Too Much Sugar?

Average sugar consumption in North America:

In 1899 was < 10 lbs per person per year and the incidence of
Diabetes, Heart disease and Stroke were very low !

In 1999 is > 170 lbs per person per year and the incidence of
Diabetes, Heart Disease and Stroke are very high !

Is this merely a coincidence ? There is gathering evidence that we are paying a steep price
for our addiction to sugar - even though, as with most addicts, we are in strong denial !

Sugar and other carbohydrates evoke a rise in blood sugar (glucose) that triggers insulin release from the pancreas. This hormone facilitates conversion of some of the Glucose to Glycogen to be stored in the liver for later use, or utilization of these carbohydrates in various parts of the body as fuel. It can also signal the liver to convert the excess to fatty acids which are then transported to the fat cells where insulin induces storage as triglycerides, our long term fuel reserves. (Source: R. Paul St. Amand, M.D. Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine Endocrinology--Harbor-UCLA)

People with diabetes (a high blood sugar condition) either do not have Insulin or have ineffective insulin and their blood sugar quickly gets out of control, causing a variety of disabling and deadly side-effects! People with hypoglycemia, (a low/unstable blood sugar condition), or "carbohydrate intolerance" also have problems though in their case, sugar levels fluctuate wildly and end up dangerously low for a while, causing many strange and troubling conditions. Sugar is key to controlling levels of triglycerides in the blood, high levels of which cause heart disease. Even in healthy people, sugar (and other high potency carbohydrates such as white flour) create an instant insulin response causing 30% of the glucose to circulate in the blood stream for energy use, 30% to be converted into glycogen (as a reserve of easily available energy to be used as needed over many hours) and the remaining 40% gets converted and stored in your fat cells, almost instantly! Remember this when you eat that candy bar or doughnut! We all know that once that happens, for many of us it is very tough to get that 40% back out again. Sugars and refined carbohydrates also feed naturally occurring yeast in your body causing many problems, not the least of which, weight gain. We all know sugar contributes to tooth decay.

Stated plainly, excessive consumption (and this amount differs greatly for all individuals) of sugar and refined carbohydrates will cause you to become obese, get a variety of life-threatening diseases and lose your teeth. How much of my family's daily carbohydrate intake is tolerated? In our family, for the adults (In our early 40's) it is "very little" (< 40g/day), for our eldest son (15) it is "not much" (< 200g/day) and in my youngest son's case (12), he seems relatively immune from these effects being able to eat > 200g/day without gaining weight or showing serious problems. He does display "sugar highs and lows" and irritability when he is going through withdrawals and has not had carbohydrates for a while - a tell-tale sign of developing sensitivity/intolerance to carbos. One could speculate on the effects of age as we were once also able to have a lot of carbos, so I pray for his sake he stays relatively "Carbo stable", but time will tell.

Finding foods, nowadays, without large amounts of sugar and/or refined flours as ingredients is not easy! Maybe they should put warnings about the danger to your long-term health on the side of candy bars, pop, junk food, Sugar - like they do with tobacco products? It would be stating the truth, but don't hold your breath! How else would they feed us all and make so much money doing so? It is amazing that we are told to increase our carbohydrate intake and cut down on protein and fat nowadays. We were told by our governments to change our diets from milk, cheese, eggs, meat, fish, some sugars, bread and grains to mostly processed grains and sugars, fruits, vegetables and hardly any protein, dairy products and fats. Since then we have steadily watched as our populace gets wildly obese! Just remember, when they want to fatten livestock before slaughter, they feed them grain, not fat or protein. Also observe our Indian (native) populations. They used to eat lots of meat and some grains and vegetables. Now they eat our Sugar and carbohydrate-rich (junk) foods and are at a very high risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, obesity, etc. Kind of makes one think? Nowadays we are taught that meat, butter, eggs, cream etc. lead to almost certain heart disease and there were even attempts to link them to all forms of cancer. Almost all these allegations have now been disproved and it turns out it is margarine and other processed fats that contribute towards colon cancer! Diabetes, hardly encountered in significant numbers as recently as 70 years ago, is today an epidemic! What has changed? I wonder when the governments will change their guidelines again? Likely too late to do us any good!

It is time to get back to a more natural diet! Most breakfast cereals, Refined grain flours, sugar and processed fat are NOT natural products! Sure they are made from natural products, but then so is gasoline and plastic, and would you drink or chew on those? Remember that the next time you reach for a candy bar, doughnut, margarine or sugar pop! Here are some facts gleaned from the HARVARD HEART LETTER, November 2002:

 Important nutrients disappear when whole wheat and other grains are refined, and the losses can be dramatic.

Below are the % lost during processing:

Vitamin-E = 95%, Vitamin B-6 = 88%, Magnesium = 84%, Manganese = 82%, Riboflavin = 81%, Niacin = 80%, 
Potassium = 74%, Iron = 70%,  Copper = 63%, Selenium = 48%, Folate = 41%, Fiber = 78%, Zinc = 76%. 

Little wonder that they need to fortify breakfast cereals with vitamins etc. All they are doing is putting some vitamins etc. back and making it look like they are doing us all a favor, when they were the ones taking it them out in the first place. It is a fact that it is far cheaper (and MUCH more profitable) to feed a populace on refined grains, sugars, processed fats and simple carbohydrates than on protein, unrefined (complex) carbohydrates and natural fats. Factories can pump out endless combinations of carbohydrate-based, artificial-fat laden processed foods very cheaply and charge you a fortune and, of course, ... make a fortune doing so! Refined sugar and flour are better described as "anti-nutrients". By buying their highly processed and refined carbohydrate rich foods:

You are helping them get very Wealthy ... while you are getting quite Unhealthy!