Last month I had the pleasure of attending a seminar for nurses in private practice and although the day was generally very enjoyable and the majority of lectures informative and interesting I knew from the outset that something was going going to grate my nerves because one of the event sponsors was NESTLE !
Lets face it, Nestle make junk food so it’s to be expected that any presentation given by a Nestle employee is not going to be quite as factual as it should be, especially to a room full of medical professionals who might then think twice about recommending that parents wean their infants onto the processed, sugar filled cereals that this company promotes as ideal first food.
The talk that raised my ire was titled “ SUGAR, is it all bad?” Now I could have answered that in one word ….. YES; need we really say more?
The lecture began with the argument that human beings are meant to eat sweet foods. Breast-milk is sweet after-all, and this is what teaches us that eating sweet foods are generally safe and good for us.
I don’t know how someone with a science degree concluded that honey and sugar (glucose and FRUCTOSE) were as good for the human body as the lactose in breast milk. I noticed in the slide above that it was stated “our brain cannot function without SUGAR.” Sneaky and misleading, in my opinion - the brain requires a small amount of GLUCOSE - that can actually be made in our own livers , and NOT any consumption of actual SUGAR !
We then went on to participate in a fun quiz that dispelled many of the myths that we are told.
Among these myth busting slides was the ” sugar does not make kids hyperactive.” Any of you out there have calm kids after a can of fizzy drink and slice of cake ? The argument presented to us was that children at birthday parties are over stimulated by all the fun and games and not by all the crap they eat. I can only speak for myself here but my kids sure as hell didn’t need a birthday party to get them revved up - just a can of fizzy juice.
Next we had the “sugar is addictive” gem and of course Nestle is going to do whatever they can to bust this myth. The lecturer went to lengths to ensure that we understood there was no science to back the claims that sugar has any addictive properties and has no effect on brain chemistry.
Main points included:
* there is no loss of control of consumption. How many of you can eat just one block of chocolate and leave the rest?
* there is no increased motivation to consume. How many of you never experience cravings for sugary treats?
* no persistent consumption of sugar in the face of negative consequences. Can someone please tell me why so many obese and diabetic people find sugar ( sugar filled foods) so hard to let go of then?
In a recent review published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, titled ” Sugar addicition:is it real?” the authors, lead by cardiovascular research scientist, Dr James DiNicolantonio, concluded “Sugar addiction seems to be dependence to the natural endogenous opiods that get released upon sugar intake. In both animals and humans, the evidence in the literature shows substantial parallels and overlap between drugs of abuse and sugar, from the standpoint of brain neurochemistry as well as behaviour.”
According to an article published in The Daily Mail, this means sugar can cause cravings, binges and withdrawal symptoms similar to a drug addict going cold turkey.”
In his new book The Pioppi Diet, Interventional cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, explains that the body has absolutely no requirement for added sugar whatsoever. More than just being empty calories, sugar (50% glucose & 50% fructose) wreaks a sad tale of destruction in the human body, beginning in the mouth with tooth decay. In the UK, tooth decay is the number one driver of admissions to hospital among young children.
According to Dr Malhotra, there are now 87 studies on the ADVERSE effects of added sugar and NOT a single one showing benefits.
Although glucose is necessary for life and can be used by every cell in the body, too much of it has a detrimental effect on health: driving high insulin production from the pancreas, ultimately leading to weight gain.
Fructose however, is ” uniquely deleterious.” Fructose is not essential to life and almost entirely metabolised in the liver.
Dr Robert Lustig, Professor of Paediatric Endocrinology at UCFA, in his video lecture “ Sugar, the bitter truth” describes the metabolic pathways of fructose and makes the following points
* Fructose promotes de novo lipogenesis and storage of liver fat leading to hepatic insulin resistance which drives chronic metabolic disease. Insulin resistance is the precursor to cardiovascular disease.
*Fructose promotes reactive oxygen species formation, which leads to cellular dysfunction, inflammation and aging.
* Fructose interferes with hormones that control appetite leading to over consumption of calories.
read also ” Fructose, it’s alcohol without the buzz”
The food industry is quick to point out that most fructose studies are done in rodents with large doses over a short period of time. However, studies done in primates demonstrate similar detrimental effects (94). Furthermore, human studies are consistent with the analogies stated previously (39, 43).
The above discussion really begs the question how anybody can ethically argue for the inclusion of sugar in baby food. It is bad enough that unsuspecting parents are encouraged to wean their infants onto processed fake food, but for a food manufacturer to actually give formal lectures that justify the addition of harmful substances in infant cereals almost defies belief. But here it folks - “Adding a limited amount of sugar to improve the taste of foods (especially for children) that provide important nutrients is better that eating nutrient poor highly sweetened food.”
In other words - eating junk food with some sugar and a few nutrients is better than eating junk food with lots of sugar and no nutrients.
What was not included in the details however is that a SINGLE serving of CERELAC contains 16.5g of SUGAR -(single serving carb content 34g) That is 4tsp of SUGAR per serving of baby cereal !
What a complete cop-out !
It’s one thing an adult making an informed choice about what they want to eat but to feed a baby something that predisposes it to a lifetime of food addiction, obesity and ill health should, in my opinion, be unlawful !
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