Gluten and Sugar Open Sky Fitness Podcast

Hot Topics: Gluten and Sugar- Ep 123

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November Nutrition Month: Week 7- Gluten and Sugar

This week, Devon and I are talking about Hot Topics in Nutrition: Gluten and Sugar!

There’s a very high amount of Americans that over-consume gluten and sugar. Unfortunately, large amounts of products containing gluten and sugar can lead to different autoimmune diseases.

Today, we’ll talk about what products contain high amounts of sugar and gluten, how they affect the body, and what you can do to turn our health around.

We also took some time to answer the question: What and when should you eat for pre and post workouts?

Talk about nutrition with us!

We’ve already been discussing nutrition and motivation tactics on the Open Sky Fitness Podcast Facebook Group. It’s a great group to talk with other people about health, share tips, and encourage each other to keep living a healthy lifestyle.

Each week, we’ll be discussing a different nutrition topic!

Nutrition Topics


Week 1– Which Popular Diet is Best for You?

Week 2Kitchen Clean Out Hacks

Week 3– Nutrition Tips for Your Family

Week 4Convenient Foods and Meal Prep Hacks


Week 5– How to Hack Your Diet: Carb Cycling and Fasting

Week 6Keys To A Healthy Gut

Week 7– Hot Topics: Gluten and Sugar


 All About Gluten

What is gluten? Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, grains, and other foods. It helps hold processed food together including:

  • Breads
  • Pasta
  • Cereal
  • Doritos
  • Pretzels
  • Crackers
  • Nuts
  • Fried food
  • Cupcakes
  • Cookies
  • Flour
  • Stuffing
  • Pie crust

Gluten can even be found in foods that have been crossed such as peanuts and Brazilian nuts.

Today, the genetic makeup of gluten is so different than what it used to be. During the 1980s, there used to be around 30 different types of gluten in the USA. After years of crossing different types of gluten, we only have about 3 or 4 types now.


What is Gluten Sensitivity?

A person can be allergic to either gluten or gliadin and any of the 12 smaller parts that make up gliadin.

Extreme cases of gluten sensitivity can lead to Celiac Disease, a genetic disease. This is an allergic reaction to gluten that is also an autoimmune disease that can cause damage to the stomach.

Because Celiac Disease is a genetic disease, it can be turned on with enough gluten. Once it’s turned on, it cannot be turned off. There’s about 1 in every 200 people that have Celiac Disease and there’s a chance that 1 in 30 are undiagnosed. Chances are higher if you are of European descent.

Besides the small intestine, you can be gluten sensitive to to other parts of the body such as the brain.


What are Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity Symptoms?

People who have Celiac Disease or are sensitive to gluten can have the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloated belly
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas

How Can You Test for Gluten Sensitivity?

You can test for gluten sensitivity with either a Cyrex Array 3 Test or  C Reactive Protein test to test for inflammation of the body.

What Can Happen to Your Body with Gluten Sensitivity?

Your body doesn’t like the gluten and overtime it starts to create antibodies against the gluten that it’s allergic to, but also other parts of your body and can create autoimmune diseases such as: Alzheimers, autism, dementia, MS, Parkinson’s etc.

Autoimmune Diseases can include:

  • Thyroid problems
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Ffibromialgia
  • Liver Disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Skin Disease such as Eczema

Fortunately, a lot of these diseases can be treated by simply removing gluten from the diet!


Sugar and Our Health


“It’s not fat that makes you fat, it’s sugar that makes you fat.” – Rob Dionne


Our ancestors had it right when it came to eating fruit since it is the most natural food we have that contains healthy sugar. Today, we’re more likely to find overly processed food in the stores that contain ingredients such as high glucose corn syrup.

According to the latest release from the World Health Organization on sugar guidelines, we should only be consuming about 6 teaspoons of sugar or less  each day. That’s about 4-6 packets of sugar in your coffee!

Two Main Sugars: Fructose and Glucose

There are two main types of sugar that we intake on a daily basis: Fructose and Glucose.

Fructose comes from fruit and honey.

Glucose is the simplest form of sugar and it can be found in foods such as vegetables, leafy greens and some forms of sugar.

Our body creates glucose by turning the food we eat into glucose!

How Does the Body Digest Fructose and Glucose?

  1. We eat the food, the body breaks down the food and sugar is broken down in the blood stream, your pancreas releases insulin for your cells.
  2. When you have too much sugar and the cells are full, your pancreas transfers the sugar to your liver and it is stored as a glycogen for later use.
  3. If the glycogen is full and you’re still eating sugar, you start to turn that into fat.
    1. Too much can create insulin resistance and lead to Type 2 Diabetes


Uncovering Hidden Sugars

Food and Beverage labels can include an assortment of different hidden sugars:

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Cane Sugar
  • Corn Syrup
  • Dextrose
  • Maltose
  • Sucralose
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • Monosaccharides
  • Disaccharides

Health Problems Because of Sugar

A numerous amount of health problems can occur because of consuming too much sugar:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes Type 2
  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke

Foods to Avoid to Prevent Diabetes & Other Health Problems

Avoid any simple carbs that the body will break down quickly:

  • White bread
  • Wheat/ whole wheat breads
  • White rice
  • Baked white potatoes
  • Bagels
  • Croissants
  • Vanilla wafers
  • Graham crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Corn chips
  • Cookies
  • Jelly beans
  • Gatorade
  • Beer

What foods should you be eating?

Any complex carbs such as:

  • Starchy veggies
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Squash
  • Leafy veggies



Workout Nutrition

Pre-Workout Nutrition

Depending on each person, they may or may not want to consume any food or beverages such as a smoothie or coffee before they workout. Overtime, you should know whether or not your body benefits from nutrition before you go workout.

