Tag Archives: sweeteners

Allergy

What Got Us Into This Mess?

What Got Us Into This Mess? 

From the beginning of time, the taste of sweetness has appealed to human beings and attracted us.  We read in scripture of eating locusts and wild honey; we read of Samson killing the lion and eating the honey inside the carcass.  We read of a “land flowing with milk and honey,” and that manna had the taste of “wafers made with honey.”  So it’s obvious that sweet taste is something we desire, and something we seek to eat.  Even Eve was tempted with a fruit that was delicious and desirable.

But it’s only recently (as in the past couple of hundred years), and even more recently (since “fast food” was developed), that sweet taste–and with it, refined sugar and sugar substitutes, as well as genetically modified sugar beets and chemical sweeteners–have gained footage in the food dollar.

So how did we get into this mess?

We now know the connections between sugar consumption and Diabetes Type II.  We know that obesity has skyrocketed.  Food processors have cut back on fat content and added sweeteners to compensate.  Even school-aged children are showing signs of addiction to sugar.  What chance do the rest of us have?  And how (if it is possible) can we take the reins back into our hands and get our sugar addictions under control?

Answers in History

 sugarcone

At one time, sugar was a rare commodity.  Either you found a bees’ nest, or you kept the blackstrap molasses when the sugar beets or sugar cane were crushed.  Sugar in colonial times sold in small, compressed cones that looked like the picture above.

See the little “nippers” on the side of the plate?  That’s how sugar was apportioned.  A tiny nip of the sweet cone, and people could sweeten their lemonade.  Sugar was sold in pharmacies, along with other drugs.  And a cone like this would last a very long time.  People relied upon the natural, healthy sweetness of fruits to satisfy their sweet tooth.  The taffy pulls, baked cakes, and cookies were either made with honey or molasses as a rule, and they were for rare and special occasions.

Perhaps that is one factor that brought us to this point.  We have inherited from our ancestors the sense that sweetness is a rare and special treat, and in an effort to compensate for the other areas where we perceive ourselves to fall short, we make a batch of brownies, or a plate of cookies to take to a neighbor.  We take our kids out for fast food, and their meal contains a sweet dessert.  Meals out offer the inevitable dessert menu.

Sweetness bombards us.  It’s at every party, every celebration; every occasion.  It is our perceived key of kindness.

 So What Can We Do?

So what are we to do?

Somewhere, in all of this, there is an answer.  If we can look upon using sugar in small quantities, as in the little colonial cone, that can help.  If we create an expectation for ourselves, that we will only eat one sweet item–and we premeasure it–we may have the self control to get the sugar addictions under control.  For some of us, we will need to completely quit.  And it is possible to do that.

Even more possible is the ability to create healthy options that satisfy us when we are not hungry.  Our danger zone is when we are past the point of merely being hungry and are approaching ravenous.  Or we may be in trouble when we use the promise of something sweet as an emotional reward.

If you or someone you love faces this issue, you might want to consider the Sweet Freedom from Sugar Training Course.  I’ll be launching this breakthrough program in a few short days.  It has all of the information you need to become free from addiction to sugar.

You may be part of my regular list for the Health Secret. You may be a friend on Facebook.  You may be a patient of mine, or already on the list to learn about Sweet Freedom from Sugar when it comes out.

May I ask a favor of you?  I’d like to send you a quick survey (only 12 questions), to learn exactly what the concerns are that you have about sugar.  If sugar IS an issue for you, would you please take a few moments and fill out the survey?  I’ll send it out this week.  And if you already know you want to be free from sugar addiction, please feel free to indicate your interest here.  In the meantime, thank you.

To your dynamic health and energy!  Dr. Stan

sugar addiction

Sweets and Sweeteners: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, and The Uglier

I recently saw a lady in her 70s who said she did not eat much sugar.  By the time we were done with the conversation, she realized that she eats one or two small chocolates, drinks one soda pop and consumes a small amount of fruit juice on a daily basis.  This is equivalent to between 10 to 15 teaspoons of sugar daily (she did not mention any breads, potatoes, or similar starchy foods that break down quickly into sugar in the body).

Not much sugar?  Actually, she was correct, comparatively speaking, because her consumption is much less than the average intake of a whopping 26 teaspoons per person, per day, in America.

The Good

Is there any good that comes from sugar?  It sure makes things taste good!  And it often is needed for baking, but we can do better.  There is no minimum RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for sugar, or any minimum level of carbohydrate needed to sustain life.  We get plenty of ‘sugar’ in complex carbohydrates as we eat nutritious food.

