Why You Should Make This One New Year’s Resolution, and Stick to It

When we think of New Year’s resolutions, we think of losing weight, exercising more, drinking less or not for a while… but more scientific research now says sugar addiction is often overlooked as the most destructive and deadly force of all.

Emerging and replicated research shows people who consume lots of sugar are more than twice as likely to die from heart disease. Studies say sugar feeds cancer cells and boost the risk of Alzheimer’s. Then there is sugar’s link to diabetes, and the list goes on. That’s why giving up sugar as your New Year’s Resolution, including artificial sweeteners, might just be the best thing you could do for your health in 2018.


What is sugar?

Sugar is a generic term for a molecule of fructose and glucose. It’s a soluble carbohydrate. The average person consumes 53 pounds of the sweet stuff each year. Sugar is half fructose and half sucrose; agave syrup is 70% fructose and 30% glucose; and maple syrup is mostly sucrose.

Sugar includes all sweeteners, such as high fructose corn syrup and natural ones like agave. Refined carbohydrates are sugars, too. There are nearly 60 different names for sugar. Read the label. Red flags are any type of syrup and words that end in -ose. Also fruit juice concentrate, fruit juice, molasses, turbinado, maltodextrin, evaporated cane juice, caramel, and honey. By the way, caramel is not only a sugar, it is a sugar type that boosts inflammation like crazy. Inflammation is the initiating event of many bad issues that can happen to you, like solid tumors, cancers, unhealthy hearts, and tumors inside breast tissue, which all feed on sugar.

Sugar is one of the major sources of all chronic disease and it’s a problem that you can so something about. Sugar is inflammatory. Caramel coloring is inflammatory. This year, give all this stuff up.

Most of us are Addicted

An estimated three-fourths of Americans are addicted to sugar and don’t know it. But food manufacturers do. They add sugar to nearly everything, even foods that may not seem sweet, such as crackers, bread, yogurt, pasta sauce, and more. It’s difficult to find foods, even at natural grocery stores, that don’t have added sugar. They may put in organic cane sugar, and you think a natural version of sugar is healthier, but it isn’t.

Added sugar creates addicted customers that keep coming back for more. Manufacturers care more about maximizing profits rather than your health.

At the end of the show I’ll tell you the best way to quit and how to do it easier than “cold turkey,” and which foods are sneaky.

Dietary sugar intake, in the form of sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and even foods that act like sugar—such as white rice, white potatoes , crackers, and white pasta—dramatically increases the risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, sleeping issues, diabetes, fatty liver (which makes it almost impossible to lose weight) and cancer. Even losing your wits or cognitive capabilities.

Most people are shocked to learn that they consume 100 times more sugar than their ancestors did back in the 1800s. Many of you are unaware that the sugar in your morning cereal and the sugar added to your foods that come in boxes and cans, and your deserts and chocolate bars, is at the root of your nagging health issues.

If you make and keep a NO SUGAR New Year’s resolution, often, within weeks, you get rid of a lot of the issues that you trek to doctors for or that make you feel like you are a hundred years old. Aches and pains. Joint pain. Gut pain. Bloat. Constipation. Diarrhea. Brain fog. Fatigue. In a pre-diabetic situation, tissues are being damaged as your blood sugar levels creep up. You get arthritis (did you know a lot of joint pain is inflammation from elevated blood sugars?), sinus congestion, memory issues, less stamina; all caused by eating too many sugary foods. Yet most of us, including our health practitioners (unless they are naturopathic, chiropractic, or nutritional) don’t connect your woes to what you eat, especially sugar.

Scientists who tested lab animals discovered sugar is even more addictive than some illicit drugs. “Sugar affects the same parts of the brain as cocaine,” sugar is cocaine for your brain. It affects the dopamine pathways. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that makes you feel good.

When you are addicted to sugar it’s not just about taste. “Sugar makes you want to keep eating more to have more brain dopamine hits. Sugar keeps you wanting more and more as you brain becomes “desensitized” to smaller and smaller amounts.” It’s a no win-sugar situation.

