3. Sugar is harmless
Dr. Neil Barnard rejects the notion that sugar causes diabetes. He says decisively that he doesn’t blame sugar, that it’s “fat in the blood” that causes insulin resistance and leads to diabetes.
Again, this idea goes against the very basics of physiology.
It assumes that sugar and fat go straight from mouth to bloodstream, without undergoing any sort of metabolism in between. Several metabolic steps happen after you ingest food that determine how it is used and where it ends up.
Research shows that reducing carbs and upping your fat intake reduces fat in your blood, which in turn lowers your risk of diabetes.
Another What the Health vegan author Dr. Garth Davis says sugar is stored as glycogen, not fat. There’s only a shred of truth to that. A small amount of sugar is stored as glycogen, but that has limits. If you have the most basic understanding of physiology, you know that fat is our energy storage mechanism. If you go overboard with carbs (once you add sugar into the mix, it does not take long to max out), it’s stored as fat and you develop insulin resistance or even non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
The film’s doctors shrug off sugar as an innocent bystander, but sugar does more than just make you fat:
- Sugar messes with your hormones. It tanks your testosterone and stimulates the release of cortisol and estrogen, which in excess leads to heart disease.If your heart makes it through these hormone shifts, sugar increases platelet adhesiveness which also leads to coronary heart disease.
- Sugar is highly addictive. It lights up the reward centers of your brain like drugs do, and is more addictive than cocaine. Just a couple weeks of a high-sugar diet increases fat in your blood, which elevates insulin and contributes to diabetes.
- It causes inflammation. The biggest problem with sugar is that it causes inflammation, and inflammation is the root of almost everything that could go wrong in your body. Inflammation causes cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and a lower carb diet reduces C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation.