Dr. Patterson Stark
Dr. Patterson Stark
BSc. DC. ABAAHP. AACNEM.

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Blood sugar

If there is one misunderstood and maligned molecule, it is glucose. The basic unit for energy production comes from the breakdown of carbohydrate into a simple sugar, a monosaccharide. The bloodstream carries this simple sugar to the cells where it enters and liberates energy. Unused glucose is stored in the liver and muscle tissue as glycogen. Do we understand that sugar can be detrimental to our health? The amount of sugar we eat has a major role in precipitating diseases such as diabetes, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and even fatigue. We are consumers of sugar. The average person from Western Europe or America consumes two and a half kilos, or five pounds of sugar per month. We commonly see this as white table sugar.

Are all sugars created equal? In my mind there are two types of carbohydrates, simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are sweet foods such as fruit, honey, and easily broken down starches. They are digested very quickly. Complex carbohydrates are foods like potatoes, grains and cereals which take longer to digest. The approximate amount of energy derived from one medium-size apple is equivalent to two tablespoons of white sugar, however the table sugar is pure, sterile, devoid of vitamins and minerals. These have been lost during processing.
At any given time, human blood carries two tablespoons of sugar distributed in 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 pints of blood. If you took four liters of water and dissolved two tablespoons of sugar in it, the dilution would be weak. It would be very difficult to taste the sugar. But this is precisely the dilution/concentration that the body needs!

The process of getting the sugar from mouth to cell for the liberation of energy requires a process called active transport. Active transport of molecules across barriers in the human body engages enzymes, co-enzymes and catalysts. These substances are vitamins and minerals. Therefore , the liberation of energy from a sugar molecule depends upon the supply and utilization of vitamins and minerals. Again, processed sugars are sterile, and in order for glucose to be metabolized, the body must obtain the vitamins & minerals from storage areas. Highest amounts of many B-vitamins necessary for this process are found in the blood and the brain. Depletion of the B-1, 2,3 and 6 vitamins in the brain can lead to poor neuroendocrine function which can produce hormonal problems. In women, menstrual symptoms can include difficult and painful periods, excessive weight gain and mood swings. In men, fatigue, hypertension and depression can occur.

The RATE OF UPTAKE of sterile sugars is important also. The sugar in a normal cola drink takes about twenty minutes to get into the blood stream. The same amount from the apple, close to two hours. The pancreas secretes insulin which counteracts the rapid rise of blood sugar. The gland can become over reactive to glucose thus producing excessive insulin. This is called "pre-diabetes or hypoglycemia". When the gland finally is exhausted and can no longer produce adequate insulin, it collapses into exhaustion and this is called "diabetes". While there are other causes for diabetes, the above scenario accounts for over ninety percent of cases.

What about the QUALITY of food? Over the past twenty years I have tried to compare diet and quality of life, with that of our ancestors. By nature, we are nomads. We eat a variety of foods, meats and vegetables. But today, due to poor food quality we are faced with nutritional deficiencies in the presence of affluence. In our modern world, many things affect the quality of carbohydrates. We have what is termed " food technology". Scientists have been working hard for the last 60 years to produce hybrid food groups that look better and last longer on the shelf. In science's never-ending push towards Bigger&Better, the nutritional quality has suffered. While we no longer have to concern ourselves with feast or famine, we do have to concern ourselves with long work hours, the effects of stress, and poor nutritional selection as noted above. Anatomical abnormalities such as facial bone malformations, crowding of teeth, recessed jaws, pinched nasal cavities and obesity, all are signs of diets high in refined sugar. The effects are most devastating in the purer ethnic tribes such as Pacific Islanders and Native Americans, where rates of diabetes and obesity are the highest in the world.

When a major University measured the nutrients in the average diet, not more than one person in twenty-five hundred met the minimum daily requirements (RDA).

Plants have immune systems; and hybrid plants have lower vitamin and mineral content which results in lower disease resistance. Therefore, if these plants are less able to defend themselves against disease they must rely on outside help. Help comes from the chemical industry in the form of pesticides and fertilizers which protect crops and insure their yield. Much like the plants, we have difficulty defending ourselves against disease. Sometimes we must rely on outside help in the form of medication, surgery, and other life prolonging techniques.

In the early part of this century an American doctor traveled around the world and looked at the effects of diet on "civilized" and "uncivilized" groups of people. His research was seen as the most progressive and far-reaching study of diet and nutrition to date. His book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston Price, is recommended for doctors as well as for anyone who needs further proof of diet's effects on our health.

Our primary source of sugar in the diet comes from some interesting selections. Here is what the average American consumes:

FOODS CONSUMED (PER 10,000 PERSONS)

Rank Description # persons
1 Coffee or tea 7,994
2 White bread, rolls, crackers 7,666
3 Margarine 4,196
4 Whole milk and milk beverages 4,139
5 Doughnuts, cookies, cake 4,085
6 Sugar 4,067
7 Green salad (Iceberg lettuce) 4,030
8 Regular soft drinks 3,908
9 Cheese 3,287
10 Eggs 3,137
11 Mayonnaise, salad dressing 3,124
12 Hot dogs, ham, lunch meats 2,959
13 Alcoholic beverages 2,663
14 Hamburgers, cheeseburgers 2,618
15 Potatoes 2,583

(Notice that salad appears #7, but is only in 40% of people's diets (4,000 in 10,000). Americans certainly do take their coffee and doughnuts seriously.)

The quality carbohydrate we ingest influences the quantity of sugar we eat. Look at the commonly eaten foods in the chart above. Then ask yourself What about the protein? What about the fat? You will soon realize that they have been replaced by cheap carbohydrate. Without adequate sources of protein, blood sugar becomes unstable.

The truth about carbohydrates is that there is no simple truth. It is an individual matter. The best diet is one that feeds the body. It contains the highest quality carbohydrates, protein and fat. Eating three or four small meals per day, evenly spaced is the most efficient method of balancing blood sugar. Eat in your "Zone", or for your "Blood Type". But start your eating program with lots of fresh veggies and complex grains (not wheat!) Begin slowly and be patient.. In my own personal experience, I like pushing away from the table before I feel my stomach stretch. Remaining just a little hungry keeps me alert.

REMEMBER: Excellent nutrition, physical activity and genetic predisposition, have the greatest effects on health and longevity.

DO NOT EAT refined, processed sugar.