You might think, “Well, I don’t eat dessert, so I don’t have a lot of sugar.” But if you are eating specific foods that we will list at the show’s end, these carbohydrates break down and they become dangerous sugar. 

11 Problems sugar can create in your body:

#1 Increases Hunger

Sugar makes you unable to control your appetite. Consistent evidence shows the capacity of fructose to induce changes in neuropeptides or brain activity, with a resulting decrease in the satiety response. You want more and more.

Impaired dopamine function is associated with wanting to eat more and more. Mice who received either water or water with a 10% high fructose corn syrup solution were all allowed to eat whatever they wanted. In science, this is referred to as ad libitum eating. The mice with the sugary water combo had altered dopamine function even if they didn’t gain weight.

Sugar disrupts your attempts to live ZEN.

It seems that even when you just put sugar into your mouth, the mouth-sugar link itself, initiates the loss of appetite control through indirect measures. Your loss of appetite control starts when you start to experience the sugary sweet taste! Wow.

Sugar seems to futz with the endocannabinoid, opioid, and mesolimbic dopaminergic systems that may lead to aberrant eating behaviors and addictions to sweetness. This addictive-like condition could be explained by a desensitization of the reward pathways.

#2 Causes Leaky Gut

Researchers from the Department of Surgical, Oncological and Gastroenterological Sciences at the University of Padua, Italy, wrote an article called Intestinal Permeability in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Pathogenesis, Clinical Evaluation, and Therapy of Leaky Gut. They discuss that the Western Diet (SAD—Standard American Diet) with its high content of refined sugars (and unhealthy fats) is a risk factor for the development of inflammatory bowel disease because it induces a low-grade inflammation in the gut, alters microbial life ratios (dysbiosis), and causes increased intestinal permeability, or what is now referred to commonly as “leaky gut.”

How does sugar make our guts leaky? It creates an imbalance in our microbiome. This damages the gut wall. It makes holes in the wall. This causes molecules that should not pass through your gut wall, to do so. And you start to feel poorly and even develop diseases that you do not link to consuming sugar. One of these diseases is a fatty liver

#3 Fatty Liver

When you consume foods several times a day that are high in sugars and high fructose corn syrup or even agave, this alters your gut microbiome. It makes your gut wall leaky. The first place after eating, post-prandial, that this “translocation of bacteria” leak across to is your liver. This promotes fatty liver without you being an alcoholic.

Fructose especially creates nasty alterations of the tight junction proteins affecting the gut permeability, leading to the translocation of bacteria and bacterial endotoxins into your bloodstream. As a result, you feel lousy but don’t know why. “Oh, say, hey, honey, do we have any cookies left?” And the whole cycle continues.

Your waist is expanding, but you swear you don’t know why.

Fructose is the “key” dietary catalyst in the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD comprises a complex disease spectrum, including steatosis (fatty liver), non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, hepatocyte injury, inflammation, and fibrosis. NFLD is a common problem in young teenage girls with PCOS, but many providers are not aware of this. I lectured on this some months ago at A4M in Chicago to 100 MDs, and none of them were aware of this PCOS/fructose/fatty liver link.

Fatty liver puts you into a state of insulin resistance. You do not respond to the hormone insulin, which makes it almost impossible to lose weight. And this occurs silently, so you don’t know it’s happening.

Getting ultrasounds of your liver to rule out fatty liver makes sense, but it is not a common medical practice, even though the internist I practiced with in Tulsa did it on all his patients every few years. He practiced thorough medicine.

Fructose in excess causes unhealthy crosstalk with your gut microbiota and immune system. You get sicker and sicker, but no one points out that giving up fructose may be a sane and helpful thing to do.

