NEW STUDY SHOWS THAT ENERGY DRINKS ASSOCIATED WITH MENTAL PROBLEMS, AGGRESSION, AND FATIGUE
Certain industries have a history of using wartime "generosity" to get soldiers hooked on their products, namely alcohol and tobacco. Those of you who have watched an "OLD SOLDIER" trying to drink their nightmares away, or smoking through their 'trache' outside the side door of a VA hospital, know exactly what I mean. It seems that we need to add yet another product to this list.
A study from last month's issue of Military Medicine tells the story via its title; Energy Drink Use in U.S. Service Members After Deployment: Associations With Mental Health Problems, Aggression, and Fatigue. A team of four researchers from Walter Reed's Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience concluded that, "energy drink use was reported by one in six soldiers and was significantly related to mental health problems, aggressive behaviors, and fatigue in a military population following a combat deployment." As I will show with both tobacco and alcohol, it's not like targeting military personnel is anything new when it comes to marketing (or 'hooking') our sons and daughters on highly addictive products.
From WWI through Vietnam, the US military has made sure that our boys got their smokes. And even though this practice was supposedly done away with after the Vietnam War, numerous sources show that it continued all the way into the 1990's and 2000's. Information on this topic is abundant and comes in the form of message board threads, journal articles, studies, and an array of pieces from a wide range of magazines and books. One of the more telling titles came from a 2014 issue of Mother Jones (Is the World’s Most Powerful Military Defenseless Against Big Tobacco?).
"War is indeed dangerous, but cigarettes kill far more soldiers and citizens than war does. It’s not even close. More than 480,000 Americans die from smoking and secondhand smoke exposure every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—more than died on the battlefields of World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam combined. Cigarettes kill more soldiers and sailors than wars do, and cost taxpayers billions. Yet Congress keeps shooting down the Pentagon’s efforts to snuff them out."
Thanks to millions of American servicemen coming home from Europe and the South Pacific addicted to tobacco, within three years after WWII (it ended in August of '45), lung cancer was shown to be growing at a rate five times greater than that of other CANCERS. In WWI, part of the Doughboy's ration was loose tobacco and rolling papers. However, because of ease of use, it didn't take long for factory-rolled cigarettes to become the smokes-of-choice for US servicemen, who, by WWII were being provided with 4-packs as part of their C-rations.
Earlier this year, the Truth Initiative published a piece titled Tobacco Use in the Military, which not only provided tons of information on Big Tobacco's specific efforts to hook the US GI on their products, but revealed how ridiculously high the smoking rates continue to be in, as opposed to outside the military. For more information, read The Cigarette Manufacturers' Efforts to Promote Tobacco to the U.S. Military from the October 2005 issue of the same journal we are discussing today (Military Medicine), the NIH's online book, Combating Tobacco Use in Military and Veteran Populations, or 'Everywhere the Soldier Will Be': Wartime Tobacco Promotion in the US Military from a ten year old issue of the American Journal of Public Health. Which brings us to industry promotion of alcohol in the military.
Honestly, we see virtually the same phenomenon with Big Alcohol's promotion of drinking (mostly beer) as we did for tobacco ---- and it's nothing new. The magazine, All About Beer, published a 2002 article by Alan Moen titled Beer Goes to War, which revealed that advocating beer drinking within the military has been going on for a very long time, much to the delight of brewers.
"As part of a soldier’s regular daily ration as decreed by the Continental Congress, beer fueled the flames of freedom burning within its armies. The statute, enacted on November 4, 1775, stipulated that each soldier be provided with 'I QT of Spruce Beer, or Cider/man/day.' George Washington himself, major general of the American rebel army, was a firm believer in the importance of beer as a staple for his troops. According to historian Gregg Smith, 'among Washington’s least recognized but most valuable skills was locating his encampments within reach of a supply of beer.'"
The trend continued through the Civil War, WWI, and into WWII, where the USDA actually mandated that a whopping 15% of all US beer production go to our boys overseas (as well as 30% of our national cigarette production). By the time Vietnam rolled around, beer was ubiquitous to military facilities, with numerous articles and message boards speaking of fire-bases supplied with stacked pallets of their most important ammunition, beer. Industry sentiment was captured by Jake Hall, writing for a 2015 issue of War on the Rocks (A Farewell to Sobriety, Part Two: Drinking During World War II).
"Consider the lobbying hours that American distilleries must have put in with politicians, insisting that war or no, they were all still capitalists together, and that making torpedo fuel was good, but making money was essential."
Since I am not against having a few beers now and then, what's the point? Only that American industry has proven time and time again that it will do whatever it takes to both create and keep market share, seeing our soldiers as highly valuable commodities; damn the long-term health-related consequences. Enough, however, about tobacco and alcohol; let's take a moment and step into the world of the American military's latest addiction ---- "Energy Drinks".
The most popular energy drinks today (Red Bull, Rockstar, Amp, and Monster) also happened to be the ones specifically mentioned in this study. Numerous other studies, however, have likewise shown energy drinks and their ingredients (copious amounts of sugar, caffeine, etc) can lead to MIGRAINES, INSOMNIA (due to creating an artificially induced state of SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE), ADDICTION, INSULIN RESISTANCE & T2D, HBP, and any number of others including cardiac arrest / heart failure. The study we are looking at today specifically listed ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, and alcohol abuse (a whopping 30%), along with various forms of violent behavior and PTSD, as commonly associated with regular consumption of energy drinks. Is anyone shocked?
Earlier this year (July), the National Institute of Health issued a rather freaky warning for energy drink consumption, which provided a glimpse into just how popular these products are with the younger generation. "Energy drinks are widely promoted as products that increase energy and enhance mental alertness and physical performance. Next to multivitamins, energy drinks are the most popular dietary supplement consumed by American teens and young adults. Men between the ages of 18 and 34 years consume the most energy drinks, and almost one-third of teens between 12 and 17 years drink them regularly." Among other facts mentioned, was the propensity to use them as alcohol mixers.
Takeaways from today's study were that seven months post-combat, over three quarters of the nearly 700 soldiers quizzed, still reported regularly consuming energy drinks, with 1 in 6 quaffing more than two a day. What's probably not surprising is that a 2012 study (Energy Drink Consumption and its Association with Sleep Problems Among U.S. Service Members on a Combat Deployment - Afghanistan, 2010) showed that consumption was even higher for soldiers in the field, with an almost unbelievable 45% drinking these creatures daily (BTW, that study came to similar conclusions as this one). Listen to the findings from the authors of today's study.
"In the deployed context, the appeal of energy drinks is understandable given that there is substantial restriction in sleep as well as regular circadian disruption due to night-time operations; indeed, caffeine is a recommended option to sustain alertness in this environment. During the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, energy drinks were often made readily available to deployed service members at no cost. Interestingly, energy drink use was associated with fatigue. This relationship suggests that energy drink use may potentially exacerbate, rather than alleviate, fatigue. This finding stands in contrast to the marketing of energy drinks as a way to increase energy and reduce fatigue."
I well remember the marketing campaign for the first energy drink; something called Jolt (1985) that I am not sure whether or not is still around ---- "All the sugar and twice the caffeine". Bottom line, if you or your children are regular or even semi-regular consumers of energy drinks, SODA, or worse yet, DIET SODA, stop it already. Numerous studies have not only shown their association to a myriad of health problems, but just as bad, for a significant number of people this stuff is as addictive as crack (HERE).
If you are looking to turn your life around, break out of the fatigue and mental fog, diminish your systemic inflammatory load, and basically start the process of taking your life back, now is the time to start preparing and planning. I say preparing and planning because the NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION you are contemplating in less than a week, will be broken in less than two ---- unless you do two things. Create a written plan (HERE) and get an accountability partner who will encourage you, chide you, or drop kick you into next week, whichever is most appropriate for your situation (HERE). If you want to see my generic protocol for getting healthier, it's HERE and it's completely free. And if you liked today's post, be sure to see that it makes the rounds on FACEBOOK --- especially if you have teenagers!
"Available evidence in humans shows that sugar and sweetness can induce reward and craving that are comparable in magnitude to those induced by addictive drugs.... Overall, this research has revealed that sugar and sweet reward can not only substitute to addictive drugs, like cocaine, but can even be more rewarding and attractive. At the neurobiological level, the neural substrates of sugar and sweet reward appear to be more robust than those of cocaine." From the abstract of the July 2013 issue of the medical journal, Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care
Google the term "SUGAR ADDICTION" and you'll get over six million hits (a couple of them might even be articles I wrote on the subject). Even though it is, an addiction; it is one of America's more "acceptable" addictions --- one that people who roll up their nose at drunks or drug addicts can engage in without any significant social scorn from their peers --- it is and addiction nonetheless. How do you know whether you are a sugar addict or not? Although a Sugar Addiction is not usually as blatantly ugly as other addictions are, just give it a little time and it will produce not only the classic psychological signs of the addict, it will also manifest a host of physical symptoms as well --- symptoms that reveal just how serious a problem this really is. Take the simple self-test below.
- TRYING TO HIDE YOUR ADDICTION: Although easy at first, this gets consistently more difficult because of the continual need for more of what you crave. This is the very nature of an addiction. No matter your drug-of-choice, it always takes "more" to experience any feelings of the 'high' (increased pleasure / reduced emotional negativity). Eventually, hiding the addiction becomes impossible.
- SUGAR STASHES: Remember the old TV shows where the town drunk would have partially-drunk whiskey bottles stashed in almost every conceivable place? Many sugar addicts do the same thing.
