Most people equate ‘ignorant’ with being stupid. Few people are truly stupid which is defined as being ‘numb in the mind.’ Many of us though are ‘ignorant’ in different areas of our lives. Ignorance is simply ‘lacking knowledge.’ – an area where we can honestly say “I didn’t know.” Nothing to be ashamed of. Something to be honest about though.
We are not ‘ignorant’ of the fact that “Nutrition is a key part of CrossFit.” (The Journal, Food for Thought.) We know that when nutrition is lacking every other aspect of our fitness will be lacking.
Let’s just go on the basic assumption of many health professionals, including the director of preventive and alternative medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center, that “It’s the total amount (of calories) you take in compared to how much you burn that determines if you will gain weight.” Too many days of more in than amount burned leads to more weight gain which can lead to more weight gain …. Well …..you get where that’s going. Weight gain leads to bigger health issues and while many of us are not yet suffering the seemingly severe maladies such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, etc., it would be a good guess that many of us do struggle with things like lethargy, irritability, anxiety, fatigue, extreme emotional highs and lows, sleep problems, loss of endurance and low self-confidence.
An interesting study was conducted wherein doctors were attempting to fatten rats for an experiment. The rats were fed their regular diet of Purina Dog Chow but they would never eat enough food to gain weight, even after extra ‘fats’ were added to their food. The doctors changed their diet to include cookies, candy, condensed milk and chocolate bars. The study states that over a course of a few weeks, the rats ate so much that they had grown obese. They loved the sugary foods so much that the “craving completely overrode the biological brakes that should have been saying: STOP.” Ouch! (Brooklyn College)
Here’s where ‘ignorance’ may come in for many of us. “On average, we consume 71 pounds of caloric sweeteners (honey, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc.) each year. That’s 22 teaspoons of sweetener – per day – per person.” The American Heart Association recommends no more than 5 teaspoons per day for women; 9 teaspoons per day for men; and further states that even a 50 sugar calorie per day imbalance can result in up to a 5-pound weight gain over the course of a year. This is not natural sugars found in your fruits and vegetables, but ‘added’ sugars in foods that we eat every day.
Let’s just take a look at some of our favorites.
1 ketchup packet from Chik-Fil-A – 5 ½ teaspoons of sugar.
A Strawberry Nature Valley Granola Bar – 3 ½ teaspoons of sugar.
Yoplait “Lite” Strawberry Yogurt – 4 teaspoons of sugar.
KFC Original BBQ Sauce – 2 Tablespoon serving – 2 ½ teaspoons of sugar.
A Bag of Skittles – 9 ¼ teaspoons of sugar.
Rockstar Energy Drink – 12 ¼ teaspoons of sugar.
Starbucks Bottled Frappucino – 9 teaspoons of sugar
Vitamin Water – 6.5 teaspoons of sugar.
20 oz. bottle of Coke – 13 teaspoons of sugar.
This list does not even include pizza sauces, spaghetti sauces, salad dressings, etc.
From strictly a caloric perspective, it is easy to see how hidden sugars can seep in totally unaware … It’s those calories that add up to “more in than amount burned.” That’s why it’s so important that we not be ignorant about such things; why we need to read labels and make informed decisions. We cannot afford to be “lacking knowledge.” And about artificial sugar substitutes … Well … just don’t be “ignorant.”
Because, at some point, we all have to decide for ourselves. But at least now, we can’t say “we didn’t know.”