Sugar … a Not So Sweet History
The reasons to eliminate or at very lease minimize the amount of processed sugar in your diet is not new.
In 1910, George Gould, MD of Ithaca, New York published as article in the Medical Reviews of Reviews. In this article Dr Gould states “As to long-continued morbid habits of diet, especially in the case of children and city-dwellers; with the sedentary, in those with weakened nervous and nutritional systems, when coexisting with other diseases, or in the cases of other active and co-operating causes of disease. For several years it has been growing clearer to me that many patients do not get well because they live too exclusively on sugary and starchy foods. With greater activity and the resisting power of youth, children exhibit the morbid tendency by excessive “nervousness.” denutrition, ease-of-becoming ill, and by many ague and warning symptoms. I have asked the parents of such children to stop them in their use of all sweets, and most starches and almost immediately there was a most gratifying disappearance of the “nervousness,” fickleness of appetite, “colds,” and vague manifold ailments.”
In 1938, the only laboratory animal that could contract polio by experimental inoculation was the monkey. All other laboratory animals were completely resistant to the polio virus. The rabbit is one of these resistant animals. Without knowing the blood sugar range in the monkey and rabbit, it was suspected that the blood sugar in the monkey reached lower levels than in the rabbit. These suspicions were found to have a basis in fact through the investigations of Drs. Jungeblut and Resnick of Columbia University who studied blood sugar levels in monkeys, and through the investigations of Drs. du Vigneaud and Karr of Cornell University who studied blood sugar levels in rabbits. In monkeys, blood sugar values as low as 50 mg. were observed, whereas in the rabbit, values below 100 mg. were never observed. In numerous determinations made on rabbits I have never obtained values below 100 mg.
It was therefore concluded that the susceptibility of the monkey to the polio virus was due to the fact that its blood sugar fell to subnormal values, and that the resistance of the rabbit might be associated with the fact that its blood sugar never fell below 100 mg, and that at this concentration cellular oxidation of glucose in the nervous system and other organs would be maintained at such a level as to enable the cells to protect themselves against invasion by the virus. Physiologists have stated that the normal blood sugar level of 80 mg. holds true for all mammals The next step was to lower the blood sugar of the rabbit to subnormal values with insulin injections, and then inoculate the rabbit with polio virus. This was done and it was found that the rabbits became infected and developed the disease. The details of these experiments were published in the American Journal of Pathology, January, 1941.
In 1951, Benjamin P. Sandler, M.D. published a book titled Diet Prevents Polio. In this book, Dr Sandler indicated that a few of his “patients had had polio in childhood. Observations of these patients over a long period of time led me to suspect that their susceptibility to infection was possibly due to their poor diet with its high sugar and starch content. Their increased resistance to infection with a better diet confirmed this suspicion. It then occurred to me that their susceptibility to polio could be explained on a similar dietary basis. Specifically, I suspected that children and adults contracted polio because of low blood sugar brought on by a diet containing sugar and starch. I reasoned that the polio virus was able to cross tissue barriers, reach the brain and spinal cord, invade the nerve cells, damage or destroy them and cause paralysis. And I further reasoned that if the blood sugar never fell below 80 mg polio could never result.”
My nutritionist, who comes from a family that has a history of diabetes, firmly believes that sugar weakens the immune system of the body and that excess sugar consumption will create disease. He is quick to point out that while Americans have reduced fat intake, heart disease continues to rise. He alleges that the curve of the increase in heart disease matches the rate of sugar consumption over the years.
Nancy Appleton, Ph.D. author of the book Lick the Sugar Habit, has developed a list of 124 Ways Sugar Can Ruin Your Health. It would appear that while we’ve been so concerned with fats, we’ve almost forgotten about sugar. Although too much fat in the diet can lead to health problems like obesity, heart disease, and premature death, sugar consumption can be much more hazardous to the health. Diets high in sugar may promote, or complicate, health problems. Many consumers started to gain weight when they began purchasing “fat free” dessert items that were high in sugar. If you’re counting calories, you want every calorie to count. And that’s where sugar falls short: It offers calories but nothing else. The sugar in a muffin or a cappuccino will take a big chunk out of your calorie quota for the day without moving you closer to your daily goals for minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients. If you eat too much of the sweet stuff, you’ll have trouble getting enough healthy nutrients without going overboard on calories.
Sugar is far more fattening for most people than fat is. The leading source of calories for kids and teens is from carbonated soft drinks and juice containing high-fructose corn syrup and sugar, and as a result they are becoming obese and developing type 2 diabetes at an alarming rate. In liquid form, sugars are very problematic as usually they are consumed as extra calories as opposed to substituting for solid foods.
High fructose corn syrup is a crystalline fructose or hydrolized fructose product that is manufactured in the lab (genetically modified corn) that came onto the market in about 1970, and because it is so inexpensive, it is used as a preservative in all kinds of foods one would not expect. I have even noticed it as an ingredient in those touted-as-healthy low-calorie frozen dinners! It is now everywhere in processed foods, including crackers, baked goods, salad dressings, ketchup, medications, and obviously, soft drinks. High-fructose corn syrup is particularly dangerous, because unlike sucrose which raises blood-glucose levels, HFC syrup converts into triglycerides and adipose tissue within an hour of ingestion.