Too much of the American diet is made up of high fat, high sugar junk food that
with 50% to 60% of total calories from sugar and other refined carbohydrates, desserts,
fast food, and snacks. Minimizing the intake of added sugar is a particularly
important strategy for weight loss. High intake of added sugar has been shown
to be associated with high body weight and type 2 diabetes. Several randomized
controlled trials have demonstrated that reducing consumption of sugar-sweetened
beverages intake improves metabolism and weight control in both children and

One lifestyle intervention found that each serving per day reduction in
sugar-sweetened beverages was associated with a 1.4 pound greater weight loss. In a meta-analysis that looked at 30 studies, the authors singled out the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages as particularly likely to be associated with high body
weight, in part because beverages such as juices and soft drinks are less filling (i.e.,
they cause less satiety) than other forms of food. They also noted that it may not
be sugar alone that is associated with high body weight because added sugar is a
component of processed foods such as cookies, cakes, and ice cream that are also
high in fat.

Although it is best to avoid most processed foods, because they are often loaded
with sugar, consumers can make better choices after referring to the Nutrition Facts
Label (NFL) on processed foods. The new NFL provides a listing of total sugar, and
that separately lists the amount of the healthy sugars found in fruits and vegetables
and added sugars. Better yet, buy mainly the whole, unprocessed fruit and vegetables
that don’t need a label.

In addition to minimizing added sugar, substituting complex carbohydrates for fats
in the form of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains for dietary fat will increase bulk
and possibly satiety for the same number of calories consumed. Plant-based whole
foods contain more water and more fiber, and each gram of protein or carbohydrate
will provide four calories compared to nine calories per gram for fat. So, a diet rich
in these foods is low in calorie density with fewer calories per gram. More bulk
with the same number of calories is more filling and more effective at suppressing
appetite. A whole food plant-based diet that avoids refined carbohydrates like sugar
will make you less hungry, and adherence to a calorie-restricted diet easier.

This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel