Nutrition Class, Nutrition Tips

Nutrition Class 3 | Carbohydrates | Part 3/3

This is the last part of carbohydrates so if you didn’t read part one and two this might be a little confusing. This entire post is about SUGARS and can be read on its own.

Before I begin I just want to point out again that I’m sharing what I’ve learned from the course — — and my own experiences. I will clearly indicate when it’s from the course, it’s the cursive writing, so there is no confusion.

Health Effects from Sugar

If you’ve been following me awhile you might remember the little short challenge slash project I was doing on my Instagram while I was doing this week. This week in the course was the most eye opening and started ‘slap of reality’. It was a bloody good point I was making and although I stopped after a few shares, I still keep this into account. It’s almost a year later and it still helps with my sugar consumption. I still 100% agree with all of my slap of reality posts so I’m going to re-share a few of my favorites.

Here is the picture to the first every slap of reality post.

sugar 1.png

Knowing is one thing but seeing it is another and that’s my goal behind Slap of Reality. I want to show you just how much sugar is in your favorite goodies. Awareness is key. My goal is not to completely put you off from ever enjoying said treat. Now I’m going to throw the math at you. This snicker bar which consists of two 40g bars (but let’s face it you can’t just have one and leave the other one to feel lonely) contains 41,4g of sugar in total! So more than half of the actual sneaker bar is just sugar. To put it even more in perspective the total recommended sugar intake for myself is 65g. A healthy diet does in fact consists of sugar but the problem is that this sneaker bar that will take up more than half of my total sugar intake for the day is empty calories meaning it basically has almost zero nutritional value. My normal diet which consists alone of 65g (or that’s the goal) will be added to this 41,4g. A little bit of added sugar does little harm and thus can be part of a healthy diet but we are not informed or educated to properly interpret ‘a little bit’. And I’m sorry but 41,4g of added sugar is not a little bit 1g of sugar contains 4 calories which means in total the sugar alone in this sneaker bar is 165,6 calories. But I’m not done yet: I burn 13,536 calories in one minute of CONSTANT squatting. So this means it would take me 12 minutes and 23 seconds (give or take) of constant squatting to burn ONLY the sugar in this sneaker bar! It really makes you think doesn’t it? It’s no secret that I have a sweet tooth and an addiction to candy goodness but after learning about the negative health effects of sugar and the over consumption of it is eye opening. I’ve tried so many things in the past to cut down my sugar intake and this is probably the most successful. Seeing just how much sugar I would truly consume if I eat that sneaker bar and how much hard work it would take for my body to burn it is enough to make me rethink before eating my candy treats and that’s why I think ‘Slap of Reality’ is a clever way to reduce your sugar consumption

There is another slap of reality post I want to share so here goes.

sugar 2

75,4% of this packet is sugar. That’s 24 teaspoons of sugar. It has zero nutritional value. My slap of reality series is truly eye opening and not once have I been able to eat or drink any of the products I took the time to work out how much sugar it contains. I finally made that switch to sugar free candy. This is probably for the first time in my fitness journey that I’ve been able to stay candy free for longer than 7 days because now there is just no way of escaping the facts. I encourage anyone to take those extra few seconds to read the label and then make the educated choice if you want this inside your body. There is healthier alternatives for almost everything highly processed on the market. Now I’m in no way shape or form trying to throw shade on any of the products I show in this series. They just happen to be my favorite brand and favorite candies. Again like I’ve mentioned before a small amount of added sugar (25g according to the World Health Organization) won’t be considered unhealthy but this packet of sugar, I mean candy is not it. If you really adore these packets of candies, split it up into smaller portions. I personally can’t see myself devouring an entire packet in one go ever again. Be smart with your sugar, your body will thank you for it.

Looking back to that is a big ‘wow that’s insane’ moment. I really should start doing it again every time I want to stuff my face with a lot of sugars. I had a moment last year but now I take the sugar free option where I can. I also read the labels and explore my options for products with low sugar. Curing a sweet tooth doesn’t happen overnight. I mean I feel like even my new blog readers knows I’m a sweet tooth. I’m rewarding myself after one year of candy free by going to the northern lights. Now I’m even trying to follow a very low sugar diet. I will talk more about it some other time but let’s talk a little more about the course and what I learned from it. I mean this week inspired slap of reality which kind of forever changed the way I think of sugar and has made a massive difference in my overall health.

The next part comes straight from the course.

