Sugar has been linked to more than sixty different ailments, including Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Studies show that there are almost 30 million of us with Type 2 diabetes with another 70 million individuals that qualify as pre-diabetics. Yes, sugar is very sneaky!
It is not only in obvious forms such as cookies and candy but also in just about any other food you can think of. From packaged meats to soups to commercial salt, sugar is in there. It’s even hidden in such nonfood items as vitamins, aspirin, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and various cosmetics!
The sugar connection to cardiovascular health was first noticed in the 1970s. In the classic study The Saccharine Disease, surgeon Capt. T. L. Cleave showed convincing evidence that increases in cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other common diseases could be traced to increases in sugar and refined-carbohydrate intake. These diseases were virtually nonexistent in primitive cultures, he noted, until about twenty years after the societies began eating refined carbohydrates.
In his classic book Sweet and Dangerous, Dr. Yudkin cited numerous examples in a variety of societies that showed that sugar was a more likely cause of heart disease than fat. For example, the Masai and Samburu tribes of East Africa, he explained, have almost no heart disease, yet they eat a high-fat diet of mostly meat and milk but no sugar.
Recent research is proving the validity of the theories posed by Drs. Cleave and Yudkin, showing a direct relationship between sugar and heart disease because of insulin. Remember that when sugar is eaten, insulin is produced. Insulin not only helps to store excess sugar as fat but also helps regulate blood triglyceride levels, which are a major predictor of the development of heart disease. The more sugar you eat, the more insulin your pancreas will produce, and the higher your triglyceride levels are likely to be.
While refined sugar consumption has declined in recent years, a new breed of sugar substitutes has emerged in the form of artificial sweeteners such as Splenda, aspartame, and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Ironically, these may be even more harmful to your health than sugar itself. Could it be just a coincidence that at the same time the country was quietly being slipped high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in the general food supply, the average cholesterol levels were shooting up through the roof? Not to mention the trend of increasing triglycerides and abnormal liver tests. Remember this – our bodies are not designed to metabolize HFCS. HFCS skips right past the need for insulin production and goes right into your cells where it becomes an uncontrolled source of trouble all the way down to your liver. Your body simply doesn’t recognize HFCS so it doesn’t know how to control it, and in the end it stores it as fat.
Here are some highlights of a sample program to help control and treat Type 2 diabetes:
1) A high quality multivitamin that contains optimal levels of B-complex vitamins. It should also include trace minerals like vanadium ( 100 mcg), manganese (10 mg) and molybdenum (100 mcg). In order to metabolize fructose and sucrose, the body requires a molybdenum-dependent enzyme so daily amounts of this trace mineral is critical to avoiding depletion and to help your body get rid of the brain fog which often accompanies sugar intake.
2) Magnesium is one of the most common mineral deficiencies in diabetes because it personally escorts glucose into the cells as well as performs more than 300 other bodily tasks. I highly recommend an additional 200 -400mg of magnesium which can be taken during the day or before bed, for peaceful and uninterrupted sleep!
3) For men, look for an iron-free Male Multi-Vitamin. Excess iron is a major factor in cardiovascular disease and can be unusually elevated in males past the age of 40, and in females who have stopped menstruating. So, if you are in this category -- women -- take an iron-free multi vitamin!
4) Biotin – 5 mg. A high potency biotin can enhance sugar metabolism, lower triglycerides and stop yeast in its tracks. Yeast overgrowth is an all too common byproduct of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. It can create huge sugar cravings that even the most potent appetite suppressants cannot control. My clients (and myself) have personally experienced fuller hair and stronger nails with biotin, which is an added bonus!
5) Chromium 200 – 400 mcg. A key nutrient that improves insulin sensitivity & is also very helpful in overall weight loss, alsong with 500 mg of L-Carnitine to stabilize blood sugar, increase energy levels and support healthy fat metabolism.
6) EPA and DHA (the Omega-3s) – 1,500 mg twice per day. This natural anti-inflammatory will decrease inflammation, raise HDL, lower triglycerides, and prevent the type of nerve damage that is frequently associated with diabetic neuropathy.
7) Vitamin D-3; 5,000 IU taken 1 – 2 times per day. But make sure to check your Vitamin D levels with your doctor and have them oversee your D supplementation, every 3-6 months. The ideal level is between 50-80 mg/dl according to the Vitamin D experts. Vitamin D is probably the most deficient vitamin in America today.