The Bad

Beyond the fact that there is no nutritional value in sugar (no vitamins, minerals, fiber), what else is bad about it?  We’ll review the various types of sweetener that are available, and discuss each one.

  •  table sugar
  • fructose
  • glucose
  • corn syrup
  • agave
  • fruits
  • raw honey
  • processed honey
  • maple syrup
  • succanat
  • rapadura
  • molasses
  • turbinado sugar
  • aspartame
  • NutraSweet
  • xylitol
  • Splenda
  • Saccharin

First, let’s talk about table sugar, that bleached–yes, bleached–white stuff we put on our cereal or in whipped cream.

Table sugar is composed of two molecules in equal amounts:  50% glucose and 50% fructose.  Glucose gives a rise in ‘sugar’ in the bloodstream.  The rise is reduced by insulin, created in the body for just the purpose of moving the sugar into the cell for energy use.  Part of glucose is also stored as glycogen, the immediate-access form of glucose for times of need (such as meeting a saber-toothed tiger in the jungle).  The rest  (lucky us!) is stored as fat.  Fructose is metabolized in the liver, which also immediately converts that fructose into fat for storage.  Fructose shuts down the satiety (makes you feel full) center so you will eat more.

Excessive fructose is toxic to the liver.  Fructose is actually more toxic to the body than glucose, although it does not raise the blood sugar and it is lower on the glycemic index.

Corn syrup is 100% glucose, while high fructose corn syrup is 45% glucose and 55% fructose.  Agave is 55% to 95% fructose, making it the most dangerous of the four common sugars.

The best source of sweetness is found in fruits.  When we use fruits as our sweetener, we also take in fiber, vitamins, minerals and enzymes to help digest the fruit.  Raw honey contains B vitamins, obviously from a natural source without toxicity.

Although sugar is sugar, there are less refined sources of sugar that may be slightly better than table sugar, although considerably more expensive.  Sucanat and rapadura come from sugar cane and contain 10% to 13% molasses.  Molasses is a strong sweetener that contains excellent trace elements, making its digestion and utilization more effective than white sugar.  Turbinado sugar is also less processed and slightly more nutritious than white sugar.

There are two sweeteners that appeal to the sweet taste in the mouth but have no glucose or fructose in them.  They are Stevia and xylitol, both of which I recommend for those who desire something to use in place of all sugars.  They may not do as well in baked goods as other sugar, but many have had success experimenting with these two ingredient options.

The Ugly

Finally, let’s talk about the ugly side of sugar and sweeteners.  When sugar is taken in excess, the following things have been well documented:

  • high blood sugar and high insulin, followed eventually by diabetes mellitus II
  • immune system suppression
  • hyperactivity,
  • anxiety,
  • concentration difficulties and crankiness in children (which is why Halloween candy is given to children at the end of the school day)
  • rise in blood triglycerides
  • contributes to and feeds cancer
  • promotes tooth decay
  • contributes to weight gain and obesity
  • is pro-inflammatory (so it contributes to all inflammatory conditions—asthma, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, gastric ulcers, arthritis, vascular (heart) disease, headaches, migraines)
  • accelerates aging
  • causes and contributes to ongoing Candida (yeast) infections
  • leads to formation of gallstones and kidney stones
  • causes constipation and hemorrhoids
  • the list goes on, and on, and on…

The food industry knows that sugar sells, but wants to hide the fact that it may be the highest ingredient in a processed food.  So how do they “hide” the sugar content?  Simply by listing it in a number of different forms.  For example:

The ingredient list will show sugar as the 5th ingredient, but list 4 other sugars (evaporated cane sugar, invert sugar, corn syrup, barley malt syrup) further down on the ingredient list.

If you add all those sugars together, the total quantity would move ‘sugar’ up to be the highest ingredient.

I recently looked at a list of 257 different ways to name sugar.  You can identify most of them by knowing that words ending in -ose are sugars, and descriptions ending in syrup and sugar are also sugars.

The sugar industry has effectively discredited scientists and solid science that speak out against sugar.  Dr. Yudkin in the 1970s presented excellent research on the dangers of sugar, which was discredited by Keyes, who, it was later discovered, was funded by the sugar industry.  Legislation to place a recommended cap on the amount of sugar consumed by an individual per day has been subverted.  In fact, the tactics used by the sugar industry correlate well with the tactics used by the tobacco industry for so long to deny or downplay the true effects of their products on the human body.

