Pure White and Deadly

Of all the foods consumed today, refined sugar is considered to be one of the most harmful.

…In 1997 Americans devoured 7.3 billion pounds of candy. Americans spent an estimated $23.1 billion dollars on candy and gum. The average American consumed a record 27.3 pounds of candy and gum in the same year-the equivalent of about six regular sized chocolate bars a week-marking the fifth consecutive year of increased demand.(1)

…Consumption of processed foods (which are laced with sugar) cost the American public more than $54 billion in dental bills each year, so the dental industry reaps huge profits from the programmed addiction of the public to sugar products.

…Today we have a nation that is addicted to sugar. In 1915, the national average of sugar consumption (per year) was around 15 to 20 pounds per person. Today the average person consumes his/her weight in sugar, plus over 20 pounds of corn syrup.

To add more horrors to these facts there are some people that use no sweets and some who use much less than the average figure, which means that there is a percentage of the population that consume a great deal more refined sugar than their body weight. The human body cannot tolerate this large amount of refined carbohydrates. The vital organs in the body are actually damaged by this gross intake of sugar.

…Refined sugar contains no fiber, no minerals, no proteins, no fats, no enzymes, only empty calories. What happens when you eat a refined carbohydrate like sugar? Your body must borrow vital nutrients from healthy cells to metabolize the incomplete food. Calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium are taken from various parts of the body to make use of the sugar. Many times, so much calcium is used to neutralize the effects of sugar that the bones become osteoporotic due to the withdrawn calcium.

Likewise, the teeth are affected and they lose their components until decay occurs and hastens their loss.

…Refined sugar is void of all nutrients, consequently it causes the body to deplete its own stores of various vitamins, minerals and enzymes. If sugar consumption is continued, an over-acid condition results, and more minerals are needed from deep in the body to correct the imbalance. If the body is lacking the nutrients used to metabolize sugar, it will not be able to properly handle and rid itself of the poisonous residues.

These wastes accumulate through the brain and nervous system, which speeds up cellular death. The bloodstream becomes over-loaded with waste products and symptoms of carbonic poisoning result.

…Sugar also makes the blood very thick and sticky, inhibiting much of the blood flow into the minute capillaries that supply our gums and teeth with vital nutrients. Therefore, we wind up with diseased gums and starving teeth. America and England, the two largest sugar consumers, have horrendous dental problems.

…In 1948, a $57,000 ten-year study was awarded to Harvard University by the Sugar Research Foundation to find out how sugar causes cavities in teeth and how to prevent it. In 1958, Time magazine reported the findings, which were reported in the Dental Association Journal. They discovered there was no way to prevent the problem and their funding immediately disappeared.

…“The most significant human study was done in Sweden, reported in 1954, and known as the Vipeholm Dental Caries Study. More than 400 adult mental patients were placed on controlled diets and observed for five years. The subjects were divided into various groups. Some ate complex and simple carbohydrates at mealtimes only, while other supplemented mealtime food with between-meal-snacks, sweetened with sucrose, chocolate, caramel, or toffee.

Among the conclusions drawn from the study, was that sucrose consumption could increase caries activity. The risk increased if the sucrose was consumed in a sticky form that adhered to the tooth’s surfaces. The greatest damage was inflicted by foods with high concentrations of sucrose, in sticky form, eaten between meals, even if contact with the tooth’s surfaces was brief. Caries, due to the intake of foods with high sucrose levels, could be decreased when such offending foods were eliminated from the diet.

But individual differences existed, and in some cases, caries continued to appear despite avoidance of refined sugar or maximum restriction of natural sugars and total dietary carbohydrates.” (2)

…Diabetes is another commonly known disease caused by sugar as well as a high fat diet. Diabetes is caused by the failure of the pancreas to produce adequate insulin when the blood sugar rises. A concentrated amount of sugar introduced into the system sends the body into shock from the rapid rise in the blood sugar level. The pancreas eventually wears out from overwork and diabetes then rears its ugly head.

…Hypoglycemia occurs when the pancreas overreacts to the large amount of sugar in the blood and releases too much insulin leaving one with the “tired” feeling as the blood sugar level becomes lower than it should be.

“A recent article in the British Medical Journal, entitled The Sweet Road to Gallstones, reported that refined sugar may be one of the major dietary risk factors in gallstone disease. Gallstones are composed of fats and calcium. Sugar can upset all of the minerals, and one of the minerals, calcium, can become toxic or nonfunctioning, depositing itself anywhere in the body, including the gallbladder.

…“One out of ten Americans has gallstones. This risk increases to one out of every five after age forty. Gallstones may go unnoticed or may cause pain-wrenching pain. Other symptoms might include bloating, belching, and intolerance to foods.” (3)

…Another serious problem with sugar that is now coming to the forefront is the various levels of mental problems. Our brains are very sensitive and react to quick chemical changes within the body. As sugar is consumed, our cells are robbed of their B vitamin, which destroys them, and insulin production is inhibited. Low insulin production means a high sugar (glucose) level in the bloodstream, which can lead to a confused mental state or unsound mind, and has also been linked with juvenile criminal behavior.

Dr. Alexander G. Schauss, brings this solemn fact out in his book,Diet, Crime and Delinquency. Many mental ward and prison inmates are “sugarholics” and erratic emotional outbreaks often follow a sugar binge.

REFINED SUGAR-A DRUG?

…Refined sugar, by some, is called a drug, because in the refining process everything of food value has been removed except the carbohydrates-pure calories, without vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, enzymes or any of the other elements that make up food. Many nutrition experts say that white sugar is extremely harmful, possibly as harmful as a drug, especially in the quantities consumed by the present-day American.

