More and more studies are teaching us how too much sugar in our diet can lead to serious health issues, including conditions like obesity. This has triggered all sorts of policy debates with the Mayor of New York banning large soft drinks while others argue that the government shouldn’t get involved. Both sides have a point but with so much of our federal budget tied to health care costs we all need to consider these issues, while also looking in the mirror and asking ourselves whether we consume too much sugar.
Soft drinks in particular are a huge source of excess sugar in our diets, and now even stars like Beyonce are feeling some heat around this issue. For example, “The Center for Science in the Public Interest wants Beyonce to turn her back on her $50 million deal with Pepsi because the sugary drink is associated with obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.” That’s quite a bit a money to turn down, and I guess she could only focus on Diet Pepsi, but in many ways this controversy illustrates how far we have come with awareness on this issue. I doubt Beyonce will end her deal, but now there is some PR price to be paid when a celebrity gets behind these types of products.
Of course, we need to do more than just cut down on sugar to improve our diet and our health, though it would be a great start for most people. It’s important to find healthy foods as a substitute for things like sugar and fat that we want to reduce. Another approach involves taking vitamins and supplements like the ones found at Predator Nutrition to round out what you consume as well.
It is encouraging, however, that the feedback we’re getting from commercials might be balanced a bit by the loud voices explaining the health risks of things like sugar along with the health benefits of fruits and vegetables.
The reason why you get addicted to any food, but particularly sugar, is because your brain has opioid receptors (heroin is an opioid). Interestingly, sugar binds to the same addictive receptors as cocaine and other addictive drugs. These opioid receptors are part of a primitive reward system that helps you detect, select and enjoy eating fresh foods over rancid ones.
Today, however, we live in a world where we are surrounded, not only by food in general, but by processed foods that are typically loaded with sugar. Unfortunately, this has led to a saturation of our opioid receptors, and we’ve become addicted to foods that are extremely harmful.
Now, there are compounds called opioid receptor antagonists. That means once they occupy the receptors, they prohibit you from being addicted to something else. And coffee is an opioid receptor antagonist. Caffeine can bind to your opioid receptors and may diminish the addictive impact of another substance like sugar.
“If you are addicted to sugar, for instance, and you really want to train your body gradually get rid of this addiction, using coffee would be a viable way to help yourself achieve this. Train yourself to drink black coffee. Drink it sugarless on an empty stomach and you will see how, gradually, the cravings will dissipate…”
So, all in all, it appears coffee may have some valuable redeeming benefits, particularly to boost the benefits of your morning workout, as long as you get high quality organic coffee, ground your own beans to make sure it’s fresh, and avoid adding sugar.
Ori Hofmekler, author of The Warrior Diet, The Anti-Estrogenic Diet, Maximum Muscle Minimum Fat, and the upcoming book Unlocking the Muscle Gene is an expert on how to improve your health with foods. Mercola.com video transcript
Symptoms of low testosterone levels in men include decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, depression, osteoporosis, weight gain, muscle loss, diabetes, heart disease, and decreased physical performance. Unfortunately, 1 out of 4 men above the age of thirty in the US has lower than normal testosterone levels and will experience some of these symptoms.
Age, which we have little control over, obviously plays a big role in lower testosterone. Are there other factors that we can control, such as nutrition?
A study involving 42 men with normal blood sugar levels, 23 with pre-diabetic blood sugar levels, and 9 with type 2 diabetes was performed to make testing for testosterone levels more accurate. In the process however, researchers discovered that eating sugar cuts a man’s testosterone levels significantly.
Each participant was given a sugary solution and then had their testosterone levels checked. Regardless of whether the participants had diabetes or not, blood levels of testosterone dropped by as much as 25% and remained low for a period of 2 hours. 15% of the participants with normal testosterone levels before the test experienced a drop in testosterone so low they could be classified as having hypogonadism, which would require hormonal replacement therapy. (Alternatives.13(9);2010)
If nothing else, you’ll lose body fat and achieve a higher level of overall health by cutting out sugar. Sugar has been associated with diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and many more. Now you can add improved testosterone levels to the list