October Update

Bought a standard poodle puppy.  Bringing him home October 5, so October will be full of housebreaking, and FUN.

Tags

WONDER OF THE MOMENT

Entries in sugar (2)

Thursday
Apr282011

Poison Sugar, 2

In my last post I was writing about Robert Lustig’s belief that table sugar (sucrose) and high fructose corn syrup can cause a number of deadly diseases, such as hypertension, heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.  Here is a short, video taste of Lustig’s ideas about sugar:



Lustig notes that for many decades, the medical community has been focusing on cholesterol and high fat diets as the poisonous culprits to avoid.  For evidence, medical researchers would point to the typical Japanese diet.  Until recently this diet was low in harmful fats, and until recently the percent of the Japanese population suffering from the above set of diseases was low. 

         But Lustig points out that during the same time period, the Japanese diet was also low in sucrose and high fructose corn syrup. Somehow, the medical community conveniently ignored this fact.  Now that the Japanese are eating more sugar and high fructose corn syrup, they are beginning to suffer western diseases in greater numbers.

         Interestingly, though Lustig only mentions this a little in the video I have displayed in this post, when we eat sweets, we tend to store more fat, and feel hungry sooner.  Whereas when we eat more complex carbohydrates with fiber, or when we eat protein, we feel satisfied for longer.

         Alas, our love of sugary foods is part of our evolution as a species.  Back in the prehistoric days, sugar was so scarce, it was like a condiment, enhancing the flavor of an otherwise pretty bland diet.  Eating sugar is like eating mustard!

         So once again, in order to eat healthy, one of the things modern humans must do is eat a more prehistoric diet.  Say no to everything that used to be scarce.  That means everything the supermarkets are full of!

Tuesday
Apr262011

Poison Sugar, 1

The Sunday before last, The New York Times Magazine ran an intriguing science story, “Is Sugar Toxic?”  It tells about Robert Lustig and his take on some health research over the past few decades.  Lustig says the evidence is clear that sugar, in particular: fructose, is just as dangerous to human health as certain fats.  He believes sugar is just as much a cause of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer as bad cholesterol and trans fats.

         Table sugar is sucrose, and the sucrose molecule is made of one molecule of glucose and one molecule of fructose bonded together.  In our cells, the glucose and fructose get split from each other, so that in effect we are eating fructose.  Of course the same thing happens when we eat food with added high-fructose corn syrup

         When I eat them, all these sugars go from my digestive system to my liver.  In my liver, a funny thing happens: glucose and fructose are treated differently.  The glucose is stored as glycogen for quick energy.  But the fructose is stored as fat.  And fatty liver leads to the condition called “insulin resistance,” or “metabolic syndrome.”

         Here is one of the most startling statistics Lustig points to:  Since 1986, Americans have gone from consuming, on average, 40 pounds of sugar per year, to 70 pounds of sugar per year.  And this same historic period, mid-eighties to the present, exactly coincides with the American obesity/diabetes epidemic.  Hm-m-m.

         The same coincidence of increasing sugar consumption and increasing diabetes occurred between the Civil War and 1924, and a number of researchers then also believed sugar was causing diabetes.  Hm-m-m again.  That's twice that the medical community as a whole wasn’t ready to acknowledge this connection.

         More on this fascinating detective story in my next post…