Avoid Empty Carbohydrates
If we had to pick the one single class of food that does the most overall damage to the health of Americans it would be empty carbohydrates, meaning sugar (as in candy, cake, soda, etc.) and carbohydrates (as in pastries and noodles).
- Most people don’t look at food the way it really is...
- Carbohydrates turn into sugar after being digested...
- So whether you’re eating a roll, or a potato or a piece of candy, they are really both just sugar as far as the bloodstream is concerned.
Many of Us Eat Way Too Much Sugar
The reason sugar takes first place in what’s wrong with the modern diet is that we eat so much of it. Most people far underestimate the amount of sugar they eat each day with the average person eating the equivalent of 52 spoonfuls (208 grams or about 1/2 pound) of sugar per day. And it’s much worse doing the Holidays when people double their intake of simple carbohydrates.
This much sugar in our blood prevents our cells from being fat burners, with a whole host of health problems, including increased propensity for disease, and earlier death.
Because eating sugar is such a pleasurable experience, food manufacturers have more than doubled than amount of sugar in foods over the past 30 years. (trying to get us to eat more). Tests show that even animals will eat up to six times as much food when it is laced with sugar.
The Problems With Sugar
Sugar creates several problems for the human body:
- Sugar quickly raises blood sugar levels, which causes the pancreas to release insulin to get the sugar out of the blood. This unnecessary work creates wear and tear on the endocrine systems of the body. It’s like revving your car engine up while it is in neutral or park. You accomplish nothing except to damage your health.
- Sugar increases circulating insulin and fat storage. As insulin levels go up, fat storage also goes up. This causes your leptin levels to go up... and creates confusion for the metabolic system, meaning the survival switch mechanisms regulating whether a person is in fat burning or sugar burning mode get confused so that an overweight person can stay in sugar burning mode even though the body has ample fat stores and should be in fat burning mode.
- Sugar decreases the amount of minerals in the body. Sugar contains no minerals or vitamins. Metabolism of food takes the expenditure of nutrient tools, especially minerals. Since eating sugar results in the expenditure of more minerals than are obtained in the sugar, it is a net negative proposition — the more sugar you eat the more your body is depleted of health sustaining minerals.
- Sugar causes glycation of protein molecules in our body. One of the other main causes of aging in addition to free radical damage is the bonding of sugar with protein. This is called glycation. Through glycation proteins cross link with sugar molecules and lose their elasticity and correct functioning. This plus free radical damage create 99% of the aging process.
Sugar is Addictive
“Sugar is a drug!” To prove this point: when sugar is removed from the diet people become agitated and experience similar symptoms to withdrawal symptoms of smokers morphine users.
Simple carbohydrates (white rice, white potatoes, white bread, etc.) are almost as bad as sugar because they turn into sugar when they are digested. Therefore, this entire discussion applies to simple carbohydrates. People can become as addicted to white rolls, for instance, as to sugar.
Learn to Avoid Carbohydrate Rich Foods
A potato should be seen as a big lump of sugar. Likewise, bread, pastries, noodles, etc. They turn into sugar and the end result is that the body burns sugar for fuel, instead of fat. The result of this is that you age faster, get more disease in your life and die earlier. There are other foods to eat and you can be just as happy eating them.
The buzzword of nutritionists these days is glycemic index. Glycemic index values tell us how quickly these foods will spike the blood sugar level, which calls forth insulin to take the sugar out of the blood into fat storage. Foods with natural sugars and fiber typically don’t spike the sugar level in the blood because they are digested and assimilated much more slowly than are sugar and simple carbohydrates. Hence, they don’t create the problems associated with elevated blood sugar.
In general, meats, legumes and vegetables have low glycemic values. Hence, they are the best foods for us to eat in terms of avoiding fat storage and glycation aging of our body. Click here to see a great explanation of glycemic index and a table showing the best foods to eat in terms of glycemic index.
Make Your Sugar Count
Sugar and simple carbohydrates are truly an enemy of optimum health and longevity, especially when they become a part of daily life.
That’s why in our estimation, these foods should be labeled celebration foods. We should only eat them occasionally and in between those occasions, we should exercise the discipline that will allow us to say no to sugar and thereby our good health and maximum longevity.
We do believe that life is to be enjoyed. Sugary deserts and wonderful breads and pastries can be among those things we count as so enjoyable that they are worth the health blows that comes with them.
However, as with drugs and alcohol, it is easy to become addicted, abuse sugar and suffer dire health consequences. If the siren call of sugar is too much, then you probably need to become one of those persons who lives without sugar, who when something tastes sweet, they immediately spit it out.
What's wrong with eating a little sugar?
Well, let's start with insulin. When you eat sugar, your blood sugar quickly rises and your pancreas immediately responds by secreting the hormone insulin. Insulin, whose job among many other things, is to quickly remove the sugar out of the blood stream by delivering it to cells where it can be used for energy. If sugar is allowed to hang out in the blood stream it does damage by attaching to red blood cells and creating sticky compounds that clog up your system.
There are 2 major problems with this. One, most of us don't use our muscles enough that would create a demand for the energy from the sugar so it will get stored as fat or will continue lurking in the blood stream, wreaking havoc.
The second problem is our bodies were designed to respond to natural foods that contain sugar such as fruits. When we fill our system with candy, ice cream and cake, the pancreas has to shoot out more insulin to get the job done and high amounts of insulin create a whole other set of issues.
Insulin tells the kidneys to hold on to sodium, increasing blood pressure. High insulin levels have also been linked to metabolic syndrome which is a type of pre diabetes that increases the risk of heart disease.
Table sugar is not the only offender with the insulin effect on the body. Refined carbs such as mashed potatoes, white rice, white bread and pasta are quickly converted to sugar in the body since your pancreas can't tell the difference.
Sugar in not nonnutritive but it is anti-nutritive. When sugar is found in whole foods such as apples, berries and even sugarcane it comes complete with the vitamins, minerals and enzymes needed for complete digestion. When it's found in your sugar bowl or in chemical compounds such as high fructose corn syrup, your body has to borrow from it's stores of nutrients in order to process it. That is one reason why sugar is considered an immune system depressor.
Sugar is addictive and just like any addiction, you may experience withdrawals when removing it from your diet.
Be prepared for those withdrawal symptoms and do yourself a bog favor and kick the "not so sweet side effects" that occur from eating sugar daily.
Sugar is the main contaminant of the circulatory system. Many people don’t realize that sugar in the blood is a major contributor to disease and lessened longevity. Sugar glycates our proteins and feeds microorganism overgrowth in the body. Please study our table on glycemic index value and learn to choose foods that will keep your circulatory system free of excessive sugar.