The Weekly Thread: not all sugars are created equal, lunges for life, and why it’s so important to pick your battles.

In a recent research article published on “ScienceDirect” titled Important food sources of fructose-containing sugars and adiposity: A systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled feeding trials reviewed 169 trials of 14 different fructose containing foods and how they impacted adiposity on the body in the presence of 4 different caloric states: negative, neutral, excessive, and extremely excessive. 

Considering they reviewed 169 trials to derive their conclusions in this meta-analysis, the findings could be considered a result of a very robust amount of research across 100s of trials, making any conclusions pretty noteworthy. 

First, let’s dig into a couple terms to give a better starting off point and greater context as we unpack this meta-analysis. 

Fructose. Fructose is a simple sugar, also known as a monosaccharide, that naturally occurs in fruits, vegetables, and honey. This is an important distinction when compared to other sugars, as fructose is naturally occurring, and found in foods that also have nutritional benefits, versus other sugars which are often processed, refined, and come from less nutritional sources. 

Adiposity. Adiposity refers to the state of being excessively fat or having an excessive amount of body fat. It is commonly used as a measure of obesity or overweight, indicating an increased risk of various health conditions. Adiposity can be assessed through different methods, including body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and body fat percentage. Maintaining a healthy level of adiposity is important for overall well-being.

In short, what this meta-analysis was trying to determine was how intake of fructose affected adiposity in 4 different caloric states from negative to extremely excessive. 


Fructose only leads to adiposity in excessive caloric (energy) states. 

Now, this may seem obvious, and on the surface, it is, as fructose is a carbohydrate, which means it contains calories, and typically, anytime one is in an excessive caloric state, it will lead to adiposity. 

What’s noteworthy about the findings of this 169 trial meta-analysis is that fructose, when consumed in a negative or neutral caloric state, appears to have no impact on adiposity. Furthermore, it appears that the amount of fructose consumed does not matter, providing one is in a negative caloric state. 

For example, if you burned 2,000 calories in a day, and only consumed 1,900 calories, even if say 1,500 of those 1,900 calories came from fruit, fruit juice, and honey, it would not lead to adiposity. 

Now let’s unpack that example a bit more. 

Much of our thinking now is that sugar, objectively, is bad. and will lead to weight gain in the form of excessive body fat (adiposity). However, the findings presented in this paper say not so fast, as fructose consumption, regardless of how much, seems to have no impact on adiposity, except in the presence of an excessive caloric state, which is true for all calorie-containing foods. 

Now, if 1,500 of your 1,900 calories in the example given come from fruit, fruit juice, and honey, you that means only 400 of your calories are coming from protein and fat, which means you’ll be nutrient deficient in those key macronutrients. 

The key takeaway is that if your body composition is at a healthy level, and you are happy with it, meaning you are simply eating to provide nutrition to your body and not gain weight versus trying to lose it, it appears you don’t have to worry about carbs at all, providing they’re primarily coming from natural food sources containing fructose, and you remain in a caloric deficit through a diet and exercise. 

Fructose, also in comparison to other refined sugars or refined carb sources like grains, do not appear to be inflammatory causing, whereas refined sugars and grains are some of the most pro-inflammatory foods we consume. Organic fruits and veggies, along with raw honey (which is one of the most micronutrient-dense foods on the planet) can also be extremely nutritious, whereas refined sugars and grains provide little nutritional value. 

It is worth noting, that if improving overall body composition, losing weight, reversing metabolic syndrome, and/or improving insulin response is a major goal of your diet, going low carb, with greater protein and fat consumption is a more ideal approach in general. 

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Movement #5: Lunge

This week’s “Movement for Life” is a “lunge”. 

Everything I outline in this segment (with video tutorial links) are movements that require no more than a single kettlebell, and can be done anywhere, and don’t need to be part of an actual exercise regimen. 

If not part of an exercise regimen, just work these movements into your life and day throughout the week, as when put together over time, will build functional strength, increase mobility, and boost your metabolism. All things that will benefit you tremendously as you age. 

These movements are ideal for kids and young teens to work on specific mobility and reduce risk of injury in sports, all the way up to the eldest of adults. 

A Quick Primer on Lunges

A lunge is a common exercise movement that primarily targets the lower body muscles, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. It involves stepping forward with one leg while keeping the upper body upright, and then lowering the body by bending both knees until the front thigh is parallel to the ground or near it. The back knee is usually lowered towards the ground as well.

The lunge can be performed in various ways, including stationary lunges, walking lunges, reverse lunges, or with added weights such as dumbbells, a barbell, or kettlebell as we’ll outline today. Lunges are effective for building leg strength, improving balance, and engaging multiple muscle groups simultaneously. They are commonly included in workouts aimed at developing lower body strength, increasing muscular endurance, or enhancing overall athletic performance.

Here are some lunging movements you can do with a single kettlebell or even just your own body weight: 

1. Kettlebell Front Rack Lunges: Hold a kettlebell in each hand at shoulder height in the front rack position. Step forward with one leg and lower your body into a lunge, keeping your torso upright. Push back to the starting position and repeat on the other leg. CLICK HERE to watch a quick tutorial. 

2. Kettlebell Goblet Lunges: Hold a kettlebell with both hands at chest level, close to your body. Step forward with one leg and lower into a lunge, keeping the kettlebell close to your chest. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. CLICK HERE to watch a quick tutorial.


3. Kettlebell Reverse Lunges: Hold a kettlebell in one or both hands, allowing it to hang by your sides. Step backward with one leg, lowering your body into a reverse lunge. Push back to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. CLICK HERE to watch a quick tutorial. 

To check out prior week’s “Movements for Life” CLICK HERE.

“He will win who knows when to fight, and when not to fight.”

-Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu’s book The Art of War has become a timeless book of lessons because his philosophy is timeless and spans well beyond battle and war. 

This quote has me thinking about the energy I possess on a daily basis, and the incredible energy you also possess. 

We possess so much incredible energy and the more cognizant we can be of who we place that energy with, and where we place it, the better we will be to ourselves, and to those whom our energy is worthy of. 

Are there battles you’re fighting in your life, with people, or over things that are not worth the energy?

Give them up. 

Be meticulous with who and where you place that energy. 

You’ve been blessed with so much incredible energy to give back to the world, to be a better version of you; be conscious and critical of who and what is deserving of your energy.