By Kent Rieske
Carbohydrates cause nearly all age-related diseases. Age-related diseases are thought of as unavoidable. Many people consider it normal to get one or more of these diseases as they age. They rationalize that they are simply unlucky or that others have "better genes," neither of which is true. Their health problems are most likely caused by their belief in the many popular myths and distortions about nutrition. Most likely they got hooked by the low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet craze and are now suffering as a result.
The most common excuse used instead of identifying the real culprit, carbohydrates, is heredity. People flippantly say, "It runs in my family," or "My mother also had diabetes," or "My father also had high blood pressure and heart disease." Age-related diseases could best be described as "Excessive Carbohydrate Consumption Syndrome."
The scientific evidence is clear. Carbohydrates are a sinister, sly food category that has been getting away with murder. Carbohydrates have powerful allies. They grow, manufacture and market thousands of different carbohydrate products made from fruit, grains and starchy-vegetables. The supermarket floor space allotted to these manufactured carbohydrate foods is about 80 percent of the store, and yet the scientific minimum requirement for carbohydrates in the diet is ZERO.
Carbohydrates are not an essential element for health. In fact, optimal health lies in keeping the amount of carbohydrates in the diet to a minimum. The supermarket departments that contain the healthy essential proteins and essential fats are the fresh meats, fresh fish and seafood, dairy and non-starchy vegetables. Everything else in the store is very high in carbohydrates, which turn to glucose, hype the metabolism and trigger the release of disease-causing hormones like insulin, cortisol and adrenaline.
A low metabolism is ideal for long life and good health. A high metabolism excites hormones in the body that eventually cause age-related diseases. A low metabolism is analogous to diesel engines that are known for longevity and high mileage without a breakdown. Diesel fuel is an oil that the engine uses for energy similar to fats in the diet. A high metabolism is analogous to a nitro-methane drag racer that gives a tremendous burst of energy but explodes after a few races. The nitro-methane fuel is fast burning similarly to sugar in the diet.
The pathogenic effects of carbohydrates are slow but sure. The "20-year rule" was coined to describe the length of time between the start of the high-carbohydrate diet and the onset of disease. The number of diseases, severity and time to develop are directly related to the percentage of carbohydrates in the diet. In the advanced stage many diseases are prevalent in the sufferer before death occurs.
Carbohydrates displace essential protein and essential fats in the diet to cause a double health reversal. The carbohydrates themselves cause disease, and the deficiency of protein and fats contribute or cause other diseases.
The consumption of carbohydrates generally begins showing the disease effects in either one of two directions.
- Body fat accumulation leads to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, gallbladder disease, degenerative bone diseases and many others.
- Damage to the intestinal tract leads to leaky gut syndrome, inflammatory bowel diseases and a medical textbook listing of autoimmune diseases. These illnesses generally make the sufferer underweight and deficient in vitamins and minerals caused by poor digestion.
The primary high-carbohydrate foods to avoid are sugars, honey, flour, grains, legumes, fruit, milk and starchy-vegetables.
Whole grains cause disease in both humans and animals. Whole grain breads and bagels are not the healthy food as people are lead to believe. All grains have a very high level of omega-6 fatty acids, which are pro-inflammatory. Grains are a poor source of protein. Grains are the most allergenic of all foods. Multiple sclerosis, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis are rare in populations where no grain products are consumed such as the Paleolithic (hunter-gatherer) diet.
The Awful Truth About Eating Grains
Grain fed to feedlot steers makes them fat and causes intestinal diseases. The feedlot diet given to steers is almost identical to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid. Both diets are very high in grains. The feedlot operator is deliberately making the steers fat. Fatty beef is given higher grading, receives the best price and has the best flavor. The time in the feedlot is short and the steer is sent to slaughter prior to developing any serious health problem. People get fat and develop disease for the very same reasons. Grains are worse for humans because we are omnivores. Steers are herbivores, but the grains still make them fat and give them diseases.
