Please don’t assume that white bread isn’t detrimental to your health just because it isn’t refined sugar per say. The body responds to refined grains and sugar in a similar fashion. This is partially due to a lack of fiber slowing down the release of glucose into your bloodstream. Some of you may not be happy to hear this, but as Michael Pollan says: “The whiter the bread, the sooner you’ll be dead”! Even “fortified” grains lack many of the original nutrients of the whole grain. Fiber and magnesium are just two examples of these missing elements. Magnesium insufficiency in the general public is quite common AND is a known contributor to insulin resistance. See how nature has us taken care of? Whole foods = optimum health. Period. End of story. Many folks seem resistant to this way of living. When I explain that my diet consists mostly of vegetables, grains, nuts/seeds, beans, and right now, small amounts of fruit, some assume that means deprivation. On the contrary, I must argue that with the wide variety of vegetables, grains, and legumes I consume, I eat more species in one day than most Americans eat in a week, possibly even a month. Remember that food variety in America is often an illusion. Just because a bag of potato chips has added salt and vinegar doesn’t mean that you aren’t still just eating fried potatoes. Most foods in this country consist of the same few animal ingredients (dairy, chicken, beef..) and rearrangements of wheat, corn, and soybeans. The sooner we admit the sub par nature of sugary cereals with sprayed on synthetic vitamins (yes that’s how vitamins are added to cereals), the sooner we can realistically tackle the sad fact that this nation is nutrient deprived and marching towards chronic disease one bite at a time. P.S. If you really want to lose weight, try substituting all refined grains with whole grains and limiting your sugar intake. I’d be surprised if you didn’t lose at least a couple of pounds by following this approach. Sugar/refined carbs = insulin spikes = fat storage.
36. Sugar can suppress the immune system.
37. Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.
38. Sugar contributes to the reduction in defense against bacterial infection (infectious diseases).
39. Sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function, the more sugar you eat the more elasticity and function you loose.
40. Sugar may lead to chromium deficiency.
41. Sugar may lead to cancer of the ovaries.
42. Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose.
43. Sugar intake is associated with the development of Parkinson’s disease.
44. Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.
45. Sugar can weaken eyesight.
46. Sugar raises the level of neurotransmitters: dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
47. Sugar can produce an acidic digestive tract.
48. Sugar can cause premature aging.
49. High intake of sugar increases the risk of Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
50. Sugar can cause changes frequently found in person with gastric or duodenal ulcers.
51. Sugar can cause gallstones.
52. Sugar can cause heart disease.
53. Sugar can cause appendicitis.
54. Sugar can cause multiple sclerosis.
55. Sugar can cause hemorrhoids.
56. Sugar can cause varicose veins.
57. Sugar can elevate glucose and insulin responses in oral contraceptive users.
58. Sugar can lead to periodontal disease.
59. Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.
60. Sugar contributes to saliva acidity.
61. Sugar can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity.
62. Sugar can lower the amount of Vitamin E (alpha-Tocopherol in the blood.
63. Sugar can decrease growth hormone.
64. Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.
65. High sugar intake increases advanced glycation end products (AGEs)(Sugar bound non-enzymatically to protein)
66. Sugar can interfere with the absorption of protein.
67. Sugar causes food allergies.
68. Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.
69. Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.
70. Sugar can cause cardiovascular disease.
71. Sugar can impair the structure of DNA
72. Sugar can change the structure of protein.
73. Sugar can cause emphysema.
74. Sugar can cause atherosclerosis.
75. Sugar lowers enzymes ability to function.
76. Sugar can increase the body’s fluid retention.
You’ll notice that some of the items on the list are basically rephrasing other items on the list. For example: #52: “Sugar can cause heart disease” and #70: “Sugar can cause cardiovascular disease”. Heart disease = cardiovascular disease (without the fancy medical term). I have to say I’m a little disappointed by this. It seems as if the author was fishing for ways to make the list as long and alarming as possible. I don’t see this as necessary. It’s clear that there are plenty of reasons to avoid eating sugar. If the list was only made up of 50 reasons, that would still be impressive to me! Making things look worse than they really are can tamper with credibility. I’m going to continue to share the remainder of the list. Just keep in mind that some repeats are likely.
Sugar-hatin’ fun fact: In some areas of Afghanistan, sugar is locked up as it is considered to be a narcotic.
Bennett, C. (2007) Sugar Shock! (Can’t remember the pg number but it’s where I found the sugar-hatin’ fun fact. You’ll just have to trust me ;-))
Breedon (PhD, RD), C. (library patron by the way! :)) (2010) “Thinking About OTHER Nutrition Issues in Diabetes”. Sanford Health handout. Pgs 4-5.