- EXCUSES / DENIAL: What's amazing is how similar these excuses and denials sound to the excuses and denials made by alcoholics or drug addicts. I personally know a person who became seriously addicted to prescription painkillers after a serious injury. Although the injury had healed and this person could have gotten off the meds, it took an inordinate amount of time and intervention. You should have heard the excuses.
- ANYTHING FOR A FIX: Do you start your day with sugar (HERE)? If you find yourself in bizarre situations trying to get your hands on sugar or carbs, you definitely have a problem. Just like those addicted to hard drugs, the sugar addict will do anything to get their fix. It is the focal point of their lives.
- CONTINUING DESPITE THE PERSISTENT DAMAGE IT IS DOING: As you have seen, this damage can be physical, psychological, or more likely, a combination of the two. Even though a person might realize it is destroying their health and relationships, they choose sugar anyway. It is frequently the single most powerful motivating factor in their life.
- PATHOLOGICAL CRAVINGS / FEAR OF GIVING UP SUGAR: Do you have health or social problems that affect school, work, or relationships because of the need to consume sugar and carbs, yet keep on doing so despite the negative consequences? Do you chase after sugar even though it is causing you physical or emotional pain? Is it the driving force in your life? Near the end of his month-long journey as captured in the documentary Super Size Me, a recently overweight Morgan Spurlock tells his video camera that the only time he feels good about himself now is when he is, "eating this crap". If you are using sugar /carbs to boost your mood (serotonin levels), or can't bear the thought of giving up the stuff (HERE), you probably have a sugar addiction. One more thing; if you feel DEPRESSED at the mere thought of going without sugar, it's a dead give away that you have an addiction.
- PLAYING THE SUBSTITUTION GAME: This could mean that you are substituting sugar substitutes for sugar (HERE). However, it could mean something far more insidious (HERE).
- ISSUES WITH WEIGHT: Although sugar addiction almost always leads to OBESITY, sometimes people think they are getting away with it because they are still skinny. This is simply because some people's over-taxed pancreases take longer to burn out than others. Be aware that even though you might be of a "normal" weight, too much sugar or starch has a tendency to create the SKINNY FAT EFFECT. Once people begin gaining the extra weight, the "FAT BUT FIT" excuse is an old standby.
- OTHER ADDICTIONS: This is particularly true of things like coffee, SMOKES, or alcohol (which itself is metabolized just like sugar). When the pancreas burns out due to Uncontrolled Blood Sugar (see next point) the ADRENAL GLANDS kick in to help the failing pancreas. Most sugar addicts will frequently want things that boost their Adrenal Response (caffeine, nicotine, sugar). Unfortunately, this is not helpful, and is a doorway to a whole host of other problems.
- UNCONTROLLED BLOOD SUGAR: Numerous people will tell me that they do not have a problem with blood sugar because they recently had their blood checked and it was normal (HERE). If they are consuming mass quantities of sugar on a regular basis, they are fooling themselves (HERE). Uncontrolled Blood Sugar is the number one health issue facing the American population today --- and it's not even close. The last point in this section will go into more detail.
- YOU ARE TIRED AND SLUGGISH AFTER YOU EAT: If you feel tired or sluggish after meals, you undoubtedly have REACTIVE HYPOGLYCEMIA. This is the BLOOD SUGAR low that comes "reactively" after the high. Low blood sugar and high blood sugar are two sides of the same coin that we call Diabetes.
- YOU HAVE TROUBLE CONCENTRATING: There are numerous studies touting the ill effects of sugar on cognitive function as well as dementia. In fact, ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE is now being called Type III Diabetes because its characteristic brain plaques result from Uncontrolled Blood Sugar.
- A COMPROMISED IMMUNE SYSTEM: You are constantly sick (HERE). The problem is, sugar and ANTIBIOTICS are a devastating combination (HERE), that leads to a wide variety of DYSBIOTIC HEALTH ISSUES, including Systemic (blood-borne) Yeast. The yeast itself requires sugar to survive and creates horrendous cravings in its attempt to take over your body. Besides Antibiotics, CORTICOSTEROIDS (a form of Innumo-suppressive drug) create sugar cravings as well.
- DIMINISHED LIBIDO: Whether male or female, if you don't have the desire to have sex, you are likely dealing with a blood sugar issues (HERE and HERE). If you would trade sex for a handful of bon bons, you have a sugar addiction.
- HORMONAL ISSUES --- PARTICULARLY PCOS: Listen to what Dr Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, author of "Beat Sugar Addiction Now" said on the June 10, 2010 episode of ABC's 6:00 news, "hormonal fluctuations in women entering menopause can cause anxiety, depression, and insulin resistance that can also lead to sugar addictions". Although he is correct, this is a chicken 'egg thing, meaning the opposite is true as well. For more on PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome --- the #1 female problem in America today --- go HERE).
- INCREASED ACIDITY: If you are fighting diseases of acidity (although there are many, the two that most immediately come to mind are CANCER and OSTEOPOROSIS), it would not be a stretch to wonder if you have a sugar addiction. Get some litmus paper at the corner drug store and test your pH.
- ALL SICKNESS AND DISEASE: AUTOIMMUNITY, INFLAMMATORY ILLNESS, and almost every single health issue you care to mention (see the bullet point above on Uncontrolled Blood Sugar) have similar starting points. If you would rather ignore this than click on the links, you are likely addicted to sugar / carbs.
HOW TO CONQUER YOUR SUGAR ADDICTION
- STOP MAKING EXCUSES AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR HEALTH AND YOUR LIFE ---- ADMIT YOU ARE AN ADDICT AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT: As is the case with all sorts of problems, the first thing you have to do is identify it as such. As long as you stay in denial, nothing will get accomplished.
- LEARN THE MANY WAYS THAT SUGAR HIDES: Simply learn to read food labels. Oh, and be aware that you might even have a GLUTOMORPHIN ADDICTION as well. Even though you have never heard of this, it is far more common (and scary) than imagined.
- DON'T BRING CRAP IN YOUR HOUSE, CAR, OR WORKPLACE: This is a no-brainer folks. If you are stashing junk food in strategic places, you will fail in your endeavor to kick your addiction. You have to stay away from the stuff. Period. Unfortunately, 'church' is all too often a dangerous place for the sugar addict.
- GET YOURSELF AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER: Most of us benefit from someone to help hold our fingers to the fire. Although it can be done (HERE), most persons will have a rough go of it when kicking an addiction alone. HERE is how I have gone about this in the past.
- EXERCISE THE RIGHT WAY: Although there about a jillion ways to exercise, if you want the straight scoop on getting the most benefit out of the shortest amount of time, go HERE.
- ABSTAIN FROM SUGAR AND HIGH GLYCEMIC INDEX CARBOHYDRATES: Listen folks. I already know you are going to call me a harsh, hard-hearted SOB for saying this, but truthfully; I don't really care. When we addicts get down to the point where the rubber meets the road, there's only one way to lick an addiction (this is largely true for any addiction). You have to go Cold Turkey! If you will simply eliminate the sugar, carbs, and artificial sweeteners from your life, your cravings will dramatically subside, and eventually go away (usually within a matter of weeks). How has that whole "I'll just cut back a bit" thing been working for you so far? That's right. It doesn't. In fact, it constantly re-starts and feeds your cravings. If you are addicted to narcotics or alcohol you can’t simply just 'cut down' a bit. By cutting out all forms of sugar (starch, bread, pasta, OJ, fruit --- yeah, for many people fruit is one of those "substitutions" we dealt with earlier ---- artificial sweeteners, and almost anything that is processed), you actually allow your brain's chemistry to recalibrate itself. If you think you can 'dabble' with sugar / carbs and still kick the habit, you are fooling yourself.
- CHANGE YOUR DIET AND CONTROL BLOOD SUGAR BY EATING SMALL PROTEIN-BASED MEALS MORE OFTEN: For Pete's sake; it's practically 2014. Can we get over the FEAR OF DIETARY FAT thing already? Follow the advice on this bullet point and watch your cravings fly out the window. And as far as what sort of diet you need to be eating? You must do something that controls blood sugar! Although there are a ton of these out there, I recommend PALEO for the reasons listed in the posts you will find if you click on the link.
- START YOUR DAY THE RIGHT WAY: We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Start living it (HERE)!
- USE A GREENS PRODUCT: There are many of these out there. We use THIS ONE . Not necessarily because it's the best product on the market, but because it is a good product that does not taste like pond scum. These products are valuable for helping solve sugar / carb cravings, while providing some solid nutrition in the process.
- DON'T BE AFRAID TO EAT BIG: When FRED & DIANE HARMON recently returned to our home, she treated us all to an authentic, home-cooked, multi-course, Thai meal. It involved fresh ingredients, freshly ground herbs and spices (yes, she brought her own mortar and pestle), some lean meat, and copious amounts of fresh vegetables. You could literally gorge yourself on foods like this at every meal --- and still LOSE WEIGHT. Until you resolve the calorie myth, you will have problems dealing with sugar / carb addictions.
- NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS: This is where everyone wants to go first. Hey, it's the way our medically-propagandized brains work. It also happens to one of the biggest FAILED PROMISES of modern medicine. However, there is one supplement I recommend for helping you successfully accomplishing this endeavor. PGFO. Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil (not the junk from Mal Wart or the health food store) is excellent for helping with DEPRESSION, ADHD / ANXIETY, INFLAMMATION, LEAKY GUT SYNDROME, symptoms of SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE, FIBROMYALGIA, UNCONTROLLED BLOOD SUGAR, AUTOIMMUNITY, as well as most ENDOCRINE and HORMONAL ISSUES. But please listen to me for a moment. As well as various supplements can work for some people, there is no substitute for a good diet. Read and follow the Paleo Posts above, and you will succeed in your quest to kick the sugar habit!