…Dr. David Reuben, author of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Nutrition says, “…white refined sugar-is not a food. It is a pure chemical extracted from plant sources, purer in fact than cocaine, which it resembles in many ways. Its true name is sucrose and its chemical formula is C12H22O11.

 

It has 12 carbon atoms, 22 hydrogen atoms, 11 oxygen atoms, and absolutely nothing else to offer.” …The chemical formula for cocaine is C17H21NO4. Sugar’s formula again is C12H22O11. For all practical purposes, the difference is that sugar is missing the “N”, or nitrogen atom. …Refining means to make “pure” by a process of extraction or separation. Sugars are refined by taking a natural food, which contains a high percentage of sugar, and then removing all elements of that food until only the sugar remains. …While sugar is commonly made from sugar cane or sugar beets.

Through heating and mechanical and chemical processing, all vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, enzymes and indeed every nutrient is removed until only the sugar remains. Sugar cane and sugar beets are first harvested and then chopped into small pieces, squeezing out the juice, which is then mixed with water. This liquid is then heated, and lime is added.

Moisture is boiled away, and the remaining fluid is pumped into vacuum pans to concentrate the juice. By this time, the liquid is starting to crystallize, and is ready to be placed into a centrifuge machine where any remaining residues (like molasses) are spun away. The crystals are then dissolved by heating to the boiling point and passed through charcoal filters.

After the crystals condense, they are bleached snow-white usually by the use of pork or cattle bones. …During the refining process, 64 food elements are destroyed. All the potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, phosphate, and sulfate are removed. The A, D, and B, vitamins are destroyed.

Amino acids, vital enzymes, unsaturated fats, and all fiber are gone. To a lesser or greater degree, all refined sweeteners such as corn syrup, maple syrup, etc., undergo similar destructive processes. Molasses is the chemical and deranged nutrients that is a byproduct of sugar manufacture.

…Sugar manufacturers are aggressive in defending their product and have a strong political lobby which allows them to continue selling a deadly food item that by all reason should not be allowed in the American diet.

…If you have any doubts as to the detriments of sugar (sucrose), try leaving it out of your diet for several weeks and see if it makes a difference! You may also notice you have acquired an addiction and experience some withdrawal symptoms.

…Studies show that “sugar” is just as habit-forming as any narcotic; and its use, misuse, and abuse is our nation’s number one disaster.

It is no wonder when we consider all the products we consume daily which are loaded with sugar! The average healthy digestive system can digest and eliminate from two to four teaspoons of sugar daily, usually without noticeable problems, (that is if damage is not already present).

One 12 oz. Cola contains 11 teaspoons of sugar, and that’s aside from the caffeine. It’s the sugar that gives you quick energy, but only for a brief time due to the rise of the blood sugar level. But the body quickly releases a rush of insulin, which rapidly lowers the blood sugar and causes a significant drop in energy and endurance. It is easy to see why America’s health is in serious trouble.

— top^

EFFECT OF SUGAR ON NEUROLOGICAL PROCESSES …One of the keys to orderly brain function is glutamic acid, and this compound is found in many vegetables. When sugar is consumed, the bacteria in the intestines, which manufacture B vitamin complexes, begin to die-these bacteria normally thrive in a symbiotic relationship with the human body. When the B vitamin complex level declines, the glutamic acid (normally transformed into “go” “no-go” directive neural enzymes by the B vitamins) is not processed and sleepiness occurs, as well as a decreased ability for short-term memory function and numerical calculative abilities. The removal of B vitamins when foods are “processed” makes the situation even more tenuous.

 

WHAT ABOUT GUM CHEWING? …Besides the sugar in gum being damaging to the teeth there is another harmful problem to consider and that is: “teeth and jaws weren’t designed for more than a few minutes of solid chewing per day-far less than the two hours clocked in daily by hardcore gum chewers. All this chewing results in inordinate wear on the jawbone, gum tissue and lower molars, and can change the alignment of the jaws” says Michael Elsohn, D.D.S., in the Medical Tribune.

— top^

ENDNOTES:– top^ (1) U.S. Commerce Department figures compiled for the National Confectioners Association (NCA) and the Chocolate Manufacturers Association. (Reuters, 8/21/98) (2) Beatrice Trum Humter, The Sugar Trap & How to Avoid It, (Houghton Mifflin Co., 1982), p.15. (3) Nancy Appleton, Ph.D., Lick The Sugar Habit, (Warner Books, N.Y., 1985) pp. 73,74.

 

Statins? Everyone or No One?

Who Should Take Cholesterol-lowering Statins? Everyone or No One?

By    |   Posted on June 10, 2013

Lipitor570x299 Who Should Take Cholesterol lowering Statins? Everyone or No One?Should cholesterol-lowering statins be added to our drinking water in order to prevent atherosclerosis, like fluoride is added to prevent tooth decay? Some medical doctors and scientists have recommended this public health measure because heart disease and strokes threaten the lives of more than half of all people following the Western diet. Apparently, even healthy people are now being told to take statins, with recommendations that over the age of 50, regardless of their health history, people should take these medications daily.

Statins Lower Cholesterol but Do Little for Better Health

In my practice over the past decade I have limited my prescriptions for cholesterol-lowering medications to people who are at high risk for future troubles. Unless there is a contraindication, I have recommended statins to patients with a history of heart surgery, heart disease, TIAs, or strokes, with a goal to take a dosage sufficient to lower their blood cholesterol levels to 150 mg/dL (4 mmol/L) or less. Furthermore, based on the recommendations of the highly respected Cochrane Collaboration and others, I have adviced that otherwise healthy people, even those with high cholesterol, not take cholesterol-lowering statins. Of course, I have strongly recommended that everyone eat a healthy diet.

