Blood Sugar Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman

I am jumping around on topics with this book.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has health concerns or wants to lose weight.  I found a section in this book under food addictions that focuses on liquid calories.  It is easy to ingest calories all day long through pop, fruit juices, and energy drinks (plus adding corn syrup and sugars).  According to Dr. Hyman, "liquid sugar calories are the most addictive 'food' in our diet".  When you look at the statistics that Dr. Hyman gives, it is easy to see how these sweetened beverages add to our health and weight concerns.  Here are the reasons that Dr. Hyman gives us as to why sugar-sweetened drinks are so bad for us:
  • If you drink your calories in sweetened beverages, you don't reduce your solid calories to compensate.
  • From 1977 to 2002, consumption of calories in sugar-sweetened beverages doubled and is the main source of added sugar calories to our diet.
  • During that time period, obesity rates doubled in children ages two to eleven and tripled in adolescents from ages twelve to nineteen.
  • More than 90 percent of American children and teenagers drink sodas every day. 
  • The average consumption of sugar-sweetened beverges is 175 calories a day. 
  • Each can of soda consumed by children per day increases their risk of being overweight by 60 percent.
  • In the Nurses' Health Study of 91,249 women, those who had one sugar-sweetened soft drink had an 82 percent higher risk of having diabetes over 4 years.
  • When you drink your calories, you don't feel full, so you end up eating more overall.
One of the best things that we can do for our health is to increase our water consumption.  Adding fresh lemon, orange, cucumber, cayenne, or other natural flavors can vary the taste.  This is one change that can save money and health at the same time.  I am taking next week off - Happy Spring -
The Blood Sugar Solution By Dr. Mark Hyman

Dr. Hyman talks about  numerous hormones in his book, but I am going to focus on the adrenals and cortisol.  Dr. Hyman isn't concerned about the stress that short term, and then resolved (speaking in front of a group, meeting a deadline, etc.), his concern is for the stress we put ourselves under on a daily basis, and the stress that we never resolve.  This keeps the body in a state that requires high cortisol production.  This leads to weight gain and attributes to most health concerns.  Here are some questions from Dr. Hyman to ask yourself to see if your adrenals are stressed:
  • My life is very stressful
  • I am easily startled and suffer from panic attacks
  • I feel tired but wired
  • I feel fatigued
  • I often feel weak and shaky
  • When I stand up, I feel dizzy
  • I have dark circles under my eyes
  • I crave sweets or salt
  • I don't feel refreshed after a night's sleep
  • I have difficulty either falling or staying asleep
  • I frequently experience headaches
The list goes on - if you said yes to many of the questions above, it is worth looking into adrenal fatigue to see if that is a roadblock to weight loss and optimum health.  Dr. Hyman recommends finding ways to relieve and manage stress to improve health, overall (exercise, meditation, laughing, praying and more).  Have a great day - Shanna
The Blood Sugar Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman

I like Dr. Hyman as an author, and I recommend all of books.  His latest book focuses on something that he calls "diabesity".  This is a growing issue of diabetes and obesity in our society, which can lead to numerous health concerns.  The first area that he focuses on is nutrition.  Almost any plan for health that I look at starts with nutrition.  Three particular nutrients that many of us are deficient in (and that he has quizzes to determine if you are in his book) are magnesium, fatty acids (fish oil - omega 3's) and vitamin D.  These are actually relatively easy to determine, and can make a huge difference if you supplement appropriately.  When he discusses nutrition, he points out how much our diets have changed in the past 30-50 years.  People today consume an average of a "half a pound of sugar per person per year".  This amount of sugar is detrimental to our health.  One 20 ounce beverage can have as much as 17 teaspoons of sugar or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), according to the author.  What I find even more alarming, is that "in the last 3- years, the sugar calories we consume from HFCS have increased from 0 percent to 66 percent."  These are empty calories found in most processed foods and beverages.  Dr. Hyman gives the following reasons why we need to eliminate HFCS from our diets:
  • HFCS and cane sugar are not biochemically identical or processed the same way by the body.
  • HFCS contains contaminants such as mercury that are not regulated or measured by the FDA.
  • Independent medical and nutrition experts do not support the use of HCFS in our diet, despite assertions of the corn industry.
  • HFCS is almost always a marker of poor-quality, nutrient-poor, disease-creating industrial food products or "food-like substances."  This is such an important point.  If you look at the ingredient list of many of our processed foods - even ones that claim to be natural, it is easy to see that there are very few ingredients that resemble food.  Now the term "corn sugar" is being used interchangeably with HFCS.
I have always been a proponent of eliminating HFCS from the diet.  It is a great goal to shoot for - once it is no longer in the diet, the remaining foods tend to be whole, more nutrient dense choices.  Have a great day - Shanna