The Effect of Sugar on Life in the 21st Century
According to the American Association of Diabetes, over 30 million people in the US suffered from diabetes in 2015 (9.4% of the population) and the disease is growing at a rate of 1.5 million per year. Approximately one third of all adult women in the US suffer from recurrent yeast infections (candida) and they in turn infect approximately 12 to 15% of men after sexual contact. The primary cause of both of these diseases is a diet too high in sugar. The American Department of Health and Human Services compares the amount of sugar we eat today with the amount we ate 200 years ago. The rise is primarily due to the proliferation of fast foods, factory foods and processed foods:
“Two hundred years ago, the average American ate only 2 pounds of sugar a year. In 1970, we ate 123 pounds of sugar per year. Today, the average American consumes almost 152 pounds of sugar in one year. This is equal to 3 pounds (or 6 cups) of sugar consumed in one week!”
Sugar, by this definition includes the following foods:
• Refined Honey
• Sorghum syrup
• Fruit juice concentrate
• High-fructose corn syrup
• Corn syrup
• Corn sweetener
• Brown sugar
When we talk about sugar, we think particularly of refined white sugar but we should include refined white starches, such as flour, potato starch, tapioca starch and so on. Flour is broken down through factory processing into simple carbohydrates and therefore digested by the body as though it were sugar (because it is a simple carbohydrate). Cookies, cakes, bread and pasta, so prevalent in the so-called “Standard American Diet,” (SAD) often include both flour and sugar.
According to the Harvard Medical School, glucose has a glycemic load of 100. Sucrose, which is table sugar, has a glycemic load of 65 and white bread has a glycemic load of 75. So white flour is actually worse for you than table sugar. [Harvard Health Publishing] Medical doctors, who are not adequately trained in holistic nutrition, often discourage diabetics from eating fruit because it has a high sugar content, and yet fructose, which is the sugar found in fruit, has a glycemic load of only 15 and happens to be the form of sugar closest to what the body actually needs. Fruit is one of the healthiest foods for humans and should not be avoided due to its sugar content. Sandwiches, pizza and pasta are among the very worst foods you can eat and the very worst foods you can give your children.
When we eat too much sugar, we are not just increasing the risk of sugar related diseases. It is also important to consider that a high sugar diet is by default devoid of many nutrients and micronutrients, most of which are lost in the refining process. White flour, as an example is supplemented with B vitamins which are natural to wheat but lost in processing. However, the substitute B vitamins are not the same as the real thing. Therefore our bodies are weakened from lack of nutrition and less able to deal with the relentless onslaught of refined sugar. Sugar, which goes by many names, some of which are given above, is a common ingredient in many processed foods and so even foods that you typically would not associate with sugar, such as packaged meals containing meat and vegetables, soups and so on, also contain hidden sugars. Alcohol, which is another epidemic in our culture, also contains high quantities of hidden sugar. Indeed, sugar is needed in the fermentation process and is also the primary ingredient (along with harmful chemicals and food colorings) in many cocktail mixers. It might seem like you are only getting a small amount when you consider any one of these foods, but all this sugar adds up.
The link between increased sugar consumption and the increase of sugar-related diseases is very well documented and pretty much undisputed. However, let’s examine why sugar is so harmful to the human body. Whether that sugar is refined cane sugar, glucose syrup or refined white flour, the body simply sees refined carbohydrates.
Digestion of carbohydrates begins in the mouth with saliva or amylase, which breaks down complex starches into simpler starches. Carbohydrates then pass through the stomach, where they become chyme, and into the small intestines where pancreatic amylase further breaks down the carbohydrates into dextrin and maltose. The small intestine releases maltase, lactase and sucrase enzymes which convert the dextrin and maltose into monosaccharides, or simple sugars which are converted directly into glucose. Glucose enters the blood stream via the small intestine, or is passed to the liver for storage as glycogen for later conversion into glucose. Simple sugars, high on the glycemic index, bypass the need for amylase in the mouth and conversion in the intestine and instead pass quickly into the blood stream, creating a sugar high.