Statins effectively lower blood cholesterol by inhibiting an enzyme (HMG-CoA reductase) involved in the production of cholesterol in the liver. The cholesterol numbers, revealed by simple blood tests, are dramatically reduced with this commonly prescribed treatment. Unfortunately, the reduction in blood cholesterol translates into only very small improvements in the health of the arteries, as seen by tiny (but statistically significant) reductions in heart disease. These weak benefits can be appreciated in very sick people who are at high risk for future health problems. This strategy is called secondary prevention. They have already had a serious problem.

However, the benefits from statins are very difficult to demonstrate in healthy people because their risk of future troubles is very low, and remember I wrote, the real-life benefits from statins are very small. This strategy is called primary  prevention. Nothing serious has happened, yet. Intervention is being recommended in hopes of preventing a serious event in the future.

There is an ongoing controversy as to whether or not statins should be more widely prescribed. The doctors and scientists working for pharmaceutical companies think they should be. But, consider the influence of money on their findings and opinions. Annually, $37 billion is spent on cholesterol-lowering medications worldwide.

My Recommendations for Statins Are Changing*

The most recent review (January 2013) by the Cochrane Collaboration has concluded that there is, “…strong evidence to support their use in people at low risk of cardiovascular disease.” This is a reversal from their previous conclusions, which recommended against such treatment for people without a history of heart disease (for primary prevention). As a result, I am changing the way I present information to people on the use of statins. For practical purposes, choosing whether or not to take these kinds of medication should be based on an understanding of the actual benefits and risks as assessed by various experts. Currently, the data is based on the study of people who eat the Western diet. I believe the benefits will be found to be far less in people who consume a starch-based McDougall-type diet.

recent analysis, published in the medical journal, the Lancet, by John Abramson, MD, a guest speaker at two previous McDougall Advanced Study weekends, summarizes the effects of statin therapy: “Our analysis suggests that lipid-lowering statins should not be prescribed for true primary prevention in women of any age or for men older than 69 years. High-risk men aged 30–69 years should be advised that about 50 patients need to be treated for 5 years to prevent one event. In our experience, many men presented with this evidence do not choose to take a statin, especially when informed of the potential benefits of lifestyle modification on cardiovascular risk and overall health.”

John Abramson, MD, Author of Overdo$ed America
Recorded at the March 2013 McDougall Advanced Study Weekend

Cholesterol-lowering statin therapy is based on the observation that high cholesterol levels in a person’s blood are associated with more heart attacks and stroke. The organic substance cholesterol is found in large amounts in all animal foods. When people eat meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products their blood cholesterol levels rise. The rationale is that lowering these levels with medication will fix the problem. As discussed above, the real-life benefits have been minimal. Not surprisingly, this failure has led researchers to look into other mechanisms to explain how eating animal products and other unhealthy foods cause artery damage.

mmmm4 Who Should Take Cholesterol lowering Statins? Everyone or No One?MMM22 Who Should Take Cholesterol lowering Statins? Everyone or No One?M34 Who Should Take Cholesterol lowering Statins? Everyone or No One?

Antibiotics May Be the Next Blockbuster Drugs to Treat Heart Disease

In April of 2013, an article in Nature Medicine and one in the New England Journal of Medicine found that a diet of meat, dairy products, and eggs caused damage to the arteries by increasing the production of trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO). Carnatine and choline, found in these animal foods in high concentrations, are metabolized by gut microbes (bacteria) into trimethylamine (TMA), which in turn is absorbed into the bloodstream and then metabolized by the liver into TMAO. This organic compound has been shown to cause artery damage in animal experiments and is strongly associated with heart disease in people.

Meat, dairy products, eggs, and other animal foods favor the growth of bacteria that readily convert carnatine and choline to TMA. Vegans and vegetarians grow few of these kinds of bacteria and as a result produce very little artery-damaging TMAO. This research may lead to medical treatments, including the use of probiotics (bacteria supplied in pills and fermented foods), medications to limit the synthesis of trimethylamine from carnatine and choline, and/or antibiotics to suppress specific TMA-producing bacteria in the intestine. In all three pharmacologic approaches the medications would need to be taken for a lifetime. Great profits will be generated as a result, just like with statins.

Who Should Take Statins? A Starch-based Diet Is the Non-profit Solution

Starches, vegetables, and fruits are essentially cholesterol-free and discourage the growth of intestinal bacteria that lead to the synthesis of artery-damaging TMAO; and these foods contain very little carnatine and choline (the precursors of TMAO). Unarguably,—whether blaming cholesterol, carnatine, choline, or bad-bowel-bacteria—diseases of atherosclerosis (heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, etc.) are due to consuming meat, dairy products, and eggs. Therefore I recommend the McDougall Diet to prevent and treat heart and other artery diseases.  In other words, fix the problem.

Lack of profit is the primary reason for lack of acceptance of this simple, safe approach. Consider that the most popular brand name statin, Crestor, purchased at a discount pharmacy like Costco or CVS, costs about $6 a day. Comparatively, a starch-based diet costs $3 a day for all of the food (2500 calories). The rivers of profits from a drug-over-diet approach entend to the food and medical industries. (Generic statins are much less expensive.)

Our research shows that the cholesterol-lowering benefits of the McDougall Diet are comparable to statins. We have analyzed the results of 1700 people who have been through the McDougall residential program in Santa Rosa. In seven days people starting with total cholesterol of 200 mg/dL or more experience a reduction of 34.2 mg/dL on average. If the starting number is 240 mg/dL or more, the average reduction is 42.1 mg/dL. (If LDL is initially 100 mg/dL or greater, the average reduction is 21.1 mg/dL; if 160 mg/dL or greater, the average reduction is 31.5 mg/dL.)

