Sugar and high fructose corn syrup are products that are meant to appeal to the pleasure centers of our brain. They are more similar in their effect to a drug than they are to a food. In general, a food contains a combination of some of the following: protein, fat, starch, sugar, vitamins, minerals and fiber. God puts nutrients into the cane plant to help us process the sucrose it contains. When we extract the sugar from the cane plant, the body has to use its own resources to process the sugar and invariably, this leaves the body more depleted and less strong than it was before ingesting it. Dr. Berglund finds it frustrating when the health care community downplays the role of the individual in getting sick. Most of the problems we have are because of something we are doing that is hurting our bodies, or because of something we are not doing that could be helping our bodies. We each have a certain amount (that varies from individual to individual) of sweets that we are capable of consuming over the course of our lifetime. Once we reach that limit, our ability to process sugar is impaired. Of course, stress, obesity, and exercise also play a large role, but we need to understand that sugar and high fructose corn syrup cannot be a regular staple of our diet without some health ramifications. These items should be exceptions, not the rule.
We've found more and more new ways to use bleached & enriched refined flour in our food, and we've also found more ways to use high fructose corn syrup as a way to utilize a domestic resource (corn) for an import (cane). Most corn industry marketers say it's the same as sugar. They say that it is better than sugar, because we can take a crop that we produce plenty of and convert it to replace an import. Unfortunately, some studies have shown that high fructose corn syrup is worse than sugar (and sugar wasn't great for people either) in its addictive quality and its ability to cause obesity.
The best way to understand sugar is through statistics:
• In 1822, the average person consumed 7.2 lbs of added sugar each year
• In 2012, the average person is estimated to have consumed between 80 and 130 lbs. of added sugar each year. This is the equivalent of 22 teaspoons a day for an adult and a shocking 32 teaspoons a day for the average child. Over the average lifetime, this means that each of us will consume between 1-2 tons of sugar or high fructose corn syrup (which has no nutritional value).
Sugar is fuel for the body. Over the past 190 years this increase would be justified if we did nearly 10-20 times more exercise and physical exertion, but in fact, we do significantly less physical work than our ancestors did.
• 42.7% of this added sugar comes via soft drinks (soda, energy, fruit drinks)
• 16.1% comes in the form of sugar and candy
• 12.9% in cakes, cookies, and pies
• 8.6 % in ice cream and yogurt (dairy products)
• The 10 teaspoons of sugar in a single 12 oz. can of Coca Cola is equal to the sugar in two Pop Tarts and a Twinkie combined.
If it's not clear yet that soft drinks are a huge problem, understand that the average American drinks 53 gallons of soft drinks per year, which is more than one gallon per week. With a recommended 1500-2000 calorie per day diet, this extra sugar accounts for 500 of those calories.
Blood sugar disorders: Throughout this website, there's a common theme: the body is amazing at dealing with what we do to it, and it does a great job of compensating. However, each system in the human body has its limit. Our culture has had a love affair with sugar for well over a century now, but it hasn't been until the last few decades where it's started catching up to us. We've been trying to "have our cake and eat it too". Dr. Berglund believes that the addition of high fructose corn syrup has made a bad situation dramatically worse.
Our American way of life is geared toward a sedentary lifestyle and the over-consumption of refined carbohydrates. If we live this lifestyle and consume this type of diet day in and day out, eventually our bodies "give up" their ability to handle sugars, which are converted from carbohydrates.
One might think that since hypoglycemics have low blood sugar, their problems would be the exact opposite of a diabetic. To a point, this is true.
When a hypoglycemic consumes carbohydrates (which then convert to sugar), their blood sugar levels will begin to spike beyond normal. Because of this, their over-reactive insulin works extra-hard to drive blood sugar levels WAY down. That person will then begin to feel shaky due to the blood sugar crash, and will consume more carbohydrates in order to feel better - causing the "rollercoaster" cycle to start all over again. However, there's more to hypoglycemia than carbohydrate consumption.
Stress also plays a huge part in blood sugar levels. Our stress glands (adrenal glands) act as a "safety net" in helping us deal with stress. When stress levels increase, the adrenal glands help to maintain, for instance, our blood sugar levels. However, if our adrenal glands have been overworked, they can no longer function as the "safety net" they were designed to be. When stress hits, a hypoglycemic's blood sugar levels will plummet with nothing to support them when this crash begins.
During one of his office visits, Dr. Berglund will be able to determine which supplements will strengthen your adrenal glands and help them function properly.
Cause of type II diabetes
With type II diabetes, lack of insulin isn't necessarily the problem. The problem is that the receptor sites have trouble communicating with the insulin, so it takes much more insulin to "get the job done" when it comes to keeping your blood sugar under control.
Early warning signs that you might be at risk include your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. If your body is having trouble managing your sugars, it tends to store them as fat. If your lipids are high, chances are, your body is having trouble with sugar.
Treating type II diabetes
So what now? If you already have diabetes or if your body is heading down the dysfunctional road toward diabetes, is this just the "hand you were dealt" that you have to live with? Not quite.
You can start to take control again by consuming a diet that eliminates certain carbohydrates, for the most part. You can also get a glucose meter which will tell you which foods cause your blood sugar to sky-rocket.
During one of his office visits, Dr. Berglund will be able to assist you in finding out which foods your body responds negatively to, as well as which nutrients your body needs in order to help keep your blood sugar under control.
By living this new type of lifestyle, it is possible to "take a different road" - a road away from diabetes and on toward health and wellness.