The composition of your microbiota is a kind of fingerprint that is highly influenced by what you eat. Your microbiota and its metabolites influence your metabolism, immune function, and can produce vitamins and a variety of nutrients, including short-chain fatty acids that “feed” the lining of your intestinal cells. When you regularly consume sugar and fructose, these mechanisms go haywire. You gut does not get well fed, nor do you. You get physiologic consequences that create you feeling unlike your younger self.

Intestinal permeability, leaky gut, is increased in obese patients with unhealthy fat build up in their liver, and compared with obese patients without. Going off sugar and losing weight stop this cycle.

#4 Makes Nasty Inflammation

There is a molecular complex called the NLRP3-inflammasome complex that is front center stage. The NLRP3-inflammasome complex has been described as a “danger sensor,” which triggers your body to realize that unhealthy inflammation is starting to happen, let’s say in your heart or joints.

Sugar inactivates this protective sensing mechanism. Especially in your heart cells. When this molecule is turned off, your cellular repair, a system called autophagy, also goes limp. Researchers say that the inhibition of NLRP3 activation may hold promise in the treatment of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, but why don’t you just give up the sugar?

#5 The Cancer-Sugar Link

Scientists say that for sure sugar directly influences cancer cells. The amount we consume can either feed those cells or starve them. Does your cancer doc tell you this? Probably not, and they usually hand out orange juice while you are getting chemo. They give you something to kill the cancer while at the same time they are feeding the cancer. It’s very frustrating.

In a study conducted at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, researchers fed mice diets high in sugar and observed they had a higher incidence in breast and lung cancer. The scientists determined it was specifically the fructose—in table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup that is ubiquitous within our food system—that was responsible for facilitating cancer metastasis. This is when cancer cells leave the primary tumor and travel dangerously throughout your body, putting you at risk of death.

In mice, sucrose intake that was comparable to levels in Western diets led to increased tumor growth and metastasis, when compared to a non-sugar/starch diet.

A diet high in sugar contributes to the formation of cancer. It also suggests that diet can make a difference in the treatment of a person who has already been diagnosed with cancer.

Look at the unique case of a single patient named Fred Hatfield. In 2012 Fred received a death sentence. The doctors gave him three months to live because of widespread metastatic cancer in his bones. Three months. Three different doctors gave him the same verdict. Then he heard about a low-sugar diet, called the ketogenic diet, that was believed to slow cancer in some people. With nothing to lose, he gave it a try; to his astonishment, it worked. The cancer went into remission.

Now, not all cancers go into remission because you give up sugar. But if you receive a diagnosis of cancer, it should be one of the first things you do.

The ketogenic diet prolongs life in animals and humans with cancer.

Dr. Dominic D’Agostino and his team at the University of South Florida discovered that mice with highly aggressive metastatic cancer continued living when fed a ketogenic diet. D’Agostino has seen similar results in humans.

Cancer cells love sugar and starch because cancer thrives on the glucose from those foods. Conversely, removing the glucose results in starvation for the cancer cells. Glucose also fuels our healthy cells, but if it’s not there, those cells can switch to an alternate fuel source called ketone bodies.

Cancer cells only run on glucose. Avoiding sugar is a tool to help defeat cancer cells. Your own normal cells have the metabolic flexibility to adapt from using glucose to using ketone bodies, but cancer cells do not have this flexibility. You can use this to your advantage and avoid sugar to starve cancer cells.

#6 Breast cancer

Recent reports have indicated that hyperglycemia, high sugar in your blood stream, is associated with breast cancer progression (making it worse and more life threatening).

How does this happen?

When you consume sugars, your body produces a sugar Uber. This is called a glucose transporter 12 (GLUT12)—a protein that can increase inside cancer cells and help them travel outside the tumor and throughout your body when your blood is rich with glucose.

GLUT12 plays a critical role in the model of breast cancer progression through high glucose concentrations. The moral of this story is to avoid sugar and foods that act like them inside your body, as much as you can. You don’t have to be perfect, but you have to be vigilant.

Metformin and melatonin help starve cancer cells (in a simplistic way of speaking).