GARY TAUBES: GOOD CALORIES / BAD CALORIES, & WHY WE GET FAT
TO CHEAT OR NOT TO CHEAT
THAT IS THE QUESTION
Cheating on your diet. For many people it's no big deal --- particularly those who are in great health, maintain their perfect weight, and eat healthy because they want to stay that way. However, for many others, CHEAT DAYS can be a huge problem that dramatically increases the risks of a serious setback. If you want to understand why this issue of "cheating" on a diet is a much bigger deal for some people than it is for others, take a moment and read YESTERDAY'S POST. And in the meantime, allow me to share a personal experience with you.
When I first started eating LOW CARB about 17 years ago, I would periodically cheat (not that I don't cheat now, but it's fairly infrequent). More recently --- particularly after determining that I am both Gluten and Dairy Sensitive and that PARKINSON'S DISEASE runs in my family --- I have been committed to being more careful about what I eat (especially since I have an issue with CRAVINGS). For one thing, I have to stay in great health to take care of MY PATIENTS and support my family. On top of that; few things peeve me more than UNHEALTHY DOCTORS. If you are going to take care of sick people or those struggling with all sorts of CHRONIC PAIN SYNDROMES --- including those that are SYSTEMIC --- you have to lead from the front (HERE).
A week ago today, MY ELDEST DAUGHTER was having her 14th birthday party by having some friends over for a sleepover. One of these girls brought over some cinnamon rolls that were homemade, and touted as GLUTEN FREE since the grain used to make them had been soaked for 24 hours in buttermilk (one of the GLUTEN MYTHS that I previously busted). They were huge rolls. I ate three of them --- hot, with butter. Since I was already off the Reservation, later in the day I figured I may as well have a big glass of eggnog while I was at it (I ended up having a couple). On top of that, I had a couple bites of homemade German Chocolate Pie. You would think that after all these years, I would learn. Nope. I will still, on occasion, eat things I know will AFFECT ME. You can go ahead and call me a brain-dead moron --- I'm used to it by now (HERE).
The first cinnamon roll triggered some crazy cravings just like I knew it probably would. For the next couple of days, I felt sluggish and bloated. The thing that always amazes me about my cheating is what it does to my mind. Because I would characterize myself as a "dry" sugarholic, taking that first bite releases something inside me that screams for more. Part of my brain tells me that since I blew it, I may as well go ahead and blow the rest of the month ---- after all it is the Holiday Season. The crazy thing is, I KNOW THIS ABOUT MYSELF and still ignore it on occasion. But like I said, I am getting better and am back on track after my latest trip off the wagon. Probably a good thing I never got into drugs!
THE HOLIDAY CHALLENGE
FIND A FRIEND AND DO IT TODAY!
Friends don't let friends drive drunk. And friends don't stand idly by watching while those that they love and care about decimate themselves with the foods they choose to put in their mouth! Find a friend you can trust --- someone who has the same desire to make changes that you do; and present them with a challenge. Dr. Russell Schierling from last year's HOLIDAY CHALLENGE
I all but quit consuming SUGAR / SODA about 16-17 years ago, when I saw what it was doing to me. During that time, I have experimented enough with my diet to know that I am moderately GLUTEN SENSITIVE, CARB / SUGAR SENSITIVE, and am prone to INFLAMMATION when I eat the wrong foods. I have a PROBLEM with holiday goodies, and if I am not careful, I can play a game with myself over the holidays that looks like this:
CONVERSATIONS WITH MYSELF
THE DEVIL ON MY LEFT SHOULDER: It's OK Russ. After all, it is the Holiday Season. You deserve it. Live a little buddy --- treat yourself. You do so good for the rest of the year; what could it hurt to just have a little taste? Come on; you'll offend your hosts if you don't at least sample some of these treats.
THE ANGEL ON MY RIGHT SHOULDER: Hold on Russ. You aren't really even hungry --- let alone hungry for that kind of stuff. Just think about the metabolic strain it will put on your system. Not to mention pal; you know good and well the sort of cravings that this stuff will unleash on you. Don't do something you'll regret later.
THE DEVIL ON MY LEFT SHOULDER: Stop it already. Stop being such a party pooper! Just for once I'd like to see you stop playing 'The Doctor' and live a little bit. For Pete's sake, it's only one glass of eggnog / piece of toffee / slice of pie / homemade cinnamon roll / slice of fresh baked bread / __________ (insert your own personal G.O.C. --- Goodie of Choice --- here).
ME: TO MYSELF: Well, I guess it wouldn't hurt to have just one. OUT LOUD: Sure; I'll take whip cream with that.
THE DEVIL ON MY LEFT: See. That wasn't so bad, was it? And since you've already blown it, you may as well have some more.
THE ANGEL ON MY RIGHT SHOULDER: It's not too late to stop. You know how you are going to feel after doing this.
ME: OUT LOUD: Yes please; I'll have another _______ (insert your G.O.C. here). TO MYSELF: I'll get back on track Monday.
THE DEVIL ON MY LEFT SHOULDER: Good job buddy. You deserved that. Cravings? Not a problem. You're tough. You'll be able to lick those cravings. No sweat. But in the meanwhile; tis the season to be jolly. It's OK to feed your cravings over the holidays. Look around you Russ. It's what Americans do! You're just being normal.
ME A FEW WEEKS LATER: Boy howdy; I really have blown it. I guess it would not really matter to just blow it for the rest of the year and Kick off the New Year with a brand new Resolution.
THE DEVIL ON MY SHOULDER: Good idea Russ. New Year's Resolutions are always such an effective way of dealing with bad habits and addictions --- every year. When January first hits, just train a bit harder ---- or better yet; START RUNNING. That's always a grrrrrrrreat way to tip the balance in your favor!
Seriously; you know whether or not this post is relevant to you. Some people can handle their sugar ---- at least until they develop DIABETES and all the problems that go along with. Me; I've come to realize that as long as I don't touch it, I don't really want it. Get me started however, and I can become a raving lunatic. HERE, HERE, and HERE are some articles to help you understand the process, and encourage you to succeed (HERE are all my articles about Weight Loss). If you want some real motivation, check out the results of LAST YEAR'S HOLIDAY CHALLENGE. Find a friend and hold each other accountable. HERE is my friend's follow up to last year's Holiday Challenge from a few months ago (and HERE is his wife Kate's testimonial). I am calling you out Rick. Are we on for this year? You can't defeat me two years in a row. Truthfully man; I'm so proud of the way that you and Kate have turned things around by changing your diets.
WHY YOU ARE ADDICTED TO JUNK FOOD AND
HOW TO BREAK THE CYCLE OF ADDICTION
I am sort of like that "dry alcoholic". As long as I never touch it, I don't really crave it. But give me that first Oreo (or doughnut, or bite of cheesecake, or whatever) and I want more. And the more that I want is not just here-and-now today. I promise that I'll want it tomorrow as well. It's the nature of an addiction. The more you eat, the more you want. This is why you will almost never see me eating desert or junk --- I can't afford to ignite those cravings!
Using modern medical technology, Schroeder and his team at CC proved that Oreo Cookies (admit it ---- you can't eat just one yourself) actually activate a greater number of neurons that either cocaine or heroin / morphine. Stop and re-read that sentence and let the magnitude of it sink in. Here is the thing ---- you already knew this! Otherwise, pushing away from the table, saying no to junk, LOSING WEIGHT AND GETTING IN GREAT SHAPE would be so simple that everyone would be jumping on the bandwagon. Instead, if you count those who are SKINNY FAT, we are a society where nearly 4 of 5 adults are either OBESE OR OVERWEIGHT. For those of you who have done everything but still can't lose the weight, be sure and take a look at THIS POST.
PICK YOUR POISON
The thing to understand is that Dr. Seaman's article is not written from a condescending point of view --- a view that would say since you are addicted to sugar, he is better than you. It is written from the viewpoint of someone who has learned what it takes to crush the cravings that plague those of us with sugar addictions (his junk of choice was candy corn, Snickers bars, marzipan, Twinkies, cinnamon toast, donuts, ice cream and Whoppers from Burger King). I get what he is saying because in this regard, I am him. That's right; my name is Russ and I am a sugarholic. I can relate to Dr. David because if I let myself, I could easily fall right back into the cycle of sugar addiction / craving / sugar addiction / craving / repeat ad infinitum (HERE). And all of you who have ever spun around in circles on this crazy cycle know how hard it can be to get off of it ---- and how easy it can be to climb right back on and start spinning again. Seaman's says that....
I would argue that careful moderation when it comes to these "crackhead" foods is reasonable. Otherwise, the use of the term moderation is really how out-of-control dessert and fast-food "crackheads" rationalize their behavior, which includes a very "moderate" intake of vegetables and fruit that often excludes green vegetables.
Not surprisingly, the data is very clear that inadequate sleep and stress increase the release of the hunger hormone ghrelin that propels us toward food reward. When this happens, it is a good idea to exercise or get very engaged physically with cleaning or yardwork, which has an appetite-suppressing effect and a limbic system-reward effect. Reward refers to anything from which we get pleasure.
Researchers have identified that humans and animals have a withdrawal experience when not consuming sugar, which is not unlike opiate withdrawal. People actually suffer just thinking about never again eating a sugary, floury, fatty dessert. This is actually a very good way to test yourself to identify the aggressiveness of your own personal dietary "crackhead."
ARE BREAD, SWEETS, AND OTHER CARBS AS ADDICTIVE AS HARD DRUGS?
