In many ways, sugar is America’s “Achille’s Heel”. Even though we know it’s bad, we just can’t seem to stop ourselves from over-consuming it! According to the CDC, one in ten Americans have type 2 diabetes (T2DM), and one in three have prediabetes. Our children are equally afflicted; approximately 20 percent of adolescents aged twelve to eighteen years have been diagnosed with prediabetes. Rates of T2DM in ten- to nineteen-year-olds increased 21 percent between 2001 and 2009, and researchers estimate that rates of T2DM among adolescents will quadruple by 2050!
Diabetes is strongly linked to other degenerative health conditions, including cancer. Cancer cells ingest sugar at a rate almost 50 times faster than healthy cells, and it’s the main fuel that helps them grow and spread. Diabetics are also twice as likely to develop heart disease or strokes, and are 20 to 30 percent more vulnerable to dementia, Alzheimer’s, and kidney failure.
Sugar can single-handedly paralyze the entire immune system. A single teaspoon reduces the activity of immune cells by half for up to five hours! And we wonder why our cold and flu season seems “magically” to start around Halloween, and then continue to explode through the holiday season?
The average American consumes over 150 pounds of sugar annually compared to 12 pounds at the beginning of the 19th century. Today, there are over sixty different types and names for the kinds of sugar found in processed foods. Even “healthy” soup made at a health-conscious supermarket can contain more than 18 grams of added sugar per cup. Alas, it’s not easy to stop eating sugar, even when we know it’s bad! Sugar stimulates the same pleasure centers of the brain that respond to heroin and cocaine; naturally, we want more of it. Sugar is a powerful drug, truly just as dangerous as illegal drugs. No wonder we can’t seem to overcome our powerful cravings for it!
For much of human existence we ate neither sugar nor foods like grains and beans that naturally convert to sugar. Because refined sugar products aside, the truth is that all carbohydrates turn to sugar, including starchy vegetables, fruit, grains, and legumes! A person who eats a lot of fruit, beans or grains, for example, is going to have spikes of cancer-promoting high blood sugar, and a much greater propensity for diabetes.
What to do? Can we overcome our cravings? Can we train ourselves to eat for health, and not degenerative disease? Yes, we can! Here at Vital Health, we have a high rate of success in reversing blood sugar related health challenges, while teaching you how to eat—and enjoy—the foods that will truly nourish and sustain you.
©2022 Darcy Greenwald, M.S.O.M., L.Ac. and Vital Health