Sugar consumption

Many foods contain substantial amounts of sugar, often without us realizing it. Did you know that a blueberry muffin can contain up to 45 grams of sugar? And that a 12 oz (355 mL) can of regular Coke contains nearly 40 grams of sugar. Since so many foods contain sugar, how much sugar are we actually consuming?


Negative health effects of sugar

Why is the high sugar consumption in many countries considered to be bad? A number of valid arguments exist against consuming lots of sugar. An important concern is that added sugar is almost a synonym for empty calorie foods. Empty calorie foods are rich in energy (calories) but are relatively devoid of other nutrients and thus carry little nutritional value. The higher the consumption of empty calories, the less room there is for nutrient-rich foods, decreasing the nutritional quality of the diet.

Another concern is that sugar is often consumed in liquid form, for example in soft drinks or fruit juices. Scientific studies have demonstrated that consumption of a food in liquid form is less satiating than consuming the same food in solid form. For example, drinking apple juice is less satiating than eating an apple. High consumption of sugar-rich beverages may therefore lead to caloric excess and weight gain.

WHO’s current recommendation, which was last revised in 2002, is that sugars should make up less than 10% of total energy intake per day. The new draft guideline from 2014 also proposes that sugars should be less than 10% of total energy intake per day. It further suggests that a reduction to below 5% of total energy intake per day would have additional benefits. Five per cent of total energy intake is equivalent to around 25 grams (around 6 teaspoons) of sugar per day for an adult of normal Body Mass Index (BMI). The suggested limits on intake of sugars in the draft guideline apply to all monosaccharides (such as glucose, fructose) and disaccharides (such as sucrose or table sugar) that are added to food by the manufacturer, the cook or the consumer, as well as sugars that are naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit concentrates. The guidelines from 2002 were met by strong opposition in the USA from the US Sugar Association. The US Sugar Association urged lawmakers in the US congress to consider withdrawing funding to the World Health Organization.

Before I continue, the course goes into a lot of detail about sugar (there is another 16 pages worth of information) and I really don’t want to copy and paste everything so I’m going to try to keep it as short as I can. If you want to read everything (16 pages)

An ongoing sugar frenzy

At this moment, there is a lot of discussion about sugar and obesity. Many people believe that excess sugar consumption is a major culprit in the current obesity epidemic. The negative image of sugar is mostly confined to added sugar, not the sugar already present in foods such as milk and fruits. People such as Gary Taubes and many others have written books and generated lots of publicity claiming that the high sugar consumption is responsible for most of today’s health problems, especially obesity. According to them, eating sugar makes you ill and fat. They claim that most of our health troubles would simply disappear if we stop eating sugar. The anti-sugar movement preys on the inherent desire among the general public to appoint a convenient scapegoat to a particular societal problem. And with that I don’t mean to say that people such as Gary Taubes don’t have a point. I am just saying that people like to hear that a very complex problem has a very simple explanation. Accusations have also been raised against sugar as contributing to poor mental health, including depression, impaired learning ability, and anxiety, although these are very poorly substantiated. Other people have gone so far as to consider removal of dietary sugar as a universal panacea.

What is the view of nutrition scientists? Most nutrition scientists and health authorities have expressed concern, serious concern about the high sugar consumption in many countries, and recognize that efforts need to be undertaken to lower added sugar consumption, especially in children. However, they do not consider its avoidance a simple cure for obesity and are not necessarily happy with the singular focus on sugar in certain media and the hyperbole that inevitably accompanies a blind fixation. They are concerned that the overemphasis on sugar and fructose has distracted us from the importance of avoiding caloric over consumption, which ultimately is responsible for weight gain. Reducing sugar intake will certainly be helpful toward that effect but obviously there is more to the contemporary diet that demands our attention.

The course continues with the strategy that the sugar industry is taking which was quite interesting to learn. It then looks into replacing sugar by non-nutritive sweeteners. There is one last part I want to take out from the course before we call this sugar lesson a day.

Sugar and tooth decay

Nowadays, excess sugar consumption is mainly discussed in the context of obesity. But before our society became obese, sugar already had a bad name for its connection to tooth decay. From a dentist’s perspective, a steady diet of sugary foods and drinks, including juice and sports drinks, can damage teeth and should thus be discouraged. Sugar itself is not directly damaging to teeth. Sugar provides the substrate for bacteria that grow in our mouths and produce acids. It is the acid that negatively affects our teeth by softening and gradually dissolving the hard enamel surface covering the teeth.