Primitive cultures that primarily ate meat from the hunt lived in relative good health. Those people who switched to a grain-based diet obtained from the cultivation of grains suffered poor health, diseases and a smaller stature.
Fruit is Not as Healthy as Many Claim
Fruit is not the healthy food many claim. Fruit is mostly fructose sugar with some vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Those vitamins and nutrients are easily obtained from meat and non-starchy vegetables without the fructose. The body processes fructose from fruit in the same way as it processes fructose from soft drinks. There is no difference. Fructose is fructose no matter what the source. Fructose causes insulin resistance as proven in scientific tests. Fructose is highly addictive and most people simply refuse to give up fruit no matter how sick they become. This is identical to lung cancer patients who continue to smoke cigarettes. See links below for more information:
Carbohydrates Trigger Disease-Causing Hormones
The hormones involved in the carbohydrate disease loop are not the sex hormones but rather metabolism hormones. The process starts when carbohydrates are eaten in the form of sugars such as sucrose, fructose, lactose and others. Simple carbohydrates are molecules made by chains of glucose that are short. Longer glucose chains form carbohydrates that are classified as complex. The body breaks the chains apart until individual molecules of glucose are released into the blood stream. Then the problems start. The body is very sensitive to the amount of glucose in the blood, commonly called blood sugar. A small part of the brain called the midbrain that is about 1 inch (25 mm) long and red blood cells require glucose as they lack mitochondria (powerhouse of the cell) and cannot use fatty acids for fuel.
The lack of glucose (hypoglycemia) as energy for the brain can cause symptoms ranging from headache, mild confusion and abnormal behavior, to loss of consciousness, seizure, coma and death. The body can maintain an ideal level of glucose by creating it in the liver from amino acids derived from protein and/or from triglyceride fatty acids in a process called gluconeogenesis. The low-carbohydrate diet results in a perfectly controlled and stable blood glucose level in this way. On the other hand, the high-carbohydrate diet results in the body's constant attempt to prevent blood glucose swings both to the low-side (hypoglycemia) or the high-side (hyperglycemia). This control is regulated by the hormone insulin to reduce the glucose level and the hormone adrenaline to act as an emergency method of raising the glucose level.
Hypoglycemia is the train whistle signaling the diabetes train is coming down the track. The diabetes engine is powered by carbohydrates and gaining speed. Nibbling complex carbohydrates throughout the day to control the blood sugar swings will do nothing more than slow the train a year or two. The diabetes train can be stopped dead on the tracks only by avoiding all carbohydrates. The condition of uncontrolled blood sugar swings is called diabetes mellitus, or type 2 diabetes, and has become epidemic in all English-speaking countries. It will soon become a catastrophe.
Younger people appear to handle carbohydrates without a problem because the cells of the younger body readily accept the glucose with a small insulin response and turn the glucose into energy. However, the cells get resistant to this constant bombardment of glucose, and increasing levels of insulin are necessary to maintain a normal blood glucose level. As the cells become resistant, the insulin assists in the conversion of the extra glucose into triglycerides, which raise the triglyceride level in the blood and are deposited as body fat. Carbohydrates cause obesity, not fat. The high carbohydrate diet is a natural killer for many reasons.
Insulin is a Disease-Causing Hormone
Insulin is a hormone made by the beta cells in the islets of langerhans in the pancreas. Body cells require insulin in order to use blood glucose.
A high level of blood insulin causes many unhealthy body reactions, which eventually lead to diseases of all types. Glucose from the excessive consumption of carbohydrates is turned to body fat by the high insulin level and is also deposited in the arteries and organs causing arterial diseases, heart disease, strokes, blood clots and other diseases. High blood glucose signals increasing insulin production until the pancreas becomes fatigued after many years, making the disease seem age-related. Glucose rises uncontrollably when insulin production drops. The result causes diseases of the eyes, kidneys, blood vessels and nerves.
