People are living longer, largely due to better medical care and early diagnosis. Yet, in spite of information to live healthy, pharmaceutical companies continue to grow and thrive. Why, with so many people taking statin drugs (cholesterol), is heart disease still the number one killer? Recently, I had a patient who informed me he is pre-diabetic. I inquired by asking him if he was doing anything differently with this new health concern. He confided that he is now monitoring what he is eating so he doesn’t have to take more pills. Apparently, his wife does not feel the same way. Her recommendation was to take the medications and eat he wants. Two very different ways in dealing with a health issue. What would you do? Our culture has moved far away from healthy living, and now many are paying the price for it. Prepared, processed foods loaded with sugars and harmful fats have expanded our waistlines and caused our health to decline. It’s so easy to unknowingly purchase foods that have added sugars. As a matter of fact, I recently purchased some chips that were certified organic, gluten free, etc. However, I neglected to read the ingredients prior to the purchase. Once at home, I was made aware that cane sugar was an added ingredient. Our tongues are so used to sweets; nothing else tastes quite as good.
The more I research sugars, the more I’m convinced it’s the leading cause of chronic health related concerns. When sugars are consumed, the pH in the mouth drops making an acidic environment conducive to cavities and dental disease. Studies have shown that consuming sugars and inflammation go hand-in-hand. As a matter of fact, chronic gingivitis (bleeding gums) could mean a future diagnosis of Type II diabetes. Medical literature continues to publish the connection between the oral-systemic link, making it crucial we monitor what we eat.
So why don’t we just give up sugar? Because it tastes so good. When I ask people why they chose to drink soda instead of water, the answer is always the same. Soda tastes good and water doesn’t. We have trained our brains to love and crave sugar, and as a result, we need more and more to feel satisfied. Our blood sugar rises rapidly then drops down making us feel lethargic. But, that’s okay…..just have more sugar! What a vicious cycle.
Challenge yourself this week to give up sugars; at least the added sugars in foods and drinks. See how you feel by day seven. Will you have more energy? Will you loose weight? Will you feel better?
Health-bite: you are what you eat