April 10, 2009

Miracle Medicine

Today I have run into yet another comment about sugar being better than corn syrup . I think it is replacing the premise that honey is better sugar. Each claiming the other to be poison or unhealthful. It is the same pseudo science that makes natural better than chemicals. When I hear this, I want to say that snake venom is natural. Some people do not seem to know that every thing is made from chemicals and that something that does not naturally occur may not be harmful. It is not a given than chemical compounds made by humans are always harmful. The types of sugars that human ingest, are different only in how we may use them in food, which may hide calories (degree of sweetness per calorie) or taste differently, but not how we metabolize sugar. I am not saying that we should not be concerned about how food is processed or something like why whole grain is better nutritionally or metabolized more slowly, but I do think we need to know more about the science. I also know that those old home remedies work for illnesses. What bothers me is when people give advice about serious health problems to others based on the popular pseudo science of the day. The role of placebo may have had a positive effect upon them, but I have seen where their belief didn't jive with the outcome. I once overheard a patient's vitals being taken and the nurse telling the patient that their blood pressure was extremely high. The patient was protesting that this couldn't be the case, because of the herbs being taken. The nurse took the blood pressure several times to double check. The patients pressure so high, the nurses proceeded to admit the patient to the hospital. As most of my consistent readers know I have a kidney transplant and before that I was on Dialysis. At one Dialysis unit we had patient meeting, to talk about diet, other health problems and type of care we were getting at the Dialysis unit. When one has kidney failure, a lot of functions stop, beside the kidneys filtering the blood, it controls the calcium, potassium and produces a hormone which tells the bone marrow when to produce red blood cells. To minimize the effects, one has to control their diet and fluid intake. Diet is essential, especially if you are diabetic too. At one of the meeting, I hear one dialysis patient, say that he was replacing parts of his diet by taking herbs. I was disturbed by this , because what you ate created a delicate balancing act to maintain proper level of sodium, potassium, calcium and phosphorous, otherwise dialysis could not be effective. Since I have had the transplant I have become diabetic and once again diet is number one. Carbohydrates and sugar have to be watched, instead of counting calories I have to count carbohydrates(includes sugar); so many grams each meal. Since carbohydrates break down into sugar, it really doesn't matter what flavor it is. Corn syrup, honey, white sugar, brown sugar, refined or not, doesn't matter. I can't have more whole grain carbs; the only reason to eat whole grain carbs is because they don't dump sugar in your system as fast, but the total sugar is the same. You see our bodies are not as conflicted as our brain. It uses biochemistry to keep our stuff straight, when it sees a molecule of sugar, it reacts with it, without knowledge of origin. That comment's premise; that if one's blood sugar was increasing that using sugar instead of corn syrup would be helpful. This was just one substitute, there were other sugar sources that were suppose to be better, corn syrup was poison. This really disturbed me, because there are many people who are predisposed to diabetes are caught up in the pop science of the day and will jeopardize their health, because they will not get the proper medical advice or treatment.

1 comment:

Lynn Gazis-Sax said...

Yes! I totally agree.