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Author: VWheelock

35. Is Sugar Toxic?

Dr Robert Lustig is a leading expert in childhood obesity at the University of California, San Francisco. He has constructed a formidable comprehensive case that explains why diet is primarily responsible for the development of a range of diseases/conditions which are now referred to as Metabolic Syndrome. These include obesity, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease all of which are closely related and probably have a common cause. In particular he identifies the fructose which makes up about half of both ordinary table sugar and the High Fructose Corn Syrup(HFCS) that is widely used in the USA as the specific critical factor. Lustig’s rationale has been spelled out in a YouTube video entitled “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” which was uploaded on 30 July 2009 and has already been viewed by almost 3.5 million times(1). Clearly it has stimulated enormous interest. Inevitably there has been criticism which is only to be expected (not least from the industrial organisations which produce sugar and HFCS). Nevertheless he is definitely striking a chord with many people and has undoubtedly delivered a series of arguments that merits detailed consideration. The key point Lustig makes is that the glucose and fructose, which are released from sugar and HFCS, are metabolised in different ways and therefore have totally different effects in the body. The glucose can be utilised by every cell in the body whereas the fructose...

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34. Will They Never Learn?

According to recent press reports , the Department of Health (DoH) is cock-a-hoop because the main supermarkets and some of the major food manufacturers have agreed on a system of nutritional labels which will appear on the front of food packaging. It is claimed that this will remove confusion and enable shoppers to choose so-called “healthier options”. Information will be provided on calories, sugar, salt, total fat and saturated fat. In addition there will be traffic light colour coding which indicate whether the amounts of the individual nutrients are “high”, “medium” or “low”. It is evident that the official advice continues to focus on saturated fat (SFA) as one of the factors so consumers generally are advised to reduce their intake of this particular nutrient. The original case for reducing SFA was totally dependent on the “cholesterol theory”. Essentially this is based on the “fact” that the cholesterol level in the blood (TC) is a risk factor for heart disease. Because it was claimed that SFA increased TC (and therefore increased the risk of heart disease) it would follow that reducing SFA would reduce the risk of heart disease. THIS ARGUEMENT HAS BEEN TOTALLY DISCREDITED (See Blogs 6 and 8). For anyone interested in the skulduggery which resulted in the vilification SFA it is extremely instructive to read “the Oiling of America” by Mary Enig and Sally Fallon (1)....

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33. Type 2 Diabetes(T2D) and Low Carbohydrate Diet…Case Studies

In my previous post I referred to research which indicated that T2D can be overcome by switching to a diet with a relatively low content of carbohydrate. In this post I will present a few case studies based on the personal experience of individuals. The first is from Dr John Briffa’s blog(1). It is information from a 56-year old type 2 diabetic who was first diagnosed when he was 42. Despite following the diet he had been recommended, which was essentially low fat and high carbohydrate, his condition had not improved and he steadily gained weight. Recently he had read a book entitled “Primal Mind” by Nora T Gedgaudas, which encouraged him to reduce most of the foods containing grain and to consume animal fats, which he had been avoiding. Here is an extract from the email he sent to Dr Briffa: “I had my 6 monthly diabetes check-up last Wednesday. The diabetes consultant was really happy with all of my figures on cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, weight (I’ve lost another 4 kg since February without really trying), kidney and liver function are excellent – in fact he was really impressed and asked me what I was doing to get these improvements. Simple, I said, I’ve stopped eating wheat in all its forms and grains in general, I avoid rice and all potato products. I eat animal fat and...

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32. Coping with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D)

T2D is one of the modern-day major public health issues. If there are persistent excessive levels of sugar in the blood (glucose) eventually the pancreas becomes exhausted and therefore cannot produce sufficient insulin to prevent the sugar increasing to toxic levels. There is now reliable evidence to demonstrate that those who develop T2D are at increased risk of a range of other diseases/conditions including obesity, hypertension, heart disease, blindness and Alzheimer’s Disease(AD). When T2D is diagnosed it is common practice for drugs to be prescribed, with the object of controlling the sugar levels in the blood. These may well include insulin. Because diabetics are at an increased risk of developing heart disease they are likely to be advised to reduce their consumption of fat, especially saturated fat and to increase the intake of the complex carbohydrates (eg. bread, potatoes, rice and pasta). Prior to all the concern about fat, it was the accepted practice to recommend that diabetics should reduce their intake of carbohydrates. Therefore it is highly relevant that there have been a number of research projects which have been based on this approach. In Sweden, 16 patients who had T2D and a BMI >30 were placed on a diet with low carbohydrate (LCD)which had 20%E as carbohydrate and compared with a similar control group of 15, which had a diet containing 60%E as carbohydrate. Of the LCD...

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31. Does Weight Loss by Calorie Reduction Improve Health?

If losing weight is to be justified then there should be convincing evidence that there will be definite benefits to health for those who actually succeed in reducing their body weight. In an investigation in which 2453 men and 2739 women aged 45 to 74 were monitored initially in the period 1971-1975 and followed up until 1987, it was found that there was a strong association between weight loss and the risk of death from cardiovascular disease among both men and women with BMI in the range 26-29….the overweight category. For men this risk had increased by a factor of 2 and for women it had increased by a factor of well over 3 compared with those who did not lose weight. Similar results were obtained if the analysis was restricted to non-smokers (1). In the Honolulu Heart Study, 6537 Japanese-American men aged 45 to 68 in 1965 and living in Hawaii, were monitored from 1973 to 1988 during which time there were 1217 deaths. The results are shown in Table 1. It is quite clear that there has been a notable increase in the death rate of those who lost weight. By contrast, those who gained up to 4.5kg had a reduced death rate while those who gained more than that did not experience any increase in mortality rate when compared with those whose weight did not vary(2)....

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