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How do you take your sugar?

How do you take your sugar? With your tea, bread, chicken?

Many of us still believe that the fruit sugar fructose is completely safe to eat in large quantities.

Many of us still believe that the fruit sugar fructose is completely safe to eat in large quantities.

Most of us now know that our Western diet is full of sugar but it’s often in foods we may not expect to find it! Then there’s the way that the food industry write it up in their ingredients list. Don’t just expect the S or G words these days (sugar and glucose), now the safe sounding F word is abundant. Many of us still believe that the fruit sugar fructose is completely safe to eat in large quantities. It comes from fruit and veg, so it must be, right?

Well in very simple terms, it is when it’s part of an apple and bound to its fibre, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Not, however when it’s HFCS! High-Fructose Corn Syrup is the sweetener that the food and beverage manufacturers began switching to from sucrose, table sugar, in the 1970’s when it was discovered that it was both much cheaper to make and about 20% sweeter. The trouble is we now know how damaging it can be. Because it’s so cheap it’s in almost everything, from salad dressings to bread to meat!

Yes, but what about sugar free you may be wondering? Many regard artificial sweeteners as no better or even worse. This will be addressed in a subsequent newsletter.

So here’s a summary of why we should cut down or even eliminate sugar from our diets.

In two words, Insulin insensitivity! Insulin doesn’t just lower blood sugar. It has several important physiological jobs. It’s involved in the immune system, the storage of nutrients, the mediation of blood lipids (fats), the stimulation of cell division, directly effects osteoporosis, and the regulation of thyroid hormone.

Meaning it…

  • stores your glucose for energy (fuel)
  • prevents glucose and vitamin C competing for the same receptors (they’re almost identical)
  • stores important nutrients like magnesium – helps relax muscle such as our arterial walls
  • directly influences “bad” fat accumulation (LDL’s)
  • influences how we age by preventing the stimulation of rapid cell division
  • helps you have stronger bones
  • regulates the active form of thyroid hormone – converts T4 to T3

The problem with too much sugar is that our bodies become desensitised to our insulin. This occurs because the cells are trying to protect themselves from the toxic effects of high levels of insulin, produced by the pancreas in answer to a sugar overload that must be taken out of circulation and stored. As our cells are exposed to more insulin they become increasingly resistant and the pancreas must produce even more to get the same job done. Our cells genetically down-regulate their receptor activity and the number of receptors.

Eventually we’re left with nothing to deal with the constant sugar our Western diet provides and things go very wrong! Insulin resistance is widely considered the primary underlying factor of nearly every chronic disease and condition.

Please come along to our various talks and check out our website to get more information!

(Article prepared by Dr. James Myers)

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