While many still shrug at the notion of obesity being anything but an aesthetic issue, this simply isn’t a truthful evaluation of the situation. The obesity epidemic threatens not only the health and longevity of a clear majority of people, it also adds a tremendous burden to our health care system. As Dr. Lustig explains in part 1 above, the eight primary diseases related to metabolic dysfunction account for a staggering 75 percent of the healthcare costs in the US.
These diseases include:
The four diseases listed on the top row are conventionally associated with metabolic syndrome. However, as stated by Dr. Lustig, several other diseases fall within this scope as well—which are listed in the bottom row. He holds obesity to be the main cause of metabolic syndrome and other diseases whereas it is just a sign. The real cause is metabolic dysfunction—-excessive fructose/sugar consumption is a major source of it.
About 20 percent people have completely normal metabolic function and the excess weight will have no effect on their total lifespan; said Dr. Lusting. Same is true for 60 percent of healthy-weight folks. However, the MAJORITY of obese people—about 80 percent of them—do not have normal metabolic function, and 40 percent of normal-weight people also suffer from metabolic dysfunction, and are therefore prone to these obesity-related diseases… All in all, metabolic dysfunction affects a clear majority of Americans.
So, What is The Cause of Dysfunction of Metabolism?
The first thing a dietician learns in a school is the dogma that “a calorie is a calorie.” Which is completely health-worsening for Western world and unluckily, it is UNTRUE… Another dogmatic belief that simply isn’t true is the idea that obesity is the end result of exercising too little and eating too much; i.e. consuming more calories than you’re expending. This has led to the view that obese people are simply “lazy.”
But as Dr. Lustig points out, there are societal forces at work that go beyond personal responsibility. An increasing number of infants are now obese, and “laziness” is certainly not a label that can easily be affixed to a developing infant. These societal forces include:
The societal changes over the past 60 years or so have created what amounts to a perfect storm; a confluence of dramatically altered food environment combined with reduced physical exertion and increased exposure to, and consumption of, a wide array of industrial and agricultural chemicals that have a detrimental impact on the human biochemistry.
Among the dramatic changes to our food supply is the extensive use of sugar, primarily in the form of high fructose corn syrup, which is added to virtually all processed foods. And this is where the fallacy of “a calorie is a calorie” comes into play, because a calorie from fat does not impact your body in the same way a calorie from fructose does.
Two Calories are Not Similar…….
According to Dr. Robert Lustig, fructose is “isocaloric but not isometabolic.” This means you can have the same amount of calories from fructose or glucose, fructose and protein, or fructose and fat, but the metabolic effect will be entirely different despite the identical calorie count. It is because various nutrients provoke diversified hormonal reactions, and those hormonal responses determine, among other things, how much fat you store.
Normally an American uses 1/3 of a pound of sugar daily. That’s five ounces or 150 grams, half of which is fructose, which is 300 percent more than the amount that will trigger biochemical havoc. And many Americans consume more than twice that amount! Thanks to the excellent work of researchers like Dr. Robert Lustig, as well as Dr. Richard Johnson, we now know that fructose:
- Is metabolized differently from glucose, with the majority being turned directly into fat
- Tricks your body into gaining weight by fooling your metabolism, as it turns off your body’s appetite-control system. Play your body into gaining weight, by fooling your metabolism which turns off your body’s appetite-fullness. Plus, fructose doesn’t stimulate insulin, which stops to suppress hunger hormone known as ghrelin and the satiety hormone known as leptin which results in insulin resistance as you over-eat.
- Rapidly leads to “beer belly”-abdominal obesity and weight gain; high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, increased LDL and decreased HDL—i.e., classic metabolic syndrome.
- After some time it takes you to be insulin resistant; which is root-cause of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and many cancers.
