The Dangers of Sugar Consumption - Uncovered

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Interviewer: When it comes to cancer I think most people know that sugar is bad. How bad is sugar?

Helayne Waldman: Sugar is very bad. Sugar is very bad. Some folks will say, "Well, you know, everything winds up being sugar in our bodies anyway. So what's the difference?" But there's a big difference between sugar that... if you think about a pipe, about faucet,  in that you turn it on and it drip, drip, drips very slowly, that leaves a very different picture in your sink than if you turn that faucet at full speed and it floods the sink out. And that's kind of what happens when we eat white flour, things that, simple carbohydrates and things that turn into sugar immediately. So it's like turning that faucet on full blast. So, cancer cells do look for sugar because they're dependent on sugar for their metabolism and whereas our other cells can metabolize fats and proteins and ketone bodies, but our cancer cells can only metabolize sugar and glutamine and that's about it. So they depend on it so they actually, you know, sort of go out looking for it more than other cells.

But the thing that I think concerns me even more is that when we do eat a lot of sugar, our insulin levels go up because insulin is our hormone designed to manage excess blood sugar. And insulin is a very important hormone. It's also, it's our fat-storage hormone and it's a growth hormone. So it's hormones generates signals. They give instructions, basically. So insulin is one of those hormones that gives instructions to things in the body to grow. So you have a small tumor in your body and you're flooding it with insulin, which is giving instructions to all cells, giving it growth messages, that's a pretty bad thing.

Interviewer: Are different sugars worse than others? I mean when you think of fruit we know there's a certain kind of sugar in that.

Helayne Waldman: Well, again, yes, there are differences among sugars. Part of the difference has to do with, again, how fast it gets into your bloodstream.

Interviewer: Okay.

Helayne Waldman: So if you eat a piece of fruit that has a lot of fiber, that's going to slow down the release of sugar in your bloodstream. That means that you're not going to get that that insulin rush. So you're not going to have that whole syndrome where you get overloaded with sugar and then you have a compensatory insulin surge, really, to deal with that. So any time you combine sugar with fat or fiber or protein you're going to slow down the release of that sugar. So that's a good thing.

But there's also sugars themselves that are just toxic. For example, beet sugar is now a  GMO, genetically modified form of sugar. It comes from GM sugar beets.

Interviewer: Sure.

Helayne Waldman: That's a completely alien substance to our body and it has no business being in our body. So, you know, we want to avoid that. Same for artificial sugars. Aspartame turns to methanol in the intestines as we metabolize it and methanol's a known carcinogen. Splenda is made with chlorine. Chlorine has a lot of deleterious effects in our body. It's pretty bad for our thyroid gland. It also helps to wipe out that nice pro-biotic population in our intestines. So the artificial sweeteners are toxic, as well. Sometimes we can be okay if we have very small amounts of natural, helpful sweeteners like raw honey where those really helpful enzymes haven't been pasteurized out of it yet. So if we do that in very, very small amounts and we don't have blood sugar issues, in other words if we monitor and we can see that our insulin levels and our blood sugar levels are under control, then a little bit of very healthy I think is find, but that's why it's important to know what your numbers are because if you've got high-fasting insulin or a high hemoglobin A1C, your body's not handling any sugar very well. You really need to stay away from all sugars.

Nutritionist Dr. Helayne Waldman discusses sugar and what it does at different levels to your body. Dr. Waldman discusses how sugar feeds cancer and what it does to insulin levels. Find out what those insulin spikes might mean in the long run. Also find out how some types of sugar from fruit are different

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