Is Diabetes Caused by Sugar or Bad Genetics?

To put it simplistically, sugar feeds the worst of our gut flora, including parasites, non-beneficial bacteria, and Candida. This opens the doors to all sorts of disease. People whose calorie intake is 25% sugar or more are three times more likely to die of heart disease. Fructose, one type of sugar we’ve recently started consuming in much larger quantities, even has the power to alter our genes and increase the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s, ADHD, or other brain issues, though this author suspects that all food has the power to alter our genes one way or another, hence the importance of a healthy diet.

We tell kids that too much sugar isn’t good for them. We tell them this all of the time, and we heard it all the time, but that message often dies off once we reach adulthood. The rotten teeth, mood swings, and hyperactivity that we warn the little ones about are problems many adults deal with due to consuming too much sugar! Unless you’re overweight or developing diabetes, conventional medicine is content to pay lip service to the dangers of sugar.

Why Quality Matters

It’s difficult to find definitive information regarding sugar. Arguments over how bad sugar really is tend to end up with someone claiming, “Even fruit has sugar,” followed by “Everything must have sugar to survive,” followed by a general throwing up of the hands and a return to previous eating habits out of confusion and frustration.

Or was it just the justification we wanted?

If I’m going to eat sugar anyway, why not eat what I want?

But that’s a reductive and damaging argument that we know on some level is wrong. We ask children to eat an apple instead of drinking a soda. If health is the objective, it’s time we adults heed the same advice.

Fruit contains fructose, yes. But it also contains antioxidants,  vitamins, and the fiber needed to slow down the actual absorption of the fructose. Incidentally, whole raw foods generally have the nutrition that our beneficial flora prefer. Synthetic or refined forms of fructose don’t have any of these benefits, or any health benefits, as it’s derived from corn starch or sucrose (table sugar, basically) and devoid of any actual nutrients. Comparing the synthetic or refined fructose to the sugar that’s in an apple is like handing someone that apple and a piece of paper and claiming they’re the same thing since they both come from trees. Refined, processed sugar isn’t good for you, and not all sugars are equal.

Sugar Is All Around You

So, it seems easy to move forward here. No sugar in the morning cup of tea, lay off the desserts, and stop using… vegetable broth? Say no to granola?

Sugar is not just an after meal treat. Once you decide to limit your sugar intake, you will find that most of the food people regularly consume, processed foods, are products containing sugar to deliberately mask the taste of nutrient-void, bland, preservative-laden ingredients. People have become accustomed to sugar being slipped into everything. We know sugar is incredibly addictive.

The FDA claims to be trying to get labels changed in an effort to better indicate hidden sweeteners, but there are only two options right now. Learn your sugars (from glucose to stevia to xylitol to corn syrup), read labels, and cook more of your own food at home from scratch.

But…But, It’s Genetic!

While it’s absolutely true that some people are predisposed to certain conditions through their genes, science is learning that what you eat actually changes your genes. Fructose, according to a recently released UCLA study, is the difference between knowing your mother has diabetes and actually developing diabetes yourself. The majority of genes that can be altered by the consumption of too much fructose are associated with inflammation, cell communication, and metabolism regulation. It’s no surprise, then, that possible conditions from consuming enough fructose to alter the brain’s genes include Alzheimer’s, ADHD, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s, and depression, to name a few.

Nature has a way of balancing things though; the right foods can play a role in rebuilding you and making you stronger. People who eat the best diets deserve the best DNA, right? Be sure to check out Healthy Sugar Alternatives & More to get to know your sweeteners.

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