Refined Sugar & Chronic Disease

"Overall, the odds of dying from heart disease rise in tandem with the percentage of refined sugar in the diet."

Sugar Study (3)

Chronic disease is rare in populations that do not consume refined, processed foods, of which sugar is a major component.  These populations eat foods high in healthy carbohydrates and natural sugars from whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, unrefined grains, and legumes.

Even though both the Department of Agriculture and the American Heart Association advises us to cut down on our sugar intake, and studies have linked refined sugar intake directly to heart disease, the Sugar Association itself has decided to lay the blame squarely on the shoulders of the public.  In a prepared statement, it claimed:  

"We are confident that the American people are perfectly capable of choosing what foods to eat without stark regulations and unreasonable bans imposed upon them."  

The fact that sugar is added to foods that shouldn't contain sugar to begin with, and that it appears under many deceptive names on food labels, appears irrelevant.

A recent Harvard study revealed that sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to more than 180,000 obesity-related deaths worldwide each year.  Let's look at 6 other sugar studies:

#1 - Shortened life span & kidney disease...

In a study conducted in the Netherlands, two groups of albino rats were equally divided between male and female with 44 in each group.  Both groups were fed a human type cooked diet with a small quantity of fresh vegetables and bananas.  One group was fed table sugar, replacing potato bread.  The rats who were 3 weeks old at the start of the experiment lived on the diet for 364 days and began to die off.  All died at 819 days.  Those receiving table sugar had their lives shortened by 15% for males, and 5% for females.  However, all developed severe kidney disease, the males sooner.  It is also well established that kidney disease is common in rats that are fed a cooked diet where the diet is lacking food enzymes destroyed by the cooking process.(1)

The Body Healer ProtocolLearn about food enzymes & why enzyme depletion negatively affects our health:
The Body Healer Protocol...

#2 - High blood pressure & congestive heart failure...

In a study of 75 rats, those consuming a diet high in sucrose had a shorter life span and higher blood pressure.  The majority of these rats showed enlarged hearts and pleural effusions (fluid buildup in the lungs and chest).  The study concluded that a diet high in sucrose produced higher blood pressure with earlier congestive heart failure, and was partly responsible for the shortened life span.(2)

#3 - Heart disease...

Over the course of a 15-year study, participants who took in 25% or more of their daily calories as sugar were more than twice as likely to die from heart disease as those whose diets included less than 10% added sugar.  Overall, the odds of dying from heart disease rose in tandem with the percentage of added sugar in the diet—and that was true regardless of a person’s age, sex, physical activity level, and body-mass index.(3)

#4 - Atherosclerosis...

Studies show consistent adverse effects of sugar consumption on HDL and triglyceride levels, which could accelerate atherosclerosis.  It may worsen diabetes control, and the combination of sugar with protein and fats promotes the formation of dangerous substances and cancer-causing agents such as AGE's.(4)

High-temperature cooking & cancer...

#5 - Heart disease...

In another study, pigs were fed a high-sugar diet.  68 out of 80 pigs developed heart disease in the left half of their heart.  But when 10% of the sugar was replaced with coconut oil or beef tallow (two items high in saturated fats), the heart remained free of the endocarditis.(5)

#6 - Insulin resistance...

Michael Pagliassotti, a Colorado State University biochemist who did many of the relevant animal studies in the late 1990's, says that fatty liver and insulin resistance can happen in as little as a week if the animals are fed sugar in huge amounts of 60 or 70% of diet calories.  It can take several months if the animals are fed something closer to what humans actually consume (20% of diet calories in sugar).  In both cases, when excess sugar was removed, both the fatty liver and insulin resistance quickly disappeared. 

Similar effects were seen in humans.  When fed the equivalent sugar intake of 8-10 cans of Coke or Pepsi each day, the liver would begin to become insulin-resistant and triglycerides rose in just a few days.  As with the rats, the same effects would appear with lower doses, it would just take longer (over a month) to occur.(6)

Gerald Reaven, a Stanford University diabetologist, discovered that feeding laboratory rats a diet of mostly fructose is a rapid way to create insulin resistance.