There are over a thousand articles showing how metformin, the old-time drug for treating diabetes, eradicates cancer stem cells, prolongs life after cancer, and reduces recurrence. One of the ways is by promoting healthier and more protective, less sugary pathways inside the body. It also lengthens telomeres, which may be one of its protective mechanisms, too, as the longer your telomeres (the caps on your DNA), the better your chances of living longer.

Melatonin shifts cell metabolism away from sugary pathways. It helps defend the body against cancerous progression. And melatonin is an unappreciated protector against endocrine disruptors that are linked to cancer progression, like heavy metals and Bisphenol A.

Melatonin protects DNA damage caused by the hormone-altering chemical soup that we live in. And melatonin protects against heavy metal endocrine disruption linked to diseases like breast cancer.

#7. Added Sugars and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Children

Sugary diets are starting to cause heart disease in children, according to the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee of the Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health; Council on Clinical Cardiology; Council on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council on Epidemiology and Prevention; Council on Functional Genomics and Translational Biology; and Council on Hypertension.

Strong evidence supports the association of added sugars (at levels far below current consumption) with increased cardiovascular disease risk in children through increased energy intake, increased adiposity, and dyslipidemia. The committee found that it is reasonable to recommend that children consume ≤25 g (100 cal or ≈6 teaspoons) of added sugars per day and to avoid added sugars for children under two years of age. Although added sugars most likely can be safely consumed in low amounts as part of a healthy diet, few children achieve such levels, making this an important public health target.

A new study, published in the January 2018 edition of the journal Health Affairs, compared the mortality rate of children in 19 wealthy Western countries. Our kids are dying at higher rates than any other country, even though we spend nearly 20% of our gross national product on health care—far greater than any other Western country.

The authors of the article comment: “The United States has poorer child health outcomes than other wealthy nations despite greater per capita spending on health care for children. While child mortality progressively declined across all countries, mortality in the U.S. has been higher than in peer nations since the 1980s. From 2001 to 2010, the risk of death in the U.S. {when compared to other Western countries} was 76 percent greater for infants and 57 percent greater for children ages 1–19.”

Now, sugary foods are not the only reason, but they are a huge reason. Stop feeding your kids sugar, like sugary cereals for breakfast. Did you know that Cheerios is filled not only with sugar, but also oats are a huge source of RoundUp™, which paralyzes your kid’s microbiota and synergizes with sugar to make the gut/leaky gut/fatty liver/disinsulism link start to occur?

8. Colon Cancer

Findings of this meta-analysis showed that a diet characterized by high intake of sugary foods, red meats, and processed meats (that act like sugar inside your body) is linked to a higher risk of colorectal cancer. In contrast, more whole grains, vegetables, fruit and dairy products, with lower amounts of red meat and processed meat, were associated with lower risk of CRC

9. Depression/Mood Issues

One study looked at 15,546 Spanish university graduates from the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra to see who got depression and what they ate. Those that ate the highest quartile of added sugars showed the highest significant risk of depression. Higher added sugars and lower quality of carb consumption were associated with getting more depressed. Is your Prozac addiction due to what you put into your mouth? Not all depression is caused by sugar, but a lot is. This is the reason that the field of nutritional psychology is growing rapidly, thank goodness.

 10. Acne

High sugary or high glycemic acting foods cause more pimples and nasty cystic acne. If your face is sprouting pimples, you may have some gut dysbiosis or disinsulinism that may be secondary to too much sugar in your blood stream.

 11. Sugar SIBO, small intestinal bowel overgrowth

SIBO is very common in obese subjects. Carbohydrates and sugars promote the development of SIBO in obesity and, in contrast, consuming higher nutrient and fiber foods protects against it. Sugar is a huge risk factor for dysbiosis in the small intestines.

Are You What You Eat or What Your Mother Ate or Both?

