A group of Type II diabetes specialists recently held a conference in London to debate whether or not they should propose reductions in sugar intake. This conference illustrates the kind of senseless debates on which experts waste their time and energy.
As they might say in the U.K., “‘Tis more the pity” that medical experts never receive any real training in human biology, history or nutrition. If they did receive it, they would know better than to waste time debating the utterly obvious.
Dr. Graham MacGregor took a leading role at the recent diabetes conference. He’s actually a hypertension doctor who successfully led the movement in the U.K. to restrict salt intake. At the conference, he boasted, “our salt model is now being copied all over the world.”
Of course, Dr. MacGregor should probably switch to a PR career since his arguments lack any real science. In fact, he’s a key proponent of what I call “The Great Salt Scam.”
As you know, no real evidence suggests a low-salt diet benefits the vast majority of people. In fact, studies show as salt intake decreases, high blood pressure and heart disease risk do not decrease. Low-salt diets are actually a health hazard and may even contribute to heart disease itself. (I’ll tell you more about low-salt diets and heart disease in tomorrow’s Daily Dispatch.)
During the second half of the 20th century, the American population as a whole did experience real reductions in high blood pressure and heart disease. But these reductions probably occurred due to improvements in B vitamin intake over the very poorly processed foods of the early 20th century, which had no natural vitamin content or fortification. (You can learn more about this situation in the March 2015 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter. If you’re not yet a subscriber, now is the perfect time to get started.)
But Dr. MacGregor wants us to buy into his salt scam despite the science. He also wants us to believe high-salt intake not only causes heart disease, but causes Type II diabetes as well. He claims there’s no evidence that high sugar consumption causes Type II diabetes. In fact, he says, sugar isn’t even “directly toxic,” as salt is.
Now, let’s think about that claim for a moment.
In 2015, Type II diabetes rates and sugar consumption have never been higher. At the same time, salt restrictions have never been tighter. His argument makes zero sense.
Dr. Mike Lean from the University of Glasgow took the opposing or “dissenting” view at the conference. But his argument wasn’t all that more intelligent.
He correctly stated fructose doesn’t have a toxic effect in the body. As you’ll recall, fructose is a natural sugar found throughout Nature in fruits. When you consume fructose, as in an apple, it comes bound in food biomatrix, which slows digestion and absorption into the blood stream. Dr. Lean also acknowledged the clear connection between sugared beverages and being overweight.
Of course, being overweight is a major risk for developing Type II diabetes. And clear evidence links sugar-sweetened beverages with a higher risk of developing Type II diabetes. In addition, a recent review in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings (January 2015) shows eating processed foods with added sweeteners, including sugar, contributes to the increasing incidence of Type II diabetes.
But at this point, Dr. Lean dropped the baton.
He said he believes added sugar isn’t the real problem when it comes to Type II diabetes. He said fat is the bigger culprit.
Talk about an out-of-date argument. It’s a bad flashback of the now-discredited 1980s government misguidance about dietary fat.
Dr. Lean also said cutting out lactose (milk sugar) is a bad idea because it limits dairy intake. But then, he went on to praise strict vegetarians who “do well” with sugar consumption up to 7 percent of daily caloric intake.
Well, it seems Dr. Lean would have us eat no fat. (His wife was not available for comment.) But he has no problem with our sugar and dairy intake. It amazes me how many “experts” can look good, solid scientific evidence straight in the face and still ignore it.
If your head is spinning, like mine, from all this contradictory dietary nonsense,
stick with the results of the real science and biology on human diet and nutrition.
Do restrict your sugar intake as much as possible. Furthermore, if you’re trying to lose weight, eliminate sugar and restrict carbs as well. But don’t worry so much about restricting fat and salt intake.
You can accomplish this goal by throwing out anything white in your cabinets. Also–avoid processed, packaged foods. (Not just because they have excess high salt, which you don’t need, but because they lack key nutrients. Also, they often contain lots of sugar and artificial ingredients.)
Both these “debaters” agreed on one thing. They just want to regulate, legislate, restrict, and tax salt, sugar, and fat without a real clue as to the science. It’s all about control and, apparently, big egos and careers. It’s certainly not about science or health.
So–tell me Drs. MacGregor and Lean: How is the nanny government approach to achieving good health working?
- “Sweet talk: Experts debate whether to cut sugar in junk food,” Medscape (www.medscape.com) 3/11/2015