For many years, independent researchers (not funded by the vast hydrogenated oil industry) have considered refined carbohydrates (sugar, alcohol, white flour) to be the major dietary cause of degenerative diseases. With the vast increase in degenerative diseases in the last 100 years, hydrogenated oil (margarine) consumption is most strongly correlated with degenerative diseases, with sugar consumption as the second highest correlation.
Cardiovascular disease was rare before 1900. Although cholesterol consumption in North America has not increased since then, cardiovascular disease has skyrocketed. The intake of sugar and synthetically hardened fats (margarine and hydrogenated oils) has also skyrocketed. (Also, due to nutrient-depleted soils and food plants, the average American consumes far less minerals and vitamins than are needed for proper metabolism of cholesterol.) Cholesterol-reducing drugs fail to decrease the rate of death from cardiovascular disease, and increase the incidence of liver and kidney injury, depression, cancer and suicide.
Refined sugars, and refined starches like white rice and white flour (in most commercial breads, cereals and pasta), lack the nutrient cofactors to be metabolized properly in the body. This stresses the pancreas, adrenals, thyroid, liver and cardiovascular system. The metabolism of refined sugars contributes to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, which impairs natural metabolic processes.
Extra sugar in the blood is converted into saturated fatty acids called triglycerides. High blood triglyceride levels are associated with cardiovascular disease. These fatty acids made from sugar interfere with essential fatty acid function and can lead to deposits of hard fat in places it shouldn’t be, like in the liver, heart, arteries, kidneys, etc.
Even natural sugars like fruit. and especially fruit juice, can lead to blood sugar problems or obesity when they form more than a small part of our year-round diet.
Sugar inhibits immune system function, making us more susceptible to colds and flu, and even to auto-immune problems. Sugar intake also contributes to developing food allergies, with symptoms that can include colitis, asthma, mood swings, joint and muscle pain. Refined sugar and flour products also lack the bulk and fiber needed for colon health.
Populations around the world (such as the Eskimos, the Greenland Inuit, certain African tribes) that traditionally ate diets high in meat, cholesterol and fat were virtually free of cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis, diabetes and other degenerative diseases. Trade with white men brought white sugar and white flour into their diets; within a single generation, the above health conditions set in – as well as poor development of bone, crowded teeth from deficiently developed jaw bones, and tooth decay.
Rats live half as long with sugar in their diets as rats on a diet free of sugar. Animals can usually live several weeks on only water, but they die in a few days on water and sugar.
English sailors suffered from scurvy (spontaneous bruises, spongy gums, muscle weakness and eventually death) that was corrected by adding fresh limes to their diet – a source of natural vitamin C. Earlier seafarers – Vikings, Phoenicians and sailors of the Far East – did not have a problem with scurvy. The big difference was the quantities of refined sugar in the English sailor’s diet. Consuming refined sugar is known to create deficiencies of vitamin C, as well as the B vitamins and essential minerals.
Statistics show that total blood cholesterol levels in the range of 180 to 240 have no correlation with heart disease. (Total cholesterol below 180 correlates with increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke, depression, loss of motivation and suicide.) Over age 70, elevated cholesterol and cardiovascular events no longer correlate. Half of all heart attack patients have normal total cholesterols.
Dr. Weston Price, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, 1945.
Dr. Melvin Page, Degeneration – Regeneration, 1949.
William Duffy, Sugar Blues, 1975.
Udo Erasmus, Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill, 1993.
Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, PhD, Nourishing Traditions, 1995.
Diana Schwarzbein, MD, The Schwarzbein Principle, 1999.
Mary Enig, PhD, Know Your Fats: Complete Primer for Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils and Cholesterol, 2000.
Kilmer McCully, MD, PhD, The Heart Revolution: the Extraordinary discovery that Finally Laid the Cholesterol Myth to Rest, 2000.
Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD, The Cholesterol Myths: Exposing the Fallacy that Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease, 2002.