This part was interesting to me as well all know that I have some teeth problems and I blame it all on my really high sugar consumption the majority of my life. I’ve been meaning on seeing the dentist since the health insurance restarted this new year but I’m being a massive baby. I will probably surrender soon. I still loath seeing the dentist. The entire experience is horrible and I always got sick afterwards so honestly being adult sometimes sucks. But let’s finish this post before I get distracted.

The course continues talking about health effects of dietary fiber, lactose intolerance, diabetes and glucose intolerance. It’s truly a very informative and great source. I’m going to end this blog here as I feel like I’ve made my point. Sugar can be a silent killer. Keep your sugar consumption into account. I’m not saying cut all sugar out for the rest of your life I’m saying enjoy it in moderation and go for the healthier option when you can. Weigh loss will most likely follow. I hope you found this post enriching and educational.

Thank you so much for reading. I wish you all the best and I will see you in a click!




Nutrition Class, Nutrition Tips

Nutrition Class 2 | Carbohydrates | Part 2/3

Alright I’m going to write this as if you all already read part one and you’re coming from there. So you just read a little snip bit from the course I took. Here is the link to that said course — — So the point of sharing all that information on the chemistry of carbohydrates to really show how important carbohydrates is for a healthy body. I’ve heard so many people with the warped idea that cutting out all carbohydrates is the way to go. This post is going to be about carbohydrates in your diet.

Again this blog will be a mix of my experience and advice with pieces straight from the course. I will clearly indicate when it’s from the course, it’s the cursive writing, so there is no confusion.

Before I begin the course goes into a lot of details, details I won’t go into here as well I don’t want to copy and paste the entire blog. I feel like that is stealing. I just really want to talk a little more and share information for those who don’t have the time for a 8 week course.

Carbohydrates in our diet

Now I’ve made it clear many times before that I love my carbohydrates but like with many things; there is a healthy version and an unhealthy version. You can get pastas, rice and breads that’s high in sugars and have a bunch of processed stuff added that isn’t necessarily good for your body. It’s those products that can make the weight go up although over consumption in carbohydrates can also affect your weight. Really there is a fine balance. You find people who respond well to a low carbohydrate diet and people who respond well to a high carbohydrate diet. The only way to know which side of the spectrum you fall in is with trial and error. In the beginning of my fitness journey I cut out ALL pastas, rice, potatoes, bread and all that jazz. Cookies and cakes (all things super delicious in this world) and was on a strict smoothie diet. I was on a very low carbohydrate diet and I had no energy in my body. I felt sick, slow and deprived. I didn’t have the energy for my workouts and would feel faint after a workout. I wasn’t starving myself, I just didn’t eat what my body needed.

I switched over to a high carbohydrate diet and the difference in my energy levels was a 180 degree difference. I did go to high and ate too much of the goodies which backfired and I gained weight. So there is a sweet line. I eat two portions per day of the big carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes) but I don’t go overboard with the amount. I also purchase the gluten free and very low in sugar option. My favorite new ‘pasta’ is made from rice and contains zero sugar and the calories isn’t high. It’s filling and gets the job done.

I don’t know about you but in the beginning I thought carbohydrates is only pasta, rice, bread, potatoes, pastries, cakes and etc. It didn’t occur to me that there is carbohydrates in other products, I mean who knew there is in bananas. I sure as hell didn’t. This course opened my eyes to many facts.

This next part comes from the course.

As you can see in the table below, many foods are high in carbohydrates. The predominant sources of carbohydrate in most people’s diet are starchy foods such as wheat, corn, rice, cassava and potatoes. The raw forms of these foods (e.g. whole wheat, brown rice etc) also contain substantial amounts of fiber, which is mostly lost during processing. Many foods are rich in carbohydrates due to their high sugar content, which is present naturally (as in fruits) or added during processing. Crystalline table sugar is 100% carbohydrate in the form of sucrose. Meat contains only very small amounts of carbohydrate in the form of glycogen.

Please note that the carbohydrate content of a food shown on the food label is calculated differently in different parts of the world, in particular when it relates to dietary fiber.


The course goes into detail about the source of dietary fiber. I found this part to be super educational and eye opening so I’m going to copy and paste this part in.

Plant foods in their natural form usually contain substantial amounts of fiber. The table below provides estimates of the total fiber content of many foods. Most high fiber foods contain a mixture of dietary fibers, although the main type of fiber present can differ considerably between various foods. Processing of food often leads to loss of fiber. White rice contains much less fiber than brown rice. Orange juice contains less fiber than an actual orange. White bread contains less fiber than whole wheat bread. Sometimes, the colour can be deceiving. Many breads in the Netherlands are made to look like whole wheat bread, but its main ingredient is white flour, not whole wheat flour. Other breads are made to look like white bread (to make it more appealing to children) but have fiber added. Always check the list of ingredients. Animal products, including milk and milk products, contain little to no fiber. Sometimes, fiber is added to yogurt to create functional foods.


