simon elf


Drop That Soda. Pick An Apple! - Poem by simon elf

An Apple or a Coke

Both satisfy a bloke

An Apple is more sustaining

A Coke plays a nasty joke

Pick that apple from the store and tree

It is much better for you and me



An 8 ounce Large Apple has
23 grams of sugar,5 grams of fiber
0.4 grams of fat,13 milligrams of calcium
240mg Potassium, and 116 calories.

8 ounces of Coke Classic has 27 g sugars
zero fat, zero potassium, zero Calcium
zero fiber,30mg sodium, and 97 calories.

Assuming the soda was sweetened by High Fructose Corn Syrup
it contains about 55% of fructose,45%glucose.

Within a few grams (23g vs 27g)
both foods contain about the same amount of sugars
and both have a similar proportion of fructose (60% vs 55%)

They even contain a similar total calorie count
97 for the coke, and 116 for the apple.
And of course, we are looking at
an 8 ounce sample of each food.

For these two common foods
there seems to be a strong similarity.

However, I know from experience that
it takes a person several minutes
to chew and swallow an entire apple

like that actor in Face Off, well
he could 'eat a peach for hours'

The secret ingredient is the 'pulp' of the apple
which is natural fiber in action.

The soda pop, is all liquid, and
the actors in Coke commercials are usually shown
guzzling a can or bottle in under thirty seconds.

Those few extra minutes
that the apple has built into its consumption
may be key to getting enough nerve pulses
coming from the tongue
and enough time for the stomach to send
some signals that it has received food
to our consciousness provider, our brain.

Without as many brain signals
a soda may be prone to over-consumption
since it is easily consumed quicker than
body signals can respond, compared to the apple.

It might be interesting to compare
how many calories of various foods end up
being consumed, to satisfy a craving.

Fiber not only can slow down how fast
food is eaten, but once in the stomach,
it really shines.

The apple's sugars are mostly trapped
inside the pulp fiber. It will take the stomach
and the intestines a good while to
break down the fiber
and slowly release the sugars.

In fact, concerning the slow release time scale
the glucose/fructose combination may be symbiotic:
The body can first use up the glucose as it
dribbles over from the stomach and intestines
then, once the glucose runs low,
the liver can then use its chemistry
to flip the fructose into glucose.

If the sugars were entirely glucose,
that might lead to trouble:
the body getting too much glucose all at once
which would trigger the liver/muscle cells
to store the glucose in the blood away
as glycogen(a starch stored inside our cells for energy storage)

The fructose/glucose combo lets the body
consume glucose immediately, then fructose next
never having to go the less energy efficient route of
storing glucose away for use a short time later.

Slow release is just what my body needs.
A slow, prolonged release of sugar,
like a slow and prolonged kiss.


The soda pop has no pulp or fiber.
Or purified Apple Juice, for that matter either.
The sugar, upon entering the stomach
is free to cross over into the bloodstream rapidly
Like a quick sharp kiss on the cheek from
a man or woman with a prickly beard


The soda double whammy:
1) Too much may be consumed
before the body can register it

2) Too rapid a flux into the bloodstream
because it lacks the sponge effect provided by pulpy fiber.

The body now has to deal with that sudden flood of sugar
If it does nothing, then sugar levels skyrocket,
and that is type two diabetes
which is a real killer.

The glucose in the blood triggers insulin release
to get the sugar levels down
A large sugar flux triggers a large release of insulin
The liver is controlled by the insulin level
With a high level, it rapidly starts
knitting the glucose molecules together into 'glycogen'
(Starch the body makes to store away the glucose)

If the insulin is high enough
The liver also turns the glucose into fat.

But then,
Just as rapidly as the sugar spike hits our system
The fully functioning liver has done it's job
The glucose is all processed, the soda is gone

Nothing left in the stomach to travel
across into the bloodstream.
Not even a trickle.

The body has gone from one extreme of making fat
which would normally be done as a result of a huge meal
To the other extreme,
where the body finds itself

With an empty stomach,

A low sugar level in the blood stream,

And another Hunger Pang on the way.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, May 17, 2012

Poem Edited: Friday, May 18, 2012


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