Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Toxic Effect of Sugar

This weekend's 60 Minutes had Dr Lustig on explaining how sugar is a toxin.  It's a good episode if you haven't seen it:  60 Minutes Sugar is a Toxin.  Note the best advocate for sugar is the sugar farmer. I'm sure he knows what the body needs.  :).  But all in moderation - anything in moderation is fine, right?  The problem is the moderation is gone, once you refine sugar it is potent and pure.  NOT the way we were intended to ingest it.  Note the 60 Minutes story's reference to how to block sugar receptors in cancer tumors.  It will take cutting edge science and $billions to allow us to keep over consuming sugar.  This should make any thinking person's head explode.  Invest medical research to allow us to continue to do things we shouldn't be doing?!? 

Dr Lustig got his fame from this youtube video.  Some advice on how to live longer/better and without metabolic syndrome or diabetes or obesity, etc etc..
  • Limit sweets, especially sugar-sweetened drinks.  Even the naturally occurring sugars in 100% fruit juice can raise your risk.  Even in the 60 Minutes story the point is made - it'd take 10 oranges to equal that much sugar - and WHO  eats 10 oranges in a sitting??  Well YOU do - one large glass of Orange Juice takes 10 oranges.  Oranges are heathful, but a dozen oranges spike insulin production.  Where's your moderation.  Our parents had it right, a thimble full of OJ is all you need.  
  • Recognize that starchy carbohydrates, such as breads, cereals, crackers, and pasta can have the same effect in producing too much blood sugar (glucose).  I don't eat breads, pastas, anything with refined flour.  These have the same insulin overproducing affects.
  • Eat whole fruit which contains fructose, but also fiber and micronutrients that your body was meant to have.
  • Read food labels for hidden sugars- high fructose and all other corn syrups; refined sugar and artificial sweeteners present in processed foods such as tomato sauce and bread; even maple syrup and honey may be layered onto other sugars.   This is decent advice as long as you know 50 more names for sugar.  All the same molecule, but the multiple words for it allow food labels to look like their ingredients are distributed across more ingredients... they aren't.  You can't pronounce an ingredient you probably shouldn't be eating it!  

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