Glucose is the essential fuel of the body and is used by all cells for their proper function and maintenance. When the blood sugar rises, the pancreas is stimulated to release insulin. Insulin is important in the regulation of energy metabolism. It enables the cells to accept the glucose.
In his book, The Obesity Code, Jason Fung discusses Insulin and Insulin resistance. He describes insulin as a key that unlocks the cells and the cells then allow the glucose in. When the cells are satiated with glucose they refuse to allow more glucose in. When glucose cannot be accepted into the cells, the pancreas thinks that it needs to release more insulin. There is now both too much glucose and too much insulin in the blood. Fung calls this effect “insulin resistance” and claims that this is the reason for diabetes. Both insulin and glucose build up in the blood, leading to increased fat storage and finally disease. [Fung, The Obesity Code].
In order to overcome insulin resistance, Fung recommends intermittent fasting - fasting that lasts from 12 to 16 hours per day or even 24 hours. This allows the cells plenty of time to use up the glucose and allows the liver to burn up some of the left over glycogen, stored as fat, by converting it to glucose for use by the cells while the body is fasting. This process is called gluconeogenesis which means “the making of new sugar” [Fung, The Obesity Code]. A period of fasting also allows insulin levels to subside.
Too much insulin leads to hypoglycemia, kidney disease, eye problems, stomach problems to name just a few. Side effects of diabetes can be severe and deadly if not taken care of. In order to avoid these and other problems it is essential to eat a healthy diet comprised of plenty of fresh (and as much as possible, raw) fruits and vegetables, and other fresh ingredients. Get off the pasta and the pizza and focus on healthy, complex carbohydrates, eaten in small quantities (e.g. potatoes, sweet potatoes) and non-gmo, non-refined grains such as organic oatmeal. It is best to avoid processed and refined foods, especially sugars and starches.
It’s a sad commentary on our times that type 2 diabetes is 100% curable by diet. Many people who have had the willpower and the education have conquered diabetes completely (type 1 diabetes is a different story. Those people are unable to manufacture insulin at all). And yet, in recent years, supermarkets and so-called super stores like Wal-Mart, Walgreens, CVS and Target have developed entire aisles of products dedicated to diabetics. Rather than educating people to understand the nature of their disease and how to cure it, instead doctors brand it as “incurable” and continue to sell expensive insulin, insulin substitutes like metformin, and blood glucose measuring devices to ever increasing numbers of the population. What’s more, with the rapid Western enculturation of Asian countries by the globalists, China and other Asian countries are witnessing the rapid rise of diabetes on unprecedented scales in areas where it was previously unheard of. [Yale Global Health Review] It’s quite clear that “the authorities” are doing nothing to control the problem and we must each therefore take responsibility for our health, our health education and our children's health education.
American Diabetes Association Statistics about diabetes, https://www.diabetes.org/resources/statistics/statistics-about-diabetes, extracted October 28, 2019
Health and Fitness, Women’s issues, Candida Statistics - Number Don’t Lie, https://ezinearticles.com/?Candida-Statistics---Numbers-Dont-Lie&id=2761743, extracted October 28, 2019
Department of Health and Human Services, How much sugar do you eat?,
https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/nhp/documents/sugar.pdf, extracted 28 October 2019
Healthline, How at Carbohydrates Digested?
https://www.healthline.com/health/carbohydrate-digestion#digestion-process, extracted October 28, 2019
Dr. Jason Fung, The Obesity Code, ISBN 978-1-77164-125-8
Dr. Jason Fung, The Diabetes Code, ISBN 978-1-77164-265-1
Harvard Medical School, Harvard Health Publishing, Glycemic index for 60+ foods.
https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/glycemic-index-and-glycemic-load-for-100-foods, extracted 1 November 2019
Yale University, Michael Marcel Global Health View, China: The Not-So-Sweet Rise of Type II Diabetes, https://yaleglobalhealthreview.com/2016/03/01/china-the-not-so-sweet-rise-of-type-ii-diabetes/ extracted 1 Nov 2019
The Yale Global Health Review, China, the Not so Sweet Rise of Type II Diabetes, https://yaleglobalhealthreview.com/2016/03/01/china-the-not-so-sweet-rise-of-type-ii-diabetes/ extracted 1 Nov 2019