Gary Taubes, author and educator, is among a group of health investigators spreading the word about strong associations between sugar consumption and the rising rates of obesity and major diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. For the first time in history, obese people outnumber those who are underweight, and pre-diabetes now affects half of US adults. It’s important to know that sugar is virtually in all processed foods. Even something like fruit flavored yogurt can contain nearly 20 grams of sugar, or 5 teaspoons per serving. Didn’t realize that, did you?
Sugar has many names such as dextrose, maltose, galactose and maltodextrin along with many others. When cooking from scratch with whole foods that contain natural flavors, there really isn’t a problem with the high-sugar as those meals coming from processed foods is. A good tip is to use spices, not sugar.
A study completed in 2014 revealed that 71.4% of adults get at least 10% of their daily calories from added sugar. Those consuming 21% or more in the form of sugar were TWICE as likely to die from heart disease compared to those who got 7% or less from added sugar. The risk then TRIPLED among those consuming 25% or more from added sugar, meaning at least 10% of the entire adult population in the US are in this tripled-risk category.
The American Heart Association and the World Health Organization recommend limiting your daily-added sugar intake to 9 teaspoons (38 grams) for men, and 6 teaspoons (25 grams) for women. Children limits range from 3 to 6 teaspoons of total sugar per day as sugar is half fructose. Also, 80% who have insulin or leptin resistance or are overweight or taking statins, would be wise to restrict their total fructose consumption to as little as 15 grams per day until the levels of insulin and leptin are normalized.
Taubes notes that “sugar” includes both sucrose (table sugar) and fructose in the form of high fructose corn syrup or HFCS. Fructose produces more metabolic harm than sucrose but Taubes believes this to be a fruitless discussion as both act as fuel for disease when consumed in excess. Obesity and diabetes rates have gone through the sky worldwide. In the US diabetes rates have increased 900% since the early 1960’s. These rates began spiking around the mid-1920’s. Think what this is doing to our younger aged population! Even more startling is the fact that since that period diabetes rates have now risen by a horrifying 9,000%. Taubes also believes that one reason it has gotten this bad is that health professionals have been under the mistaken assumption that they “understand” the causes of obesity and diabetes. They do NOT or they would have made significant changes to their recommendations. The truth is conventional diet recommendations have provoked these epidemics. On fallacy is that eating fat makes you fat. This is entirely false. Eating fat doesn’t make you fat; not being able to burn fat makes you fat. You need to restrict net carbs to under 50 grams per day, limit protein to 1 gram/kg of lean body mass and consume only high quality fat sources.
Cancer is a disease associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome. Cancer cells need glucose to thrive so therefore, you need to eliminate its primary food source, i.e. the sugars. Physiologist Dr. Otto Warburg received a Nobel Prize in 1934 for his research identifying cancer’s primary fuel as being from anaerobic fermentation of glucose. Therefore, sugar not only promotes obesity and diabetes but cancer as well.
Ways to cut down on sugar would be eliminating sugar as much as possible by using Stevia, using fresh fruit in lieu of canned and use spices instead of sugar for flavoring. The best form of health insurance may be to reduce sugar. Organizations to help you locate healthy farm-fresh foods are EatWild.com, Weston A. Price Foundation, Grass-fed Exchange, Local Harvest, Farms’ Markets, Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA), FoodRoutes and The Cornucopia Institute. Take your health in your own hands and do a study of your own. The above sources might be an excellent start. I intend to use common sense in selecting the food I put into my family’s mouths! How about you?
–Dr Fredda Branyon