If you’ve been following the news over the past few days, you may have come across reports about the sugar industry’s strategy to downplay the connection between sugar and heart disease and shift the blame towards saturated fat. The shocking part about this is that it’s been going on for over 50 years, to the detriment of the health of countless people.
Before the time when it became necessary for researchers to disclose their funding sources (like when the sugar industry funds a study that liberates sugar and indicts fat), the Sugar Research Foundation paid Harvard scientists to publish a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine, a very prestigious research journal. Because of that, many of today’s standard diet recommendations, for better or worse, have been largely shaped by the sugar industry. People shifted their eating habits from foods that are higher in fats in favor of lower fat foods that were higher in sugar content. Though the thinking is faulty, you could technically eat Twizzlers and Skittles all day and not consume any dietary fat.
Here’s where the problem lies. There is no doubt now according to current research that excessive sugar intake is connected with heart disease. High sugar consumption is a lead contributor to the obesity crisis across America, and obesity is a huge risk factor when looking at cardiovascular diseases. A 2015 research paper suggested that a diet that is high in sugars can cause a threefold increase in the risk of death due to heart disease when compared with saturated fat. Beyond heart disease, there are additional health risks that come along with eating too much sugar, including diabetes, liver disease, and tooth decay.
So, what’s the solution then?
Are we relegated to a life without the occasional donut for breakfast or slice of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving? Certainly not, but there are simple changes we can make to reduce our overall risk of developing chronic diseases as a result of our lifestyle choices:
- Children ages 2 to 18 should consume no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar in their daily diet. (For reference, a 12oz can of Coke is about 9 teaspoons)
- For adults, no more than 10% of your daily caloric intake should be made up of added sugars.
- Watch your carbohydrate intake. Glucose (sugar) is the breakdown product of carbohydrates, mainly found in foods such as wheat, potatoes, rice, corn, fruit, and added sugars. Replacing these carbs with healthy protein and fats can help keep blood sugar levels closer to normal.
- Keep your nervous system, your body’s master system, healthy with NeuroStructural Chiropractic care. Every function of the body, from how nutrients in your food are absorbed, regulation of blood sugar, and the repair of damaged tissues, happens optimally when the nervous system is working properly. We help people identify the structural reasons why they are not feeling their best, and we come up with a plan to correct these issues and get them back to living life on their terms.