Over the last few months, I've become more and more concerned about the consumption of sugar. I'm not talking about whole populations at large, at least not in this paragraph.
I'm talking about myself.
You see, over the last few years, while my main, staple diet has always remained very good and I very rarely ever eat foods that you would call "processed", I had included some foods that were high in sugar.
Now, they never really gave me any problems and my weight has always remained fairly stable over the last 10 years.
I put that down to not overeating, not drinking any soda and getting some daily exercise to counterbalance the fact that I spend several hours at the computer to do my job. But as I read more into the potential time bomb that is refined sugar, the more concerned I became until I decided it was time to call "Time" on the sugar!
In a previous post where I talked about the importance of eating more fresh fruit in our diet, I also mentioned some things about refined sugar and pointed to a controversial article published a while ago on the New Your Times calling sugar "toxic".
I've added a link to that article at the bottom of this post so you can read it if you like. That and some other things I've read lately have really gotten me thinking about the whole sugar debate.
I suppose I really became interested on a personal level when I last had a checkup with my doctor earlier in the summer and a blood test revealed a higher than normal PSA reading. For those that don't know what that is, it's an indicator of an enlarged prostate gland. Now when men of my age (over 50) get that kind of news, it's time to sit up and listen.
If I ever wanted to know anything about prostate cancer, that was the time. I delved into recent research and a lot of information pointed to the way in which tumor cells are enriched by our old friend, refined sugar.
That means sucrose or fructose, at the least the version found in high fructose corn syrup or HFCS for short. Add to the potential danger the now known fact that cancer cells don't just grow when you feed them sugar, but they also divide and multiply faster the more sugar they get.
I wasn't so concerned about HFCS as I rarely consumed anything that contains it. But I was consuming stuff with plenty of sucrose, namely chocolate, home baked cake and cookies. Remember, I'm only referring to reined sugars here. Not natural fruit sugars or carbs or anything else. Just the refined stuff!
Anyhow, I thought to myself, why don't these findings ring very loud alarm bells for the researchers and anyone with any authority? Am I the only one to see the very obvious link here?
Sugar + tumor = bigger tumor!
Wait. More research has revealed that when a tumor is starved of its main source of fuel, namely sugar, it stops reproducing and actually shrinks. Isn't this obvious too?
No sugar + tumor = smaller tumor!
Is this not an already documented fact? I read about it, so I guess it must be (see references, below). Well. I decided I'm not waiting for some caring government official to break the news. I decided to act.
No More Sugar
So for me, no more chocolate, no more home baking and cold turkey on anything that has sucrose or HFCS in it. Was it tough? Nope! It was and still is surprisingly easy. I just decided to stop eating that stuff and I did.
A couple months later another blood test showed PSA levels normal. Whew!
Whoa... hold on there boy! Did I just write something significant? I believe I just did.
Now, before you go out and start lynching your doctor for not telling you this, you have to understand this is only my own little experiment on little old me. What I did was break an old habit and in the process staved my body of refined sugar and I got a happy result. It doesn't mean anyone else will and it doesn't prove anything.
Just for the record, it's been about 3 months into this new anti-sugar eating regime for me. I first noticed I was more tired and lacked energy, but this soon passed and now I feel more awake and alert and I also feel like I have more energy. I lost a few pounds too. Nice by-product!
More kinda interesting stuff:
My total blood cholesterol levels dropped, with a slight drop in LDL and a slight rise in HDL, so all good there. My blood pressure is normal (no change). My level of visceral fat has dropped significantly. Yea! Well, no real surprise there.
It's worth noting here that visceral fat is also believed to be a potential cause of colon and breast cancer (just saying). Excess sugar causes greater visceral fat levels unless it's burned off with excess exercise. I guess my daily dog walking wasn't enough to do that. Now it is!
What can someone take away with them from reading about my own experience?
That you can certainly lose weight by cutting out all foods that contain refined sugars. Duh. I doubt I'll get any argument on that point.
That being that you can potentially reduce your risk of prostate cancer if you're a guy over 50. Not saying that's a given, just a possibility.
ALWAYS check that one with your doctor. It is NOT something you should leave to chance.
It was a very good choice for me to make.
A good decision.
A very good decision, I think.
It also proved something to me: that I could break a habit just like that, not by exerting any power of will... but by making a firm and positive decision. And sticking by it.
Now, that's real power!
- Terry Didcott
Here's the link to the toxic sugar article in the NYT: Is Sugar Toxic?
Here's a link to an article on prostate cancer you might find interesting: Food for Thought
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Posted on Thu, 18 Oct 2012 in Diet | 0 Comments
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