To answer the question, “Who Should Take Cholesterol-lowering Statins? Everyone or No One?” My response is slightly more complex than all or none. The decisions made primarily depend upon what a person chooses to eat. Eat meat, dairy products, eggs, and other unhealthy foods and you may benefit from taking statins (a little). Eat a starch-based McDougall Diet and any benefits from statins for an otherwise healthy person vanish, and all that is left are side effects and costs. However, as a medical doctor trained in traditional drug therapy, I want to take advantage of both worlds: diet and drugs. For most patients with serious existing disease, such as those with a history of heart surgery, heart disease, TIAs, or stroke, in addition to my diet I recommend sufficient cholesterol-lowering statin medications to lower their blood cholesterol to 150 mg/dL or less.

mmmmm6 Who Should Take Cholesterol lowering Statins? Everyone or No One?*I reserve my right to change my opinion on medications and surgeries because the foundations—the scientific research—for my recommendations are incomplete, inaccurate, and constantly changing. However, in case you are wondering, my advice on what you should eat (a starch-based diet) will not waiver because the scientific underpinnings are rock solid.

Fructose, Sweet but Dangerous

Is High Fructose Corn Syrup Worse Than Sugar?

By , About.com Guide

Updated October 09, 2008

About.com Health’s Disease and Condition content is reviewed by our Medical Review Board

high fructose corn syrupSodas are Usually Sweetened with High Fructose Corn SyrupPhoto: Scott Olson/Getty Images

What is fructose?

Fructose is a monosaccharide (simple sugar), which the body can use for energy. Because it does not cause blood sugar rise tremendously (has a low glycemic index), it was once thought that fructose was a good substitute for sucrose (table sugar). However, the American Diabetes Association and nutritional experts have changed their minds about this.

Is fructose bad for me?

A small amount of fructose, such as the amount found in most vegetables and fruits, is not a bad thing. In fact, there is evidence that a little bit may help your body process glucose properly. However, consuming too much fructose at once seems to overwhelm the body’s capacity to process it. The diets of our ancestors contained only very small amounts of fructose. These days, estimates are that about 10% of the modern diet comes from fructose.

What happens if I consume too much fructose?

Most of the carbohydrates we eat are made up of chains of glucose. When glucose enters the bloodstream, the body releases insulin to help regulate it. Fructose, on the other hand, is processed in the liver. To greatly simplify the situation: When too much fructose enters the liver, the liver can’t process it all fast enough for the body to use as sugar. Instead, it starts making fats from the fructose and sending them off into the bloodstream as triglycerides.

Why is this bad?

This is potentially bad for at least three reasons:

  • High blood triglycerides are a risk factor for heart disease.
  • Fructose ends up circumventing the normal appetite signaling system, so appetite-regulating hormones aren’t triggered–and you’re left feeling unsatisfied. This is probably at least part of the reason why excess fructose consumption is associated with weight gain.
  • There is growing evidence that excess fructose consumption may facilitate insulin resistance, and eventually type 2 diabetes. However, some of this effect may be from chemicals in soda which reacts with the high fructose corn syrup.

What are the major sources of fructose?

Fruits and vegetables have relatively small, “normal” amounts of fructose that most bodies can handle quite well. The problem comes with added sugars in the modern diet, the volume of which has grown rapidly in recent decades. The blame has often been pinned to high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is made up of 55% fructose and 45% glucose. However, sucrose is half fructose and half glucose. So, HFCS actually doesn’t have a whole lot more fructose than “regular” sugar, gram for gram.High fructose corn syrup has become incredibly inexpensive and abundant, partially due to corn subsidies in the United States. So, really, the problem is more that it has become so cheap that it has crept its way into a great number of the foods we eat every day.

Is corn syrup fructose different than fructose found in other foods?

No, all fructose works the same in the body, whether it comes from corn syrup, cane sugar, beet sugar, strawberries, onions, or tomatoes. Only the amounts are different. For example, a cup of chopped tomatoes has 2.5 grams of fructose, a can of regular (non-diet) soda supplies 23 grams, and a super-size soda has about 62 grams.

Which foods have high fructose corn syrup and other sugars?

Today, almost all packaged foods have sugar added in some form, which almost always includes a lot of fructose. Honey has about the same fructose/glucose ratio as high fructose corn syrup. Fruit juice concentrates, sometimes used as “healthy sweeteners,” usually have quite a lot of fructose (never mind that the processing of these concentrates strips away most of their nutritional value). Look at the ingredients on packaged food labels and you will probably see sources of fructose. See my article, Sugar’s Many Disguises, to learn what to look for.

The Myth of Complementary Protein

 

By    |   Posted on June 3, 2013

 

 

The Myth of Complementary Protein 570x299 The Myth of Complementary Protein

Recently, I was teaching a nutrition class and describing the adequacy of plant-based diets to meet human nutritional needs. A woman raised her hand and stated, “I’ve read that because plant foods don’t contain all the essential amino acids that humans need, to be healthy we must either eat animal protein or combine certain plant foods with others in order to ensure that we get complete proteins.”

 

I was a little surprised to hear this, since this is one of the oldest myths related to vegetarianism and was disproved long ago. When I pointed this out, the woman identified herself as a medical resident and stated that her current textbook in human physiology states this and that in her classes, her professors have emphasized this point.

I was shocked. If myths like this abound not only in the general population but also in the medical community, how can anyone ever learn how to eat healthfully? It is important to correct this misinformation, because many people are afraid to follow healthful, plant-based, and/or total vegetarian (vegan) diets because they worry about “incomplete proteins” from plant sources.