I'm sitting in a comfortable chair, in a tastefully lit, cheerfully decorated drug den, watching a steady line of people approach their dealer. After scoring, they shuffle off to their tables to quietly indulge in what for some could become (if it hasn't already) an addiction that screws up their lives. It's likely you have friends and family members who are suffering from this dependence—and you may be on the same path yourself..... Think of this stuff as more than a drug—it's like a metabolic parasite, taking over your body and feeding itself. Paul John Scott describing what goes on in a typical Panera's Bread restaurant in an article found in the March 2011 issue of Details called "Are Carbs More Addictive Than Cocaine?"
"Bread — even whole wheat bread — is metabolically equivalent to Skittles, because it has the same glycemic index. You get the same sugar rush from a ‘healthy’ whole wheat bagel that you do from candy… and though it might not taste as sweet, it’s all the same to your digestive and metabolic system". J. Stanton, author of Gnoll Credo, from his website.
How addictive are these foods? For a significant portion of the American population, junk carbs are more addictive than cocaine. A 2007 French study that we will mention again (University of Bordeaux) showed that when given a choice, rats chose sugar over Cocaine. Follow along as I show you many similar studies, as well as the effects that unbridled carb consumption has on neurotransmitters and brain function in relationship to addiction.
Research from New Zealand says that carbs might be as addictive as cigarettes. Dr. Simon Thornily, whose team worked out of the Auckland Regional Public Health Service and was published in the medical journal Medical Hypotheses, had this to say, "Heavily processed carbohydrates such as cornflakes, sweets and croissants quickly raise the amount of sugar in your blood. This rush of sugar stimulates the same areas of the brain that are involved with addiction to nicotine and other drugs."
Dr. Nicole Avena is a research neuroscientist and expert in the fields of NUTRITION, diet, and food addictions. Her Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Psychology is from Princeton University, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular biology at The Rockefeller University in New York City. In other words, she is a smart cookie. Dr. Avena says that rats exposed to lots of sugar makes them exhibit the kind of behavior commonly seen in drug junkies ----- withdrawal, depression, anxiety, binges, cravings, altered personality, etc. This is because sugar stimulates the body to make Dopamine (a "feel good" neurotransmitter that affects the part of the brain related pleasure ----- the same part of the brain that coke and meth both stimulate). Shortly, we will delve deeper into this premise that processed carbs and grain-based junk food are not really that different from some of the more common street drugs as far as their effects on the brain are concerned.
But from as long as I can remember, dietary fat was the Great Satan --- the derailer of health that could ruin your heart while making you fat. Not carbs. Carbs were good good clean fuel. In fact, I was taught that dietary fat is the only thing that could make you fat. But the truth is, we could live our whole lives and never eat any carbohydrates. Think about it this way; there are Essential Fatty Acids and Essential Amino Acids (the building blocks of proteins). There are no Essential Carbohydrates other than glucose --- a sugar that our body can readily / easily manufacture from both fats or proteins (think of the Eskimos here --- or VILHJALMUR STEFANSSON). In fact, there is a growing number of scientists who believe that we should be seriously restricting non-vegetation-based carbs. This stands to reason with all the research coming out on the topic, including this quip from from a 2010 issue of JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) telling us that, "[carbohydrates are] a nutrient for which humans have no absolute requirement". The study was headed by a renowned Endocrinologist at Harvard University.
Most of us were taught that a person’s weight is the result of food intake compared to their energy expenditure. I will have a blog post up within the week showing that this is simply not true. It is stupefying that we still have a medical community preaching a dietary message that was popular when I was in school --- that you should reduce both dietary fat intake and total calories if you want to lose weight (along with incorporation some sort of cardo-based exercise program). This is what I was taught in school and what I believed (Kansas State University's Nutrition / Exercise Physiology program). The truth is, however, that obesity is a function of what you eat, far more than it is a function of how much you eat. Too many carbs will not only make you fat, they are maximally addictive. You don't believe me? Even city folk know that the best way to fatten a beef is with grain / corn. So, what is our government (USDA) doing with this tidbit of common sense information? Of course, they are telling us to eat even more processed carbs. Still don't believe me? Look at their Food Pyramid
USDA guidelines say, "Sugars and starches provide energy to the body in the form of glucose, which is the only source of energy for red blood cells and is the preferred energy source for the brain". This is a completely true statement. But it is a half truth. While it is true that the brain has to have fuel in the form of glucose (a simple carbohydrate), this glucose can be easily manufactured by the body from both fats and proteins. It can even come from vegetables (remember that corn is a grain, not a vegetable).
As crazy as it sounds, the diet above is still being promoted by both ADA's (American Dietetic Association & American Diabetic Association) as well as the AMA (American Medical Association). Their official recommendation is to get about 55% of our caloric intake in the form of carbs (grains, potatoes, pasta, cereal, breads, etc). We are told to decrease protein (they claim it is harmful to the kidneys), decrease fat (they claim it makes you fat and causes heart disease), and eat a minimum of 130 grams of carbs / day (I am not making this up). And although this thought process is starting to change, I cannot tell you how many diabetics, pre-diabetics, or folks with Metabolic Syndrome have been told to eat more carbs and keep fat intake to a minimum if they have any hope of turning their health around. Even Dr. Oz has promoted (and continues to promote) this sort of thinking on some level (HERE).
Part of the problem with this dietary conundrum is that although we may all be using the same language, we are probably talking about very different things. What do I mean by this? Technically speaking, green leafy vegetables are carbohydrates. But so is white toast with cinnamon and sugar on top. Is there a difference? Darn straight there is! The same is true when we talk about proteins and fats. Is your dairy raw organic, or is it pasteurized, homogenized, fat-free, and loaded with antibiotics and growth hormones? Is your fish, wild, cold-water fish or was it farm raised in warm waters (only wild fish has high levels of EPA & DHA)? Do the eggs you eat come from free-range hens, or were they laid in a commercial egg farm by chickens that were fed grain? And what about your meat? Is it grass fed and organically raised (or wild, i.e. venison)? Or did it come from a feed lot where it is fed grain along with antibiotics, GROWTH HORMONES, and heaven only knows what else? The bottom line is that the more processed your food source, the worse it's going to be for you, the more reactive it is likely to be, and it is much more likely to be addictive as well. Just understand when I use the term "carbs" in this post, I am speaking of High Glycemic Index carbs --- or carbs that are rapidly converted to blood sugar (Glucose).
JUST HOW ADDICTIVE ARE CARBS?
I don't believe you. I eat sugar and enjoy it. I am also active, happy, slightly underweight, and in excellent health for my age. My teeth are good, too. Did you read the article somewhere about the fatigue that comes from decision-making, and the effect of a shot of glucose to the brain in easing that fatigue? You should. There is no food that is evil, even sugar. So go ahead, fail to enjoy yourself. I think I'll have a chocolate salted caramel. A reader's response to an article on sugar addiction by Dr. Robert H. Lustig, a pediatric Neuro-Endocrinologist and a professor of pediatrics at the University of California.
It is no big revelation that sugar is related to cancer. If you Google "SUGAR FEEDS CANCER", you will find a few articles knocking the idea, and a ton of information supporting it. Just understand that cancer cells utilize sugar differently than normal cells. The great OTTO WARBURG was one of the most brilliant scientists (biochemist) the world has ever seen. After all, how many people have won three Nobel Prizes? One of the prizes was for figuring out that cancer cells make energy differently than normal cells --- not via the oxidation of fat, but from the break down of sugar (glycolysis). In other words, Warburg believed he had found the key to curing cancer clear back in the 1930's. He believed that this difference in metabolism was the main thing that separated cancer from non-cancer (it's actually known as the "Warburg Effect"). Be aware that much (probably most) of the scientific community pooh poohs the idea that cancer is related to sugar. But I regress. Let me show you how this topic is related to sugar / starch addiction.
A few years ago at the University of Würzburg in Germany, a team of doctors ran a study on the effects of a KETOGENIC DIET (virtually zero carbohydrates ---- the Atkins Induction Phase) on cancer. Time Magazine reported in their September 17, 2007 issue that, "for five patients who were able to endure three months of carb-free eating, the results were positive: the patients stayed alive, their physical condition stabilized or improved, and their tumors slowed or stopped growing, or shrunk." Wow, looks like a potential way to tame the tiger that we call cancer. But unfortunately, most dropped out of the study because they could not adhere to a carb-free diet. The researcher's leader, Dr. Melanie Schmidt, sounded frustrated when she stated that, "we didn’t expect this to be such a big problem, but a considerable number of patients left the study because they were unable or unwilling to renounce soft drinks, chocolate and so on." Wow! Great results with cancer in just three months, but most patients could not adhere to the diet. Such is the sway that sugar and junk carbs have over great numbers of people that they will potentially forfeit their life for their fix.
WHAT DOES CARB ADDICTION LOOK LIKE?
(Symptoms of a Sugar / Starch Addiction)
The first question I would ask you, is whether or not you are overweight? You see, carb addicts tend to eat not only mass quantities of carbs, but mass quantities of food in general. This is because eating sugar or starchy carbs causes insulin to be dumped into your blood stream in increasingly large amounts. This triggers a desire to eat still more food, creating a vicious cycle. Just like the example of fattening a beef; when you eat copious amounts of carbohydrates, you will jack your insulin levels higher and higher. Because insulin is a storage hormone, sooner or later you will gain weight if you continue to eat lots of High Glycemic Index carbs (HERE) . As people over-consume carbs, their energy levels fall and they gain weight. If you are on this crazy train, there is an almost certainty that you are addicted to carbs. Let's look at a few others.
- Do you have to start your day with carbs such as bagels, waffles, pancakes, French toast, cereal, toast, syrup, honey, sugar, etc?
- Do you get hungry before lunch time even though you ate a big breakfast?
- Are you hungry shortly after eating a meal ---- even a large meal?
