Monday, November 16, 2009
Why We Avoid Sugar and Minimize Flour
You may have noticed that sugar is not often found in my recipes. I thought that I should elaborate on why we don’t use sugar or much flour.
Sugar and flour are foods we do our best to avoid or minimize when possible. Neither my husband nor I are diabetic, nor do we have high glucose readings. We avoid sugar and flour for entirely different reasons. Sugar is verboten in our house because sugar feeds cancer. If you haven’t known anyone that has gotten a PET scan this works by adding a material to a glucose solution that can be imagined. The glucose solution is used because cancer will immediately feed on the sugar promoting its growth and spread and making it able to be imagined.
A German biologist (Otto Warburg) was awarded the Nobel Prize for his discovery that the metabolism of malignant tumors depends on glucose consumption. Glucose is what sugar becomes in the body after you consume it. When we eat foods that have high on the glycemic index our blood glucose levels increase rapidly as all diabetics know. When glucose raises the body releases IGF (insulin like growth factor) that stimulates healthy and unhealthy cells to grow. Scientists are working on new medicines to fight cancer that will reduce spiking insulin and IGF.
Since DNA is mutating in all of our bodies everyday and creating cancer or precancerous cells we have the ability to feed our bodies food that will fight or promote the disease. My husband and I have chosen to consume the healthiest diet possible to fight the disease. We both feel that an optimally nourished body is better able to fight all disease.
Additionally, consuming sugar promotes Advanced Glycation End Products (AGE’s) that have a negative effect on the body and result in an increase in age related chronic diseases. I prefer to reduce our exposure to this negative chemical reaction when possible. Sugar may taste good but in my opinion it isn’t worth the risk of promoting cancer to grow and increasing your risk of age related disease.
This doesn’t mean that we never eat food that tastes good as many or our friends think. We have found that the longer we stay away from sugar the less we crave it and the sweeter other naturally sweet food (like fruit) tastes to us. Sometimes I need to use a little sweetener to make the food taste right and then I use either stevia or agave depending on what I am cooking.
If you are going to eat something with sugar or flour you shouldn’t eat it between meals, but with other foods. Consuming food with a high glycemic index with low glycemic index foods slows the speed at which the body can process the sugar thereby reducing the insulin spikes and release of IGF.
I hope you find this information useful. I decided to write this to make certain that all of you know the pitfalls of consuming sugar and flour as I understand them. I am not trying to imply that our diet is perfect since it is far from it. We do eat pasta and bread but try to consume them as infrequently as possible without making ourselves nuts. There are always changes we can make to eat a healthier diet. Over time I find that our dietary choices are improving. I hope the same thing happens with all of you.
I was asked why flour was included in this post and realized that I should have given more background information.
Flour, both white and whole wheat, is a highly processed food. It has been mechanically pulverized into tiny particles almost the size of dust. Think of the size of wheat berries compared to flour. When you consume wheat berries they are somewhat hard and you need to spend a good bit of time to chew them to begin the digestion process. Flour is in essence mechanically predigested so that you need to do no more than swallow it and when it gets into your stomach it is a smaller food particle than the chewed wheat berries. Due to its size flour is easily digested by the stomach acid and therefore more quickly causes your blood glucose and IGF to increase.
The media tries to make whole grain flour sound like it is a health food but that really isn't the case. It is better than white flour, but it is still not what I call a health food to be consumed every day let alone at every meal like most Americans serve it.
All Italians have a fondness for flour products, particularly pasta. It has been very hard for me to reduce our whole wheat pasta consumption. This is a notion I fought for a lot of years. I have finally come to the conclusion that it is best for our health. For me it is easier to minimize it when I know the negative health impact.
If you have any questions about this post please comment so I can try to elaborate. I hope you are all having a great day.