Due to this reason counting calories doesn’t help . Apart from fructose, and sugars; grains are consumed excessively that leads to obesity and chronic illness. This also includes food items that are typically viewed as healthy, such as fruit juice or even large amounts of high fructose fruits. What needs to be understood is that when consumed in large amounts, your fat-regulation or insulin will be adversely affected by the use of these items. So yes, you will get fat with daily consumption of fruit juices in abundance. In short, you do not get fat because you eat too many calories and don’t exercise enough. You get fat because you eat the wrong kind of calories. As long as you keep eating fructose and grains, you’re programming your body to create and store fat.
Metabolic Syndrome can be reversed by Subs tuition of Sugar by Healthy Fats
I believe there is two primary dietary recommendations that, if widely implemented, could help reverse our current disease trend in short order:
- Cutting down carbohydrates ( grains, fructose and sugars), and
- Eating large amount of healthy fats
Mostly health authorities maintain that consuming sugar in moderation is “okay,” also that grains are important food in a healthy diet and can hugely help prevent heart disease, authorities fails to take following considerations that:
- Fructose is the NUMBER ONE source of calories in the US. An ingredient that is found in virtually all processed foods cannot be considered “moderate.” Even most infant formulas contain the sugar equivalent of one can of Coca-Cola, which helps explain how obesity can hit a six months old baby.
- Refined carbs (waffles, bagels, breakfast cereal etc) rapidly breaks up into sugar which increases insulin level and lead to insulin resistance; which is leads to insulin resistance; that is the main cause of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.
Your Body NEEDS Fats for Optimal Function
Generally fats are considered to be the culprits especially saturated fats; which many feel is the cause of cardiovascular diseases and heart attack. This is false. The only really bad fat out there is trans fats (vegetable oils, margarine). However, saturated fats are necessary for complete health and wellbeing as they are:
When cutting down on carbs, you generally need to increase your intake of healthy (minimally heated, unprocessed and ideally organic) saturated fats. Both fats and carbs are sources of energy, but the preferred fuel for your heart is saturated fats. Plus carbs raises your insulin levels whereas fat doesn’t which can be taken as metabolic bonus. However, it’s important to recognize the difference between grain carbs and vegetable carbs.
If you want to lower your insulin levels and reduce fat accumulation, reduce the amount of grains and sugars you eat; NOT your vegetables. In fact, you actually need to radically increase the amount of vegetables you eat when you cut grains, as by volume grains are far denser than vegetables. As for healthy fats, good sources include:
Keep in mind that olive oil should not be used for cooking. Save the olive oil for salad dressing and use coconut oil for baking, frying and cooking. Omega-3, Animal-based is another healthful fat, you should be mindful of. Lack of this essential fat can cause or contribute to chrnic health issues, both physical and mental, and may be a significant underlying factor of up to 96,000 premature deaths each year.
How Much Fructose is Too Much?
As a general recommendation, I suggest keeping your total fructose consumption below 25 grams per day, with a maximum of 15 grams from whole fruit. The table at the bottom of this page can help you calculate your fructose from fruit consumption. However, if you have ANY of the following health issues, then you’ll want to be very careful to limit fructose to just 15 grams per day or less, and this includes fructose from whole fruit. Ideally, you’ll want to avoid ALL sources of fructose until your insulin stabilizes, and then proceed with caution.
Fructose toxicity, potent marker is high level of uric acid, so if your levels are above:
- 3.5 mg/dl for women
- 4 mg/dl for men
So, I would suggest you to give-up on high-fructose foods just like you would do in case of high levels of insulin. Here’s a quick reference list of some of the most common fruits that you can use to help you count your fructose grams:
By Syeda Kiran Zahra Hussain
Syeda Kiran Zahra Hussain is a certified Health Coach IIN, U.S, Holistic Nutrition Therapist, SNHS, U.K, Food Investigator, Published Health Expert. She is a graduate of Psychology, Philosophy and English Literature. She was also nominated for “Full-Bright Scholarship Program,” from St. Joseph College for women. She is originally from Pakistan; but she stayed in Oman where she studied ahead to become “the First-Health Coach from the Sultanate.”
She believes: “Food is the best form of preventive medicine.”
Follow Her on Fb: https://www.facebook.com/kiranzahra786