Lastly, please be aware of your sugar content & its disguises, in every form. I can not reiterate enough the dangers that sugar can cause to our quality of health. Spread the word to your family & friends and support one another as you make health your priority!
Cutting processed foods and refined sugars out of your diet is THE most important dietary change you can make to improve health and lose weight. If you’re trying to eat healthy, perhaps you have heard to stay away from processed foods. Yes, I know that it can be difficult to cut processed foods out of your diet, but it isn't impossible. Although most people know that processed foods are bad for them, it’s often unclear what makes them so dangerous to a person’s health.
Please remember – processed foods are foods that have been altered from their natural state.
Have you ever wondered why a pre-packaged food stays fresh for months, when the same food made from scratch grows moldy in just days? It’s because food manufacturers use man-made ingredients that prolong a product’s shelf life. For instance, trans fats are oils infused with hydrogen. They raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol. Dr. Michael Aziz agrees and so do I. In his book, The Perfect 10 Diet, he writes “Trans fats are really like plastic and when we eat them they incorporate in our cells and the cells cannot communicate or talk to one another. In turn, hormones are disturbed, weight gain follows but more troubling, the risk for heart disease, cancer, stroke and infertility goes way up.” Trans fats are commonly found in commercially fried food and packaged foods, especially baked goods. But you won’t see the phrase, “trans fat” in the list of ingredients. Instead, look for the word, “hydrogenated.”
Please also be aware of labels that claim no trans fats. They’re often still in there, because the FDA allows food with up to a half-gram of trans fat per serving to be labeled “trans fat free.” The problem is, those servings can be small so we eat many servings, and those half-grams add-up.
When Cooking, Go Back to the Basics, and EAT WHOLE FOODS.
Vending machines are often loaded with processed foods. In addition to trans fats, they often contain too much salt, which can cause heart problems and creates a craving for even more salt.
Another addictive ingredient you’ll find in processed foods is high fructose corn syrup, which is linked to obesity and diabetes. Former FDA toxicologist Dr. Dana Flavin says that while sugar is burned and turned into energy, high fructose corn syrup turns into fat, causing what’s known as “fatty liver.” High fructose corn syrup is the main ingredient in soft drinks, but is also hidden in foods like bread and pasta sauce.
Dr. Steven Sinatra, author of Metabolic Cardiology, says that high fructose corn syrup and its chemical cousins, are directly linked to high blood pressure and heart disease, which unfortunately, most doctors treat with medication instead of going to the source. I promise you that adequate exercise, the restriction of simple carbohydrates, sugars and high fructose corn syrup is key to losing weight and being healthy.
In addition, you will want to avoid MSG like the plague! MSG is labeled as hydrolyzed protein, yeast extract, soy protein isolate, spices, natural flavorings, citric acid or anything with the word, “hydrolyzed” or “autolyzed.” These additives can create uclers, migraines and fatigue.
Processed foods not only create health risks, they also make us look old. Although identifying processed foods and removing them from our diet isn’t easy, it may be less troubling than dealing with the health problems they can create. If you want clear, vibrant skin, eat whole foods and consume an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables every day.
As we all know, the holiday season is here! It can be a time of joy, but for many of us, stress levels are skyrocketing. The increased financial, family and work demands of the season can leave your body exhausted and overwhelmed.
Good nutrition is one answer to de-stress. Give this anti-stress diet a try! Its a mood elevator and rebuilds your nervous system health with calming minerals and grounding B vitamins.
1. As stress increases, protein needs increase. Proteins from seafood, tempeh, eggs and sprouts offer notable results. Have a fresh carrot juice once a week.
2. Include magnesium-rich foods from green vegetables and whole grains to calm nerves. Add more potassium-rich foods like potatoes, bananas, seafood and avocados to your diet. Potassium helps reduce stress-related high blood pressure, and regulates blood sugar.
3. Eat B vitamin-rich foods like brown rice. Avoid trans fats from fried foods, red meats and highly processed foods, for better adrenal health.
4. Drink green tea each morning instead of coffee for energy and antioxidants.
5. Feed your adrenals with green superfoods and sea veggies.
Try to enjoy the holidays. Remember to unwind, delegate at least some responsibility, and take time for rest and relaxation each day. The holiday season is a time of both giving and receiving. Allow yourself the gift of health!
Wishing all of you a happy, healthy and love-filled holiday!
The Paige Turner
Do what you say, and say what you mean. Those that mind, dont matter & those that matter, dont mind!
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