You might have even thought I was crazy.
After all, everyone knows that red meat is a heart attack on a plate, right? And that sugar, while not innocent, merely causes cavities and packs a few pounds on your backside?
Well, hold onto your hat because it’s now come out that the sugar industry PAID research scientists back in the 1960s to minimize the link between sugar and heart disease, and instead push saturated fat as the criminal.
The damning historical documents (that were uncovered by a researcher at UCSF and published in JAMA Internal Medicine), support the fact that Big Sugar was able to buy researchers off in order to hide the sweet stuff’s significant role in heart disease.
This falsified research has shaped our standard dietary recommendations (and medical school textbooks) toward the avoidance of saturated fat (while stressing low-fat, high-sugar foods) for the last 50 years!
And it’s devastating to think of the number of people that have suffered and died from heart disease as a result of this greed.
Here’s the truth about sugar and heart disease:
How sweet it ISN’T
Sugar can affect your cardiovascular system in these three distinct ways:
1) It raises cholesterol
The most widely used form of sugar in processed foods and soda is high fructose corn syrup. And contrary to what the cleverly designed sugar industry commercials tell you, it’s NOT the same as regular sugar, NOR is it “safe in moderation.”
Sucrose (table sugar) is made up of two natural sugar units--one glucose and one fructose.
High fructose corn syrup, on the other hand, is 100 percent fructose in a highly processed form that does NOT exist in apples, peaches or plums…plus it’s made from GMO corn to boot.
Your body processes glucose and fructose in two different ways--your liver needs to break down only 20 percent of the glucose you take in, but 100 percent of the fructose.
So inundating your body with large amounts of HFCS puts a tremendous stress on your liver.
And since your liver is responsible for regulating your body’s cholesterol levels, having a liver that is taxed from HFCS can certainly affect its cholesterol monitoring abilities.
Plus unlike glucose which your body can use for energy, HFCS turns into fatty acids, excess cholesterol, and triglycerides.
2) It raises blood pressure
Sugar is a very inflammatory substance…and when you eat a lot of it, you tax your pancreas’ insulin production capabilities. Eventually, sugar builds up in your bloodstream and stirs up inflammation in your arteries.
Your body heals the inflammation by summoning cholesterol to the area as a salve.
But when your arteries incur repetitive sugar-induced inflammation, not only is cholesterol repeatedly recruited, but those areas become "magnets" for fibrous proteins called fibrinogens, plus calcium deposits, and wastes and toxins in your blood.
And that is the perfect recipe for high blood pressure and atherosclerosis!
3) It causes leaky gut
Your intestinal wall is strong enough to move your wastes along and keep dangerous toxins "locked up" until they can be eliminated with your bowel movements.
At the same time, it also "opens its doors" just ever so slightly to allow nutrients from your foods to be absorbed into your bloodstream.
But when your gut wall becomes TOO permeable--known as leaky gut-- toxins from your foods, the environment, and disease-causing bacteria now have an "open door" to seep into your bloodstream and ignite inflammation in your arteries.
And a leading cause of a leaky gut wall is SUGAR!
Sugar feeds the harmful bacteria in your gut, which then overcome your friendly flora and eat away at the gut wall, making it too porous.
Here are three ways to help minimize sugar’s effects on your body, and help you recover from any harm it has caused you.
- Find alternatives and curb your consumption
Drink water instead of soda. Soda is THE single largest source of sugar (HFCS) consumption in the world.
Concentrate on real foods—fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry, dairy, real butter, legumes, nuts, and seeds. You will stay satisfied longer and won’t be as tempted to reach for a sweet snack.
And limit your “sugar indulgences” to special occasions like a birthday or a holiday. Trust me, our heart disease epidemic is not the result of people eating pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving or a piece of birthday cake—it’s the result of a daily onslaught of sugar to the tune of 150 pounds per person per year.
- Encourage better digestion
Also, if you have low stomach acid, take antacids or frequently suffer from indigestion or heartburn, digestive enzyme supplementation can pinch hit where your body needs a little enzyme boost.
3. Support your friendly flora
The friendly bacteria in your system help to keep your gut wall strong and non-porous, assist with digestion and keep harmful bacteria under control.
Unfortunately, sugar destroys your friendly flora, so if you’ve been a sugarholic for a while, a full-spectrum probiotic supplement can help rebuild your supply of these helpful good guys.
PS: You may be thinking, “OK, this is great but what about saturated fats?”
Here’s what you must know:
Your body needs saturated fats for your brain, nervous system, hormones and even your heart to function properly! They are only a concern if you have WAY too many or the wrong kind.
So go ahead and have saturated fats in healthful amounts—like a 4-5 oz. piece of meat, some butter on your vegetables or scrambled eggs for breakfast.
The truly health-wrecking saturated fat is TRANS-FATS—they are what will guarantee your appointment with the cardiologist (or undertaker), and must be avoided at all times. Read food labels carefully and avoid margarine and hydrogenated oils.