The course continues with a lot more super technical information on how carbohydrates are digested and absorbed and the metabolism of carbohydrates. If you’re interested to learn a lot more about that technical part of carbohydrates then I would recommend you check out the course itself. There is one last part of carbohydrates from the course that I want to discuss. It was the most eye opening week from the entire course and something that made the biggest difference in my health and overall way of life. It’s about sugar! I hope you enjoyed this post! I tried my best not to be to technical like part one and not to copy and paste everything from the course. I really do want to share the information I learned without stealing the entire course.

Thank you so much for reading. I wish you all the best and I will see you in a click!



Nutrition Class, Nutrition Tips

Nutrition Class 1 | Carbohydrates | Part 1/3

Alright guys. The moment has arrived. I’m going to get real technical with you all and share what I learned in my nutrition course last year… I’m going to break it down into three parts: Carbohydrates, Fat and Protein. Every part might be divided too but I will see how it goes.

I’m going to start with Carbohydrates because well I can’t go a day without my carbohydrates. The course was very technical so I’m going to take pieces from it and break it down but you’re more than welcome to take the course yourself! It’s on edx. Here is the link — — I do want to point out that most of the technical information comes from this course because well this is where I learned all my technical things related to nutrition. I really just want to share what I learned for those who want to read real nutrition facts without doing a lot of effort. I will add some stuff I learned from my own experience but you will see once you scroll down. You see I know how much fake information is out there so information backed with resources and research is important to me. This course has this. Really if you have the time take this course. You will probably recognize bits and pieces from here if you do.

Before I start, the pieces I take from the course will be in cursive and my words will be well you know, normal. I will try my best not to overwhelm you between what I say and what the course say. I also don’t want to copy and paste from the course but there is a lot of important information.

Part one in the carbohydrates category we’re going to talk about the chemistry of carbohydrates. There is a lot of terms, I mean when I was going through all the information there wasn’t much I could say that the course didn’t cover. I had to rethink the structure of this blog quite a bit because how it was looking was basically a copy and paste from the course, two and a half pages of it. So I will be breaking it down and will clearly point out when I’m using material from the course and when it’s me talking, or well writing. You know the drill by now. Let’s just jump in!

I’m also going to make little graphs via PowerPoint to simplify what I can.

Chemistry of carbohydrates

When you’re very deep down in the fitness world you will probably hear macro counting somewhere down the line. This isn’t a guide how to macro count, heck I’ve never tried it so I can’t really explain the how’s. This is more a technical breakdown with a bunch of information about everything to educate you about how the body works and overall improve your nutritional knowledge. Macronutrients (or macros) is divided into three parts; carbohydrates, fat and protein.


What is carbohydrates? What is their chemical composition? The course answers all of this.

2Carbohydrates can be separated into simple carbohydrates, sometimes referred to as sugars, and complex carbohydrates. But for now we’ll concentrate on the simple carbohydrates, which can be separated into monosaccharides and disaccharides.


The monosaccharides are glucose, fructose and galactose.  

4The disaccharides are composed of these three monosaccharides. We have maltose, which is composed of two molecules of glucose. We have sucrose, which is composed of a molecule of glucose linked to fructose. And we have lactose, which is composed of glucose linked to galactose. All these mono and disaccharides exist in our diet with the exception of galactose, which is only present in our diet as part of lactose.

5The monosaccharides can be directly absorbed into our bloodstream so they don’t require any digestion. However, the disaccharides need to be broken down to the individual monosaccharides. This process is part of normal digestion and is called hydrolysis. We can break down the disaccharides into the individual monosaccharides through hydrolysis. And as an example we can have sucrose, which is an important part of our diet, it is table sugar, and it can undergo hydrolysis to yield the individual monosaccharides glucose and fructose. Through that process we are able to utilize the energy that is available in the disaccharides by forming the monosaccharides which can be subsequently absorbed into the bloodstream and used as an energy source.

Now that we’ve discussed simple carbohydrates with the help of the course we can now move onto next part. We will discuss a lot about sugars so try to keep track. I know this is a lot of technical terms that some of you might not be that interested in but stay patient. This is some great information.

