Sugar Part 2 – Inflammation

Digital illustration of human body

The average American consumes 150 pounds of sugar per year! That’s about 22 teaspoons per day. The human body can only handle 2-3
teaspoons or about 15 grams of sugar per day. The average public school adolescent will consume an entire wheelbarrow full of sugar over a 5 year period from the milk they are consuming from school lunches alone! Compound this over 15, 20, 30 years of life and you have a disease, obesity, cancer. Inflammation is where it begins.

jamieoliver_wheelbarrow_sugar

Inflammation has been poorly understood by the scientific community but even science is proving that it’s the key to reducing and removing chronic diseases.

There’s a ton of information that needs to be understood about what inflammation and I don’t want to bore you with all of it so I’ll give you the necessary details and you’ll have to do some research of your own to get the full physiological effects.

American’s are accustomed to looking for a cure instead of looking for the root cause. Looking for a cure is our “go to” approach to medicating and masking the symptoms instead of eliminating the cause and preventing further damage.

It’s important to understand the “what” first and then the “why” and last the “how”. The “what” being inflammation, “why” it happens, and “how” to reduce and in many cases, remove it.

What

There are many things that cause inflammation in the body. Inflammation is the immune system’s response to injuries, infections, stress, foreign substances, and other irritants. Some examples would be viral and bacterial infections, surgery, a bruise, a broken bone, allergies, vaccinations, high blood pressure, estrogen therapy, smoking, obesity, chronic fatigue, and dental problems, among others.

The official Websters definition of inflammation is…

A local response to cellular injury that is marked by capillary dilatation, leukocytic infiltration, redness, heat, and pain, and that serves as a mechanism initiating the elimination of noxious agents and of damaged tissue.

Huh? I had to break this one down myself. In other words, it’s the body trying to expel the toxins, foreign substances, etc. by dilating the capillaries and heating them up which causes pain, redness, and sometimes loss of mobility. It’s the body trying to heal itself.

If an ailment ends with the suffix “itis”, it is a form of inflammation. For example, arthritis comes from arthro, meaning joint, and itis, meaning inflammation. Thus, arthritis is inflammation of the joints. [1]

Then there is acute and chronic inflammation. We’re focusing on the chronic effects of sugar here which usually represents itself internally but acute normally shows externally, like a cut.

Pretty amazing that the body will respond naturally and tries to heal itself from within. In order to heal itself, it needs time and it needs a break.

Why

One of the biggest offenders of inflammation is ingestion of sugar. By sugar I mean table sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, turbinado sugar, honey (even raw), maple sugar, corn sweetener, dextrose, glucose, fructose and any other word that ends in an “ose”, barley malt, rice syrup, liquid cane sugar, concentrated fruit juice, maple syrup, agave nectar and others. Don’t be fooled by the abused name “organic” when it applies to sugar. Sugar is sugar, organic or not, and the following will explain exactly what can happen in the body when you eat as little as two teaspoons.

Every time a person eats as little as two teaspoons we can upset our body chemistry and disrupt homeostasis, the wonderful balance in the body needed for maintenance, repair, and life itself. One of the many changes this upset body chemistry causes is for our minerals to change the relationship to each other. [2][3]

1. Minerals become toxic and deficient

Minerals can only function in relation to each other. When one of the mineral levels drops in the blood stream, it’s a sure thing that other minerals cannot function as well and can become toxic or deficient. Enzymes are crucial for digestion and when deficient or toxic they leave large chunks of undigested proteins which cannot be absorbed by the blood cells.

2. Inflammatory reaction occurs

Most minerals function primarily as catalysts in enzyme systems within the cells and body fluids. Enzymes are crucial for digestion. The pancreas supplies proteolytic enzymes which aid the digestion of proteins which in turn regulates our bodies over inflammatory reactions in the body.

When consuming the normal American diet, which consists primarily of food and drinks that break down to sugar, we cause those enzymes to weaken and leave protein particles in the digestive tract. This causes the bodies inflammation receptors to “call in the EMT’s” if you will. The body starts given all resources to that area to heal it and try to move on.

3. Inflammatory diseases develop

This foreign matter, or partially digested protein, is in particles too large to be utilized by the cells. They can not get into the cell and function. This form of food allergy can cause havoc in our blood stream.[4] One of the things these particles can do is cause the classic symptoms of allergy, the inflammatory response, runny eyes, sinusitis, sneezing and scratchy throat.[5][6] These particles can go to the joints, tissues or bones and cause arthritis,[7] multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, hives, and eczema. The inflammatory process takes place in all these diseases.

How

If you’ve made it this far, first of all, thank for you sticking it out and congrats to you for educating yourself! To sum this up, it’s easy. Cut your added sugars out completely! Get your sugar from natural antioxidant berries like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Use an all natural substitute for sweetening your food and drink like all natural Stevia which metabolizes naturally and doesn’t spike your blood sugar.

Continually educate yourself on nutrition.

Detoxify by doing a Healing Green Juice detox and using apple cider vinegar. This is step 1. If you do not detox your body, it will continue to respond negatively and result in things like food intolerance’s, headaches and migraines and so many other ways.