How did this “incomplete protein” myth become so widespread?

No Small Misconception

The “incomplete protein” myth was inadvertently promoted and popularized in the 1971 book, Diet for a Small Planet, by Frances Moore Lappé. In it, the author stated that plant foods are deficient in some of the essential amino acids, so in order to be a healthy vegetarian, you needed to eat a combination of certain plant foods at the same time in order to get all of the essential amino acids in the right amounts. It was called the theory of “protein complementing.”

Lappé certainly meant no harm, and her mistake was somewhat understandable. She was not a nutritionist, physiologist, or medical doctor; she was a sociologist trying to end world hunger. She realized that converting vegetable protein into animal protein involved a lot of waste, and she calculated that if people ate just the plant protein, many more could be fed. In the tenth anniversary edition of her book (1981), she retracted her statement and basically said that in trying to end one myth—the inevitability of world hunger—she had created a second one, the myth of the need for “protein complementing.”

In this and later editions, she corrects her earlier mistake and clearly states that all plant foods typically consumed as sources of protein contain all the essential amino acids, and that humans are virtually certain of getting enough protein from plant sources if they consume sufficient calories.

Amino Acid Requirements

Where did the concept of essential amino acids come from and how was the minimum requirement for essential amino acids derived? In 1952, William Rose and his colleagues completed research to determine the human requirements for each of the eight essential amino acids. They set the minimum amino acid requirement equal to the greatest amount required by any single person in their study. Then to arrive at the recommended amino acid requirement, they simply doubled the minimum requirements. This recommended amount was considered a definite safe intake.

Today, if you calculate the amount of each essential amino acid provided by unprocessed plant foods and compare these values with those determined by Rose, you will find that any single whole natural plant food, or any combination of them, if eaten as one’s sole source of calories for a day, would provide all of the essential amino acids and not just the minimum requirements but far more than the recommended requirements.

Modern researchers know that it is virtually impossible to design a calorie-sufficient diet based on unprocessed whole natural plant foods that is deficient in any of the amino acids. (The only possible exception could be a diet based solely on fruit).

Pride and Prejudice

Unfortunately, the “incomplete protein” myth seems unwilling to die. In an October 2001 article on the hazards of high-protein diets in the medical journalCirculation, the Nutrition Committee of the American Heart Association wrote, “Although plant proteins form a large part of the human diet, most are deficient in one or more essential amino acids and are therefore regarded as incomplete proteins.”1 Oops!

Medical doctor and author John McDougall wrote to the editor pointing out the mistake. But in a stunning example of avoiding science for convenience, instead of acknowledging their error, Barbara Howard, Ph.D., head of the Nutrition Committee, replied on June 25, 2002 to Dr. McDougall’s letter, stating (without a single scientific reference) that the committee was correct and that “most [plant foods] are deficient in one or more essential amino acids.” Clearly, the committee did not want to be confused by the facts.

Maybe you are not surprised by this misconception in the medical community, but what about the vegetarian community?

Behind the Times

Believe it or not, an article in the September 2002 issue of Vegetarian Timesmade the same mistake. In a story titled “Amazing Aminos,” author Susan Belsinger incorrectly stated, “Incomplete proteins, which contain some but not all of the EAAs [essential amino acids], can be found in beans, legumes, grains, nuts and green leafy vegetables…. But because these foods do not contain all of the EAAs, vegetarians have to be smart about what they eat, consuming a combination of foods from the different food groups. This is called food combining.”

A Dangerous Myth

To wrongly suggest that people need to eat animal protein for proper nutrition encourages consumption of foods known to contribute to the incidence of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, many forms of cancer, and other common health problems.

Sugar the villain in obesity epidemic

It’s addictive and toxic, like a drug, and we need to wean ourselves off it, says US doctor

Video: The Bitter Truth

  • sugar obesity
Dr Robert Lustig’s book Fat Chance: The Bitter Truth About Sugar has caused a backlash from the food industry, which, he says, wants to ‘paint me as this zealot’. Photograph: Alamy

Sugar – given to children by adults, lacing our breakfast cereals and a major part of our fizzy drinks – is the real villain in the obesity epidemic, and not fat as people used to think, according to a leading US doctor who is taking on governments and the food industry.

Dr Robert Lustig, who was this month in London and Oxford for a series of talks about his research, likens sugar to controlled drugs. Cocaine and heroin are deadly because they are addictive and toxic – and so is sugar, he says. “We need to wean ourselves off. We need to de-sweeten our lives. We need to make sugar a treat, not a diet staple,” he said.

“The food industry has made it into a diet staple because they know when they do you buy more. This is their hook. If some unscrupulous cereal manufacturer went out and laced your breakfast cereal with morphine to get you to buy more, what would you think of that? They do it with sugar instead.”

Lustig’s book, Fat Chance: The Bitter Truth About Sugar has made waves in America and has now been published in the UK by 4th Estate. As a paediatrician who specialises in treating overweight children in San Francisco, he has spent 16 years studying the effects of sugar on the central nervous system, metabolism and disease. His conclusion is that the rivers of Coca-Cola and Pepsi consumed by young people today have as much to do with obesity as the mountains of burgers.

That does not mean burgers are OK. “The play I’m making is not sugar per se, the play I’m making is insulin,” he says. Foodstuffs that raise insulin levels in the body too high are the problem. He blames insulin for 75% to 80% of all obesity. Insulin is the hormone, he says, which causes energy to be stored in fat cells. Sugar energy is the most egregious of those, but there are three other categories: trans fats (which are on the way out), alcohol (which children do not drink) and dietary amino acids.

