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Welcome to Donna Marlor.com, your site for professional sports nutrition coaching. Donna is a registered dietitian and competitive athlete who "walks her talk". Her philosophy of nutrition coaching embraces a holistic approach, with emphasis on natural foods as the foundation for a healthy diet.

Follow her weekly blog on topics related to nutrition, metabolism and psychology.

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09Nov

Get Leaner, Get Faster, by Understanding Carbohydrate Balance

It’s almost the holiday season. Cookies, sweet treats and alcohol are more plentiful than snowflakes.  How much can an endurance athlete “afford” to enjoy?  Recent studies have absolved high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) from being any worse than sucrose, a.k.a “table sugar”.  But there is no question that too much of the sweet stuff – whether it is from HFCS or sucrose, or alcohol – can result in excess belly fat and a host of health problems.   Athletes with a large waistline and “apple” body shape may experience decreased insulin sensitivity, which means less access to energy when you really need it.  If you fit into this body type, no matter how many hours of training in your log, a high carbohydrate diet may not be the right fuel mix.   When excess belly fat appears, activation of adipokines, upsets normal carbohydrate metabolism and may make a high carbo diet the wrong choice even if you are training hard.  Rather than cutting healthy carbs (which all turn into glucose eventually), it’s smarter to focus on added sugars.  Fructose found naturally in whole fruit, vegetables, and dairy is quite low.  However, semi-prepared foods, fruit juice, restaurant foods and snacks can exponentially add sugar to your diet and you may not even realize it. For example, although Subway restaurants offer low fat, low sugar choices such as fresh vegetables, low fat meat, and 9-grain buns, the unsavvy consumer can put together a high sugar combination.  A 6-inch chicken teriyaki sub paired with a small fruizzle express totals up to 50 grams of sugar.  Like many condiments, sweet and sour teriyaki sauce is loaded with sugar, and the healthy sounding Fruizzle fruit drink is about three times as much sugar as a single piece of fresh fruit.  When it comes to holiday treats, be choosy.  Follow the one-a-day rule, and head for a shrimp cocktail or the smoked salmon instead.

SAMPLE LOW SUGAR MENU

Total Calories: 2400   Total Carbohydrate: 276 g, sugar 73 g, Protein 131 g, Sodium 2858 mg

Breakfast

Oatmeal instant, regular, Quaker 2 packets

English walnuts, 1 Tbsp

1 small navel orange

1 slice whole wheat bread (1 oz)

½ tsp Take Control margarine

 

Snack:

Fresh apple, 1 small

 

Lunch

Turkey & ham Subway SW, No oil

Apple, 1 small

Low calorie beverage

 

Snack

Rye Krisp crackers,3 each

1 oz (1 ind wrap stick) mozzarella cheese

 

Dinner

Chicken breast, 6 oz grilled or roasted, no skin

Large baked potato

1 Tbsp Take Control margarine

1 cup green beans

2 cups mixed green salad with 2 Tbsp Italian dressing

 

Snack

Apple, 1 small

 

SAMPLE HIGH SUGAR MENU

 

1 large banana nut low fat muffin (Dunkin Donuts)

1 Starbucks Frapuccinno coffee

8 oz Orange juice

 

Lunch

Chicken Caesar wrap (Chix-A-Fil)
Snack

16 oz Gatorade

 

Dinner

2 pcs. Lasagna dinner

1 slc Italian bread

1 cup mixed salad greens

1 T Italian dressing

 

Snack:

2 Muskateer;’s bar

1 package original flavor Sun Chips

1 Nutrigrain bar

Total Calories: 2753  Fat 83 , Carb 409 g, Sugar 205 g Sodium 4800 mg

 

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