Replace the old habits with new good ones. I gave you a couple suggestions. I’m slowly getting my personal recipes out here for you too. They are all 100% on this plan or I couldn’t eat it myself.

For a great dessert, check out my Ultimate Almond Butter Brownies.

Don’t take medications to reduce inflammation. The only thing the medical community will provide you is an immunosuppressant such as Prednisone. Why would you decrease the very thing, your immune system, to fix the issue? It will only mask the symptom and not treat the cause of the inflammation. Instead, use natural substances such as essential oils.

Remember educate not medicate!

Here are a few tips for reducing inflammation.

9 Tips for Reducing Inflammation in the Gut

  1. Eat Cooked, Living Foods – Fresh whole fruits, and vegetables. These are more nutrient-dense and contain a plethora of vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain and improve health. Raw is too hard to digest when inflammation rampant. Try steaming them so you’re able to keep consuming these beneficial and necessary nutrients.
  2. Consume a Variety of Colorful Foods – fruits, vegetables, and grains from week to week to obtain the most nutritional bang for your buck.
  3. Avoid Refined Starches – (white versions) and added sugars (white or brown sugar, soda, energy drinks). These less nutrient-dense foods promote inflammatory symptoms such as weight gain and elevated blood glucose and lipid levels.
  4. Go Skinless – Poultry, fish, eggs, legumes and fat-free Greek yogurt. These are quality sources of protein, as well as additional sources of calcium, vitamin D, probiotics and unsaturated fat.
  5. Limit high-fats – Red meat such as prime rib, bacon, and sausage, as well as processed meats like bologna, salami, and hot dogs. These are higher in saturated fat, which if consumed in excess will increase inflammation.
  6. Choose monounsaturated and omega-3 fats – Thought to neutralize inflammation, monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil, avocados, and nuts. Research shows consumption of these fats is associated with decreased risk of heart disease and cancer, which are associated with inflammation.
  7. Omega-3 fatty acids – Are found in wild salmon and tuna, walnuts, and ground flaxseed. Omega-3 is an essential fat that our bodies cannot make. We must obtain it from dietary sources or supplements. Research shows that this form of fat can decrease inflammation associated with exercise.
  8. Limit Healthy Fats – This includes grass-fed butter, A2 grass-fed cows milk, cheeses, grass-fed beef and skin on poultry. Our bodies only require a small amount of fat; therefore, the daily excess intake will exacerbate an inflammatory response. More can be introduced later when you’ve gained control of inflammation.
  9. Avoid Trans Fat – This includes prepackaged baked goods, flavored coffee creams (liquid and powder), some brands of shelf-stable peanut butter, and chocolate or yogurt coated snacks. There is no safe level of trans fat. It decreases good cholesterol and not only raises bad cholesterol (considered pro-inflammatory) but recycles and reuses it.

Supplement recommendations

Besides the foods you eat, vitamins and supplements are important to consider. Here are some recommendations that work best for people who exercise vigorously:

Vitamin A: 10,000 IU daily for one to two weeks post-injury may enhance healing

Vitamin D3: 5,000 daily for one to two weeks post-injury may enhance healing

Vitamin C: 1-2 g daily temporarily during intense training or if recovering from minor injury

Copper: 2-4 mg daily during the first few weeks of injury recovery (adequate amount found in average multivitamin)

Zinc: 15-30 mg daily during the first few weeks of injury recovery (adequate amount found in average multivitamin)

Turmeric: an ingredient found in curry powder. Curcumin is an antioxidant compound in turmeric, which gives curry and mustard their yellow color and offers anti-inflammatory benefits. Consider adding turmeric to your spice rack, or for a more aggressive approach, you can take 400 mg daily in supplement form.

Garlic: Research shows it can reduce production of two inflammatory enzymes and may be helpful in keeping arteries flexible and clear, allowing for oxygen-rich blood to get to working muscles. Cooking with two to four garlic cloves daily will add plenty of flavor, plus fight inflammation. If you rarely cook, consider taking 600-1,200 mg of aged garlic extract.

Bromelain: an enzyme found in pineapple juice. Research shows it is an anti-inflammatory. Grab a glass of pineapple juice post-workout or add it to your recovery smoothie for plenty of immune-enhancing vitamin C and inflammation-fighting benefits.

It’s important to consider carefully the way you fuel your body. A proper diet and supplements will help keep inflammation under control.

Essential Oils

  1. Frankincense
  2. Peppermint
  3. Copaiba
  4. Lavender are a few that I use personally.

 

References

  • PeerTrainer – http://www.peertrainer.com/health/inflammation.aspx
  • Analytical Research Labs Inc. – http://arltma.com/Articles/SugarCarbIntolDoc.htm
  • http://www.brinksgilson.com/files/7776842.pdf
  • http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0021870770900687
  • http://www.researchgate.net/publication/18957706_Protein_uptake_by_the_intestine_evidence_for_absorption_of_intact_macromolecules
  • http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom/2000/articles/2000-v15n01-p005.shtml
  • http://www.researchgate.net/publication/19383467_The_role_of_antigenic_absorption_and_circulating_immune_complexes_in_food_allergy
  • Teach every child about food – http://www.ted.com/talks/jamie_oliver?language=en
  • http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/07/9-diet-tips-to-help-you-fight-inflammation/