In the previous paragraph we talked about simple carbohydrates and we said that they are often referred to as the sugars, and that they include the monosaccharides and disaccharides. However, in colloquial terms, sugar is most often used to describe crystalline table sugar, which in chemical terms is sucrose. When we talk about blood sugar, actually we refer to glucose in the blood. There are also other sugars: invert sugar or inverted sugar is a mixture of equal amounts of glucose and fructose. Invert sugar is a little bit sweeter than sucrose and has a number of industrial uses including in the production of alcoholic beverages. It is also used by food manufacturers to retard the crystallization of sugar and to retain moisture in packaged food. A natural form of invert sugar is actually honey.

That my folks wraps up simple carbohydrates. Now we’re going to move onto complex carbohydrates. What is complex carbohydrates? The course will answer this.

Complex carbohydrates  are also referred to as polysaccharides and there are three main groups. We have glycogen, which is a very minor component of our diet. We have the starches, which are a very important component of our diet and we have fibres.

6So let’s focus on the starches and on specifically the amylopectin and the amylose component of the starch, because starch is basically a polymer of glucose. So, many glucose molecules link together in either a linear chain, which is called amylose, or a branched chain, which is called amylopectin, and together they form starch. Now depending on the type of food – rice, bread, corn – the type of starch is in a different conformation. But they all conform to the same standard chemical composition. It’s a mixture of amylose and amylopectin. So basically what you end up with after digestion is purely glucose.

I just quickly want to touch base on this topic. There is a lot of myths on starch that I had to double check to see if there was actually some truth to the matter. So my father is convinced that you can wash starch away after cooking rice, pasta and potatoes by washing it properly after cooking. You know till the water runs clear. He is convinced that starch is the thing in these foods that make you gain weight and by washing it away it’s healthy. I always found this a little ludicrous but I wanted to see if there is actually truth to this. So I turned to Google. Almost immediately I found two websites who followed my dad’s way of thinking. Here is the links — and — If it’s in fact true I’m not entirely sure. If a research has been done I haven’t found it. Although I don’t really see the harm in rinsing off your potatoes, pasta and rice. Just rinse it with hot water otherwise you will make your food cold and no one really wants to eat cold food.


In this next part we’re going to discuss dietary fiber with the help of the course once again. It feels a bit weird because this chemistry part is really heavily featuring the course but I mean it is what is. I can’t really make it my own. It’s facts you know and I learned these facts from the course.

What is dietary fiber? Dietary fiber describes a chemically diverse group of non-digestible carbohydrates. Most of the carbohydrates in our diet can be digested by the enzymes in the GI tract and can subsequently be absorbed into the bloodstream as monosaccharides. However, a portion of the carbohydrates present in foods cannot be broken down by the digestive enzymes and will reach the colon mostly intact.

There are a number of definitions of dietary fiber, but one of the more simple one’s is: Dietary fibers are dietary carbohydrates that are not subject to digestion by endogenous enzymes, but may be digested by bacteria in the colon. Dietary fiber is sometimes referred to as non-starch polysaccharides. However, this classification would exclude the lignins and resistant starch and is thus not fully correct. The most common classification separates dietary fiber into two main classes: the soluble or viscous fiber and the in-soluble or non-viscous fiber. There is another classification that distinguishes fiber between three categories: fiber naturally occurring in the food as consumed, fiber obtained from raw food material by physical, enzymatic or chemical means, and synthetic carbohydrate polymers. The reason for differentiating between fiber already present in the food, which is the first category, and fiber added to the food, which is the second and third category, is that the beneficial property of fibers naturally present in the food have been scientifically well-validated, whereas there are fewer data on potential health benefits of added fiber.

People are told to eat plenty of fiber as fiber supports proper function of the GI tract and prevents constipation, and in addition fiber has several other health benefits which we will discuss later in the course. Our daily fiber intake hovers around 20 grams in most Western countries but some people may not even reach 10 grams per day. Whereas intake of other people easily exceeds 40 grams per day.

And that concludes everything I wanted to share about the chemistry of carbohydrates. There is more information and explanation on this in the course, I mean the videos are really great but I feel like for everyday people this is enough. What I want to achieve in this post is to show how important carbohydrates are for your body. You can’t just cut it out and hope for the best. It’s your energy source and so much more. Without carbohydrates in your body…well let’s just say some things won’t go so smoothly. I will talk about it more in part two. I hope you found this ‘nutrition class’ slash lesson educational.

Thank you so much for reading. I wish you all the best and I will see you in a click!