Lyle Hurd: Dr. Sellman, you talk a good deal about eliminating sugar from your diet, and the benefits of that, the negatives of sugar to your system and the benefits, relative to the weight gain and whatever it might be. Explain to us the detriments of too much sugar in the system.
Dr. Sherrill Sellman: The average American consumes 175 pounds of sugar a year. 175 pounds. I mean can you imagine what 175 pounds of sugar would look like?
Lyle: 3 and a half pounds a day.
Sellman: So, you know, a century ago, the average American consumed, maybe 20 pounds a year? Now we're up to 175. What does that mean? That means we're poisoning ourselves. We were never, human beings were never, ever designed to consume that much sugar and it is destroying our health. Sugar ages us, it causes chronic inflammation, it causes major free radical damage, it causes us to have these chronic illnesses like diabetes. Cancer cells have 10 to 16 times more insulin receptors than healthy cells. It thrives on sugar, it's the food of cancer. It creates sticky blood, which is what's behind cardiovascular disease. If there's one thing that has contributed to the demise of our health in the western society, it's the introduction of sugar. It's a poison. There's no saving grace about the kind of white poison that we have in all our foods. And by the way, it needs to be said, that flour products, you know, things made with white flour and even when we eat whole grain flours to the same extent, will turn into sugar in the body. So when we have our bagel, we have to think that we just poured sugar down our throat. Because it has the same effect. It immediately turns into sugar in the body.
So when we talk about sugar, it's the white sugar, its the high fructose corn syrup sugar, and it's also all the carbs we're eating that becomes sugar. So we have just inundated our bodies with sugar. Never before in the history of humanity have we inundated our bodies with sugar so continuously from the time we're children to, you know, throughout our later years. And we're paying the price. It's showing up. All the chronic illnesses are certainly fueled by the sugar. So our aging is accelerated and we're suffering as a consequence. So what do we do? I mean, you know, our body needs sugar for fuel, needs glucose for fuel. We need to, you know sweetness, according to Chinese medicine are one of the flavors we need to keep in balance. That's what fruits are for, by the way. But we don't need the amount of sugar that we're getting, in the form we're getting it.
So, what do we do? Because there are solutions. I always like to tell people, if you're asking them to reduce the amount of sugar, you want them to know that there are alternatives. You can upgrade your diet, you don't ever have to feel deprived. I don't want to use that word ever, because people freak out with the word deprived. So lets talk about upgrading.
So there are sweeteners out there that are able to provide the sweetness in our cooking, in our drinks, baking, whatever form we want to use, that will not spike your blood sugar levels. And have a fraction of the calories, and actually become healing sugars. They actually do not, they stop the growth of bacteria. That's what we want. Now these sugars are in the form of sweeteners called Stevia, which is a plant that comes from South America. And that now is available in the form of liquids and powders. And it's very sweet, you only need a little bit of Stevia. And the other favorite sweetener is called Xylitol. Which, by the way is spelled x-y-l-i-t-o-l, for people. And xylitol looks like sugar and tastes like sugar, it's about the same 1 to 1 par. And both stevia and xylitol are called 5-carbon sugars. They're different from the sugars, the sugar cane sugars, which are six... in fact all the other sweeteners, even honey, are six-carbon sugars. And six-carbon sugars feed the growth of bacteria and they spike our blood sugars, so it causes the body to go into a stressful system. It brings the adrenals into action, we exhaust our adrenal glands, we become more acidified. All the downward spiral to our health comes from the increased sugar in our body. When you eat a 5-carbon sugar, sweetener, it actually does not feed the bacteria. It's been... stevia, and particularly xylitol have been used to prevent cavities in children in Scandinavia. They use it on a regular basis. It also alkalines the body. It doesn't feed conditions like candida, which also demands sugar. So we can help heal candida yeast issues. And they're really pleasant tasting sweeteners that we can use all the time. So these are wonderful alternatives and will help to heal our body and not contribute to the growing incidents of chronic illness.
Lyle: And you can get those products in two pound packages, can't you? In five pound packages and use it just like you would sugar?
Sellman: Yeah, I always tell people if you were to switch the sugar bowl at home, and no one knew it, and you added xylitol, because xylitol looks just like sugar. So you threw out the sugar and you filled up the bowl with xylitol and the family members came and pour their spoonful of sugar on their cereal or their coffee or whatever, you can just sit there and smile. Because you now know that they're actually getting something that's healthy and beneficial for them. And if they'd been resistant to any of the changes you might be recommending, they won't even know it.
Lyle: As an aside, we have an 8 year old girl and a little 2 and a half year old girl living with us as part of our family, our daughters family. And they love sugar. And they have no idea that most of what they get in our household, that they think is sugar, is xylitol. And I think that's a wonderful thing for those little people who, we don't want them to have that sweet taste all the time. But for the ones that do and we have to live with it, it's great to know you're not giving them sugar.
Sellman: And one other thing I want to say, sugar actually is addictive to the brain. So it's a mood altering, it's like a chemical. It's an addictive substance. As addictive as any other addictive substances we know out there. So the more we have sugar, the more we crave sugar. The more we're in stress, the body craves sugar. It's part of our mechanism that's been set up. Part of our survival mechanism. However if you can to switch over to something like stevia or xylitol, and go at least seven days without eating sugar, you can actually withdraw from the addiction and be free.
Lyle: Great, thank you!
Dr. Sherrill Sellman discusses the dangers of sugar consumption, not only from white sugar, but from many other hidden sources as well! She also talks about alternatives that are not only better for you, but might also provide some health benefits as well!
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