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Shocker - Sugar and Inflammation Make Life Less Sweet

Posted Sep 07 2008 7:56pm
Even though I have long been aware of the detrimental effects of sugar, while reading articles on sugar and the resulting inflammatory havoc it causes in the human brain and body, I found it to be a real shocker. Not sweet at all. Blood sugar, insulin and insulin resistance, chronic inflammation and many resulting degenerative diseases are all part of this picture.It is not news to me, but the info overload I found on sugar and inflammation was amazing.

A Japanese study evaluated the role of diet on inflammatory bowel disease. Included in the study were 111 people with ulcerative colitis who were given food questionnaires.

The survey found a higher consumption of sweets was positively associated with ulcerative colitis risk, and vitamin C was found to have a protective effect. A higher intake of vitamin C was related to a lower risk of ulcerative colitis. (common foods rich in vitamin C are red bell peppers, parsley, strawberries, and spinach).

One thing that is important to understand is Glycemic Index or GI. GI is a property of carbohydrate foods. It describes the rise of blood sugar occurring after a meal. Foods that are rapidly digested and absorbed or transformed metabolically into glucose have a high GI. The Glycemic Index of a meal is determined mainly by the amount of carbohydrate eaten and by other dietary factors affecting digestion, gastrointestinal motility, or insulin secretion (these factors include type of carbohydrate, food structure, fiber, protein, and fat). Most North American common starchy foods such as refined grain products and potatoes, have a high GI, more than that of even table sugar by up to 50%. Most vegetables, legumes, and some fruits generally have lower GI.

So the faster the foods show up as sugar in our blood, the faster inflammatory responses occur. This is dangerous for a diabetic, but slow or fast, the inflammation is destructive to all of us. High blood sugar damages the nervous system, the blood vessels, (which then get "repaired" by cholesterol deposits), and since our blood vessels go everywhere in our body, every part of our brain and body gets gradually eroded. Name a disease, it is related to this process.

Learning about YOUR appropriate carbohydrate intake is the key. Simple carbohydrates are sugars in some form, complex carbohydrates are the whole foods that contain them. Cake, crackers, rice cakes, popcorn, breads, taco shells, burrito wraps, perogie shells and pie shells are not whole foods, just to be specific. They are combined simple carbohydrates and will promote inflammation faster.

Eating the foods that preserve, repair and build the body tissues, like antioxidants, omega 3 oils and vitamins and minerals, is the positive side of this expensive coin. (It's the cost of your life!).

Understanding carbohydrates means you can avoid inflammation, high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and stay diabetes free. Exercise, fats, stress levels, personal happiness, are factors that effect your chronic inflammation level also. Cathy Wong and are two sources of the shocker. Brace yourself!

This article was featured in The Nineteenth Edition of the Carnival of Improving Life.
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