Sugar 101

Sugar is ubiquitous in processed, refined, and restaurant foods.  It’s consumption has increased to almost 200 pounds Per Person Per Year; it’s got as many names as MSG (disacchariedes, polysaccharides, sucrose, fructose, invert sugar, dextrose  sorbitol, mannitol, malt, maltose, beet sugar, cane sugar, ..the list goes on);  and it’s a Toxic, Dangerous substance that’s silently poisoning America.  I know, I know, again, it sounds so dramatic, but it’s true.

First, a little back ground on what the body does with sugar.  Sugar, in any form, is digested in the gut and broken down to GLUCOSE.  (ALL CARBS, FROM GRAINS, TO VEGETABLES, TO FRUITS, ARE BROKEN DOWN TO GLUCOSE.  Their “complexity” determines how quickly they go from whole food to glucose.)   Glucose, and all nutrients, seep through the gut wall and into the blood stream, so now we’ll call it blood sugar, or Blood Glucose/ BG.  BG is HIGHLY regulated in our body; it’s a PRIORITY, and our body tries to keep our BG between 80 and 100 (think of  fasting glucose tests when you get a check up).  BG over 100 is BAD, and the body MUST get it back under 100.   The Pancreas releases Insulin ( a storage hormone), to grab the excess BG and get rid of it.  First, it deposits glucose into any muscle cells that need some, next, it checks liver stores (the liver holds about a teaspoon), then ALL LEFT OVER BG GETS REMADE INTO TRIGLYCERIDES.   That’s fat.  All Excess Sugar Gets Remade Into Fat. Think maybe you or your child need a lot of sugar because you’re active?  Yeah, from your lips to God’s ears.  NOT! TWO TEA-SPOONS is about all your blood stream can handle.  Everything over TWO-TEASPOONS is EXCESS.

Here’s some visuals:  1 slice of bread is 5 teaspoons, 1 cup of pasta is 10 teaspoons ( that’s whole wheat or white, doesn’t matter).  Again, everything over 2 teaspoons is EXCESS and CONVERTED to TRIGLYCERIDES. Standard American Diet (SAD – I love acronyms!) daily menu:  whole grain cereal with skim milk,  sandwich with chips for lunch,  pasta for dinner, throw in a few fat free crackers when you’re hungry, and a Gatorade when you’re thirsty.  How many teaspoons of sugar do you think that adds up to? Enough to do some serious damage.   That’s a LOT of excess BG.

Okay, what if you seem to eat a lot of sugar, or your kids do, and there’s no weight problem at all?  Are you “getting away with it” ?  Does sugar not affect you badly?  Again, from your lips to God’s ears, because excess blood sugar ALWAYS affects you.  It’s a toxin, it does a LOT of damage.  For some people, the damage is quick and obvious, and for some people it’s not;  but there is always, always damage.

And here’s some words that should catch your eye:
Sugar and Fat Burning, here’s the facts:  As long as there is sugar in your blood, that is what your body will burn for fuel.  After all, it’s a priority to use it up and get it out of there.

Again, when BG and Insulin are PRESENT, fat is NOT used for fuel.  When BG and Insulin are ABSENT, the pancreas expresses GLUCAGON into the blood.  Glucagon taps the fat cells to release their contents, and then your body burns fat for fuel.  Who doesn’t want their fat stores used??

If you want to learn more,  people write whole books on sugar:  The Fat Switch, Fat Chance, Sweet Poison, and Wheat Belly, to name a few.  All by doctors who are making it their mission to get this information out to the public.

What doesn’t affect Insulin?  Fats, and for the most part, proteins.  No Insulin, no “storage”.