- Do you always seem to be hungry no matter how much food you consume?
- Are you unable to give up carbs?
- Are you unable to even cut back on carbs?
- Do you have withdrawal symptoms (headaches, irritability, anxiety, mood swings, depression) if you attempt to go off carbs?
- Do you get tired easily?
- Do you feel foggy in the afternoon?
- Do you find yourself searching for a sugary or starchy snack in the afternoon?
- Do you find yourself unable to stop once you start eating your favorite carbs?
- Do you use food to fill an emotional need?
- When stressed, is your first response wanting to eat junk carbs?
- Do you fantasize about carbs or sugar?
- Do you feel that you could never live without your favorite carbs?
- Do you frequently binge?
- Do you hide / stash junk food?
- Do you frequently crave high-carb foods or sugar?
- Are you a compulsive eater?
- Do you find yourself wishing you could control your eating?
- Do you find yourself eating carbs despite the fact you are not hungry?
- Do you frequently feel sluggish, bloated, or fatigued after carb binges?
- Do carbs always seem to be calling your name?
- Does your behavior and habits associated with the consumption of carbs cause you to feel personal pain and emotional distress?
- Do you find yourself going out of your way or spending money you really don't have just to get your sugar fix(es)?
- Does consuming carbs ever decrease your ability to function effectively on a day to day basis (work, daily routine, school, social activities, family life, sex, travel, etc)?
- Do you continue to consume junk carbs despite significant emotional and / or physical problems related to your eating?
- Do you try to reduce negative emotions or increase pleasurable feelings by consuming sugar or carbs?
- Do you find that carbs do not seem to produce the same feelings they used to --- or that it takes increasing amounts of carbs to get the same reactions / feelings that you used to get?
- Do you feel unsatisfied if your meal does not contain a large portion of starchy carbs or sugar?
- Do you feel a meal is incomplete without dessert?
- Are you frequently stimulated to eat by the sight, smell, or thought of carbs?
- Do you frequently find yourself eating carbs even though you are not hungry?
- Do you reward yourself with carbs?
- Do you consume carbs late at night --- or as a "midnight snack"?
- Have you tried and failed numerous diets?
- Would you be content to exist on fast food, snack food, junk food, and / or sugar and sweets?
- Do you find yourself frequently drinking large amounts of fruit juice, soda (diet is as bad as regular -- HERE), sports drinks, or energy drinks?
- Do you have blood relatives that are obese, have Diabetes, or are carb addicted themselves?
- Do you regularly "substitute" (HERE)?
WHAT ACTUALLY CAUSES THE CARB ADDICTION?
But besides being the thing that causes the hormone insulin to be dumped into your system, carbs also cause the release of certain chemicals and neurotransmitters, namely Serotonin, Dopamine, and Endorphins.
SEROTONIN & CARBS
HERE is something I wrote on this subject after the fact. Serotonin (5-Hhydroxy-tryptamine or 5-HT) is made from the amino acid Tryptophan (in other words, L-Tryptophan is the main precursor to Serotonin). 90% of it is manufactured in the Gut (intestines). Serotonin not only regulates bowel motility, it is responsible for regulating things like appetite (low levels can lead to either or both anorexia and bulimia) and sleep patterns. It also functions in memory and learning. But the most well-known thing it does is modulate mood --- it is known to be intimately related to feelings of well-being and happiness. I have previously written about the relationship of Serotonin and DEPRESSION.
One thing that we know about levels of Serotonin is that they are jacked up by the consumption of carbs via increased levels of insulin (actually, sugar and simple carbs increase the absorption of Tryptophan in the Gut). Because sugar raises Serotonin levels, and Serotonin is a 'feel-good' chemical, many people will feel driven to eat sugar or High Glycemic Index carbs to keep their Serotonin levels elevated. Do you see an addictive pattern starting to form? Just remember that your body cannot tolerate increased insulin levels for very long without paying an ugly price in the form of severe health problems like Diabetes, Obesity, and Heart Disease. In fact, you might be shocked to learn that the peer-reviewed scientific literature is tying virtually every health problem you can imagine back to high blood sugar / high blood insulin.
One of the things that we are learning is that stress, whether emotional, psychological, physical, etc, leads the body to produce cortisol and adrenaline / epinephrine. Besides causing increased amounts of belly fat, extended exposure to Cortisol will send one into a condition known as Adrenal Fatigue. This is better known in America by it's other name --- Fibromyalgia. Just remember that Cortisol has the ability to foul up the body's mechanism for manufacturing Serotonin. This is why things like depression, insomnia, eating disorders, etc, are typically going to be treated by your doctor with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI's). In case you did not know, there are lots of potential problems caused by taking this class of drug (see link two paragraphs previous).
In a nutshell, sugar increases Serotonin, and Serotonin alleviates both physical and emotional pain. Unfortunately, life does not always go the way we think it should, and when things become stressful, many of us will turn to the quickest, easiest, pain reliever we can find --- one that does not require a doctor visit or prescription --- sugar / carbs. Most of us will do almost anything to avoid pain. Thus, for the person trapped in the addictive loop, the cycle is repeated over and over and over again ---- on a daily basis. Furthermore, because the feedback loop that would normally tell people to stop consuming carbs and sugar is either downregulated or damaged (or both), people caught in this vicious cycle will often binge like there is no tomorrow.
DOPAMINE & CARBS
The other of the chief neurotranmsitters of the brain is called Dopamine. Dopamine is produced in several areas of the brain (chiefly the Substantia Nigra and the Ventral Tegmental Area) and is heavily involved with reward-driven learning. In fact, every single one of the body's "Reward-based Systems" (start thinking in terms of addiction here) increases Dopamine transmission in the brain. This is true whether your "reward" is cocaine, methamphetamine, or bread. Some of the specific functions of Dopamine in this regard would be things like
- Telling us when a reward is present or available.
- Motivating us to seek said reward.
- Motivating us to learn more about the reward.
- Makes us conscious of cues related to the reward.
The hedonic properties of food can stimulate feeding behaviour even when energy requirements have been met, contributing to weight gain and obesity. Similarly, the hedonic effects of drugs of abuse can motivate their excessive intake, culminating in addiction. Common brain substrates regulate the hedonic properties of palatable food and addictive drugs, and recent reports suggest that excessive consumption of food or drugs of abuse induces similar neuroadaptive responses in brain reward circuitries. Here, we review evidence suggesting that obesity and drug addiction may share common molecular, cellular and systems-level mechanisms. Dr. Paul Kenny's abstract from an article in the November 2011 issue of Nature Reviews Neuroscience called Common Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms in Obesity and Drug Addiction. Kenny is a leader in the field, with a Ph.D is in Neuro-Psycho-Pharmacology.
When a carb addict is merely getting ready to chow down on carbs, approximately 9 of 10 neurons in the Ventral Tegmental System enter into an excited state. They reach out and neurologically touch various parts of the brain that control things like pleasure (the nucleus acumbens), emotions (the amygdala / limbic system), and hippocampus (converts short term memories to long term). In 2001, a team of researchers working for the National Institute on Drug Abuse showed that obese people had significantly fewer dopamine receoptors in the brain's reward centers than people of normal weight. What does this mean? It means that in order to get the same amount of 'satisfaction' from eating, obese people had to eat much more food. Interestingly enough, the thing that caused the down-regulation of this particular system in the first place was the over-consumption of "highly palatable food" --- foods high in both sugar and fat.
And when 'full' subjects were shown videos of people enjoying their favorite foods (or were allowed to see and even smell their favorite foods --- but not eat them), a veritable tsunami of Dopamine was released by the brain. Sort of sounds like the neurological version of Pavlov's Dog, doesn't it? Here is a practical application to this finding. In the same way that it would not be prudent for a recovering sex addict to spend time in strip clubs, it is important for recovering carb addicts not to bring junk in the house or go into places where junk is easily accessible --- something that can prove difficult to say the least.
We've looked at how carb addictions develop in the Serotonergic System, but as far as the Dopaminergic System is concerned, addictions tend to develop like this. A person is continually seeking their reward (carbs and the feelings associated with eating carbs). Eating carbs (cashing in on the reward) causes large amounts of Dopamine to be dumped into the system. When the neurological pathway involving the Ventral Tegmental Area and the Nucleus Acumbens is perpetually saturated with Dopamine, the body begins to down-regulate the system (a typical negative feedback loop not much different than the way a thermostat maintains the temperature of your house). Just how severe is the down-regulation? Dr. Kelly showed us a decade ago that rats eating a diet of 'highly palatable food' (junk food) for only two weeks, decreased the amount of enkephalin (an endorphin-like natural pain killer) in the Nucleus Acumbens --- the same finding found in heroin addicts. What does all of this mean? In order to get the same amount of pleasure (reward), you must eat increasingly more junk.
As you eat more junk and dump more Dopamine into the system, the Dopaminergic System shuts down even further (further down-regulation). As you can see, overeating can become extreme as people attempt to capture those same "good feelings" that they used to get from eating carbs. Research has shown that once a person reaches this point, not only do they feel trapped in this cycle, but they have to eat more and more food to experience that old feeling of reward and pleasure. For the addict, it becomes almost impossible to stop once the first bite hits the mouth. Hint: HERE is a way to stop.
This is why telling an addict in this condition that "all foods are OK in moderation" is sheer folly. In the same way that the recovered alcoholic cannot sit in a bar and drink "or or two" beers, neither can the carb addict have even one bite of cake. Think I'm over-reacting? Just last year Dr. Serge Ahmed (he worked in the Neuropharmacology Department of The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla California with Dr. Paul Kenny) showed that when given the choice, lab animals prefer sugar to I.V. heroin or cocaine in 19 out of 20 cases. Wow! Research has shown us the extremes mammals will go to for that junk food fix. When lab rats are given unlimited access to junk food, they will all but literally eat themselves to death. They will...