If your workout is suffering, you need more energy, or you’re hitting a plateau, you might want to consider eating before you work out. If eating makes you feel nauseous during a workout (especially an early morning workout), then make you should wait to eat till after you’re done.

When Should You Eat Before a Workout?

It really depends on the time of day, but you should try to consume something at least 30 minutes-1 hour before your workout.

What Foods and Beverages in General?

You will want to eat fast, digestible foods. You should consider eating carbohydrates as your first option, then proteins is second, and your last possible option are fats. Fats are the slowest digestible food so you should eat a very small amount of it if you’re considering eating that.

If you want to build muscle mass, then you should definitely eat some protein before your workout. I suggest eating food 30 minutes-1 hour before your workout because if you eat as soon as you get to the gym, then it’s too close to the start of your workout.

Your body won’t have enough time to digest the protein and your body will be forced to use your muscle mass for energy. You will feel very sluggish because your body is working so hard to digest the food at the same time that you’re trying to exercise.

How Much Can you Consume Before a Morning Workout?

Depending on how fast your body is able to metabolize food, you can consume anywhere between 100-700 calories.

Some great food options during the morning include:

  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Nut butters
    • Peanut Butter
    • Almond Butter
  • Honey
  • Low-sugar jelly
  • Steel cut oats/oatmeal
  • Rolled out oats
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Avocado
  • Nuts

Beverages to help your energy include:

  • Coffee with Half n Half, coconut oil, or grass-fed butter
  • Tea with caffeine
  • Mate

Supplement Options

A protein shake with bananas, berries, almond milk, or nut butter is a great combination. We also recommend adding branched chain amino acids to your protein shake. Not only are protein shakese great for pre workouts, but for post workouts as well.

You should try to stay away from any pre workout drink that has caffeine such as N.O. Xplode. The caffeine can be addicting and give you a lot of anxiety. In addition, drinks like this have tons of artificial colors and flavorings that are horrible for your body. You’re better off with coffee, tea, or mate.


 What About Pre-Workout Foods for the Afternoon or Night?

Try to eat something at least an hour before your workout so that you have energy. Any protein such as fish, meat, or eggs with complex carbohydrates like starchy veggies or grains and a minimum amount of fat so that your body can quickly digest the food. This should be eaten about an hour before you workout.

A simple,quick fix is a smoothie that includes leafy greens, bananas, protein powder, and anything else from the breakfast list above. Try to consume this about 30 minutes before your workout.


Post Workout Food Options

If you had an intense workout, you can eat a lot of carbs because you exerted your body’s limit and now you need the carbs to help you rebuild your muscles. If you did a light workout such as a walk on the treadmill, you should stay away from carb loading.

To follow a macronutrient diet that includes about 2,000 calories, you should break it down as:

  • 40% carbs (800 calories, 200 grams)
  • 40% protein
  • 20% fat

As a post workout, you should consume 25-40% of carbs for your daily intake. 25% of carbs is about 50g minimum. You can eat starchy vegetables such as:

  • Yams
  • Sweet potatoes
  • White potatoes
  • Squash
  • Pumpkins
  • Beans
  • Legume
  • White rice
  • Quinoa

Similar to carbs, your protein post-workout should also have a minimum of 50 grams:

  • Steak
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Eggs

Another option includes protein powder mixed with branched amino acids or grass-fed whey or egg white proteins. We really like brands such as Jay Robb for egg white protein.

Fats are not necessary for a post workout meal. What you really need is fast absorbing food.



Start Building Your Own Workouts and Meal Plan!

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Click To Download Home Workout Templates or text the word, “lifting,” to 33444 to download the templates. 

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Check Out The Brand New Open Sky Fitness Podcast Facebook Page

That’s right! We’ve started an Open Sky Fitness Podcast group, where you and everyone will have the opportunity to talk about your health and fitness goals in a safe environment. We’ll be posting workouts and starting discussions about how to be strategic around finding a healthier you. Check it out!

Have a Question or Review for Rob or Devon?

We love answering questions and getting feedback from you, our listener! If you have any questions to ask us, want to share a review of the show, or tell us any suggestions for guests/topics that you think would be great to have on the show, just email Rob at or Devon at or you can also leave us a review at and even text OSFreview to 33444 to get the link.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode

00:00 Open Sky Fitness Introduction

1:15  Opening comments with Rob and Devon

3:20– Hot Topic: Sugar and Gluten

5:40  What should we be eating pre and post workout?

10:30  What can you eat/drink pre-workout during the morning?

18:40  What foods should you eat pre-workout during the afternoon?

21:00 Always stay hydrated

22:10  Post workout food options

28:10  Gluten and Sugar

30:20  What’s Gluten?

35:45  What’s gluten sensitivity?

40:00  How do people know if they have Celiac Disease or are sensitive to gluten?

42:15  The effects of gluten in the body

48:40  Test your gluten sensitivity

49:30  Sugar and Our Health

50:15  Where did our ancestors get sugar from?

58:20  How does fructose and glucose digest in the body?

1:01:50  What problems can sugar create for the body?

1:04:20 Diabetes Breakdown

1:12:35  Sugar makes you fat, not fat itself

1:14:50  Foods to avoid to stop diabetes

1:18:10  What foods should you be eating?

1:19:00  Closing comments with Rob and Devon

1:22:25  Open Sky Fitness Closing



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Thanks for listening/reading Episode 123- Hot Topics: Gluten and Sugar! We hope you have gained more knowledge on how to be a healthier you!

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