In last week’s post, I discussed the need to change our behavior in order to maintain the human body’s natural design and avoid chronic illness. This process begins with making the decision to change, and then establishing realistic expectations, understanding what influences our decisions, deflecting those things in our lives that are unimportant or unhealthy, and establishing a written plan.
Perhaps the most positive change we can make in order to avoid chronic illness is reducing bad sugars in our diets.
According to The Blood Sugar Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman, 12 percent of Americans were overweight in 1990. 35 percent of adults and one in five children are obese today.
This year, for the first time in history, more people will die from the effects of obesity than starvation.
There is also a growing body of evidence that points to the excessive intake of refined sugars having a role in the development of chronic illnesses like type II diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
The Fed Up website puts it simply and accurately:
Everything we’ve been told about food and exercise for the past 30 years is dead wrong. FED UP is the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see… FED UP will change the way you eat forever.
Among other things, this movie is addressing the fact that man has invented so many sources of sugar in our food supply during the past 30-40 years that shouldn’t be there. The dramatic shift from whole foods to processed foods, or manmade foods, has led to chronic illness, which has been scientifically linked to sugar consumption.
Consider some of the facts brought to light by IFM and Fed Up:
- A 20-ounce bottle of soda contains the equivalent of approximately 17 teaspoons of sugar.
- One soda per day increases a child’s chance of becoming obese by 60 percent.
- Kids watch an average of 4,000 food related ads per year. 98 percent of these ads are promoting products high in fat, sugar and sodium.
- One or two sugar-sweetened beverages per day increase the risk of developing type II diabetes by 26 percent.
The evidence is black and white. It’s not debatable.
As a parent, this should infuriate you. As a father of five, it infuriates me.
Sugar is highly addictive. After drinking 20 ounces of soda, there is a fluctuation in blood sugar levels. This places a heavy burden on the body’s metabolism, which often leads to more sugar cravings. Sugar influences the brain by affecting hormones that control hunger and our feeling of being full.
MRIs have shown that the brain’s response to sugar is similar to the brain’s response to cocaine. Both create a euphoric effect by releasing dopamine.
The more sugar you eat, the more blunted the brain’s rewards center becomes. It makes us want to eat more sugar and look for more sweeteners.
Needless to say, detoxification starts with sugar and artificial sweeteners. That’s why I encourage you to take the Fed Up Challenge and go sugar-free for 10 days.
When you make this change, you’ll allow your body chemistry and brain chemistry to change. Your cravings for sugar will be significantly reduced.
We need to develop the knowledge that enables us to make better decisions. This involves understanding the glycemic index and the glycemic response to food. We need to know that the most predominant ingredients of a food or beverage are listed first on the label, so if sugar or any of its aliases are at the top of the list, that product should be avoided.
We also need to recognize that artificial sweeteners are just as bad as sugar so we can prevent the sugar overload that leads to chronic illness.
Lastly, go see Fed Up. (View the trailer below.) Let’s start making the changes with our families that we need to make as a nation in order to stop the epidemic of chronic illness.
This is the second in a series of posts about change and transformation. I encourage you to listen to my By Design radio show, where I’ve begun discussing this important topic and will continue to do so Saturdays at 11:20 am on Tandem Radio.
Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician and health educator who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise for the past two decades has been in physical rehabilitation, and he has successfully established himself as a spinal specialist. In his practice, he advocates the science of functional medicine, which takes an integrative approach to treating patients by addressing their physical, nutritional, and psychological needs. Alarmed by the escalation of complex, chronic illness in our country, Dr. Proodian has been speaking to companies and organizations through his “Wellness at Work” program since 1994, motivating thousands of people to make positive lifestyle choices and lead healthier, more productive lives. He can be heard weekly on his radio program, “Proodian Healthcare By Design,” on Tandem Radio.