- Walk across a surface that hits them with severe electrical shocks over and over.
- If they only have a limited time to eat, they will gorge themselves until the food is removed.
- After the junk food binges, the rats will curl up in a ball, wring their paws, and act extremely irritable and nervous.
- Without their regular "fix" of sugar they end up with the shakes.
- Rats on this diet developed a tolerance to sugar that led them to quadruple sugar consumption over the course of the diet's first week.
- Remove the sugar and the rats have withdrawal symptoms similar to those seen with hard drugs.
- Rats that were addicted to sugar were much more prone to consuming large amounts of meth, coke, or booze.
- Once the rats started the hard stuff, they were easily addicted when compared to normal rats.
- If given the choice, cross-addicted rats (drugs / sugar) always chose sugar over the hard drugs.
OTHER COMMON REASONS FOR CARB ADDICTION
- SYSTEMIC YEAST: Women know all about yeast infections. But what happens when yeast becomes blood-borne and settles in the digestive tract? Just understand that Systemic Yeast is caused by ANTIBIOTIC USE, but fed by SUGAR / CARBS. You had better understand GUT FLORA / DYSBIOSIS and PROBIOTICS if you have any real prayer of getting this monster under control. I have read authors who claim that the energy draw of yeast, bad bacteria, and parasites can be greater than that of one of your existing organ systems. How does your body react to this heightened energy need? It tells you to eat more sugar --- the food of choice for these nasty critters.
- HYPOGLYCEMIA: This is related to blood sugar issues we have already talked about. Oversimplified; the body likes as little fluctuation in blood sugar as possible. When you eat sugar or foods that are quickly converted to blood sugar, your pancreas makes insulin. The higher the spike in blood sugar, the more insulin it produces. Insulin moves sugar out of the blood and into the cells. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar that is technically called "Reactive Hypoglycemia") occurs when the body 'reacts' to spiked blood sugar by making too much insulin. This drives the blood sugar levels below base line, which is why high blood sugar and low blood sugar are actually two sides of the same coin; both precursors to Diabetes. More on HYPOGLYCEMIA.
- ADRENAL STRESS / ADRENAL FATIGUE / FIBROMYALGIA: How many Americans do you know who are chronically tired? For many of these people, eating sugar or High Glycemic Index carbs is the equivalent of a snort of speed. Your adrenal glands are your stress glands. They make your number one stress hormone --- Cortisol. In normal amounts, Cortisol is fabulous stuff. It is responsible for things like regulating sugar metabolism, blood pressure, and immune system function --- of which INFLAMMATION is part. Cortisol also helps control memory functions as well as decreasing one's sensitivity to pain. Under stressful situations, your body's Cortisol level rises. Chronically high levels of Cortisol actually cause muscle tissue to be broken down for conversion to blood sugar (energy to fuel the fight or flight mechanism). It then turns around and moves the unused sugar into the body's cells to be burned for energy or stored as fat. The longer that high Cortisol levels continue, the greater the chances of high blood pressure, Type II Diabetes, various brain dysfunctions including atrophy of the hippocampus (where short term memory is converted to long term), anxiety, SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE, depression, trouble sleeping, diminished healing capacity, and the tell-tale sign...... increased belly fat. The increased belly fat aspect of Cortisol is heightened because fat cells in the belly have four times more cortisol receptors compared to fat cells elsewhere. This means that your addiction is reinforcing itself in a vicious cycle. You are essentially converting muscle into fat. Oh, and one more thing. Running is a known raiser of Cortisol. This is why I recommend STRENGTH TRAINING OVER CARDIO almost 100% of the time.
- INSULIN RESISTANCE: INSULIN RESISTANCE is characterized by high levels of blood sugar and high levels of blood insulin circulating through your system at the same time. When you dose out on carbs and jack your blood sugar, your body responds by flooding your blood with insulin. Your body immediately stops burning fat and begins storing fat (again, usually around the MID-SECTION). And just like a drug addict that takes increasingly larger amounts of heroin / cocaine / methamphetamine / to get the same feelings of euphoria ('high') they used to get, it takes more and more insulin to do its normal job. People's response is to eat even more sugar so that they can crank insulin levels even higher and drive some sugar into the cells. As this feedback mechanism becomes more and more blunted (downregulated), the pancreas can no longer keep up with the body's demand for insulin and begins to fail (METABOLIC SYNDROME). These people have plenty of sugar in their blood, but their over-consumption of carbs / sugar has put them in a place where they can't move it into their cells. As the cycle spins out of control, people feel as though they cannot satisfy their cravings for sugar. Diabetes occurs as the whole thing collapses like a house of cards. Even as people get fatter and fatter, they crave more carbs --- it's never enough to satisfy this broken cycle. Be warned that increased belly fat (fat around the organs) creates far more health issues than fat deposits in other areas of the body.
GLUTEN ADDICTION: YET ANOTHER KICK IN TEETH
Some of the day-to-day things that can bring on this feeling of euphoria for brief amounts of time are exercise ('runner's high'), sex / orgasm, athletic triumph, good news, etc. The high is caused by the release of something called 'endorphins' (endogenous morphine). The term 'endogenous' means that the opiates come from inside the body. Certain drugs like Cocaine or Methamphetamine (exorphins ---- exogenous morphine-like chemicals that come from outside the body) have the ability to modulate opiate receptors for much longer periods of time. Although no one gets a "Carbohydrate High" for hours on end like users get from meth, it will typically last longer than an orgasm. As you have seen, this leads to the potential for addiction. Enter Glutomorphin.
When GLUTEN (wheat protein) is broken down by the body, some of the partially digested gluten fragments have the ability to act like and bind to opiate receptors due to their morphine-like shape. These are called Glutomorphins ---- Gluten Morphines (Glutomorphin is one of the GLUTEN CROSS REACTORS). As crazy as it sounds, two of the most-studied food-based exorphins are Glutomorphin and Gliadomorphin (Gliadin is a wheat protein that is part of the Gluten molecule). Is this brand new information? Not even close. Clear back in the April 1979 issue of The Journal of Biological Chemistry, we were told about the stringent criteria that must be met for these wheat-based exorphins to find their way into the blood stream, in a study called Opioid Peptides Derived from Food Proteins........
- Wheat Exorphins must appear in the digestive tract after eating them and during digestion.
- Wheat Exorphins must survive the initial assault by digestive by enzymes attempting to break them down into individual amino acids.
- Wheat Exorphins must be absorbed into the bloodstream – whole or intact.
- Wheat Exorphins must then cross the blood-brain barrier.
We know that these criteria are met in people with Celiac Disease. But incidence of Celiac Disease here in America is thought to be about 1 in every 100 persons. Although estimations of Gluten Sensitivity vary wildly, let's conservatively estimate it at ten times that rate, or 1 in every 10 people (some estimations are as high as 1 in 2). But how is wheat protein (Gluten, Glutenin, Gliadin) getting out of the digestive tract, into the blood stream, and then past the blood brain barrier unmolested? Enter the "Leaky" family ---- Leaky Gut, Leaky Brain, Leaky Lung, and their nasty relatives.
Because it is by far the most common of the "Leakys", we will address LEAKY GUT SYNDROME first (when doing your own research, it is critical to remember that Leaky Gut Syndrome goes by the name Increased Intestinal Permeability within the medical community and has been the subject of nearly 10,000 scientific studies over the past two decades). Leaky Gut Syndrome is driven by Inflammation, and is the FOUNDATION OF MOST EXISTING DISEASE PROCESSES. In a nutshell, Inflammation causes the 'tight' junctions between cells in the small intestine to become 'loose'. This creates larger openings than should be present, allowing bigger particles to get through into the bloodstream --- particles like undigested or partially digested wheat proteins among many other things. The real kick in the teeth is that the very same thing can happen in the brain with the blood-brain barrier. Furthermore, we see the same thing occurring with other food-based proteins as well. Milk, for instance, gives us Casomorphin (Casien Morphine --- Casien is milk protein).
Wheat also happens to contain high levels of the amino acid Glutamine. Glutamine / Glutamate acts as a stimulant in the body. It is an Excitotoxin in the same vein as MSG (Monosodium Glutamate). WGA (Wheat Germ Agglutinin) acts in the same manner. The ramped up energy, blood sugar, neurotransmitters, and exorphins from wheat, provides addicted people the "boost" they are looking for. But think about the irony of this situation. The very food that is making them sick, happens to be the focus of their addiction. It would behoove all of us to learn more about Inflammation and what it takes to keep "THE LEAKIES" out of our lives!
OK; YOU REALIZE YOU'RE A CARB JUNKIE
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO BREAK THE CHAINS OF ADDICTION?
The "everything is OK in moderation" line that many of today's experts are trying to sell us is the equivalent of selling us down the river. Remember my earlier point about sex addicts and strip clubs? The truth is, when it comes to breaking carb addictions (notice that the word here is "addictions"), this diet issue is more black and white than many of you have been led to believe. If you read the section on Neurotransmitters and Endogenous Morphine, hopefully you are beginning to understand the physiological / neurological consequences of carbs on the carb addict. I believe that it is absolutely imperative that you not ratchet up your craving for carbs ---- particularly while trying to break the addiction. For many of us (yeah; I hate to admit it, but self included), carbs are drugs. It's really fairly simple to understand. Drug addicts can't dabble with drugs. Sugar addicts can't dabble with carbs. Period --- end of story. If you stay away from them you no longer want them. But what about a Cheat Day?
