Readers of this blog already know my feelings on this and most of you have experience cutting sugar and watching your health improve. Researchers published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that people who ate more added sugar were more likely to have higher risk factors for heart disease, such as higher triglycerides and lower levels of protective high-density lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol. On our Discussion Forum every day, people have reported their blood lipid values after a few months of carbohydrate restriction. In every case, the triglyceride levels plummet and the HDL levels soar. This has been known for a long time. People have chosen to ignore it, but it seems that the time has come for people to revisit these issues.
Dr. Joy Bauer, one of the nutritionists for Yahoo, wrote an article and took this one step further. She said, “Research has already shown that regular consumption of foods high in added sugars is associated with weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and cavities, but this is the first study of its kind to link sugar intake to cholesterol levels in humans. And that’s bad news for Americans, who now consume about 16% of their daily total calories as added sugar. Soda is the number one source of added sugar, contributing about a third of all added sugar in the American diet.”
This isn’t quite the “first story of its kind” because Pete Ahrens published his work on the carbohydrate induced lipemia quite a while ago. He gave lectures where he showed two photos of blood serum obtained in a test tube from the same patient. One photo was taken during the low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet, and the other was taken during the high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. One test tube was perfectly clear and the other was milky white, indicating the lipemia. The surprise was that the lipemia occurred during the high-carbohydrate diet and the clear liquid happened during the high-fat diet. Elliott Joslin reported this phenomenon in diabetics thirty years earlier.
In all these articles, they don’t discuss why sugar is able to produce the effects that they are seeing. They don’t mention the effect of sugary foods on blood sugar and the importance of keeping blood sugar stable. The high-fat diet does not produce higher triglycerides unless that fat is accompanied with sugar, such as in baked goods and french fries. Despite the dire warnings to sugar, they still continue to recommend that people keep a sugary treat for themselves. Reducing sugar consumption is certainly a helpful suggestion but putting this into practice is extremely difficult because of the drug-like action that sugar has on the brain. The current recommendations are similar to telling a cocaine addict to limit their drug use to once per day or to only a certain amount.
One of these days, we have to recognize just how harmful sugar is and understand that the real issue is blood sugar stability. This is the key to health, not how much sugar impacts our waistline. For many people, sugar does not effect their waistline and they foolishly continue to eat a diet high in sugar not understanding that they are only increasing their risk for other symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Only some become obese. Many others go straight to other diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s, etc, all while remaining skinny. All these “symptoms” have a common cause and it is either directly or indirectly caused by unstable blood sugar.
It’s time to get the priorities straight.