Even Uglier

There are sweeteners worse than sugar on the body.  Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal) cleared the FDA as a ‘diet’ product.  The data submitted to the FDA showed that this ‘diet’ product actually caused weight gain in the test groups.  The basic chemistry of aspartame is that it is wood alcohol, with an aspartate group and phenylalanine group hooked to it.  We might not have been so excited about it if it had been called “Wood Alcohol-ame.”  Wood alcohol is a toxic substance in the body, so the body breaks it down into formaldehyde, which is a carcinogen (it causes cancer) and a toxic preserving agent.  It is so toxic that some medical students taking anatomy cannot be in the room with formaldehyde-preserved cadavers.

The body then breaks formaldehyde down into formic acid, which is the source of the sting of the fire ant.  All these chemicals are toxic to the body and are considered pro-inflammatory.  Many so-called “diet” sodas are sweetened with aspartame.  Soda, anyone?

Splenda (sucralose) is a chlorinated artificial sweetener that looks chemically more like DDT than sugar.  Chlorine is a toxic substance, whether it’s a gas (which was used to kill soldiers in WWI), placed in herbicides and pesticides, put in water, or added to sweet chemicals and sold as artificial sweeteners.  Of the 110 studies submitted to the FDA for approval in 1998, 2 were done on humans—and the longest one was for 4 days.  A review of all literature on this product reveals the following findings regarding Splenda:

1. it reduces good bacteria in the intestinal tract by 50%

2. it increases the pH in the intestines (viruses, bacteria, and cancer cells like a higher pH)

3. it impairs appetite regulation, which leads to weight gain (diet cola, anyone?)

4. it causes a myriad of symptoms that have been reported by sucralose users, affecting skin, lungs, nose, eyes, stomach, heart, joints, and neurological systems.

Saccharin (SugarTwin, Sweet’N Low) has not had the extremely negative health effects that aspartame and sucralose have had.  The study on animals, showing it caused tumors, was designed with insanely high doses of saccharin.  The tested levels could never by ingested by humans as a sweetener.  However, it is still a chemically manufactured product, with potentially unknown long-term side effects.

 Addiction and Sweeteners

Lastly, sugar causes cravings, which lead to sugar addiction, every bit as real as addictions to alcohol, tobacco or drugs.

 Studies in animals have documented release of pleasure substances in the brain upon ingestion of sugar.  Food Addicts Anonymous follows a program similar to the 12-step Alcoholics Anonymous program to support people who are addicted to carbohydrates, sugar or food.

If you or a loved one are addicted to sugar and need some help changing your life, our Sweet Freedom from Sugar Training Course will be offered again soon.  To receive information about the course, just go to  http://sweetfreedomforme.com/

 Dr. Gardner believes every person has a mission to perform on this earth.  He is passionate about giving his patients the energized health that makes dreams possible.  He consults with corporations about providing healthy alternatives to employees, and has a private practice in Riverton, UT. (801-254-4600) 

 

sweeteners

Ease on Down: Sweeteners

I would like to know more about sweeteners, yeast, dairy products and why they would be something that should be taken away.

Sweeteners: If you are addicted to sugar or sweets, then you need to avoid all sweets, possibly even fruits. Assuming you are not addicted to sugar, there are ‘bad’, ‘good’ and ‘best’ sweeteners. The ‘best’ sweetener is eating the whole fruit, and that is where most of the need for sweet flavor should be met. Juices typically remove the pulp, or fiber, thus making it more like a sugar drink, albeit better than soda pop.

Fruit Drinks: These fruits can be put in a smoothie and have all the nutrients they contain.

There are ‘good’ sweeteners. These include stevia and xylitol, and perhaps agave in small amounts. But because agave is fructose, and too much fructose is harmful to the liver, you need to be careful with it. Raw honey and whole cane sugar when used in moderation are also acceptable if your body works well with them. ‘Bad’ sweeteners include processed white sugar, aspartame, and Splenda. All of these are toxic to the body.

Processed Sugar:

  • is inflammatory,
  • feeds candida and cancer cells,
  • causes acidity in the body,
  • suppresses the immune system,
  • increases triglycerides in the blood,
  • leads to several mineral deficiencies,
  • causes insulin resistance and diabetes

–is that enough? (there is much more!).

Aspartame: is wood alcohol, with an aspartate group and phenylalanine hooked onto it. The wood alcohol is toxic to the body, so the liver breaks it down into formaldehyde, another toxic substance, and then further into formic acid (the sting of the fire ant). I consider aspartame worse than sugar. Splenda has a chlorine group on it. Chlorine gas was used World War I to kill enemy soldiers. It was found to be so effective, it has been added to our water supply to kill bacteria. Chlorine, bromide and fluoride are in the same family with iodine, and all will interfere with the production of thyroid hormone.

More on the other stuff to come in future posts…