The “all-natural” ingredient putting you on the fast-track to diabetes

iStock_000036477034_LargeHere’s some “breaking news” for you: In the first-ever review of human clinical trials on the topic, evidence suggests that eating processed foods with added sweeteners is contributing to the growing incidence of type 2 diabetes.

First of all, I can’t believe this is the first time researchers have reviewed the data on this subject. But, then again, do we really need a thorough (and undoubtedly massively expensive) research review to come to this conclusion?

All you have to do is look around you at an airport, mall or even restaurant to figure out the connection between the abysmal Standard American Diet (SAD) and type 2 diabetes is real.

Anyway, this review did make one valuable point: calorie for calorie, sugar is the worst offender when it comes to promoting diabetes and all its complications—such as neuropathy, kidney disease and eye disease. Not to mention premature death.

In one of the studies, the risk for diabetes was 11-fold higher for each 150-calorie per day increase in sugar vs. a similar increase in total calories.

I’ve been warning my patients—and you—about this for years. Unfortunately, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) simply doesn’t get it. They continue to recommend a max of 60 grams of carbs PER MEAL. But the truly frightening part is that they don’t care how you get them. Seriously. You should go to one of their conferences and see what is on display: Rice, ice cream, etc.—all “specially formulated” for diabetics.

Keep in mind, the ADA is the governing agency that teaches physicians, nurses, diabetes educators, etc. But what they are teaching is categorically wrong. So it’s no wonder that they’ve created a diabesity epidemic of untold proportions.

Of course, there’s a lot of talk these days about “added sugar” and its role in the crumbling state of health in this country. Which isn’t surprising, considering about three-quarters of all packaged foods and beverages in the U.S. contain added sugar.

But there is often confusion about what “added sugar” really is—and how it is metabolized in the body. Table sugar (or sucrose), which comes from cane sugar or beets, is composed of 50% glucose and 50% fructose.

Both fructose and glucose have their drawbacks. But research shows that fructose is actually even more harmful to your health.

In fact, it’s fructose that gets stockpiled away in your liver as “stowaway sugar” and leads to elevated triglycerides, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and type 2 diabetes. (For more details on stowaway sugar, refer back to the April 2014 issue of my Logical Health Alternatives newsletter. Subscribers can download and view this issue from the Archives for free by logging in to the Subscriber area above with your username and password. And if you’re not already a subscriber, the website also has all the information you need to sign up today.)

The problem is, most “added” sugar in packaged, processed foods and beverages has a higher fructose content than glucose.

For instance, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contains 55-65 percent fructose. And even agave, which is routinely touted as being such a healthy alternative, is 70 percent fructose. Which makes it even WORSE than HFCS.

But when you get right down to it, sugar—of any type—is bad news.

The new Dietary Guidelines set to come out later this year will likely call for a limit on added sugars, to 10 percent of total calorie intake. Which is certainly a decrease from the 33 teaspoons most Americans currently eat per day. But it’s still about 50 grams of sugar, or 12 teaspoons a day. Which is still WAY too much.

Even the American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to no more than 6 tsp (24 g), or 100 calories, per day for women, and 9 tsp (36 g), or 150 calories, per day, for men.

But as I’ve said before, “cutting back” simply won’t cut it when it comes to the havoc sugar wreaks on your health.

Sugar kills. And you should eliminate it from your diet altogether. For some simple tips on how to do that, check out the article “‘Big changes’ to the US Dietary Guidelines for 2015: Everything you need to know to sort through the hype and come out healthier than ever,” in this month’s issue of Logical Health Alternatives.


“Added Fructose: A Principal Driver of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Its Consequences. Mayo Clin Proc. 2015; 90(3): 372-381