Open Letter To My Grandson
The other day, you asked me, “Why don’t you believe in eating sugar?”
I told you that I used to be a sugar addict once, but now that I’m on the other side of it, I can see that it simply is not worth it. Yet somehow, that answer isn’t enough. How do I tell you the unseen impact of sugar on your body and your unborn children that does NOT show up for 20 or 30 years?
It’s not about the sugar. It’s about the insulin your body makes every time you eat sweeteners and refined carbohydrates. Insulin is stealthily changing your life – without you even feeling it!
How could you know that insulin makes you anxious? Yes, one of the strongest stimulants of the sympathetic nervous system – the part of your body responsible for putting you into flight-or-flight – is a high level of insulin.
Oh, insulin is definitely needed. While your liver is converting stored fuel to glucose to make sure you never run out of energy, a trickle of insulin circulates to carry that glucose to the cells that use it. But for the first time in the history of mankind, insulin is flooding the body in waves higher than ever before. But since it doesn’t show, how could you know that more than half the population is already insulin resistant, meaning that their cells have “quit listening” to this important messenger.
How could you know that cells which won’t admit insulin’s glucose cargo can’t admit minerals either – the very minerals that build bones, relax muscles, trigger chemical reactions, and support organ function.
How could you know that high insulin causes cell proliferation? That means it causes cells to multiply abnormally fast. So, it feeds cancer.
How could you know that insulin-instigated cell proliferation creates plaque by causing the cells in your arteries to multiply rapidly? Or that excess insulin causes the blood to clot too readily? Then It changes certain white blood cells, called macrophages, into foam cells – the kind that fill the fatty deposits in your arteries. Step by step, high insulin is giving you heart disease, clogging your arteries, then squeezing them shut.
How could you know that too high insulin keeps your body from making the hormones you need to be a mature young man? That’s because DHEA is needed to produce testosterone, but if there’s too much insulin, a condition called insulin resistance develops. The greater the insulin resistance, the lower your DHEA levels.
How could you know that high insulin will slow down your body’s processes – the rate at which you burn your fuel, warm yourself, grow, and eliminate waste? That’s because your liver is responsible for converting the inactive thyroid hormone into active thyroid hormone. But when the liver becomes insulin resistant, it doesn’t “hear” the instructions from the brain very well, so you become deficient in thyroid hormone.
How could you know that too much insulin causes you to lose important minerals – calcium and magnesium – through your urine? That sets you up for brittle bones, more anxiety, and heart pains called angina.
How could you know that when insulin has been high for a very long time, and insulin resistance has set in, the glucose left in your blood stream makes all the proteins sticky? If those proteins happen to be needed for nerve cells, your nerves won’t function well and you will lose feeling. If those proteins are needed for the collagen that forms muscles, bones, tendons, and skin, these tissues will be weak.
How could you know that chronically high insulin levels reduce your life span through a complex web of processes? One of these is by increasing inflammation in your body. That kind of inflammation is like having a sprained ankle inside your organs all the time.
Finally, how could you know that if you are insulin resistant, your child is many times more likely to be insulin resistant from birth – and if that child is a girl, even her eggs have a higher chance of being insulin resistant?
No, my boy, sugar is not worth it! I don’t believe in eating sugar – and that goes for all modern forms of sweeteners, including high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners. We didn’t have them or need them a thousand years ago. Why now?
I don’t want you to lose your life without knowing your foe. If you believe in eating sugar, then at least know the unseen processes it triggers.
With much love and hope for your future,
Your adoring grandparent.