What your mom eats while pregnant with you or while breastfeeding counts, too. Early dietary programming in the womb and at the breast affects cancer risk as the child becomes an adult. When you are pregnant you really are eating for two

Sugar Scam

While the literature grows on the negative effects of sugar, I bumped into an article in peer-review (or so I thought) that was in PubMed. It said that not enough high-level evidence shows that sugar is bad for us. So I had to take a closer look. What I discovered was that this journal is for hire. The journal Nutrients has a conflict of interest. Authors pay $1,836 to have their articles published in this journal, so the financial incentive for the journal is to approve articles no matter how much they may be wrong or inaccurate. The journal publishes about 100 articles a month and makes a lot of money; it is run by money.

Rippe MD, a Harvard cardiologist wrote this article. He sounds legitimate with all his books and credentials. He’s got the Rippe Lifestyle Institute and puts himself out as a huge health advocate. But while writing that there is no real scientific evidence against sugar, he is riddled with conflicts of interest: J.M. Rippe’s research laboratory has received unrestricted grants and consulting fees from ConAgra Foods, Kraft Foods, the Florida Department of Citrus, PepsiCo International, The Coca Cola Company, the Corn Refiners Association, Weight Watchers International, and various publishers.

I sent this article to Dr. Alan Gaby and he wrote back: “How do you spell “w….?” But if you didn’t know all this back copy you would say, hey, this big-time Harvard heart doc said sugar isn’t all that bad.

What a scam. Doesn’t it become soul-weary when so much that is so important is more about money than the true issues?

 How to Quit

Go cold turkey. Wait out any cravings for 20 minutes and they usually go away. You need to go off sugar completely. Just like an alcoholic can’t have a little to drink. It varies from person to person, but usually after a number of days the sugar addiction stops. Sugar cravings do go away.

Your sugar safety net: whole fruit, and seed muffins. Make my special seed-only flour-free muffins to help stabilize your blood sugar and make you crave sugar much less. Whole fruit is fruit in its natural form, not fruit juice or fruit products like gummy fruits, dried fruits, or fruit rolls. Eventually sugar addicts need to avoid the sugar in eating excessive amounts of fruit.

Avoid Artificial Sweeteners, Worse Than Sugar

Research shows artificial sugars are worse than the real thing. They reduce a type of bacteria that tends to be found in lean, healthy people and increases another type of bacteria, called bacteroidetes, that is found in people who are obese. Artificial sugars make it hard to lose weight. They alter gut microbiota, which sets up the scene to cause leaky gut and fatty liver, and it becomes impossible to lose weight and feel well.

Studies show people who regularly consume artificial sweeteners actually gain more weight. Artificial sweeteners, just like sugar, can trigger dangerous insulin resistance.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

While insulin resistance is a serious condition, it doesn’t have to be permanent. Intermittent fasting helps reverse the problem. There are many different ways people can fast intermittently. One of the most popular is going without food for a 12 to 16-hour stretch each night.

When you’re not eating, you’re allowing your insulin levels to drop, and allowing the insulin receptors to reset. Built-up fat marches out of your liver (and pancreas) and these organs start to function more optimally.

It might not be easy, but giving up sweets in their many forms, including artificial sweeteners, keeps you younger longer.

Here is an editorial that Dr. Alan Gaby, a dear friend of mine, like a brother, wrote on sugar. It’s worth learning how the industry and “prestigious” journals are more run by money that the goal to keep us healthy.

No one will ever care about your health as much as you will. And it’s only you that can put the sugar into your mouth and swallow it.

Saying NO to sugar is saying YES to you.


Sugar industry’s propaganda campaign exposed a half-century later

By Alan R. Gaby, M.D.