These amino acids are found in corn-fed American beef. “In grass-fed beef, like in Argentina, there are no problems,” he said. “And that’s why the Argentinians are doing fine. The Argentinians have a meat-based diet … I love their meat. It is red, it’s not marbled, it’s a little tougher to cut but it’s very tasty. And it’s grass-fed. That’s what cows are supposed to eat – grass.

“We [in the US] feed them corn and the reason is twofold – one, we don’t have enough land and, two, when you feed them corn they fatten up. It usually takes 18 months to get a cow from birth to slaughter. Today it takes six weeks and you get all that marbling in the meat. That’s muscle insulin resistance. That animal has the same disease we do, it’s just that we slaughter them before they get sick.”

But his bigger message is that cheap sugar is endangering lives. It has been added to your diet, “kids have access” to it, and it is there in all sorts of foods that don’t need it, he says. When high-fat foods were blamed for making us overweight, manufacturers tumbled over each other to produce low-fat products. But to make them palatable, they added sugar, causing much greater problems.

Cutting calories is not the answer because “a calorie is not a calorie”. The effect of a calorie in sugar is different from the effect of a calorie in lean grass-fed beef. And added sugar is often disguised in food labelling under carbohydrates and myriad different names, from glucose to diastatic malt and dextrose. Fructose – contained in many different types of sugar – is the biggest problem, and high-fructose corn syrup, used extensively by food manufacturers in the US, is the main source of it.

Lustig says he has been under attack from the food industry, but claims they have not managed to fault the science. “The food industry wants to misinterpret because they want to discredit me. They want to paint me as this zealot. They want to paint me as somebody who doesn’t have the science. But we do,” he says.

Evidence of dietary effects on the body is very hard to collect. People habitually lie in food diaries or forget what they ate. Randomised controlled trials are impossible because everyone reverts to a more normal eating pattern after a couple of months. But his sugar argument is more than hypothesis, he says, citing a recent study in the open journal Plos One, of which he was one of the authors. It found that in countries where people had greater access to sugar, there were higher levels of diabetes. Rates of diabetes went up by about 1.1% for every 150 kcal of sugar available for each person each day – about the amount in a can of Coke. Critics argued sugar availability was not the same as sugar consumed, but Lustig and his colleagues say it is the closest approximation they could get.

That study was aimed at the World Health Organisation although he believes it is a conflicted organisation.

But so is the US government, he says. “Government has tied its wagon to the food industry because, at least in America, 6% of our exports are food. That includes the legislative and executive branches. So the White House is in bed with the food industry and Congress apologises for the food industry.”

Michelle Obama appeared to be onside when she launched her Let’s Move initiative in February 2010 with a speech to the Grocery Manufacturers Association of America. “She took it straight to them and said, ‘You’re the problem. You’re the solution.’ She hasn’t said it since. Now it’s all about exercise.

“Far be it from me to bad-mouth somebody who wants to do the right thing. But I’m telling you right now she’s been muzzled. No question of it.” In his book he tells of a private conversation with the White House chef, who he claims told him the administration agreed with him but did not want a fight with the food industry.

Some areas of the food industry have appeared to be willing to change. PepsiCo’s chief executive officer, Indra Nooyi, who is from India which has a serious diabetes epidemic, has been trying to steer the company towards healthier products. But it has lost money and she is said to be having problems with the board. “So here’s a woman who is trying to do the right thing and can’t,” he says.

Court action may be the way to go, he says, suggesting challenging the safety of fructose added to food, and food labelling that fails to tell you what has been added and what has been taken out. Fruit juice is not so healthy, he says, because all the fibre that allows the natural sugars to be processed without being stored as fat has been removed. Eat the fruit, he says, don’t drink the juice. Lustig is taking a master’s at the University of California Hastings college of law, in order to be a better expert witness and strategist.

It is not a case of eradicating sugar from the diet, just getting it down to levels that are not toxic, he says. The American Heart Association in 2009 published a statement, of which Lustig was a co-author, saying Americans consumed 22 teaspoons of it a day. That needs to come down to six for women and nine for men.

“That’s a reduction by two thirds to three quarters. Is that zero? No. But that’s a big reduction. That gets us below our toxic threshold. Our livers have a capacity to metabolise some fructose, they just can’t metabolise the glut that we’ve been exposed to by the food industry. And so the goal is to get sugar out of foods that don’t need it, like salad dressing, like bread, like barbecue sauce.” There is a simple way to do it. “Eat real food.”

Does he keep off the sweet stuff himself? “As much as I can. I don’t go out of my way. It finds me but I don’t find it. Caffeine on the other hand …”

Lustig’s food advice

• Oranges. Eat the fruit, don’t drink the juice. Fruit juice in cartons has had all the fibre squeezed out of it, making its sugars more dangerous.

• Beef. Beef from grass-fed cattle as in Argentina is fine, but not from corn-fed cattle as in the US.

• Coca-Cola, Pepsi and other sweetened beverages. These deliver sugar but with no nutritional added value. Water and milk are the best drinks, especially for children.

• Bread. Watch out for added sugar in foods where you would not expect it.

• Alcohol. Just like sugar, it pushes up the body’s insulin levels, which tells the liver to store energy in fat cells. Alcohol is a recognised cause of fatty liver disease.

• Home-baked cookies and cakes. If you must eat them, bake them yourself with one third less sugar than the recipe says. Lustig says they even taste better that way.

