Monday, October 1, 2012

is sugar bad ass?

If you follow health trends you may have noticed that momentum is gaining on the argument that it is sugar, not fat, that makes us fat. Sugar has also found itself the villain in the story of inflammation. If you are not across current affairs, inflammation, is being attributed with everything from cardiovascular to auto-immune disease.

So is sugar really a diabolical, evil enemy or wrongly accused?

Certainly there is no council for the promotion of the inclusion of sugar, no organisation campaigning on its behalf (children under the age of 12 do not count). The Australian heart foundation and the Cancer council have both raised concerns over effects of high dosages of sugar in our diets and there is compelling evidence that sugar in all its forms has contributed to the high number of cases of Type 2 diabetes. It seems everyone agrees (again children excluded) that limiting sugar consumption is good for your health but does any of that make it supremely evil?

It is hard to believe that pretty cupcakes, whipped delights and confections are entirely responsible for us being fat, tired and diseased but just because it masquerades as something so sweet doesn't stop it from being everything but.

Just ask David Gillespie.

Gillespie an obese lawyer was sick of being obese, tired and missing out on life so he began to research and found sugar may be responsible.  His first book offering on the subject of sugar's evil properties was appropriately titled, "Sweet Poison." You can find out more here. He found that sugar was indeed the culprit and subsequently cut it from his diet with what seems like extraordinary results - dropping a whopping 40 kilos and never gaining it back.  His health improved and so too did his mood. Gillespie provides some pretty damning evidence against sugar in his books. He believes the answer is to cut sugar completely from our diets and he isn’t alone.

Sarah Wilson, former editor of cosmopolitan magazine is one such story. Wilson has the auto-immune disease, Hashimoto’s disease, and so she began to investigate her food choices. Wilson's experiences on how sugar has affected her body can be read on her blog here. Most recently she has penned an e-book - an 8 week program on how to quit the stuff.

Before there was Gillespie there was Aitkin’s and while he went one step further and suggested cutting other carbs too he believed strongly that sugar was bad, bad, bad. Dr Nicholas Perricone promotes a diet that will free you from inflammation but try finding sugar in any plan he suggests? You won’t.  There is the South Beach diet, Australia’s own Body Trim and these are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head…

It is hard for me to go past my own experience with sugar when deciding whether I think sugar should go directly to jail., not pass go and not collect $200. Sugar gives me headaches. A glass of juice will give me a headache within fifteen minutes. Lollies will do it under five. If I spend a few days eating foods that contain sugar I can end up with a serious headache for days. And yet I have no disease and do not suffer from any allergies or sensitivities that come under any official sounding name that tells me I am not alone. I just know because my body reacts and has done since was a child.

If I am superman then sugar is my kryptonite and it seems it is David Gillespie’s, Sarah Wilson’s and probably many followers who found success on Aitkin’s, Body Trim and South Beach. So even if we can’t try and convict sugar on the whole list of charges, make no mistake, for some of us sugar is guilty in the first degree.

If you do suffer from any health issues I strongly urge you to experiment with cutting sugar out to see if it has a positive effect on your body and I will say that having read the program by Sarah Wilson it is probably the simplest and easiest one to follow if you are interested.  

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