Which is More Toxic: Sugar, Meat or Both?
The word “toxic” is defined by Webster’s (1913) as, “Of or pertaining to poison; poisonous.” I don’t need to tell you that we shouldn’t be consuming poison if we want to be healthy. I mention all this because this week, both SUGAR and MEAT have been called toxic (with meat actually being referred to as “carcinogenic” on the same scale as CIGARETTES). Let’s take a look.
In this week’s issue of Time, Alice Park wrote an article called Sugar Is Definitely Toxic, a New Study Says, concerning research published in the brand new issue of Obesity. In this study led by DR. ROBERT LUSTIG (Isocaloric Fructose Restriction and Metabolic Improvement in Children with Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome), most of the sugar in the diets of 43 black and Hispanic children with PRE-DIABETES and OBESITY was replaced with starch for 9 days. According to Lustig…..
“We took chicken teriyaki out, and put turkey hot dogs in. We took sweetened yogurt out, and put baked potato chips in. We took pastries out and put bagels in. So there was no change in [the children’s] weight and no change in calories.”
The results were as follows. “Fructose restriction improved surrogate metabolic parameters in children with obesity and metabolic syndrome irrespective of weight change.” Firstly, in English this meant that their fasting blood sugar levels dropped to half of what they were previously, which naturally led to a drop in Insulin levels as well. CHOLESTEROL and blood fat levels decreased right along with the amount of fat in their livers — and none of this was due to weight loss, which did not occur.
Secondly, notice that this study concerned Fructose — namely the sort of sugar that comes from corn (HFCS), as opposed to sucrose — table sugar — the white stuff depicted in the picture at the top of the page. Regardless of what you are told, there is a difference.
This tells me that when Cardiologist and Dean of Nutrition Science at Tufts University, Dr Dariush Mozaffarain said that, “A bagel is no different than a bag of Skittles to your body,” in a DIFFERENT ARTICLE written for Time last year, that statement may not have been 100% accurate. However, I believe he was correct enough that trying to follow the the methods highlighted in the paragraph above, while an improvement, is a train wreck in the making. It all has to do with living the HIGH CARB LIFESTYLE.
Sure; starch is better than HFCS. But is replacing sugar with starch really the solution to chronic health issues, including obesity? Of course not. And replacing anything with hot dogs (whether turkey, beef, or SOY) provides an excellent lead-in to my next topic.
In the most recent issue of The Lancet, the World Health Organization (WHO) — the health-related arm of the United Nations — issued a position-paper on the relationship between meat and CANCER (Carcinogenecity of Consumption of Red and Processed Meat). In this study, the authors stated not only that processed meats such as bacon, HOT DOGS / CHICKEN NUGGETS, ham, etc, are linked to certain types of cancer (namely Colon Cancer), but that red meat ‘probably‘ is as well (“red meat is probably carcinogenic to humans“). Although this study is not completely wrong, there’s definitely problems with taking it at face value.
Unfortunately, most of the meat that is commercially grown by the world’s huge producers (the United States, Brazil, China, etc) do whatever it takes to put on as many pounds as quickly as possible; consequences be damned. The result is that often times — maybe even the majority of the time — COMMERCIALLY-RAISED MEAT is not much different than processed meat as far as health is concerned.
Commercially-raised animals are, for the most part, raised and grown in unnatural settings (feedlots or chemically-saturated pastures) on a steady diet of ANTIBIOTICS, Growth Hormones and ESTROGENS, and INFLAMMATORY GRAINS (grains alter their fatty acid profile from anti-inflammatory Omega-3 to pro-inflammatory Omega-6). And this is just for starters (we have not even touched on GRILLED MEATS yet).
When it comes to dealing with chronically ill people (people struggling with CHRONIC PAIN, INFLAMMATORY DISEASES, AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES, etc, etc), I almost always recommend a PALEO DIET. Why is this? Two chief reasons; it cuts out the most commonly reactive foods, and it controls BLOOD SUGAR better than anything I have seen; all while maintaining adequate levels of protein for healing and repair (remember that the vast majority of the dry mass of your body is from protein). It is important to remember that the Paleo Diet is not the “Meat Diet”. It is a diet based on copious amounts of vegetation, with ample protein coming from modest to moderate amounts of natural meats and EGGS.