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Scientific prospects for extending human life span are good - Fitness - ATA Leadership NOW

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Through my Taekwondo training I've learned how to defend myself, but as a Leadership student, I also received advanced lessons with traditional weapons. I never imagined that using something as simple as a Bo Staff could be so empowering! Although I hope I never have to defend myself against an attacker, I now have the confidence and ability to do so.
–Christina Morales, Brown Belt, 18 years old

From ATA World Volume 20, Number 1 Spring 2013

The latest health research points the finger at a sweet and unsuspecting culprit: plain old sugar. Emerging research has some declaring sugar a toxin, on par with alcohol or cigarettes.

Sugar, or ďsucrose,Ē is actually 50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose. On its own, glucose is a naturally occurring compound found in starches such as potatoes, and metabolized by every cell in our bodies. Combined with fructose, however, glucose becomes sugar thatís metabolized by the liver.

Thatís why itís toxic. When the liver becomes overwhelmed by too much fructose too quickly, it converts it into fat. Over time, this causes insulin resistance, linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.

Bad news for our Western culture and diet; the average American consumes 22 teaspons a day; the American Heart Assocation recommends six to nine. Even when avoiding obvious culprits (cupcakes), weíre still packing it in (bottled tomato sauce.) To avoid a sugar-heavy diet, start with these three rules:

Opt for Fruit.
Why is it hard to have just one cookie? Sucrose sends a signal to your brain that says youíre still hungry. Fruit contains sugar but also fiber, which slows sugarís absorption in your body, which means youíll feel full with less.

Donít Drink Sugar.
When you drink high-fructose corn syrup in sugary sodas or fruit juices, your liver must process it fast, wreaking havoc on your insulin levels and your metabolism. Stick to water.

Shop the Periphery.
The edges of the supermarket are typically where the real food is located. Steer clear of the overly processed middle aisles with products that contain added sugar (not to mention unhealthy preservatives).