I tried to do the "Cheat Day" thing in the past. It's something that Tim Ferris promotes in his book Four Hour Body. I have found that it really doesn't work for me ---- particularly doing it one day a week like he suggests. Some of you can get away with it. After all; everyone is unique. However, you better know yourself pretty well if you are going to cheat. Many of you already realize that a Cheat Day will mess you up for days --- or maybe weeks. If that is the case, why go there? The really cool thing about defeating a carb addiction with the 'Cold Turkey' method is that most of you will have your addiction under control in about a week or so. Bottom line, for many of you, the only way to successfully defeat the carb monster is to get totally off of them. Try and dabble and you'll rekindle a raging fire. Remember that when Ferris was addressing the topic of Cheat Days in his book, his focus was on people with weight problems and not addiction(s).
- SIT DOWN AND CREATE A WRITTEN PLAN: When you build a house, what is the first thing you do? You make a set of plans. Without good plans, anything can happen. Without a firm plan of action, you are committing / resigning yourself to failure.
- DON'T DABBLE WITH THE BEAST: I just mentioned this one but I'll repeat myself. The research says that carb-addicted people will have addictive reactions to the smell, sight, or even thought of sugar and carbs. Don't think for a minute that just one little tiny bite of cake won't rekindle an inferno. Grab the tiger by the tail and you'll soon be staring into its eyes.
- GET RID OF THE JUNK IN YOUR HOUSE: If you were a recovering crack head, you would hopefully realize that hanging out in a crack house might not be in your best interest. In the same line of thinking, someone who is serious about quitting smoking would surely not keep cigarettes laying around the house would they? Take the cue and get the crap out of your house. Clear the fridge, the freezer, the pantry, and yes, your secret stashes. No, do not keep it on hand to feed to company.
- DON'T THINK THAT JUST BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO "CALORIES", ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS ARE OK: These bad boys have a multitude of problems associated with them. They lead to sugar cravings and even though they have no calories, they spike insulin just like sugar does. Studies have shown that people who drink diet soda actually gain more weight than those drinking regular soda. If you fail to understand this, these sweeteners will sabotage you.
- GET THE WHOLE FAMILY IN ON THE ACT: How are you planning on radically changing the way you eat without some degree of concession, cooperation, and understanding from your family? Why wait until your kids have the outward trappings of carb / Gluten addiction before you start to make changes? Educate your family and proceed. They might gritch a little at first, but they will love you for it later.
- DON'T REWARD YOURSELF OR YOUR CHILDREN WITH SUGAR OR CARBS: I want you to notice one of the words in the title to this bullet point; "Reward". If you were paying attention to this post, you realize that Dopamine runs your brain's Reward Center. Neurologically reinforcing (training) anyone that carbs are a reward is a slippery slope. Fail to heed this advice and you can end up with FAT CHILDREN or worse. Specialists are seeing a rash of diseases (Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Diabetes, etc) in children that were previously only seen in adults.
- EAT BREAKFAST AND MAKE SURE IT'S THE RIGHT KIND: The average American breakfast consists of things like donuts, cinnamon rolls, pancakes, waffles, syrup, cereal, sugar, toast, etc.... You get the picture. What do all these things have in common? Carb city! Eating a veggie omelet would be a great way to start your day. If you are pressed for time, make sure you have all of the ingredients mixed up in a sealed bowl in the fridge for the next morning. If you are really pressed for time, you could eat an apple and a glass of GREENS & SP COMPLETE.
- DO NOT LET HYPOGLYCEMIA RARE ITS UGLY HEAD: This is fairly simple. Make sure to snack on small amounts of protein throughout the day so as not to let your blood sugar levels yo yo all over the place. When you spike your blood sugar, you are going to see a corresponding inverted spike (valley) a short time later. As insulin does its job and brings your blood sugar down, it often overshoots its mark and drives your blood sugar below where it should be. As I have shown earlier, this triggers sugar cravings.
- DRINK MORE WATER: If you are drinking anything other than maybe some green or black tea (or maybe a cup of real coffee), stop. This is not difficult to understand. Your body needs water. It's even better if you drink the sort of water that spares your metabolic center (Thyroid) HERE. Be aware that coffee is one of the most common Gluten Cross Reactors.
- LEARN HOW TO BREATHE CORRECTLY: Most of us are very shallow breathers. Learning how to deep breathe takes almost no time and dramatically improves brain function. And in case you have not noticed, addictions take place in the brain.
- START CALMING YOUR SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM: You have two different nervous systems. The Parasympathetic System (relaxation, digestion, and contentedness) and the Sympathetic System (fight or flight, high tension, stress). Most Americans live in a state of perpetual SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE. Find out why.
- HAVE MORE SEX: Have you seen the research about the effects of sex on Dopamine and Serotonin levels? Neither have I, but it sure sounds like a great excuse to have more sex. All kidding aside, sex does increase neurotransmitters as well as providing a boost of endorphins. Orgasm creates a short-lived Dopamine brainstorm.
- CLEANSE AND DETOX: This could be any number of things. I am particular to the Master's Cleanse. You could get out your Champion Juicer and do nothing but fresh, raw, organic vegetable juices for a week. There are all sorts of ways to cleanse, but you really need to understand the importance of BOWEL HEALTH as far as overall health is concerned.
- CERTAIN SUPPLEMENTS CAN BE BENEFICIAL: I have already mentioned some of these by name, but the amino acid L-Tryptophan & 5HTP are both precursors of Serotonin, and certain co-factors such as Vitamin B6, vitamin C, Folic Acid and magnesium are needed to complete the conversion process. As far as Dopamine is concerned, it is called Dop-amine for a reason ---- amino acids. Your best bet for increasing Dopamine levels is to consume plenty of high quality animal protein.
- TAKE A QUALITY PROBIOTIC: If you have been a sugar addict for very long, you almost certainly have some degree of Yeast taking up residence in your bowel. Once you have done a cleanse, restore your good bacteria by taking a broad-spectrum probiotic (HERE).
- MAKE SURE TO GET PLENTY OF HIGH QUALITY OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS IN YOUR DIET: Notice I used the word "quality" here. Do not think that the fish oil you buy at Aldi's for $2.99 is going to fill the bill. You can get Omega Threes from certain vegetables, grass fed beef, venison, free range chickens or their eggs, and even raw milk. The truth is, though, most of us are going to have to take a high quality FISH OIL SUPPLEMENT if we want to have any hope of getting the amount that our body requires. Omega-3's form approximately 3/5 of the brain's fat-based cell structure. Studies have even shown that diets low in Omega-3's lead to 20% fewer Dopamine Receptors in the part of the brain most associated with impulsivity, as well as increasing Serotonin Receptor activation. And if you have not seen the scientific studies on Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil and its ability to squelch anxiety, anger, depression, etc, you need to click on the link.
- EXERCISE AND MOVE ON A REGULAR BASIS: I am not telling you to go out and do absurdly difficult workouts or exercise for hours on end. I am telling you that if you look at the research on carb addiction and addiction in general, you see that exercise is an extremely important component of breaking them. It leads to better brain function and reverses brain atrophy. It lessens the symptoms of withdrawal and it directly regenerates Dopamine Receptors. As always do your own research. HERE is a good place to start. Exercising outside can provide additional benefit because bright sunlight has been shown to increase both Dopamine and Serotonin.
- DON'T CHEAT: I have already covered this one, but at least during the initial phase of your battle against carb addiction, don't tempt fate by cheating (HERE). Yes, you might hurt someone's feelings (the neighbor lady who invited you over for pie and ice cream). Just ask yourself if eating that plate of lasagna is worth fighting the days of cravings it will stimulate.
- DON'T FOOL YOURSELF WITH FOOD SUBSTITUTION GAMES: This is the game where people fool themselves that they are doing good because they gave up their six-sodas-a-day habit. What they are not telling you is that they replaced it with "healthy" drinks like Gatorade or orange juice. There are about a jillion other examples of this (HERE).
- DON'T BE AFRAID OF CONSUMING FATS: Depending on what you have heard and how brainwashed you are, you may have to sit here and repeat to yourself, "not all fats are bad, not all fats are bad". There are some fats that are deadly (TRANS FATS). Avoid them like the plague. But a fat free diet or nearly fat free will doom you to failure. Dietary fat is going to help keep you feeling full and squelch your cravings for carbs.
- YOU NEED TO BE EATING A LOW CARB DIET: In case you have not figured it out yet, carbs can really mess with your metabolism. They are what drives the Endocrine System's fat-storage machinery. If you have any AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES (they tend to travel in groups) or unexplained health problems, you should seriously consider going PALEO as well.
- EAT WHOLE FOODS: Make sure that the foods you are eating are "clean". For more information, visit our WHOLE FOODS PAGE.
- UNDERSTAND THE GLYCEMIC INDEX AND THE CONCEPT OF GLYCEMIC LOAD: Simply stated, different carbs are broken down to glucose at various rates. Things that break down rapidly (white potatoes, popcorn, pancakes, bread, sweets, etc) cause a sharp spike in blood sugar that leads to a sharp spike in insulin. If you have been following along thus far, you realize that you want neither. You want to eat carbohydrates with a low Glycemic Load (apples, grapefruit, green leafy vegetables).
- GET AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER: Every year, just after Thanksgiving, I start having visions of eggnog. This year, my buddy Rick and I created THE HOLIDAY CHALLENGE (which, by the way, is coming to a close --- the post will be up in the next couple of weeks). There is not a one of us who cannot benefit from someone holding our fingers to the fire. Breaking your carb addiction with a friend is much easier than breaking it by yourself. In our hi-tech computer age, your friend could live across the country. Reminding each other how far you've come and how darned difficult it was breaking the addictive cycle may be just the motivation you need to stay on the straight and narrow.
