Australian Functional Ingredients – by Vic Cherikoff

Sugar and wheat – are these like drugs to us?

This is a newsletter I recently sent to those on my Weightloss with Superfoods news group so if you are a subscriber to this blog you might be getting it again.

My apologies if that’s the case. However, it is important information for anyone interested in their health and in these economic times, who can afford to get ill, particularly from their diet?

We all tend to carry more fat than we ought even though some of us hold it well either as cushioning for our organs or as fatty deposits in our blood vessels. There is an increasing incidence of non-obese diabetes so the following is relevant to everybody wanting to live a long, healthy life.

However, we continue to get fatter as a population and Professor Trim makes some interesting observations on this in his newsletter which you can access here.

Losing weight and reaching that level of fitness that makes you feel healthy, fit and confident continues to be a challenge to many people. The Wild Weightloss Way (coming soon) makes it easy to lose weight while eating relatively normally. OK. You do need to avoid those refined carbs (bread, cakes, biscuits, cereals) that are almost staple foods for many of us but once you are down to your ideal weight they can still be enjoyed occasionally.

You may have seen the report by cardiologist, Dr William Davis, on the CBS This Morning show. He talks about how agronomists have been breeding wheat to increase yields and protein content to produce what’s now known as a high protein, semi-dwarf variety, On the surface, this makes sense and seems like smart agriculture, you’d think. Unfortunately, one of the side effects has been the introduction of a protein called gliadin (pronounced gly-adin) into the profile of this new wheat and gliadin attaches to opiate receptors in our brains. This has the effect of stimulating our appetite, encouraging over-eating and if Dr Davis is correct, contributes to an additional 440 calories (1840kJ) each and every day and much of what we want to eat is more of the same wheat products. It becomes a real addiction no different to illicit drugs and tobacco. You should be aware that Dr Davis’ comments have been challenged by the wheat industry which questioned his credentials, the depth of his research and some other shallow attacks. Unfortunately, a recent and well-run study has since proved that ancient wheats were less likely to contribute to gluten sensitivities or wheat allergies AND were less inflammatory to the immune system. Another point for wild (or near-wild) foods as better than modern foods.

So how does this action compare with sugar addiction?

Consumed carbs are generally used as fuel as digestion reduces them to glucose which is used for energy. The key factor of control of glucose in a healthy diet is insulin.

This hormone is produced by the pancreas in response to both, the rise in glucose content in the blood and the taste of sweetness. This last point is interesting. It has been shown that our brain has a dramatic effect on insulin production as it does with the preparation of digestive enzymes simply from the exposure to flavours in the mouth. Eating something fatty stimulates our brain to prepare digestive enzymes to be induced or made ready for the coming meal. Similarly, eating sweet foods and this includes artificial and non-sugar sweeteners, boosts the pancreatic output of insulin in expectation of increased sugar loads from digestion. This insulin can be a problem as constant high doses results in our cells becoming less sensitive to insulin over time.

Ideally, insulin released into the blood will stimulate our cells to absorb the sugars from the digestive process. Some foods are high GI foods which means that in comparison to a standard meal of 50g of glucose (which is given a personal rank of 100), high GI foods score 60 and up. Low GI foods score below 40 and are those foods that result in a slow or slight gain in blood sugars on eating and include most wild food sources of carbs, including wild honey (or what is colloquially called sugarbag in the Outback). If our cells become insulin resistant then blood sugars remain elevated and the insulin can have other effects such as forcing our metabolism to switch from running on glucose to storing blood sugars as fat.

Table sugar needs some explanation on its own. We are familiar with this white, crystalline powder but may not know it is made of 2 separate sugars, glucose and fructose and the resultant disaccharide is called sucrose. 20 years ago, Australians each consumed an average of 15g of sucrose every day. Now the amount is up 500% to around 80g a day and rising fast. In the US, the average intake is already around 120g/person/day.

Current thinking is that sucrose might best be considered an artificial sweetener because it is absent from most wild foods (which contain a disaccharide called trehalose). However, it is becoming a significant sugar in the fruits and vegetables that we grow for food through breeding, irrigation and fertilization and this is yet another reason that we are getting fat as a population. Additionally, the combination of sucrose and fat leads to a near doubling of the GI from sucrose alone.

I have added a few blogs on sugar to my website and refer you to the following for an understanding of the impact of sugar on our waistlines.

Is sugar an artificial sweetener?

More on sugar: This might explain the term Sickly Sweet

So what are we to do if even our food scientists are conspiring against us?

Perhaps the planet need not fear over-population of Homo sapiens sapiens because unlike our species’ Latin derivation (Hom meaning Man and sapiens meaning wise) we appear to be intent on foolishly eating ourselves to death.

Fortunately, one solution which can contribute to better health is to increase the consumption of antioxidants (AOs) and anti-inflammatories (AIs). The first can reduce insulin resistance, reduce the negative effects of many lifestyle influences and anti-inflammatories are important in counteracting symptoms of the condition becoming known as metaflammation or metabolic inflammation. These two categories of essential ingredients are as important as the quantity and quality of proteins, fats, carbs and minerals we eat yet they have been assumed to be present and not lacking in the modern diet. In reality, the benefits to our health and well being when we increase the sources of AOs and AIs suggests that they are in fact very limiting and that we should take pains to find whole food nutritional supplements to provide for these missing components of a healthy diet.

Fortunately, L.I.F.E.  is an inexpensive, convenient, whole food nutritional, formulated expressly for its richness of AOs and AIs and worthy of the claim; The Antidote to Modern Foods.

Try it and remember, we offer a 30 day money back guarantee and if you see the value in regular consumption, ask us about how you can get it on autoship and discounted as a preferred customer or even get it for no cost if you recommend a few people to our website

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    Vic Cherikoff