Are You In Sugar Shock?

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Filed Under: Heart Health, Blood Sugar, Food and Nutrition
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

It’s a well-known fact that obesity is on a steady rise in U.S. since the introduction of high fructose corn syrup to our foods. Look for high fructose corn syrup on the your labels—some foods you may not even suspect have sugar in them!—and you may be amazed at how much sugar you are actually getting in your diet.

No wonder so many of us become sugar junkies without even realizing it. Our tendency to grab a quick carb pick-me-up can lead to anything from “brain fog" and fatigue to mood swings and cardiovascular problems. And that’s just what’s happening to non-diabetics.

People with type-2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and insulin resistance get heart disease at an alarming rate. That’s because they have problems with sugar metabolism. And sugar is useless in the body anyhow—it’s full of dead calories.

Whenever you eat sugar and refined carbohydrates, you get an insulin response. We know now that insulin is a pro-inflammatory hormone. People are drinking loads of sugary sodas, adding sugar to their tea and coffee, and consuming breads and pasta, bagels, and donuts and cookies in alarming amounts—we’re a sugar society. And then there’s that artificial high fructose corn syrup, which is even worse than sugar.

These sugars and refined carbs turn on an insulin response, and insulin causes inflammation of blood vessels. If you have surging insulin levels bouncing from high sugar to insulin, back to high sugar, then insulin and so on (i.e. the blood sugar rollercoaster), your cells to become inflamed and the first stage is set for inflammatory atherosclerosis.

The key is to avoid refined sugars and, to swear off high fructose corn syrup for good. And, if you want to read more about the dangers of sugar and how to cut sugar sources from your diet, I highly recommend Dr. Sinatra’s book Sugar Shock! How Sweets and Simple Carbs Can Derail Your Life—and How You Can Get It Back on Track, which he co-authored with self-proclaimed sugar addict in recovery Connie Bennett.

For more information on general or cardiovascular nutrition, as well as heart risk factors, visit Dr. Sinatra’s Web site.

 

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