Most people know that sugar is bad for us, but I still see people using way too much sugar. It is also important to remember all the hidden sugars in salad dressings, ketchup, lunch meat, canned tomatoes and in many more things. Grains turn into sugar in our bodies too.
Low fat/high carb obsession
Many tend to overlook the importance of fat in our diet, which is understandable when our government promotes a diet low in fat and high in carbohydrates. I see the same insane low fat/high carb advice in natural health magazines. Sadly, we get an overload of carbohydrates instead of eating more protein and fat that actually stimulate our metabolism. Fat and protein make us feel fuller after a meal. It's time to wake up and realize that fat is not the bad buy.
I spent the morning watching this video about sugar. Even though I known for a long time that sugar is bad I figured I can always learn something new. I found that most of the information in this video wasn't new to me, but it shares valuable information about the dangers of sugar, the fat misconception, dangers of fructose and how to measure cholesterol correctly.
Dr. Lustig, M.D gives a great lecture about sugar and the obesity problem we have today. He focuses mostly on sugar consumed from drinks, and it is important to remember that other carbs are damaging to the body too. Sadly, every time I go shopping I see shopping carts loaded with sodas and other high sugar drinks so I know the sugary drinks are problem today. I see the same when I go to the health food store, the shopping carts are full with "healthy organic" high sugar drinks and other so called "healthy" high sugar snacks. So even members of the healthy community are eating way too much sugar. They are using the excuse that it is natural or organic. But sugar is sugar even though some of them seem to be a little better for the body.
Here are some quick facts from the video:
- Teenage boys eat 275 more calories
- Adult males are eating 187 more calories
- Adult females are eating 335 more calories
We eat more today but we had access to all the food before so that's not the cause. We eat more calories today and it means that leptin is not functionally properly. Leptin is a hormone that comes from our fat cells, it tells the brain when we have had enough food. It makes sure we can burn energy properly. So if leptin was working correctly we wouldn't be eating 300 calories more today compared to 20 years ago. Lustig says that we need to figure out what is causing the problem with our biochemical negative feedback system that normally control energy balance. Which is the point of the video, to figure out the cause so that we can reverse it.
Fat is bad, or?
Back in 1982 the daily fat recommendation was reduced from 40% to 30%. This reduction resulted in less fat being consumed which lead to a higher carbohydrate intake instead. As soon as people started eating less fat the obesity, non alcoholic fatty liver disease, stroke metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular diseases jacked way up says Lustig. Hm, a coincidence? I don't think so. As you can see, it is not the fat that is the problem.
Huge increase in soft drink consumption
It has been a 41% increase in soft drink and a 35% increase in fruit drinks. One soda a day is roughly 15 pounds a year. Lustig also talks about the Coca-Cola conspiracy, for example, a can of coke contains 55 grams of sodium which he equals to drinking one pizza. The sodium will make you thirstier of course. The taste of sodium is masked with a huge amount of sugar, and the caffeine is a diuretic. It is all designed to make you want more.
Soda consumption goes up and type 2 diabetes increased
Studies shows that the increase in type 2 diabetes coincide with the increase in soda consumption. Sodas contain corn syrup and it is estimated that we eat 63 pounds of HFCS per person each year. Fructose is a poison but the other sugars are also bad for the body. Hundred years ago we received the fructose from fruits and vegetables and the average consumption was 15 grams of fructose per person a day. Prior to WWII we consumed 16-24 grams or fructose per day, and in 1977 we consumed 37 grams per day. In 1994 the consumption was 54.7 grams per day. We are not only eating more, but we are eating more sugar.
"The fat consumption is going down and the sugar consumption is going up and we are getting sicker."
High fructose corn syrup is not only a metabolic evil but it is also an economical evil. It is half the price compared to regular sugar so the companies can make cheap products and increase their profit. It has found itself into products like hamburger buns, barbeque sauce, bread, and ketchup. Lustig said that according to a new study, each of us are up to using 141 pounds of sugar per year.
Lustig also talks about the Ansel Key's study, the study our current dietary fat guidelines are based on. Even though Keys' study was not accurate, we have based 30 years of nutrition education on this study. The recommendations to eat a low fat diet turned into a very high carbohydrate diet that is making us sick.
Food manufactures add high fructose corn syrup to increase the flavor in the low fat products. As we've seen this has increased obesity and disease. A recent study from UCLA says that fructose may aid in the formation of cancer cells more than other sugars.
The information in this video is most likely not new to many of us, but I'm sure you know someone that can benefit from this video. Pass it on to someone you think can benefit from it.
Johanna is an aromatherapist she is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives.
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