Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dr. Sears is off his rocker and sugar is still bad for you

OK, I have been surfing around the net, like ya do, clicking a link, reading a bit, finding another interesting link in the text or sidebar, clicking that, etc, etc.

Well, I'm having a friendly debate with a Tweep who claims that Sugar in the Raw is healthier and more easily digested than regular sugar.

In researching the subject I came across a hilarious bit of stupidity from one of my least liked people: Dr Sears.  I consider this bloke a fool in general. Irritating and full of misinformation.  Now, I don't watch telly, so I'm blissfully not exposed to his wind often, but I encounter his "wisdom" via starry-eyed admirers of his.

Here's Dr. Sears's sage (read: laughably misinformed) thoughts on nutrition:  This guy is a DOCTOR!

"Sugars are one form of carbohydrates and carbohydrates are good for you, as long as you eat the right kinds in the right amounts. Carbohydrates are your body's main source of energy. You couldn't live or work without them. Your body needs a lot of carbohydrates - around 60 to 70 percent of your total calories should be in the form of carbs."

This man shouldn't be allowed to practice medicine much less be on telly.  This is pure horseshite, the entire paragraph. Hans Adolph Krebs (of the Krebs Cycle) proved that the body happily converts fat, protein, and carbs into energy with equal zeal. If you "couldn't live or work without" carbs then how do you explain the Maasai, who lived for so long on mostly milk, blood, and meat, or the Inuit, who used to subsit on mostly meat, fish, and blubber?  Or how about the loads of ZC (zero carb) people out there right now? For that matter, what about me, a Very Low Carber?  I eat no sugar, no grains, no starches, no legumes, no fruit (and haven't for over 2 years) and eat a serving of vegetables maybe 3 times a week.  Throw in my wee bit of dairy and I'm lucky to rack up 10 grams of carbs a day. I never go above 20.

Yet I have an incredible amount of energy (much more than I ever had before - even back when I was at my present weight but on a low-fat diet). I am flabbergasted that people, people who are trusted by the public, no less, are still spouting this nonsense!

Then, on a better note, I found this, on wikipedia with accompanying graph. It's sobering to say the least.

"In the United States of America, a scientific/health debate has started[citation needed] over the causes of a steep rise in obesity in the general population — and one view posits increased consumption of carbohydrates in recent[update] decades as a major factor.[9] 

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey I and Continuous indicates that the population in the United States has increased its proportion of energy consumption from carbohydrates and decreased its proportion from total fat while obesity has increased. This implies, along with the United Nations report cited below, that obesity may correlate better with sugar consumption than with fat consumption, and that reducing fat consumption while increasing sugar consumption actually increases the level of obesity. The following table summarizes this study (based on the proportion of energy intake from different food sources for US Adults 20-74 years old, as carried out by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, MD[11]):"

 Year      Sex      Carbohydrate      Fat        Protein      Obesity

1971      Male         42.4%           36.9%    16.5%       12.1%

1971      Female      45.4%          36.1%     16.9%       16.6%

2000      Male         49.0%          32.8%     15.5%        27.7%

2000      Female      51.6%          32.8%     15.1%       34.0%

There it is in black and white, folks. More carbs, more sugar, LESS fat, and startling rise in obesity.

What more proof do we need?  What can we sensible folks do to get these idiot doctors and 'dietitians' to QUIT flogging the "fat is baaaaaaad" dogma?


By the way, I never found any evidence that any of the 'raw' sugars are more healthy or more easily digestible. Sugar in the Raw is just table sugar without the cane juice filtered out. They are both sucrose and both equally terrible for you. I also contend that one is not more easily digested. I think that's just wishful thinking, an old wives' tale perpetuated by the veggie/vegan/"healthy eating" (*snort!*) crowd. I think that folks mollify themselves with all the buzzwords "raw!" and "natural!" and plunk down the huge amount of money these vanity sugars cost, then pat themselves on the back for being so health concious.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 5:24 am   7 comments


At 8:49 am, Anonymous moonduster said...

I almost choked reading the paragraphy by Dr. Sears!

No one in their right mind should ever postulate that sugar is good for you!

At 11:39 am, Anonymous Bryce said...

I read Dr. Sears Zone book and I think he does represent a step in the right direction for most people. The diet he recommends is slightly higher in fat and protein, and lower in carbs, than the SAD, and he does encourage minimal refined sugar for the most part.

His diet encourages insulin management. That's good. He seems unwilling, however, to actually go all the way and tell people that sugar/refined carbs are plain bad.

I think you're right. I think he knows what the science really says, and he's trying to be politically correct by offering his middle of the road diet to the masses, so that it will sell.

At 11:55 am, Anonymous thinkingmama said...

Perhaps Sugar is not the right word in that sentence-- I think he is pointing more towards carbohydrates -- making the point that that carbs have gotten a bad rap but that not all carbs are bad. He does go on in the article to talk about the negatives of refined sugar and candy bars, etc. and how they are a different type of sugar.

At 5:17 pm, Anonymous MrsEvilGenius said...

Bryce, I agree that hes to be politically correct. It's sad, however, that a doctor would state scientifically disproven 'advice' just to make a buck. :(

Thnkingmomma, I will confess that I got so cross and frustrated that I didn't read the entire lengthy article.

But carbs ARE sugars and grains, starches, fructose, and other sugars are completely unessesary in our diet, IMHO.

Carbs from veg are totally cool in my book, however. :D

At 5:34 pm, Anonymous thinkingmama said...

I totally agree with you.
Dr. Sears is really focused on a different group of people though-- many parents think for example, that high fructose corn syrup is not bad -- I mean afterall, isn't that what the TV commercial says? (lol)
I believe that Dr. Sears was attempting to get people to understand the difference between different types of sugar. If he can get people to that first step, then maybe they can get to the point where they do only get carbs from veggies. In this society though, if you told a parent that french fries didn't really count as a veggie, many would be shocked (sad but true -- what is the percent of babies that have been fed french fries?)

So, my point is-- he needs to start somewhere. If he tries to ward people off of all non-veggie carbs-- many wouldn't even listen. It's baby steps to try to reach a population that may not be able to "hear" everything. (i.e. better to teach some algebra before getting to calculus)

I respect Dr. Sears for what he is trying to do and I think he is on the right path-- introducing parents to nutrition is the first step-- hopefully once they begin to learn, they will want to continue on that path and move to bigger and better ideas and concepts (i.e. "carbs ARE sugars and grains, starches, fructose, and other sugars are completely unessesary in our diet")

At 10:23 pm, Anonymous Dana Seilhan said...

Bryce: This is the Dr. Sears of attachment parenting fame, not Barry Sears who invented the Zone diet.

Dr. Sears of attachment parenting actually is a pretty decent guy, and obviously loves kids as he's had something like seven or eight of them. Unfortunately he has had about as much nutrition education as most MDs, which is to say "woefully inadequate."

Even Dr. Atkins might never have dug deeper to find out about low-carb eating had he himself not gotten fat during his residency. He'd have lived out his days as an ordinary cardiologist and life would be very different now.

It's a shame, but there it is. Medical schools have a lot to answer for. Their students have a massive amount of information to absorb in a relatively short amount of time and they're relying on these schools to have sorted it all out for them.

At 6:25 pm, Anonymous Nikki 2-K said...

I came across your blog in a google search.. I am very pleased that I did. It was a great find! Kudos to you on your progress!!!

AND ANY kind of sugar even in the raw is TERRIBLE for you... It is NOT natural and raw sugar should never be mistaken for something that is good for you.


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