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!