world, right? She doesn’t eat the sugar laden candy, and now she’s that much closer to winning the competition! Hooray!!
Well, apparently I’m wrong, as this comment was left by another individual.
Now, I don’t think this comment was written with any sort of malicious tone attached to it, probably more of one in which this gentleman thinks I am blissfully unaware that all calories are indeed created equal.
My immediate reaction upon reading this was ‘
shut the f*ck up you uneducated fish twat “Kind sir, I respect your opinion on the matter. No doubt you arrived at this conclusion through years of seemingly successful self-experimentation. However, I most respectfully and kindly disagree.”
Like I said, arguing on the internet is a waste of time, so I never replied. But that comment continued to bug me throughout the day because, well, I couldn’t disagree more with this guy. (To his credit, the guy looks like he knows his way around a weight room and has the aesthetics to seemingly back up his nutrition advice, however questionable it may be).
At first glance, yes, the simple solution for fat loss is to burn more calories than you eat in a given day, and repeat that over and over and over. I won’t argue this. When it comes to fat loss, total calories matter most.
Calories are certainly NOT created equally.
Let’s examine this claim that a calorie is a calorie no matter the source. I’ll compare 130 calories of Life Savers Big Ring Gummy to 130 calories of raspberries and let you be the judge.
First up, Life Savers Big Ring Gummies.
Ingredients: sugar, corn syrup, water, modified corn starch, gelatin, less than 2% of citric acid, natural and artificial flavors, color (red 40, yellow 5, blue 1).
Ok, so you’ve got 130 calories, all of which come from carbohydrates (104 calories coming directly from added sugar). No vitamins, no minerals, no fiber, no protein… you’re essentially pouring table sugar directly into your mouth. Plus, look at those ingredients! Sugar and chemicals! This is amazing… if your goal is to eventually cut your foot off from diabetes.
Let’s take a look at 130 calories worth raspberries now.
Ok, same amount of calories and almost identical amount of carbs… but only 10 grams of sugar, almost 16 grams of fiber, more potassium, more vitamins, AND more protein.
PLUS, raspberries contain manganese, copper, vitamin K, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin E, magnesium, folate, and omega-3 fatty acids… all of which have beneficial qualities for the human body.
Now, come on… even people with absolutely ZERO nutritional background can tell you that 130 calories worth of raspberries contains a MASSIVE bang for your buck in comparison to the candy.
Even the sugar in these two foods will be digested differently and consequently have different effects on the body in terms of satiety (how full you get) and your blood sugar levels to name a few.
The fructose found in fruit, in combination with lots of fiber and a high water content, will be digested much differently than the sugar and corn syrup found in the candy.
Diving into the sciencey details about how they’re specifically digested is a bit above my nutrition expertise, but I do know that the table sugar and high fructose corn syrup found in candy will be digested extremely quickly and shuttled into fat cells like it’s the last chopper out of Vietnam.
The fructose from fruit will not.
You ever hear an overweight person say they got that way because they couldn’t stop eating fruit?
99 times out of 100 its because they overate the calorically dense, nutrient deprived foods… like the Life Savers Gummies.
(Not to mention that excessive table sugar consumption has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, and just about every other negative health ailment out there. I’ve never heard of eating fruit causing cancer… have you?)
And this doesn’t just apply to fruit and candy.
The 560 calories in one Big Mac from McDonald’s does NOT equate to the nutritional value of 560 calories worth of grilled salmon, assorted non starchy vegetables, and sweet potatoes.
The 250 calories in a Mocha Choca Super Duper Frappucino does NOT equate to the nutritional value of 250 calories found in a whey protein shake blended with mixed berries and some leafy greens.
And quite frankly, if you think otherwise, you really need to stop giving out nutrition advice because you’re really doing a disservice to those taking it.
Only concerning yourself with the quantity of calories while ignoring the quality of those calories is a short sighted approach to achieving short term success. You’re missing the forest for the trees, my friend.
Calories are all equal in the same way that knockoff Jordan’s are the same thing as real ones.
A shoe is a shoe right?
(Right now, somewhere, a sneaker enthusiast starts preparing his death threat to me).
So to the gentleman who replied to my anti-sugar comment, whoever you are, I hope you read this and it makes some sort of impact on your future food choices. And if you don’t believe what I say, I’ve got the contact info of like 6 other registered and qualified nutrition experts who will more than likely back my claims.