Refined Food

Mar 7, 2011 | ByKelly Sundstrom
The high level of sugar in this donut provides no nutritional value.
Photo Credit Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images
Eating a diet high in refined foods can lead to undernourishment, fatigue and weight gain. This is because refined foods are processed so much that they are virtually devoid of vitamins or minerals. Refined foods are typically high in fat and calories, and eating them as the bulk of the diet causes the overall calorie count to rise. It is important to know what constitutes refined foods in order to avoid them.

REFINED SUGARS

Refined sugars include sweet substances that have been processed and milled to the point that the sugar particles are extremely fine. When refined sugars are eaten, the sugars are able to quickly enter the blood stream. This can spike the blood sugar, causing the body to feel instantly energized. Unfortunately, the energy received from refined sugars is short-lived, and will cause a sudden energy drop shortly afterward. When the energy level drops so suddenly, it causes the body to crave more sugars in order to compensate for the energy loss. This cycle leads to the consumption of excess calories, which can lead to weight gain and obesity. Refined sugars include white sugar, corn syrup, refined honey and refined maple syrup. Instead of using refined sugars, chose whole-food sweeteners, such as raw honey or black strap molasses.

REFINED FLOURS

Refined flours have been milled so much that nearly all of the nutritional value has been lost. Many refined flours are fortified in order to compensate for the loss of vitamins and minerals. Refined flours are very fine in texture, and enter the blood stream as quickly as refined sugars, causing the same spike and drop in energy levels. Refined flours include white flour and products created with white flour, such as pastries, cookies, cakes and crackers. Choose whole-grain flours and baked goods that are minimally refined, instead of refined white flour products.

REFINED PRODUCE

Refined produce include vegetables and fruits that have been cooked to the point that most of the vitamins, fiber and minerals have been lost, and canned. Using canned vegetables and fruits in recipes and in meals will not nourish the body and will cause the body to not have enough fiber to maintain proper digestion. Eating a great deal of processed and refined vegetables and fruits can lead to malnutrition and constipation. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables that still retain their nutrient levels and fiber, instead of refined, canned produce.

Eat whole food that has not been modified or stripped of it’s original composition.

Doctor Klaper’s Video

  Food That Kills

Dr. Michael KlaperHello and Welcome! I am Dr. Michael Klaper, a practicing physician with forty years of experience in general practice and acute care medicine.

In addition to serving patients in my private medical practice in California and Hawaii, I also provideprivate consultations by phone and Skype.

I have a deep respect and passion for applied nutrition and complementary medicine.

My greatest enjoyment in medical practice comes from helping my patients understand complex medical topics in plain English, using easy-to-understand examples and answering all questions patiently and thoroughly.

I’ve received numerous awards as a clinical teacher and, for 10+ years, hosted a popular radio program, “Sounds of Healing” on WPFW in Washington, D.C. and KAOI on Maui, Hawaii.

John Robbins interviewed me during the 2013 Food Revolution Summit. See a list of my speaking engagements.

I recently released full-length DVDs for purchase at Amazon that feature my common-sense approach to various medical topics. I’ve also added a number of free videos to my web site for you to view.

Private Consultations: My experience and easy-to-understand explanations enable me to serve as your private medical expert when you’re faced with an important or difficult decision regarding your healthcare.

Whether it’s a diagnosis you received on an X-ray report, results on a blood test, or advice you received from a medical specialist, I can help you navigate the medical maze and help you to make the best decisions for you and your loved ones.

Thank you for visiting my new website and for considering my professional services when you need reliable, “go-to” medical information. Please subscribe to my mailing list and don’t hesitate to contact me for a private consultation. I am happy to be of service to you.

To your good health and well being,

Dr. Michael Klaper
California and Hawaii

• See a 5-minute video of Dr. Michael Klaper talking about life and health. See other free videos.

• Read a 4-part interview with Dr. Michael Klaper, “Doctors with a Difference.”

• Read what others have written about Dr. Michael Klaper.

Plant-Based for ALL Patients! Says Kaiser Permanente.

Finally some much needed CLARITY from the “system”

Kaiser Permanente logo

In their Spring 2013 Journal, America’s largest managed care company and hospital system has taken a bold stand on the superiority of plant-based nutrition to promote health. This is big news and deserves widespread distribution. Please share this blog with your doctor.

“Physicians should consider recommending a plant-based diet to all their patients…encouraging whole, plant-based foods and discouraging meats, dairy products, and eggs as well as all refined and processed foods.”

Background. Although our medical doctors receive little if any nutritional training in med school, they are the primary gatekeepers when it comes to advising patients about what they should be eating. And since most of the doctors eat the Standard American Diet (the S.A.D.) themselves, naturally that is what they advise their patients to eat. That practice has resulted in the sickest nation on Earth with by far the highest cost of healthcare. But things are finally beginning to change.

From the Spring 2013 Kaiser Permanente Journal

The objective of this article is to present to physicians an update on plant-based diets. Concerns about the rising cost of health care are being voiced nationwide, even as unhealthy lifestyles are contributing to the spread of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. For these reasons, physicians looking for cost-effective interventions to improve health outcomes are becoming more involved in helping their patients adopt healthier lifestyles.

Healthy eating may be best achieved with a plant-based diet, which we define as a regimen that encourages whole, plant-based foods and discourages meats, dairy products, and eggs as well as all refined and processed foods.

Research shows that plant-based diets are cost-effective, low-risk interventions that may lower body mass index, blood pressure, HbA1C, and cholesterol levels. They may also reduce the number of medications needed to treat chronic diseases and lower ischemic heart disease mortality rates. Physicians should consider recommending a plant-based diet to all their patients, especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or obesity.