Carbohydrates drive insulin production that causes cardiovascular heart disease (CHD). Many heart attack patients first learn they are diabetic in the hospital emergency room, but they may not be told about the close relationship between their two conditions. Blood insulin reaches high levels and remains high as one progresses from hypoglycemia to Type II diabetes where insulin production collapses. Insulin is a very strong anabolic hormone. It pushes blood glucose into cells. It turns blood glucose into triglycerides and stores them as body fat. This sudden appearance of heart disease has been described by the author as the "Instant Atherosclerosis Cycle" (IAC).
Insulin also pushes small dense LDL molecules into the artery wall to start the atherosclerosis process. Animal research with insulin has proven many years ago that the artery will plug with atherosclerosis just downstream from the point of injection.
Carbohydrates cause the LDL molecules to be the unhealthy small, dense variety. The high-fat, low-carbohydrates diet causes the LDL molecules to the safe large fluffy light density variety. Higher LDL blood levels on the low-carbohydrate diet do not present the same CHD risk as do LDL levels on the USDA Food Guide Pyramid diet of 60 percent carbohydrates.
High-Insulin (Hyperinsulinemia) Increases Cancer Risks
Carbohydrates drive blood insulin production that causes cancer. There are strong associations between a high-carbohydrate diet and many diseases that present a secondary cancer risk. Cancer risks are greatly increased with diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and many other unhealthy conditions caused by the high-blood glucose and high-blood insulin levels.
High-Insulin (Hyperinsulinemia) Increases Cardiovascular Disease Risks
The only way to prevent diseases caused by insulin spikes and plunges is to eat a low-carbohydrate diet. Many primitive societies have lived with very few carbohydrates in the diet and have proven diabetes and all the diseases of consequence do not exist. A great example is the Eskimos of the far north prior to the introduction of white-man food.
The bad effects of insulin do not end here. High insulin spikes signal the body to release cortisol and adrenaline hormones, which also contribute to disease.
Cortisol is a Disease-Causing Hormone
Cortisol is the major stress hormone of the natural glucocorticoid family, which regulates metabolism and provides resistance to stress. Glucocorticoids are made in the outside portion (the cortex) of the adrenal gland and are chemically classified as steroids. Glucocorticoids increase the rate at which proteins are catabolized (broken down) and amino acids are removed from cells, primarily muscle fiber, and transported to the liver.
Glucocorticoids cause amino acids to be synthesized into new proteins, such as enzymes. They also raise blood pressure by constricting vessels, which is a benefit in case of injury. They are also anti-inflammatory. All of this is well and good in a healthy individual with normal glucose and insulin levels. Unfortunately, high cortisol levels cause many unhealthy reactions.
Understanding Adrenal Function
"An excessive ratio of carbohydrates to protein results in excess secretion of insulin, which often leads to intervals of hypoglycemia. The body, in an attempt to normalize blood sugar, initiates a counter-regulatory process during which the adrenals are stimulated to secrete increased levels of cortisol and adrenalin. It follows that an excessive intake of carbohydrates often leads to excessive secretion of cortisol."
- Diminishes cellular utilization of glucose
- Increases blood sugar levels
- Decreases protein synthesis
- Increases protein breakdown that can lead to muscle wasting
- Causes demineralization of bone that can lead to osteoporosis
- Interferes with skin regeneration and healing
- Causes shrinking of lymphatic tissue
- Diminishes lymphocyte numbers and functions
- Lessens SIgA (secretory antibody productions). This immune system suppression may lead to increased susceptibility to allergies, infections, and degenerative disease
High-cortisol levels caused by excessive carbohydrate consumption and high-insulin levels cause the body to extract high-tensile strength collagen protein fibers from bones, remove the mineral matrix by demineralization and weaken connective tissue at the joints. The protein loss is accelerated by a low-protein diet, and the bone minerals are lost in the urine. One is literally peeing his/her bones away. The result is a rapid and shocking diagnosis of osteoporosis and degenerative disk disease where the spine can lose as much as one inch (25 mm) in height in as little as one year. Bones fracture more easily, and the dreaded hip fracture is much more likely to occur.
