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Diabetes has become an epidemic

Diabetes is often called the silent killer because there can be no warning signs, or signs you didn't know to look out for.

The Centers For Disease Control says numbers show that there are 25.8 million people in the U.S. with diabetes and seven million have not been diagnosed yet.

That figure is staggering. And there has been a big rise in juvenile diabetes due to the obesity of too many of our young people.

Diabetes whether it be insulin dependent Type 1 or the non insulin dependent Type 2 is often a precursor to other serious diseases.

These diseases include pancreatic cancer and Alzheimer's.

The non fat and low fat food craze of the 1990's was the biggest factor in this alarming trend in diabetes.

Foods that were either fat free or low in fat were perceived to be healthier, even though they were still high in calories. That is because sugar has no fat and these "healthier choices" were loaded with it.

The problem was further exacerbated and continues to be with high fructose corn syrup replacing real sugar in most of our foods.

Scientists have recently used imaging tests to show for the first time that fructose, a sugar that saturates the North American diet, can trigger brain changes that may lead to overeating.

All sugars are not equal — even though they contain the same number of calories — because they are metabolized differently in the body. Table sugar is sucrose, which is half fructose, half glucose. High-fructose corn syrup is 55 per cent fructose and 45 per cent glucose.

While there are other factors other than diet that may increase the chances of getting diabetes, such as family history and lack of exercise, the overwhelming evidence points to highly processed foods as the main culprit.

So while the non fat and low fat craze of the 1990's is passe along with unhealthy and unnatural trans fats, our reliance on processed foods that don't even contain real sugar continue to be a major staple of the American diet.

Until we demand that the food companies change their practices, this problem is not going to go away anytime soon.

The reason being these chemical additives to our food are cheap, increase their shelf life and improve the taste according to many people.

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