Friday, April 23, 2010

Sugar, Our Health and Gary Taubes

It is often argued that sugar contains empty calories and that we should limit our sugar intake. It has also been found that eating too much sugar can lead to overweight and even obesity. Further, obesity can lead to diabetes and other health problems. So, consuming too much sugar can lead to diminished health. Indeed, according to Gary Taubes, a well known opponent of sugar, too much sugar is one of the main causes of “metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes, and their associated chronic diseases.”

Gary Taubes’ 2002 New York Times article entitled, "What if It's All Been a Big Fat Lie?" was somewhat controversial. In the article, Taubes suggested that the medical experts who recommended a low fat, high carbohydrate diet caused the obesity epidemic. Taubes also suggested that diets such as Dr. Robert Atkins’ low carbohydrate diet might be a healthier diet than a low fat diet.

Taubes has indicated that sugars -- high-fructose corn syrup in particular -- are especially harmful. However, not all experts agree with many of Taubes’ opinions. But it is worth noting that Taubes appeared at the American Society of Bariatric Physicians (ASBP) Western Regional Obesity Conference held in Seattle, Washington in April 2010. Since ASBP is a respected organization, interested in credible weight loss and weight maintenance methods.

Sugar, including table sugar or sucrose, is a carbohydrate. Carbohydrates are converted by our body into glucose (a form of sugar). Glucose is used by our bodies' cells. However, if too much glucose is created, rather than used by the cells in our bodies, the glucose can cause damage to our nerves, kidneys, and heart. And some of the glucose might be stored as fat, causing us to gain weight.

So, even if sugars are not as harmful as Taubes suggests, too much sugar can cause weight gain. So, watching our sugar intake is probably a wise thing to do. And, again, Taubes’ appearance at the ASBP conference might mean that some experts might feel that his opinions could influence methodologies that could be beneficial to medical weight loss service providers and their patients.

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