In 2009, Dr. Robert Lustig gave a lecture that has now been viewed by millions of people on You Tube.  The 90-minute discussion is called "Sugar:  The Bitter Truth."  Lustig is a specialist on pediatric hormone disorders and a leading expert in childhood obesity at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.  Lustig concluded that, similar to alcohol and tobacco, refined sugar is a toxin.  He also concluded that it is not the calories in refined sugar that pose the problem - it is the sugar itself.

Learn about refined sugar...

Blood Sugar, Insulin, & Diabetes

Words such as "insulin" and "diabetes" and "hypoglycemia" have become household terms since diabetes has become a health epidemic.  Sugar intake is blamed as the primary culprit, but most of us do not understand why, nor do we fully understand what these words actually mean.  Let's take a look at some definitions and learn what parts sugar and insulin play in diabetes.

Blood sugar is released by glands within a part of the body called the endocrine system.  This system influences the functioning of our entire body, and produces hormones that control the release of blood sugar.  It is crucial in regulating our growth and development, healthy cellular growth and function, metabolism, sexual, and reproductive health.  

Two hormones called "insulin" and "glucagon" help keep blood sugar balanced after a meal and make sure there is enough to supply the fuel we need to maintain our energy level.  It is important that the amount of glucose in our bloodstream is maintained at a constant level.  Both insulin and glucagon are secreted by the pancreas.

Insulin Resistance - the Root of type 2 Diabetes

When our cells no longer respond normally to insulin produced by the pancreas and cannot use it as effectively, the body loses its ability to maintain a steady and balanced blood sugar level.  This is what we call insulin resistance.  Because the insulin can no longer control the blood sugar, the blood sugar level begins to rise.  The pancreas responds by pumping out more and more insulin in an attempt to try and lower the rising blood sugar.  

The blood sugar spikes and crashes, and eventually, the pancreas can no longer keep up with the demand for insulin and blood sugar rises out of control, spilling over into the urine.  The body cannot make enough insulin to keep the blood glucose at normal levels, and we may then be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, one of the top 5 killers in the US.

Metabolic Syndrome

Not everyone who is insulin resistant becomes a diabetic.  But having chronically elevated insulin levels can result is higher triglyceride levels and blood pressure, lower levels of HDL cholesterol (the “good cholesterol”), and weight gain.  Collectively, these symptoms are known as metabolic syndrome (also known as Insulin Resistance Syndrome).  Metabolic syndrome is a major risk factor for both heart disease and diabetes (meaning that if you have this risk factor, you are more likely to suffer from heart disease or diabetes).  The CDC now estimates that some 75 million Americans have metabolic syndrome.

Type 1 Diabetes

With type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is unable to produce any insulin and individuals must rely on daily injections of insulin to help keep their blood sugar from rising too high.  Type 1 diabetes (previously known as "'juvenile-onset diabetes"), develops in childhood or early adulthood.



The flip side of diabetes is hypoglycemia.  Here, the pancreas overreacts to the concentrated sugar and releases too much insulin.  Blood sugar levels rapidly fall far below normal levels, creating symptoms of fatigue, headaches, depression, and irritability.  After a quick "sugar fix" the symptoms magically disappear... until the next time.  The cycle continues, and the spikes and crashes of refined and highly concentrated sugars contribute to hypoglycemia.  

Frequently, the pancreas wears out over time from the over-stimulation, and hypoglycemia can turn into diabetes. 

What Causes Insulin Resistance? 

So, what causes the initial insulin resistance?  Studies show that a likely cause is the accumulation of fat in the liver as there is a direct correlation between liver fat and insulin resistance.  Excess sugar consumption can lead to increased fat production in the liver and the development of diabetes.(7)  People who eat high amounts of sugar have a higher level of fat in their blood than people who eat no refined sugar, which contributes to plaque build-up in the arteries and hardening of the arteries.

