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Thursday, February 26, 2015


The Federal Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recently filed a report to eat less red meat, not particularly because it might not be good for your health, but more for the contention that cattle messed up the environment.  They also flatulate, contributing to The Venus Syndrome.  However, I'm the guy who last year posted on:  EAT BEEF FAT AND BETTER ENJOY LIFE!  Thus, our government agencies don't seem to be coordinating their message.  Mostly, though, the Committee recommended taxing sodas and snacks.  The increasing presence of sugars in your diet was of especial concern.

In some ways, this could be the beginning of what the tobacco industry faced half a century ago.  Today, New York City residents pay Federal, state and city taxes amounting to $5.85/pack of cigarettes, versus 17 cents in the state of Missouri, plus the mandated $1.01/pack, which is taxed nationwide.

Why this tax?  First, tobacco products are bad for your health, so it seemed sensible to make them so expensive that people would reduce smoking and chewing them.  Second, every government entity is looking for ways to get your money, and this one could be foisted on the general public with minimal resistance, except for Missouri and other mostly southern states.  

And these taxes worked, for smoking rates have dropped by 59% since 1964 and life expectancy has increased.  Ironically, in Hawaii, the drop has been so great that the budget of the University of Hawaii's Cancer Research Center is now in  jeopardy because their share of the smoking tax has subsequently fallen, putting the organization in jeopardy.

I might add that not only did we win the Cold War, the U.S. surely must have been responsible for the fact that Russia and former Soviet nations now smoke more cigarettes/capita (2861/year in Serbia and 2,786/year in Russia) in the world, with China trying to catch up (world's largest consumer and producer of tobacco):

We all saw those films where tobacco industry witnesses lied at hearings.  So they got what they deserved, and people now live longer.  Today, these companies are fighting back and are actually winning court cases to reduce their guilt in required ads.

Which leads me to what might, in fact, be now happening to the assorted sugar industries.  Certainly, they can't be so dumb as was the tobacco industry in attempting to deceive the masses and government, but don't be surprised to over the next decade witness something similar with sugar, especially with regards to fructose and the corn industry.

First a tutorial on sugar.  The sugar you get from sugar cane is sucrose.  Sucrose is formed of glucose and fructose.  Turns out that all are bad for your health if taken to excess, but fructose is really, really terrible.  The fructose you ingest generally comes from fruits and corn syrup, which are half fructose and half glucose.  Here are ten reasons why you should limit fructose consumption:
  • Not only can't fructose be used by your body cells as energy, it is a toxin.  The liver tries to get rid of it mainly by transforming it into fat.
  • Fructose, thus, damages the liver, leading to insulin resistance, somewhat similar to ethanol (or the alcohol you drink).  Diabetes!!!
  • Fructose forms advanced glycation end-products seven times more than glucose, leading to inflammation and a host of chronic diseases.
  • Fructose increases uric acid production, which can cause gout, kidney stones and hypertension (high blood pressure),
  • Apparently, pathogenic bacteria in your gut are prone to increase because they can use fructose.
  • Fructose is a direct cause of heart disease.
  • Fructose leads to obesity.
  • Cancer cells use fructose for energy.
  • Fructose impairs memory.
What foods have little or no fructose?
  • fresh meat and fish
  • beans
  • nuts
So, keep in mind that eating too much added sugar increases your risk of dying.  Study participants who took in 25% or more of their daily calories as sugar were more than twice as likely to die from heart disease compared to those who consumed less than 10%.  Sugar-sweetened beverages such as sodas and energy/sport drinks are by far the biggest sources of added sugar today.  Cookies, cakes, pastries and ice cream are also not so good for you.

Okay, so as you need to cut back on salt, alcohol, carbohydrates, red and organ meats, fats, dairy products, fish with mercury, and now sugar, what can you, then, eat?  Here is a food pyramid from Australia:

Note the walking/running around.  Don't be a couch potato.  At my age I consider all the above and eat whatever I want, with balance and moderation.  However, I might ingest slightly too much salt, as with sashimi or in poke and soups...more ice cream than I alcoholic drink or two or three...a steak and even foie gras on occasion...tiny servings of rice, pasta and potato, usually, but Rainbow Drive Inn and Zippy's are unfortunate exceptions...some nuts...creamy blue cheese...a regular breakfast of cereal, fruits, milk and yogurt...and a whole lot of raw vegetables.  I walk on a golf course two or three time per week and now and then use the exercise machines in our center.  I recently fought off the flu in two days and feel healthy.  Yes, I minimize my fructose input and avoid those chemical sweeteners.  Life is great.  That's me at Rainbow Falls after the first ash tossing ceremony.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Saw on Dr Oz...milk has sugar, lots of sugar, which is why a mother cow can grow a calf from 30 lbs to 600 lbs in 6 months. Milk does the same to humans. Those trying to lose weight are fighting a losing battle when they add milk to cereal. Who knew?!! KaraokeLuxe