In the 1960s, British scientist John Yudkin challenged the popular belief that saturated fat and cholesterol were the main dietary factors involved in the pathogenesis of coronary heart disease (CHD). Citing epidemiological data and other evidence, Yudkin argued that refined sugar (which at the time was primarily sucrose) was the most important dietary culprit. In the ensuing years, additional research solidified the link between dietary sugar and CHD. We now know that consumption of large amounts of sucrose or other refined sugars by humans can cause adverse changes in various cardiovascular disease risk factors, including an increase in serum levels of triglycerides, insulin, and uric acid; a rise in blood pressure; an increase in platelet adhesiveness; and a decrease in HDL-cholesterol levels. We also know that feeding experimental animals (rabbits and monkeys) a high-sucrose diet results in the development of coronary and aortic atherosclerosis. In rabbits, the atherosclerotic lesions were more severe than those resulting from a high-cholesterol diet.

By 1965, the sugar industry had recognized that Yudkin’s work was a threat to sugar sales and, through its Sugar Research Foundation, began a secret campaign to discredit the proposed link between sugar and CHD. Recently obtained Sugar Research Foundation documents from the mid-1960s have revealed that the Foundation paid large sums of money to well-known scientists in exchange for their writing an apparently biased review article that downplayed the negative effects of refined sugar.

The Sugar Research Foundation’s effort resulted in the 1967 publication of a two-part review article in the New England Journal of Medicine, titled “Dietary fats, carbohydrates, and atherosclerotic vascular disease.” The review was written by Frederick Stare (the chairman of the Harvard Department of Nutrition) and two professors of nutrition at Harvard. The authors did not disclose that the Sugar Research Foundation had paid them $6,500 (equivalent to $48,900 in 2016 dollars) to write the review.

A letter that had been sent by the director of research at the Sugar Research Foundation to one of the authors made it clear that the Foundation’s “particular interest” in funding the review article was to deal with the bad press that sugar had been receiving. The author replied that he was well aware of the Sugar Research Foundation’s interest, and that the authors would cover that topic as well as they could. The published review article discounted research showing that sucrose consumption increased triglyceride levels. The basis for rejecting that evidence was the claim that serum cholesterol is the only legitimate biomarker for CHD risk. The article also discounted a study showing that substituting sucrose with vegetables or with additional fat markedly improved serum cholesterol levels. The reason for ignoring that evidence was that these dietary interventions are supposedly not feasible. Observational studies linking higher sugar intake with a higher risk of CHD were also downplayed on the grounds that epidemiological evidence cannot prove causation.

In contrast to its harsh criticism of the sucrose research, the review article ignored many of the flaws in the research that purported to implicate dietary fat and cholesterol. Moreover, despite having previously argued that observational studies cannot prove causation, the article cited observational studies to support the contention that CHD is caused by dietary fat and cholesterol. The two-part article concluded that there is strong evidence that dietary saturated fat and cholesterol play a role in the causation of CHD, whereas evidence implicating sugar is minimal and of little practical significance.

The Harvard Nutrition Department’s pro-sugar bias was not lost on some of the avant garde nutritionists of the day. Noted author and Prevention Magazine columnist Carlton Fredericks often referred to Frederick Stare as the “Candy King of Cambridge,” and once remarked that Stare’s impending retirement promised to be his greatest contribution to the field of nutrition. Nevertheless, the review article that was secretly bought and paid for by the sugar industry helped solidify the consensus view that saturated fat and cholesterol, not sugar, was the cause of CHD.

Fast-forward a half-century. Now there is a growing consensus that the importance of saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet has been greatly overestimated. And while it is not yet generally accepted that refined sugar is a key factor in the causation of CHD, a significant body of evidence points in that direction. Of course, the sugar industry continues to deny that there is any connection at all between sugar consumption and heart disease.

I predict that sometime in the future there will be sufficient evidence to convince most doctors and scientists that sugar plays an important role in the causation of CHD. And while the sugar industry might eventually face product-liability lawsuits for having misrepresented the dangers of its product, the industry will at least be able to take comfort in the fact that having egg on your face is not as bad as having sugar in your veins.

PS. One of the best books ever written on nutrition is Alan’s book called Nutritional Medicine. It’s over 1550 pages for you practitioners and smart inquiring patients.

Related Podcast: Sugar No More


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