The High Fat Connection:  Diabetes & Candidaisis

In a healthy body, we digest sugars and they pass through the intestines and into the bloodstream.  They are then moved out of the bloodstream and into the cells of organs and tissues to provide fuel for the body (and the brain, which uses glucose as its primary fuel).   But when we eat a high fat diet, the sugar remain in the bloodstream longer than it should as it is processed much more slowly. Let's see how:

  1. The pancreas is responsible for producing insulin, which transports the sugar molecule out of the blood vessels and into the cells of the body.
  2. When there is too much fat present in the blood, the fat forms a coating around the sugar molecules, the insulin, and the walls of the blood vessels. This "insulating" mechanism prevents the insulin from effectively binding to the sugar molecule, drastically reducing the movement of the sugar out of the bloodstream.  Many type 2 diabetics produce enough insulin, however their high fat diet affects how the sugar is processed in the body.
  3. Blood sugar levels then rise as the sugar molecules are not released throughout the body to provide us with fuel in a timely manner.
  4. When fat levels drop, the sugar is then distributed throughout the body again as fuel (and for those with candidiasis, the yeast levels drop as there is no excess sugar to feed on).

Those who follow a high fat diet will always carry a high quantity of fat in the bloodstream.  This means that blood sugar levels remain chronically elevated for sustained periods of time. Such eating habits lay the foundation for conditions such as candida, diabetes, chronic fatigue, and brain fog.

What is Candidiasis

Candidiasis is a relatively common health condition caused by an overgrowth of a type of yeast called candida albicans.  It can be caused by a variety of different factors ranging from eating processed foods, to taking medications such as antibiotics, birth control pills, or other hormones.  This condition is especially common in women.

Candida albicans

Candida is naturally occurring in the body, and it consumes sugar for food.  The size of the candida colony in the blood is determined by its food supply.  When blood sugar levels are normal, so too is the candida colony in the blood.  The sugar we eat is distributed throughout the body and metabolized for energy, and any excess yeast quickly dies off.

If the blood sugar level rises, the candida colony grows rapidly as it consumes the excess sugar.  By doing this, the candida helps the blood sugar levels return to normal, and the candida colony itself then returns to normal.  But if the sugar remain elevated in the blood stream, it continues to feed the candida instead of being distributed throughout the body for energy.  This causes us to feel tired and run down.

The candida functions as a backup mechanism for insulin, and helps bring down the blood sugar to normal levels.  This is especially important if the pancreas is compromised.  As we can see, candida plays an important role in our health, and we do not want to completely destroy it.

Contrary to what some may think, it is not fruit consumption, or the sugars found in natural foods, that causes the candida overgrowth.  Fruit is not the root cause of the problem, and avoiding fruit will not address this root cause.  However, once you have candidiasis, sugar does make the situation worse. This is why treating candidiasis involves eliminating foods high in sugars and fats from the diet for a short period of time.

Clearing Up Candida

As the yeast thrives off sugar, until you have cleared your body of candidiasis, you need to be especially careful about what you eat, which means starving the excess yeast. We do this by:

  1. Cutting out all foods high in sugar, especially fruits (except for lemons, limes, and avocados).
  2. Following a plant-based diet low in fat.
  3. Cutting out all foods containing gluten.

Luckily, candida is a short-lived organism.  By following this regimen, the yeast population returns to normal often within a week and the body re-balances itself.  This may not immediately resolve any underlying issues related to the functioning of the pancreas or adrenals, but by cleaning up our diet, we significantly improve the problem.  

By reducing the fat in their diet to low levels of healthy fats from whole foods, many diabetics resolve their condition and no longer require any diabetes-related medications.  

Do you suffer from either diabetes or candidiasis?
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