Everyone knows that sugar is bad for you. Regardless, on average, Americans consume over 100 lbs of the stuff annually! One might be inclined to wonder how we got to the point we are at in regards to average sugar consumption.
There are many sociological and economic factors that have contributed to the rise in sugar consumption in the United States, but much of it has to do with the rise in consumption of processed foods, sugary beverages and fast foods. These foods are generally high in sugar, which comes in many varieties; fructose, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, evaporated cane juice are just a few of the names sugar hides behind on ingredient labels.
Not only are these foods generally high in added sugar, they are also typically high in heavily-processed, simple carbohydrates, like the kind found in white flour. Foods like these immediately convert to sugar upon digestion, making them identical to sugar, at least as far as the body is concerned. Even foods that many presume to be healthy––such as breakfast cereals, crackers, and breads––contain many carbohydrates that behave the same way as added sugar behaves in the body. It starts to be clear how Americans can possibly consume so much sugar in one year.
Subsequently, the incidence of a variety of health problems has also arisen––obesity, heart disease, cancer, and particularly, diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, specifically, was once called adult onset diabetes. Now, it is not uncommon for young children to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. It is estimated that roughly 29 million Americans––nearly 10% of the population has diabetes. However, some scientists estimate that nearly half of all adults in the United States are either diabetic or pre-diabetic. According to according to published research, these problems have a direct correlation to the rise in sugar consumption.
Diabetes, and many of the other diseases that sugar is thought to contribute to, are thought of as “life-style diseases”, meaning that how you live––what you eat, how active you are, etc.––can play a role in the incidence or prevention of these diseases. Simply put, diet certainly is a key factor in preventing health problems like diabetes. But what diet would be best to aid in the prevention of diabetes?
Naturally, if sugar is one of the primary contributors to diabetes, a diet that eliminates sugar might be critical towards that end. Knowing this, the Phase One Diet may be a good place to start. The Phase One Diet eliminates sugar in all its forms. Also eliminated are the sweeter (more sugary) varieties of fruits, grains and corn. Most processed foods are eliminated, as are breads, pasta and “starchy” foods rich in carbohydrates (such as potatoes). Instead, lean, clean meats are included, such as grass fed beef, pastured chicken and turkey and wild caught ocean fish as are eggs and nuts. Lots of vegetables are also encouraged. Tarter varieties of fruits are allowed, as are healthy fats and oils. (More information on the diet can be found on our blog, our site and in the books available in our bookstore.) This, in theory, would be a diet that would work towards preventing diabetes. Furthermore, if you or someone you love is already experiencing the signs of diabetes, there may be much to be gleaned by simply changing your diet; there are many testimonies of those who have reversed the symptoms of diabetes by simply changing their diet. (Please never use the information on this site in lieu of a doctor’s advice.)
While eliminating sugar may be key in preventing diabetes, does it tell the whole story? Check back tomorrow for more information!