Dr. Amy Bader, ND
Okay, ladies. This is going to be short and not-so-sweet. In the last few weeks so many of my patients have come to my office reporting sugar cravings, I am starting to think it is the result a mysterious cosmic phenomenon. Solar flare? Super moon? Mercury retrograde? Not sure. I just know, after explaining the biochemistry of sugar to SO many of my patients recently, I also want to share information about “The White Devil” with you. Now, I’m not saying never eat sugar. I’m just suggesting we be mindful and intentional about what we eat. Our bodies were never designed to ingest as much sugar as the average American consumes (four pumps, please), nor are we designed to eat it in the form (fructose) we typically do. Your assignments this month will help you take charge and run that devil out of town for good.
Learn the lingo. The food industry has come up with some clever ways to say “sugar” without actually saying, well, “sugar”. Sneaky! So, we have to be smart consumers and really read labels. In addition to sugar and fructose, here are some of the more common code words to look for: high-fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, corn sweetener, fruit juice concentrate, sucrose, dextrose, and cane juice. In general, any ingredient name with the ending –ose is probably a sugar.
Now you know the lingo… Clean out your kitchen. Boom!
Learn the facts. I fundamentally believe knowledge is power, so I often ask patients to watch a video of a presentation by Dr. Robert Lustig called Sugar: The Bitter Truth. In it, Dr. Lustig reviews the facts about ever-so-ubiquitous-all-over-the-place-in-your-face fructose. I’ll admit, the presentation is a little heavy on the science… boring for some, heaven for a geek like me. So, yawn if you must, but this is well worth the time. One of the most important messages is this: it is NOT about calories, it is about CHEMISTRY. Of course we all know too much sugar can make us gain weight, especially around the muffin-toppin’ middle. But, it can ALSO contribute to inflammation, fatty liver disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and many other serious medical conditions. He explains how fructose literally acts like poison… drinking a sugary soda or a glass of orange juice is not unlike chugging a beer! (It sounds funny until you picture a toddler holding an ice-cold brewski.) Many of my patients who have watched this video have not only sworn off sugar, but have also felt compelled to share this information with the people they love. Be a ripple in the pond—There’s nothin’ like an empowered woman on a mission! Amen.
In summary, eat less sugar. You’re sweet enough without it!
Until next time, take care of your (whole) self—
Amy Bader ND is a doctor, teacher, speaker, writer and entrepreneur. She is a graduate of the National College of Natural Medicine, where she is now an adjunct clinical faculty member training naturopathic medical students. She has private practices in Northern California and Portland, Oregon, where she lives with her beautiful daughter. She has a passion for treating patients with chronic diseases using clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, biotherapeutic drainage, and homeopathy. She has a particular interest in working with patients who want to lose weight and feel comfortable in their bodies.
Dr. Bader has been interviewed as an expert in natural medicine and natural healthcare for radio, newspapers, magazines and television. She has been a contributing expert columnist for a large online health resource website. Dr. Bader was a founding co-director of NCNM’s Integrative Skin Care Clinic. She is a member of the Advisory Counsel for Kamedis, a bio-herbal skin care company, and is a trainer for Radiancy, maker of LHE phototherapy systems.