Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Poison Me With Sugar

Poison Me With Sugar

Many a times, I have come across diabetics with high sugar levels. When questioned about their diet and lifestyle, they give me the stereotypical answer: ‘I am eating very healthy home food only. I don’t eat rice, sweets, potatoes or non veg.’ And they even go for regular walks. Some say that they are eating only light vegetarian food. So, non-vegetarian food is seen as the culprit!
Many have given up meat entirely only to have their cholesterol levels increase and their sugars and Cardio Vascular disease increase rapidly. So what is going wrong then, if they are also regular with their medication?

Eating Right..Eating Wrong

By now, I know that they are eating some wrong foods or the right foods in the wrong quantities and at the wrong time, unknowingly. Result - Their food is releasing large amounts of sugar which is spiking their blood sugar and increasing their triglycerides and LDL.
Once, an overweight, diabetic man in his early 50s came for a diet consultation. He claimed that he controlled his food intake but still wasn't losing weight. Nor was his blood sugar under control. Of course, he hadn't been working out for some time. When I went through his diet, it seemed to be okay, that’s if he was eating exactly the way he told me. A little more probing, and I realized the problem was his Coffee Mate which has been his regular morning fixation for 30 years.
It is said that our ancestors ate better than we do today. That’s why our digestive system has evolved so much. Refining and processing most of what we eat has been an unfortunate nutritional disservice, particularly the introduction of refined sugar. Eating, in general, has caused our health to deteriorate markedly.

Sugar falls in three categories:
Overt sugar
Covert sugar
Foods that behave like sugar

Overt sugar

These are the obvious ones like table sugar, raw sugar, honey, jaggery, molasses and treacle.
A word of caution! Most people know that table sugar is bad, so weight watchers, diabetics and those with high cholesterol and triglycerides avoid or limit its consumption. But they are under the impression that the natural forms of sugar - raw sugar, honey, jaggery and molasses, are safe. One has to remember that these are ultimately sugars and though they come without the negative effects of refined sugar and some benefits too, they will spike the blood sugar. The same is true of natural sugars in fruits, if taken in excess.


These are hidden sugars in processed and canned foods and sugar-free products. On food labels, sugar is hidden under the word ‘carbohydrates’. ‘No sugars’ simply means no ‘table sugar’ (sucrose). The hidden sugars have different names - Sucralose, Saccharin, Aspartame, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), Barley malt syrup, Dextrin, Glucose, Lactose, Levulose, Lite or Light sugar, Maltrodextrin, Maltodextrose, Mannitol, Xylitol, Sorbitol, Maltitol, Mannose, Nectars.
The above mentioned sugars are ‘Artificial Sweeteners’ found in sugar-free chocolates and ice cream, frozen yoghurt, diet coke, soft drinks, fruit juices, pancake syrup, readymade soups, ketchup, breakfast cereals and other processed foods. Taken in excess, they stimulate false sense of hunger, drop in blood sugar which stimulates appetite and leads to weight gain. They also lead to sugar cravings. A large number of sugar addicts are dependent on sugar-free products.
I was amused when a so-called fitness management centre celebrated their anniversary guilt-free by gorging on sugar-free chocolate cake and even displayed it on their FB status update with great pride.

Say ‘No’

Recently, I met a diabetic who wondered why his sugar levels had shot up drastically despite the fact that he was off sugar, rice and the usual suspects. He quickly added that he was having lots of homemade sweets made with artificial sweeteners. Is it any surprise that his appetite had increased causing his sugar level to spiral out of control?
Another diabetic wondered why his weight and blood sugars had increased in the last four weeks. He had even started drinking green tea but quickly added that he ate five to six multi-grain biscuits with his green tea. I knew where he had gone wrong. I asked him to check the label; it would definitely have some form of sugar. He called back to say that it said, ‘Added Sugars’. It’s important to read food labels carefully.    
Deadly Sugars
The worst of the Artificial Sweeteners is Aspartame and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).
Aspartame in large enough amounts:
Can damage your DNA
Memory loss
Abnormal brain function and brain damage
Vision problems
Brain tumors