Women are told to drink lots of milk and eat plenty of yogurt to get additional calcium with the promise it will prevent bone loss, but the advice is based on faulty logic. The additional lactose in the milk and yogurt plus the additional sugar and fruit added to yogurt only serve to increase the dietary carbohydrate load. The net result is harmful to the bones as many are discovering.
All of this can be prevented by eating a high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet.
Adrenaline is a Disease-Causing Hormone
Adrenaline (epinephrine) is the "fight-or-flight" stress hormone. Epinephrine is a neurotransmitter secreted by the adrenal gland that is associated with sympathetic nervous system activity. It prolongs and intensifies the following effects of the sympathetic nervous system.
- Causes the pupils of the eyes to dilate
- Increases the heart rate, force of contraction, and blood pressure
- Constricts the blood vessels of nonessential organs such as the skin
- Dilates blood vessels to increase blood flow to organs involved in exercise or fighting off danger, skeletal muscles, cardiac muscle, liver, and adipose tissue
- Increases the rate and depth of breathing and dilates the bronchioles to allow faster movement of air in and out of the lungs
- Raises blood sugar as the liver glycogen is converted to glucose
- Slows down or even stops processes that are not essential for meeting the stress situation, such as muscular movements of the gastrointestinal tract and digestive secretions
All of these effects are great if one is being chased by a lion or attacked by an intruder into the home. However, these effects are unhealthy to a person sitting in an office, watching a football game or simply going about his everyday life.
The last item on the above list is very disruptive to the intestinal tract and leads to intestinal diseases. People are advised to eat more high-fiber whole grains and high-fiber fruit to overcome the constipation resulting from this slow down of the intestinal system, but this advice is backward. These are very high-carbohydrate foods, which cause a surge in insulin and adrenaline that shut down the digestive processes. (Bowel Diseases and Candida--News You Can Use.)
High-insulin and hypoglycemia (low-blood sugar) cause adrenaline to increase when no fight-or-flight stress situation exists and thereby causes unhealthy body changes. The helpful body responses to adrenaline become a health hazard when adrenaline is elevated over a period of time. The long-term elevation of adrenaline is very unhealthy and leads to many diseases.
These changes include effects to the cardiovascular system that increase the risk of coronary heart disease. The low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet as recommended by the USDA Food Guide Pyramid is disease causing because it promotes hypoglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, hypertriglyceridemia and hyperadrenalemia. Prolonged elevated adrenaline has the following effects on the cardiovascular system:
- Increases in the production of blood cholesterol, especially the undesirable LDL
- Decreases the body's ability to remove cholesterol
- Increases the blood's tendency to clot
- Increases the deposits of plaque on the walls of the arteries
Adrenaline addiction is very common. Type-A personalities become addicted to their excessive activity by the stimulation and arousal of adrenaline. People who are constantly angry, fearful, guilty, or worrisome arouse their adrenaline hormone even though they may sit around doing nothing else. People who are excessive in their participation in jogging, exercise, bodybuilding, aerobics, sports, skiing, mountain climbing, car racing or flying aerobic airplanes become addicted because of the adrenaline rush from their activity. They describe the "rush" they get from their activity and feel depressed when they can't participate for some unexpected reason.
James F. Fixx was addicted to running and wrote the famous jogger's book, The Complete Book of Running. He was a marathon runner and vegetarian on a diet of high-carbohydrates and low-protein. These were a perfect setup to arouse and maintain a high level of adrenaline. He died on his daily run of a massive heart attack proving to the world that exercise does NOT prevent coronary heart disease. Fixx admitted in his book that his own research showed the athletes from his university alumni had a shorter life span than the "couch potato" students. This difference may have been caused by the difference in adrenaline between the two groups. Hypoglycemia and stress are a deadly combination.