At dinner last night with my brother in Florida, he told me that a doctor friend had recently told him, “A glass of orange juice was one of the worst things” he could eat or drink. I agreed. I told this to my wife this morning as she was drinking hers. She just continued gulping it down. Neither my brother nor my wife is a Type 2 or Pre-diabetic.
You can buy “fresh-squeezed” orange juice in Florida by the gallon. It’s as cheap as day-old bread, and it’s really delicious; but it’s all sugar (with a little fiber) and more than half fructose. Liquid sugar is a heavy load for the liver. So is a HFCS coke. There’s no difference really. Most conventional Registered Dieticians would tell you this.
Sugars are carbohydrates composed of either one or two molecules (monosaccharides and disaccharides). The monosaccharides are glucose, fructose and galactose, the most common of which is glucose, sometimes called dextrose. The most common disaccharide is sucrose, usually refined either from cane sugar or sugar beets.
Table sugar is sucrose. Sucrose is half glucose and half fructose. Simple sugars are unsafe because they are broken down and digested quickly, especially when liquid. The glucose goes into the bloodstream from the small intestine and circulates to the cells for energy. The fructose, a mild toxin in large doses (look up “hormesis”), is diverted to the liver to be “detoxified,” protecting us from it. There, in a liver already overloaded with glycose (stored as glycogen), it becomes body fat via de novo lipogenesis, and in some cases liver fat. See fatty liver disease or NAFLD.
“Unsafe starches” are complex carbohydrates (polysaccharides and therefore also ‘sugars’ that break down to mostly glucose in the blood) in non-whole food form. They are manufactured “foods” that have been processed and refined in manufacturing, thereby making them break down to simple glucose molecules much more easily. That’s why they are unsafe: They act like simple sugars, digesting quickly and easily, thus spiking blood sugar.
The sugar in milk is lactose, a disaccharide composed of equal parts glucose and galactose. Milk has a lot of lactose. The processing also removes vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. The vitamins that are in whole raw milk are killed in the pasteurization/ homogenization process. That’s why homogenized milk is supplemented with Vitamin D. Low fat and skim milk also have more carbs (in proportion) than whole milk, since the fat has been reduced or eliminated. That’s why I don’t drink, skim, low-fat or even whole-fat milk. I only take full cream in my coffee.
White flour (bleached or unbleached), is refined from wheat, a gluten grain. The milling process removes nutrients so bread flour is almost always “enriched” to replace lost nutrients, e.g. Iron, Niacin, vitamins B1 & B2, and Folic Acid. At random I recently checked the ingredients list on three loaves of bread. Arnold Whole Grains 12 Grain Bread’s first three are Unbleached Enriched Wheat Flour, Water and Sugar, plus about 50 other ingredients. Pepperidge Farm’s Whole Grain Bread’s first three ingredients are Whole Grain Wheat Flour, Water, and Sugar. Publix’s supermarket store brand, their “Large White” bread, lists, again in order, Unbleached Enriched Wheat Flour, Water and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), among many other ingredients including soybean oil.
Did you have any idea that sugar was the third ingredient listed in “healthy” breads, after flour and water? Added sugars are in virtually all processed foods. These breads and virtually all others are unsafe starches. Note also that wheat gluten, a protein, is listed fourth or fifth. Gluten is one of the three Neolithic Agents of Disease (NAD’s) in Dr. Kurt Harris’s Archevore program, along with fructose and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA’s), i.e. vegetable oils.It makes you pine for a good ole “loaded baked potato,” doesn’t it? For the uninitiated, a loaded baked potato is a large steaming baked potato that is “butterflied” and filled with butter, sour cream, broccoli, melted cheese and bits of bacon. Sounds good, doesn’t it? A whole “safe starch” food (scroll down to Retrospective #40 below), a green veggie, and lots of good saturated fats (butter, sour cream, bacon and cheese). Of course, being a Type 2 diabetic, no starchy food is “safe” for me. I have a seriously impaired glucose metabolism. I am carbohydrate intolerant, but that’s okay. I’ll have a can of King Oscar brand Brisling sardines, in olive oil, for lunch every day.