High Fructose Corn Syrup

It is a man-made sweetener that is cheaper and sweeter than sugar and is made from genetically modified corn.
It shuts off your body’s natural appetite control switches. It makes a person gain weight
The body doesn’t use fructose as an immediate source of energy; it is stored as fat
Liver tumors
DNA damage
Altered cellular metabolism
Increased production of free radicals
Pancreatic cancer

Foods that behave like sugar

They are processed, and when eaten, rush into the blood and cause havoc. Rice, bread, sweet corn, white flour, beer, alcohol, mixers for drinks and processed grains are some examples.
Recently, a female patient with very high cholesterol and triglycerides was furious when I asked her to cut out rice from her diet. Her argument was – I am a south Indian, I cannot live without rice. And I’m not diabetic! So why should I stop eating rice!’ Two valid reasons according to her, but extremely foolish, according to me. She walked out of my cabin in anger.

One of the biggest deceptions of the food industry is advertising that a food is cholesterol or fat-free. This is a meaningless claim if the food has a lot of sugar, usually added for taste. While your body converts sugar to fat, eating sugar or fat has the same result - triglycerides will jump and then LDLs will rise. People usually eat double or triple their normal servings of fat-free foods because they don’t have to worry about the fat content.
 It's important to look at the lines on the labels that identify sugars, particularly when examining fat-free foods. Don’t get taken in by the banner across the package that screams cholesterol-free or fat-free.

 Sugar Is Poison

Diabetes and other diseases grew as consumption of refined sugars grew. Excess sugar eventually affects every organ of the body. The human body cannot handle man-made sugar.
Refined sugar in significant quantity is toxic to human bodies:
It evokes a brain chemical Beta-endorphin, the same chemical evoked by alcohol or heroin. It can cause the same chemical and mood effects in the body but on a less intense level, as some of the most addictive substances in the world. Beta-endorphin produces a sense of well-being, reduces pain, eases emotional distress, increases self-esteem, and even creates a sense of euphoria. That’s the reason chocolate or sweets become comfort food for many.
It also leads to obesity, particularly central obesity (too much fat in the belly region). This could lead to Insulin Resistance which may eventually lead to diabetes
It makes the blood acidic. Calcium is drawn from bones and teeth to rectify the pH of blood
The small intestine becomes inactive and paralyzed.
A sugar-rich diet increases both stomach acidity and digestive acidity of the gastric juices, the sort one finds in those with duodenal ulcers.
Sugars, natural or refined, affect digestion

Cut sugar to
Trim body fat
Lose weight
Lower your cholesterol
Lower triglycerides
Achieve optimal wellness
Increase your energy
Prevent diabetes and related diseases
Help treat diabetes and related diseases

Find out if you are a sugar addict:

Have you ever tried to cut down or control your use of sweet foods?
Are you using more sweet foods than ever before?
Do you get irritable if you do not have your regular dose of sugar?
Have you ever gotten upset when someone ate your special ‘sweet food?
Have you ever lied about how much sweet food you eat?
Have you ever gone out of your way to get something sweet?
Have you ever binged?
Have you ever crawled through the morning with a headache that is immediately relieved when you have something sweet?
Is it impossible to just say no to sweet foods? 
Is sugar controlling your life?

Try to eliminate sugar from your diet 

Eliminate sugary drinks, granola bars and energy bars
Avoid refined carbs and reduce complex carbs
Avoid canned and processed food
Avoid ‘low-fat’ and sugar-free foods…have smaller portions of the regular versions
Read food labels carefully

Make some changes in your diet

      Reduce the sugar you add to tea and coffee
      Reduce the sugar in recipes..add spices to boost flavour and taste
      Use healthy sugar substitutes – jaggery, molasses, pure honey
      Balance your carbohydrate intake with lean protein to control cravings

Steps To Sugar Detox

      Eat breakfast with proteins
      Journal what you eat and how you feel
      Eat at least three meals a day with proteins
      Take the recommended vitamins
      Shift from white to brown foods
      Reduce or eliminate sugars

For more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYuRayNBVK4

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