Of all the diets recommended over the last few decades to turn the tide of these chronic illnesses, the best but perhaps least common may be those that are plant based…Despite the strong body of evidence favoring plant-based diets, including studies showing a willingness of the general public to embrace them, many physicians are not stressing the importance of plant- based diets as a first-line treatment for chronic illnesses. This could be because of a lack of awareness of these diets or a lack of patient education resources. (See link below to view the complete Kaiser Pemanente Journal source document.)

The world's FIRST ever such conference

The world’s FIRST ever such conference. See link below for details on this conference—Oct. 24-26, 2013 in Naples, FL

Hooray for Kaiser Permanente.This is exactly what has been needed to promote health and reduce disease, obesity and the outrageous cost of healthcare in the United States.

Now begins the process of helping the doctors learn about the awesome power of plant-based nutrition and how to best convey that knowledge to their patients. See link #13 below to learn about the first ever “plant-based nutrition healthcare conference,” where physicians can earn CME credits while learning how to reverse disease and promote health in their patients.

Please share this blog with your doctor—while there is still time for her/him to sign up for this conference. We’ve come a long way since last year’s HBO obesity special, “The Weight of the Nation,” when plant-based nutrition was not even mentioned. See earlier blog link below. Now let’s see if we EVER hear this story from our mainstream news sources.

Why is all of this such a big deal? Kaiser Permanente is the largest HMO in the United States with 182,000 employees, including 14,600 physicians.

Plant-Based Diets For Psoriasis

 

 

 

Plant-based diets appear to decrease inflammation via a variety of mechanisms, including boosting our adrenal gland function. Glucocorticoids are circulating steroid hormones produced by our adrenal glands that suppress inflammation and also help our kidneys excrete potassium. When we eat a lot of potassium-rich foods our adrenal glands secrete more glucocorticoids to keep our potassium levels in check, which may have the side effect of decreasing the level of inflammation in the body. See my 3-min video Potassium and Autoimmune Disease for the effect this may have on autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis.

Where is potassium found? See my post last week, 98% of American Diets Potassium Deficient. Hint: bananas don’t even make the top 50 sources!

What about autoimmune arthritis? See my previous post Plant-Based Diets for Rheumatoid Arthritis and my videos Preventing Arthritis and Diet & Rheumatoid Arthritis. Eating healthier doesn’t improve everyone’s joint pain, but as with all nontoxic treatment modalities, they should always be tried first.

Plant-based diets may help with other pain syndromes: 

as well as other hypersensitivity diseases: 

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here and watch my 2012 year-in-review presentation Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death. My 2013 review should be out in July.

Image credit: HoskingIndustries / Flickr

American Urologist Association: PSA Tests No Longer Recommended

American Urologist Association: PSA Tests No Longer Recommended

The New York Times is reporting (article linked below) that the American Urological Association (AUA) has changed its position on PSA testing. Up until now, the AUA recommended all men over age 40 have an annual P$A test. 

Now they are recommending regular PSA tests for — nobody.

After a large body of solid scientific research has shown that PSA tests do more harm than good and don’t
really extend lives, the AUA — which previously fought tooth and nail to protect their lucrative prostate cancer screening and intervention business — has finally backed off.

The AUA is now simply recommending that men between 55 and 69 “discuss the PSA test” with their urologist, in hopes that the urologist can scare them into taking the test.

Don’t go down that road!

You may recall that several large, long-running and well-conducted studies of PSA testing followed by aggressive treatment — showed that urologists have no way of distinguishing between very common prostate cancer which will never develop into anything life-threatening, and those cancers which will.

Moreover, these multiple studies have shown PSA tests followed by aggressive therapies like surgery and radiation save no lives, when compared with control groups receiving no testing and no intervention.

So the truth from the science is that PSA tests, followed by surgery, radiation, hormone treatment and other interventions — don’t actually save or extend lives at all.

Treating cancer aggressively can feel like the “right” thing to do, because you’re “taking action,” and your urologist may be urging you to do so.  What is “right” for your urologist, who will earn around $18,000 as their fee for prostetomy (the hospital earns between $30,000 and $40,000) may not be “right” for you. Think about whether you want to go through that, when science shows it will not change your outcome, but will likely harm you permanently.

The AUA changing their guidelines is rather major.  The urology association is financed by dues paid by urologists, advertising and contributions from drug companies, and research grants. This is an acknowledgement of the research showing their expensive treatments are not what they once claimed.

So where does that leave us?

Obviously it leaves us with what science IS showing is the best way to deal with the threat of prostate cancer — a healthy, dairy-free, plant-based diet, which can dramatically lower Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) level.

Studies have shown that increased levels of IGF lead to increased growth of existing cancer cells. Arnaldez FI, Helman LJ (June 2012). “Targeting the insulin growth factor receptor 1”. Hematol. Oncol. Clin. North Am. 26 (3): 527–42, vii–viii.

The Standard American Diet, with it’s emphasis on animal protein and dairy, is an IGF-1-making machine!

You can find out what your IGF-1 level is through a simple blood test.  If yours is high, you’re at a higher risk for prostate, breast or colon cancer.

A high protein diet raises your IGF-1 levels, and increases risk of cancer.

Plant-based diets are naturally low in protein, devoid of animal proteins, and thus lower risk of cancer.  T. Colin Campbell PhD discusses IGF-1 research and mechanisms in detail in his books.

Why isn’t the American Urology Association telling its members to test for IGF-1, and to advise the public to eliminate animal products and excessive protein in the diet, in order to lower IGF-1 levels?

The answer is obvious: there’s no money in that.

This is why VegSource.com came into existence, because the medical world is focused on treatments, interventions, pills — and profits.

Focus on food, not urologists who push services that science shows, decades later, are worthless and in fact quite harmful.

To read the New York Times article about the AUA’s PSA guideline change, click here.