Diet and Accident Recovery: The Sugar Connection

Jay Stillman

3 min read

sugarAt Stillman and Friedland, we want to help you recover from your accident and stay well!  The best way to do this is through exercise and, of course, diet.  But with so many conflicting diet plans out there, where can you get the best information?  We would hope that the National Institute of Health (NIH), a governmental agency charged with creating public health policy and research, would give us the straight science, and serve as a reliable source of information.  According to their mission statement:

NIH’s mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.

Sadly, the NIH has funneled millions of dollars into frankly weird and useless studies, while, for example, cutting funds for the fight against Ebola.

The NIH just published an article on diet in their monthly newsletter, entitled “Sweet Stuff, How Sugars and Sweeteners Affect Your Health.”  As we have discussed previously, the top health challenge America is facing today is diabetes. Up to one-third of certain populations are already diabetic, and the prediction is that in a number of years, one in three of all Americans will have diabetes.  Since Type II diabetes is in part caused by the over-consumption of sugars, this is a very important topic in public health policy.  However, there are false or misleading statements in this article.

The article states:

Our bodies need one type of sugar, called glucose, to survive. “Glucose is the number one food for the brain, and it’s an extremely important source of fuel throughout the body,” says Dr. Kristina Rother, an NIH pediatrician…But there’s no need to add glucose to your diet, because your body can make the glucose it needs by breaking down food molecules like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

There are several issues here.  Firstly, the number one food for the brain is ketones—not glucose—which are produced when the body is fed a low-carbohydrate (low-carb) diet.  Secondly, while NIH admirably points out that we don’t need added glucose, what they fail to point out is that not only sugars are sugars. With the exception of most fiber, our bodies break down carbohydrates to sugar.  Complex carbohydrates are just a lot of sugar molecules stacked together, so that it takes longer until the sugar hits your bloodstream.

If you are not in a state of ketosis (meaning you are in low-carb mode and running on ketones), chances your body will be converting proteins and fats into glucose are pretty much slim to none.  But, if you get the bulk of your diet from carbs, you are running on sugar all day.

This short, funny video illustrates the point well:

Is Whole Wheat Worse Than a Candy Bar?

What’s the result? You overtax your metabolism as you excrete insulin all day to clean up the sugar that’s delivered into your bloodstream, and may ultimately develop insulin resistance—increasing your risk of developing Type II Diabetes.

The bottom line here is that while the NIH is hinting that the sugary products are “unnecessary” to your diet, the author fails to point out that:

  1. Reducing carbs in your diet also reduces your blood sugar levels.  Cut out or reduce breads, crackers, potatoes, pasta, pizza, and cereals.
  2. Natural sugars in fruits are also detrimental if over-consumed.
  3. Increasing rates of cancer, heart disease and diabetes have paralleled the increasing amounts of sugars/carbs in the American diet.

The biggest failure in the NIH article and in NIH policy overall is that they refuse to set a maximum daily limit of sugar consumption.   We suggest zero added sugar, no sweeteners, and reduced carbs.

Choose a healthier diet and improve your physical well-being! You will heal better and stay healthy, too.

Our suggestions based on sound studies and authorities, will help you recover from injuries also.

At Stillman and Frieldland, we care about your recovery and your health!

Jay Stillman