The Daily Mail Says Bagels Give You Cancer And Sugar Is ‘Evil’
THIS might be the Mail’s most desperate scare story to date. If a bagel is your biggest problem, you might just be ok.
BROOKE ALPERT & DR PATRICIA FARRIS spin a story of terrifying sugar. Sugar is “evil”, “addictive” and “risky”; it gives you “heart disease and type 2 diabetes to Alzheimer’s and some cancers”; “kidney disease, and the eye condition macular degeneration”; sugar can “hijack your brain chemistry”.
But what about the bagel? How will that kill you?
A plain, average-size bagel is the equivalent in calories and sugar of five slices of white bread and sends your system into a sugar overload – setting you up to crash afterwards and reach for another unhealthy option.
Let’s look at the Mail’s story in a little more detail:
Dr. Paul Crane, associate professor of medicine at the University of Washington, did a study. He told the NY Times:
“People shouldn’t run for the hills or try crazy diets,” Dr. Crane cautioned. While an epidemiological study like this one can guide further exploration, he said, “This doesn’t show that changes in behavior that lower your individual blood sugar would decrease your individual risk of dementia.”
The NHS says:
Risk factors for type 2 diabetes
You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you:
are over 40 years old
have a relative with the condition
are of South Asian, African-Caribbean or Middle Eastern origin
are overweight or obese
And sugar intake? Nothing said. Diabetes UK says you have an increased risk of Diabetes if you:
You are over 40 (or over 25 if you are South Asian)
You have a close family member with diabetes (parent, brother or sister)
You are overweight, with a large waist size (over 80cm (31.5 inches) for women, 94cm (37 inches) for men, or 89cm (35 inches) for South Asian men)
Being South Asian, Black African, African Caribbean – even if you were born in the UK
You have ever had high blood pressure, a heart attack or a stroke
You’re a woman with polycystic ovary syndrome and overweight
If you’re a woman and you’ve had gestational diabetes or given birth to a baby over 10 pounds
If you have a severe mental illness for which you take medication (such as schizophrenia, bipolar illness or depression)
You’ve been told you have impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glycaemia.
Note: Some of these risks factors are genetic factors and there is little you can do to reduce them, so it’s best to concentrate on those you can change, such as your weight.
The NHS has long look at the link between cancer and sugar. It finds no cause and effect:
“One in six Britons with high blood sugar levels faces a greater danger of developing cancer,” The Observer reported. This story is based on research that found an association between high blood glucose levels and an increased risk of certain types of cancer over an average of 10 years of follow-up.
Although the research did find an association between high blood sugar levels and cancer risk, there are many other lifestyle, medical and genetic factors that may contribute to a person’s likelihood of developing cancer, few of which were considered in this analysis. Also, the study can only demonstrate a link between high blood sugar and cancer. It cannot indicate that one causes the other.
There is talk of a link between kidney disease and diabetes.
This is the abstract of a study by the National Kidney Foundation:
Sugar consumption, especially in the form of fructose, has been hypothesized to cause kidney disease. This review provides an overview of the epidemiologic evidence that sugar consumption increases CKD risk. Research supports a causal role of sugar in several kidney disease risk factors, including increasing serum uric acid levels, diabetes, and obesity. Sugar may also harm the kidney via other mechanisms. There is no evidence that sucrose is any safer for the kidney than high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) because both are similar in composition. To date, 5 epidemiologic studies have directly evaluated the relationship between sugar consumption (in the form of sugar-sweetened beverages) and CKD. Although most studies suggest that the risk of CKD is elevated among consumers of sugar-sweetened beverages, only 2 studies report statistically significant associations. Three studies have also examined diet soda consumption, with two reporting positive and significant associations. Confounding by unmeasured lifestyle factors may play a role in the positive results whereas poor measurement of sugar and artificial sweetener intake could explain null results. Nevertheless, the hypothesis that sugar causes kidney disease remains plausible, and alternative research designs may be needed.
The Mascular Society says nothing about sugar being a risk.
A study by Tufts University says:
A recent study by Tufts nutrition researchers found that the development of age-related macular degeneration may be tied to over consumption of certain carbohydrates.
Boston [07.24.07] Doctors have already found many reasons to recommend decreased consumption of foods such as white bread and sugary snacks. However, a new study by Tufts University researchers adds another reason to the list.
Research led by Allen Taylor, director of the Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts, determined that eating certain types of carbohydrates might contribute to the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and associated vision loss later in life.
In Taylor’s study, people consuming diets with a higher-than-average glycemic index faced a greater risk of developing AMD, as dietary glycemic index was directly proportional to the severity of AMD. However, the researchers note, that the study did not specifically determine the cause of AMD among subjects, nor did it pinpoint diet as the sole cause of their vision loss….
Diet, however, is not a currently a leading cause of AMD; aging, smoking and education level are more significantly linked, the researchers told the The New York Times. Taylor and colleaguesalso note that further long-term studies are needed to more comprehensively explore the relationship between diet and AMD.
“People are eating more simple sugar than they used to, and reverting to a diet that is more fruits and vegetables and less sweetened food would help,” Taylor told the The New York Times. “It doesn’t take a lot of change.”
Hijacks Your Brain:
Back to the Mail for this:
Insulin plays ‘good cop’ and ‘bad cop’ in your body. It’s good when you eat something with sugar, because it jumps in to control the sugar. But it is also bad because it speeds up sugar’s conversion into fat, depositing it in places where you don’t want it, such as around your belly.
Sugar is a criminal. Fat is bad. Got it?
Insulin resistance is very tough to fix. Exercise can help, and losing weight is considered to be the best possible move you can make. But it’s not easy because insulin resistance very often triggers overeating. It’s thought this is because it makes your body resistant to the ‘satiety’ appetite hormone, leptin, which tells your brain to stop eating – in this way, sugar can also hijack your brain chemistry.
Wow. Sugar can do all that.
Make no mistake kicking sugar is about being on-message. As this site says:
I’m here to tell you that addiction to sugar and junk foods is exactly the same as addiction to abusive drugs like nicotine, amphetamine and cannabis.
It also makes things taste nice and gives you energy to live.