Dear Jonny, Eating Sweets…
I am an athlete. I run, I lift, and generally I watch what I eat pretty closely. However, I have a problem. I have a terrible sweet tooth. I read somewhere that sugar is actually worse for you than fats of all kinds: saturated, mono, poly, etc. Would increasing my cardio or upping my gym work help to balance this out?
– Sweet tooth
Dear Sweet tooth,
Not really. Extended workout sessions will burn more calories, thereby allowing you to eat more sugar without gaining [as much] weight. Cosmetically speaking, the added gym time will help preserve your physique. But in terms of your health, that sweet tooth is definitely physiologically destructive. I tend to agree with the opinion that sugar is more harmful than fat. Too much sugar leads to diabetes. It decays your teeth. Fructose (high-fructose corn syrup is in almost everything sweet) has been linked to pancreatic cancer in numerous studies. And the Journal of the American Medical Association recently completed a study that links sugar intake to heart disease. That said, it’s nasty shit. My best advice: If you’re truly a die hard, can’t-live-without-it fan of sweets, attempt to eat them (fat-free candy, as it’s never wise to mix sugars and fats) at no other time than post-workout, at which point your body is primed for an endogenous insulin response, which it uses to shuttle into muscle cells the protein shake you should be consuming along with it. I feel comfortable saying that’s the least destructive approach to your predicament.