Fear of Sugar – Part 1
In this blog, I will talk about the fear of sugar experienced by those who have Type 2 diabetes. In the next one, I will discuss the fear of sugar promulgated by doctors who treat people with Type 2 diabetes.
First, you have to recognize that the word “sugar” has two meanings. The first refers to our usual use of the word when we are talking about natural sugar (sucrose) found in our foods. This word refers to the white or brown sugar you put in your coffee or the sugar used to bake cakes or the many other types of sugar that various foods contain. We will refer to this type of sugar as “natural sugar.”
The other meaning of “sugar” is when we are talking about the molecules in the body. When we say someone has high blood sugar, we are referring to “glucose,” which is a molecule of sugar that the body has obtained from the foods we eat or released from glycogen, a complex carbohydrate, stored in the liver.
The word sugar thus confuses many. It often happens when patients are told they have high blood sugar and they consequently believe they must avoid natural sugars (sucrose) for fear of adding more sugar to their blood. Many food companies have had great success exploiting this fear and confusing, marketing and promoting to the public “no-calorie sweeteners,” touted to contain no sugar. These chemical sweeteners are perceived as “empty calories” because they have no property other than changing the sweetness of your coffee, tea, cake or pastries made with them. “These are acceptable to use,” goes the thinking of a person with Type 2 diabetes.
The problem is, this is like saying a doughnut is healthier if it has a large hole in the middle. It is a complete misperception of where the real danger lies for a Type 2 diabetic. It doesn’t matter if you sweeten cakes and pastries using artificial sweeteners rather than natural sugar; their main ingredient is still flour (usually wheat flour), which breaks down in your body into glucose—the cause of high blood sugar. Anything made with complex carbohydrates including grains and grain products is eventually absorbed into the body as glucose molecules.
Similarly, drinking lots of artificially sweetened fruit punches and drinks is a mistake in thinking. The natural sugar in the fruit used to make the drink also breaks down to glucose in your body, and ends up in your bloodstream potentially leading to high blood sugar and diabetes.
But there is another danger, too, that you must be aware of. The use of artificial sweeteners modifies the meaning of your sense of taste when it comes to natural sugars, and this can skew your perception of how much sugar you need to consume. Scientists know that our taste buds are highly sensitive to sweetness. For example, if a Type 2 diabetic feels weak and is having a low blood sugar reaction, he or she is often told to consume a hard candy, or a glucose tablet. The person starts to feel better within minutes, even though the amount of sugar consumed is not enough to increase the blood sugar level significantly, and the time is too short for absorption of sugar into the body. Yet the relief comes from the taste receptors recognizing that you have consumed some sugar molecules, reassuring the brain that sugar is on the way.
What is the danger when people with Type 2 diabetes get used to no-calorie chemical sweeteners and lose their ability to accurately assess the intensity of flavor of real sugar? (Studies with animals appear to indicate that this loss of taste interpretation does occur when consuming no-calorie sweeteners.) The immediate effect is that they find natural sugar not adding the same sweetness to their coffee as they remembered, because they have to put many packages of regular sugar in their drink just to equal the sweetness of the no-calorie sweetener they have become accustomed to. Some may even need to sprinkle no-calorie chemical sweetener to enjoy fruits.
This skewing of your taste receptors to the sweet taste may have long-term consequences for Type 2 diabetics. What if the next time you have a low blood sugar episode, your brain is unable to properly register the sugar contained in a hard candy, orange juice, or glucose tablet, because it is awaiting the intensity of sugar taste that you have gotten accustomed to with no-calorie sweeteners? Of course, this possibility is yet to be verified.
In the next blog, I will discuss how doctors are also contributing to the confusion patients have about high blood sugar.
If you are overweight or concerned about getting diabetes, Eat, Chew, Live provides exactly the new science & inspiration you need.
Based on more than twenty years of research, Eat, Chew, Live offers a revolutionary new explanation of high blood sugar and Type 2 diabetes. While traditional medicine says it is due to “insulin resistance,” Dr. Poothullil disagrees. Eat, Chew, Live will show you:
- How the consumption of grains causes your body to develop high blood sugar
- How you can lower your blood sugar to avoid or reverse Type 2 diabetes without using drugs.
- How you can change your eating habits to avoid grains while still enjoying every meal
There are no special diets to follow or products to buy. Get your copy today and inform yourself.