When we talk about sugar most people will automatically think of the white stuff you put on your food, or in your Coffee or Tea. They would of course be right; however this only constitutes a small part of the sugars that are consumed in the diet. Other foods that contain sugar are your sweets, chocolates, cakes, soft drinks (sodas), etc… Then there are your starches (bread, rice, cereal, pasta, potatoes), vegetables and fruit, which are all converted to sugar in the form of glucose and fructose. Both glucose and fructose are simple sugars (monosaccharides). Starches or complex carbohydrates are polysaccharides, which comprise of long chains of glucose molecules all bonded together by glycosidic bonds.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health both starches and sugars elevate your blood sugar level to the same extent. It should be borne in mind that fructose does not raise blood sugar levels in the way that glucose does, however that does not mean that fruit is good for you, as fructose is still responsible for inducing features of metabolic syndrome, stimulating the production of advanced glycation endpoints and causing cataracts in diabetic animals (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).
So how much carbs/sugar does the average American consume? According to an article from the Health section of the Los Angeles Times entitled A Reversal on Carbs Americans eat on average about 250 to 300 grams of carbs a day, which accounts for approximately 55% of their caloric intake. The most conservative recommendations indicate that they should consume half that (this site recommends eating less than 100g a day to keep in ketosis – for optimum health no carbs is best). The article goes on to say that carbohydrate consumption over the years has increased with the aid of a 30-year-old, government mandated message to reduce fat. The UK is not far behind America with the same message being broadcast here and yet the obesity epidemic keeps increasing and along with it all the health risks. In the UK they even manage to weave the low fat dogma into sitcoms, soaps and movies, as well as magazine/breakfast shows.
What is wrong with consuming sugars/carbs? Well as explained by Dr. Stephen Phinney in the above mentioned article, all carbohydrates including sugars convert to sugar in the blood and the more refined the carbs are the faster the conversion goes. This process will happen irrespective of you consuming a doughnut or a potato, both will result in the pancreas producing insulin, which will then move the sugar into the cells where it is stored as fuel in the form of glycogen. This is all very well when you are young and healthy but as you age and your cells start to waver under the insulin onslaught the first warning signs of insulin resistance will start to appear. This is a condition called metabolic syndrome, which is a red flag/warning that diabetes and possibly heart disease is just around the corner. When you have three or more of the following you may have this syndrome: high blood triglycerides (> 150mg); high blood pressure (> 135/85); central obesity (a waist circumference in men > 40 inches and in women > 35 inches); low HDL cholesterol (< 40 in men and < 50 in women); or elevated fasting glucose.
Apparently about one-fourth of adults have three or more of these symptoms.
When you watch the following video clip taken from the ZIOH blog, which sets out to demonstrate using sugar cubes how much sugar is in your food, keep in mind how sugar affects your blood sugar levels and can lead to metabolic syndrome.
While still on the subject of how much sugar is in your food take a look at this site Sugar Stacks , which follows on from the above video giving you the opportunity to compare foods, find out where sugar is hiding and see how much of the sweet stuff you really are eating. The site also uses sugar cubes (4 grams per cube) to demonstrate this.
Now bearing in mind how much sugar is in your food, consider what are the health ramifications of consuming all this sugar.
Here is an excerpt from Nancy Appleton’s Blog entitled 141 Reasons Sugar Ruins you’re Health (There is actually 143 reasons):
1. Sugar can suppress your immune system.
2. Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in the body.
3. Sugar can cause juvenile delinquency in children.
4. Sugar eaten during pregnancy and lactation can influence muscle force production in offspring, which can affect an ndividual’s ability to exercise.
5. Sugar in soda, when consumed by children, results in the children drinking less milk.
6. Sugar can elevate glucose and insulin responses and return them to fasting levels slower in oral contraceptive users.
7. Sugar can increase reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can damage cells and tissues.
8. Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, inability to concentrate and crankiness in children.
9. Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.
To read the rest of this article please visit http://nancyappleton.com/141-reasons-sugar-ruins-your-health/.
As well as contributing to diabetes, heart disease and a number of degenerative diseases sugar and other GI carbohydrates are a major contributing force to wrinkle formation.
Excess glucose in the body binds to proteins in a process known as glycalation. These glycalated proteins thus form bridges between themselves, so instead of smaller flexible proteins you have stiff inflexible structures, causing hardening of the arteries, and you guessed it wrinkles.
Excess sugar = glycalation = wrinkles
Finally here is a snippet from the DVD Sweet Suicide to leave you with something to contemplate.