Many diets developed in the late ’70s and ’80s were shaped by the running craze in America, particularly marathons, says Durango cardiologist Bruce Andrea.
Therefore, those diets were stuffed with foods high in carbohydrates – necessary fuel for long distance runners, but too much sugar and processed food for the average man or woman, much less one who wanted to lose weight.
The notion that foods high in sugar and carbs can serve as a healthy pick-me-up pervades our society even today, Andrea said, pointing to advertisements for blue-collar workers slurping down potato-heavy Campbell soup or hungry college students dispatching their cravings with a Snickers bar.
But Andrea has a tip for folks watching their weight and wanting to indulge in a meal of pasta or a sugar-laden dessert – enjoy them immediately after you exercise. When muscles are hot, they can absorb sugar without using insulin.
“If you’re active, you can stack on more carbohydrates,” he said.