How come there is no disease caused by the absence of carbohydrates? This simple observation suggests that carbohydrates are not necessary for health and are not an essential food in our evolutionary history. This is different from vitamin C or other essential nutrients whose absence will cause scurvy and eventually death.
From an evolutionary perspective, simple carbohydrates, especially sugars and high-fructose corn syrup, are significant contributing factors to the increasing epidemic of obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease and many autoimmune disorders. The recommended nutritional guideline of the last forty years to reduce fats and increase carbohydrates were not based upon good science but on ideology influenced by agribusiness and the sugar industry (La Berge, 2008). The recommendations were WRONG AND HARMFUL (Taubes, 2016; see also: https://peperperspective.com/2017/02/18/read-the-case-against-sugar/). It may explains why the obesity epidemic is not caused by eating or drinking too many calories but the eating the wrong type of calories; namely, those found in simple carbohydrates and overly processed foods. The increase in obesity appears highly correlated with the US low-fat diet recommendations published in 1977 as shown in figure 1.
Figure 1. Increase in U.S. obesity begins after the publication of the U.S. recommendations to eat a low-fat diet. Reproduced from National Center for Health Statistics (US). Health, United States, 2008: With Special Feature on the Health of Young Adults. Hyattsville (MD): National Center for Health Statistics (US); 2009 Mar. Chartbook
The harmful effects of the simple high carbohydrate diet amplified with a decrease in physical activity interacts with your genetics. People, with a family risk factors of metabolic syndrome (type 2 diabetes) can improve their health by eating a low carbohydrate diet with lots of vegetables, fruit and fats.
Watch the superb video lectures by Professor Timothy Noakes, an emeritus professor of exercise and sports science at the University of Cape Town and by Gary Taubes, science writer and author of The case against sugar. It may shift your perspective and improve your health.
La Berge, A. F. (2008). How the ideology of low fat conquered America. Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Volume 63, Issue 2, 1 April 2008, Pages 139–177, https://doi.org/10.1093/jhmas/jrn001
National Center for Health Statistics (US). Health, United States, 2008: With Special Feature on the Health of Young Adults. Hyattsville (MD): National Center for Health Statistics (US); 2009 Mar. Chartbook
Taubes, G. (2016). The Case Against Sugar. Portobello Books. ISBN 978-0-307-70164-0
What the food companies forgot to tell you: For the sake of profits we promote metabolic syndrome, obesity and diabetesPosted: May 23, 2015 | |
As you are reaching for another diet soda, low fat yogurt, or low calorie dessert, you are compromising your health by increasing the risk for metabolic syndrome, diabetes and obesity. The artificial sugar substitutes increase feeling of hunger and encourage you to eat more while the low fat foods are made more appetizing by adding sugar (Lustig, 2012; Lustig et al, 2012). As sugar is more addicting than cocaine (Ahmed et al, 2013; Lenoir et al, 2013), how can you assign personal responsibility to young child who is obese with the statement, “You are responsible for being fat and for eating too much sugar laced foods!” Watch the superb documentary, Fed Up, based upon impeccable science. It explores America’s obesity epidemic and the food industry’s role in aggravating it. It systematically shows that everything we’ve been told about food and exercise especially by the food industry and federal government for the past 30 years is dead wrong. The documentary can easily be viewed from streaming video services such as Google Play, Netflix, or Amazon Prime Instant Video.
For the impact of sugar on health and the myth of self-responsibility, watch the 2013 TEDxBermuda talk, Sugar–the elephant in the kitchen, by Robert Lustig, MD, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco.
The movie, Fed UP, and Professor Lustig’s 2013Ted talk serve as a call to action to take control of the foods we serve and eat. Support policies to promote food health:
- Increase local taxes on every soft drink sold and use the income to support public health.
- Demand that schools and public institutions serve children real food and not sugar laced fast foods.
- Support policies that prohibit sales of soft drinks to minors just as alcohol is prohibited to minors.
- Eliminate all soft drinks from public institutions and work sites just as smoking is prohibited.
Ahmed, S. H., Guillem, K., & Vandaele, Y. (2013). Sugar addiction: pushing the drug-sugar analogy to the limit. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care, 16(4), 434-439.http://journals.lww.com/co-clinicalnutrition/Abstract/2013/07000/Sugar_addiction___pushing_the_drug_sugar_analogy.11.aspx
Fowler, S. P., Williams, K., Resendez, R. G., Hunt, K. J., Hazuda, H. P., & Stern, M. P. (2008). Fueling the Obesity Epidemic?Artificially Sweetened Beverage Use and Long‐term Weight Gain. Obesity, 16(8), 1894-1900.http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1038/oby.2008.284/full
Lenoir, M., Serre, F., Cantin, L., & Ahmed, S. H. (2007). Intense sweetness surpasses cocaine reward. PloS one, 2(8), e698.http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0000698
Lustig, R. H. (2012). Fat chance: beating the odds against sugar, processed food, obesity, and disease. Penguin.
Lustig, R. H., Schmidt, L. A., & Brindis, C. D. (2012). Public health: The toxic truth about sugar. Nature, 482(7383), 27-29.http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v482/n7383/full/482027a.html