CHALLENGE A FRIEND AND HELP EACH OTHER THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS BECAUSE...
WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT OUT OF LIFE?
If you are one of the tens of millions of Americans suffering from FIBROMYALGIA or any one of the health-related Endocrine (hormonal) problems found on ENDOGUT, (DIABETES, OBESITY, THYROID, FEMALE PROBLEMS, etc, etc, etc), I would bet good money that you are a SUGAR / CARB ADDICT. And if you are, the old Lays Potato Chip slogan "Betcha can't eat just one" almost certainly applies to you. So you go through the holiday season telling yourself that the repeated binges and constant snacking are OK --- you'll pull it all together in a couple of months with a New Year's Resolution. Of course 2013's resolution is going to look suspiciously similar to the resolution you broke earlier this year. Almost identical to the one you broke the year before that, the year before that, and the year before that as well. I think you get the picture.
I know that most of you are reading this because you are worried about your weight. But for a moment, let's forget about weight. Let's just talk about the ways that sugar can affect your health. I'll make you a promise. You pick out almost any disease that you can think of and I will show you multiple peer-reviewed scientific studies tying it to UNCONTROLLED BLOOD SUGAR (frequently associated with the consumption of processed grains). When you really start digging into the research that has been coming out of the medical field for the past decade or so, it's downright scary, and goes way beyond DIABETES. What may be even more scary is that most doctors are ignoring it. Follow along as I take you on a trip to the past.
The massive over-consumption of sugar and processed grains has become AMERICA'S NUMBER ONE HEALTH PROBLEM. Oh, I see --- you are unaware of this. You have a doctor that is still telling you to avoid things like RED MEAT / ANIMAL FAT, SALT, eggs (CHOLESTEROL), and who-knows-what else if you want to LOSE WEIGHT and get healthy. Sounds to me like your doctor needs to step into the 21st century (HERE)! It's processed foods and junk carbs that are destroying the health of our country. And there is abundant amounts of hard evidence to back this up (HERE).
Do not make the mistake that numerous people make in their youth (HERE). You think that just because you are not gaining weight, you are getting away with your crappy eating habits. In other words, you think that this Blog Post does not apply to you. Sorry; it does not work that way. Sooner or later you will pay the price. The damage done by poor food choices is accumulative. It adds up over time. If you stand in a public place (or go to a high school reunion) and simply look around you, you'll quickly realize just how many people are paying that price already --- even many of those you think look healthy because they are SKINNY. If you are having trouble understanding what I am trying to convey to you, simply go back and re-read the previous paragraph.
CHALLENGE A FRIEND
My best friend's name is Rick. The first time I met Rick I was working at Camp Wood in the Kansas Flint Hills ---- about 2 miles from the house I grew up in. I was 19, Rick was 17, and he had been invited by our camp's director to work the big Wrestling Camp. The camp was actually being run by Oklahoma State and there were several All Americans and even a couple of National Champions there (the Smith Brothers --- need I say more). Needless to say, the whole place was just oozing testosterone.
One afternoon Rick was helping teach a clinic, and I happened to stop by to watch even though I was not a wrestler myself. At the time I was not overly impressed. Even though Rick was supposed to be this stud wrestler, he was sort of scrawny and hollow chested and I was thinking to myself that I could take him. Somehow, I was issued a challenge by someone to wrestle Rick, and although I had not wrestled since junior high, I figured that I could hold my own because besides being an athlete, I was seriously into powerlifting and was throwing around some heavy iron at the time (500 lb squats and deadlifts, and almost a 300 lb bench).
My goal was to simply 'overpower' Rick (whom I am embarrassed to say I probably outweighed by 40 lbs) and use sheer force to control him. Needless to say, he kicked my butt --- royally --- all over the mat. In fact, he almost killed me. I realized from about the first 10 seconds of our match that I was dramatically over-matched and outclassed. And from that time forward we were best friends. I later felt some degree of redemption as I watched Rick go on to become an undefeated State Champion (155 lbs) for the most legendary wrestling program in the state of Kansas (Emporia High) as well as being named the Kansas State High School Athletic Association's "Wrestler of the Year". In fact, Rick was good enough to put himself through four years at SMS (Springfield, MO) via a wrestling scholarship.
Rick eventually earned a masters degree in Experiential Education and worked for a few years at Cameron Boy's Camp before moving up to the Executive Director position of several large YMCA Camps, including Camp Wood, Camp Classen near Davis Oklahoma, and currently, at Camp Greenville (Pretty Place) in the mountains above Greenville, South Carolina. Running these huge camps takes an incredible amount of time and energy --- early mornings and late nites --- oftentimes with a high level of stress involved. It often leaves little time for family life, let alone exercise or making eating healthy. Needless to say, year after year of this sort of lifestyle can take a toll. We were discussing this the other day when Rick lamented how addictive sugar is. I concurred and issued him a challenge, letting him set the rules and prizes. The loser makes a $100 donation to the charity of the winner's choosing, in the winner's name. You may want to start exercising you writing muscles Rick!
On the first weekend of January, just days before my Cats play for the National Championship (crossed fingers), we are going to throw some pics up on my website. As I have told my readers previously, pictures don't lie (I already told Rick not to try Photoshopping his head onto Arnold's body). Since we cannot really do a long distance Cross Fit head-to-head challenge, pictures will have to do. Whomever he chooses will judge the results (the pics will be on a password-only page). Rick wrote me the other day to say that his "level of motivation could not be higher". We'll see pal. Lock and load baby because I'm rising to the challenge! I refuse to be stopped --- not even by Christmas Cheesecake.
Seriously; it all boils down to what you really want out of life. Is a two month 'Holiday Goodies' binge more satisfying than staying fit and healthy? That's a question you'll have to decide for yourself. I would assume that most of you would verbally answer "no". The problem is that too many of you are saying "yes" by your actions. Help two people out this holiday season --- yourself and the person you challenge! And have some fun with it along the way. Passing up Eggnog Cheesecake is never easy. But the rewards are worth it.
AN UPDATE ON THE HOLIDAY CHALLENGE
SUBSTITUTING ONE SOURCE OF SUGAR FOR ANOTHER SOURCE OF SUGAR IN THE NAME OF HEALTH
"THE SUBSTITUTION GAME"
The 12 ounce can of "unhealthy" Coke has 39 grams of SUGAR in it. The 8 ounce glass of "healthy" orange juice has a whopping 25 grams of sugar. This would put it at just over 31 grams for 12 ounces. Crazy, isn't it? The OJ has about 80% of the sugar content that a soda does. And although "fresh squeezed" OJ is good for you, commercial OJ (whether it comes from concentrate or not) has been chemically treated and pasteurized. These process kill heat-sensitive enzymes and vitamins leaving you with ---- sugar. And because people so often believe that their substitutions are healthy, they end up consuming far more than they would of had they stuck with their original food (in this case, soda).
SUGAR ADDICTION & SUGAR SUBSTITUTION
(Two Sides of the Same Coin)
People fool themselves with all sorts of crazy "substitution" schemes. One of the biggies is fruit. People frequently tell me that they have fruit for breakfast. Unfortunately, many fruits are extremely high on the Glycemic Index. The Glycemic Index is a chart that tells you how quickly starchy or sugary foods (carbohydrates) are broken down to glucose --- the only sugar your body can ultimately convert into energy. Foods that have a listing closer to 100 are considered high Glycemic Index foods. Because these foods are broken down into glucose very quickly, they result in a sharp "spike" in blood insulin levels as well as DOZENS OF SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEMS associated with this process. If many people have problems eating certain kinds of fruit, you can imagine the insulin dump taking place after consuming many of America's traditional breakfast foods (cereal, toast and jelly, pancakes, waffles, syrup, B&G --- the Ozarker's Breakfast of Champions ---- croissants, sweet rolls, cinnamon rolls, etc, etc, on and on and on). There is nothing like starting your day with a heavy dose of INSULIN.
Unfortunately, too many Americans cannot give up their sugar. This is because for many people (particularly women with ENDOCRINE / HORMONE issues or FIBROMYALGIA) sugar is like heroin or cocaine --- highly addictive (HERE). People sometimes realize that they are addicted to certain things (soda, for instance) and vow to get off of it. So instead of really getting off the sugar, they quit drinking soda. But in its place they drink a half gallon of OJ. Or maybe they're drinking lemonade. Or sweet tea. Or Gatorade. Although these may better than drinking soda; they're certainly not much better. And typically, the group of people engaging in this "substitutionary" behavior will do anything ---- and I do mean anything ---- to get their sugar fix! If you have ever spent time around an addict, you already know that their excuses will flow in a veritable avalanche.
So; if you have realized just how smart it is to control your blood sugar by eating in a LOW CARB fashion, stick with it. Don't fool yourself with substitution scams (latte-frapachino for fresh roasted coffee). Eat healthy and the rewards will be great! If, as you step on the scale, you think that because you are seemingly getting away with your poor eating habits (HERE), just remember ---- you will not get away with them forever. You are fooling yourself if you think otherwise. Come back tomorrow because fooling yourself with food is the topic.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
Brain Based Therapy
Can You Help
Cardio Or Strength
Cold Laser Therapy
Death By Medicine
Degenerative Joint Disease
D's Of Chronic Pain
Evidence Based Medicine
Gluten Cross Reactivity
Ice Or Heat
Jacks Fork River
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Number One Health Problem
Platelet Rich Therapy
Post Surgical Scarring
Re Invent Yourself
Rib And Chest Pain
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Sleeping Pills Kill
Stay Or Go
Stretching Post Treatment
Tensegrity And Fascia
The Big Four
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Whole Body Vibration