Northwest Senior News January 2021

Fat Heals—Sugar Kills: Chapter 4 – Part 1, Sugar Isn’t Always Sweet

We continue our review and digest this month of Fat Heals-Sugar Kills: The Cause of and Cure for Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Obesity, and Other Metabolic Disorders by Dr. Bruce Fife. In the first part of Chapter 4 titled Sugar Isn’t Always Sweet, Dr. Fife stresses the point that sugar is sugar whether is be table sugar, fructose, agave, honey or any other of the myriad forms of sugar.

Fat Heals—Sugar Kills: Chapter 4 – Part 2

Part 2: The key takeaway here is that the over consumption of sugar leads to excessively elevated blood sugar (glucose) levels. This, in turn, forces the pancreas to produce more insulin to deal with the high sugar load, and this leads to our body’s cells becoming resistant to the effects of insulin. This situation is known as insulin resistance, which is the pre-cursor to type 2 diabetes.

Sugar Blues: Chapter 1

Seven years ago, we initiated our review and digest of William Dufty’s book, Sugar Blues. His account of his sugar addition is timeless as the problem of sugar addiction continues unabated. We have revised our original summary and digest of his Chapter 1 titled: It Is Necessary to be Personal.


Gary Taubes, a well-known scientific journalist and author, published on YouTube a speech of his titled: The Case Against Sugar. We have republished our original transcription of the first segment of his speech with updated comments. His talk is just as appropriate today as it was a few years ago.


Oils from Seeds: Maybe Not Such a Good Idea

by Al Sears, MD, CNS

Good old-fashioned lard has been unfairly demonized for too long.

I’ve told you how my grandmother made her pie crusts with lard and how most people used it until the government told us that animal fat caused heart disease. As a regular reader, you know that’s just not true. Your body needs animal fat to use as food and to help absorb important nutrients.

But what about other oils that are being touted as “healthy?” These oils are used in prepared foods like sandwiches, chicken salad, soups or even a loaf of whole grain bread. They are on the shelves at every “health food store,” yet they are some of the most unhealthy oils you’ll find.

I’m talking about seed oils.

Research shows these oils are linked with all the chronic diseases they’re supposed to help you avoid, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Industrialized seed oils, often called vegetable oils, are hard to avoid. They’re in everything from peanut butter to crackers and salad dressings.

And though seed oils and vegetables may sound like natural foods, they’re the farthest thing from it.

While native cultures put animal fats at the center of their diet and show no trace of heart disease, they never ate seed oils because they are chemically processed, lab-created oils and they don’t exist in nature. We never evolved to properly metabolize or digest them.

In the early 1900s, Proctor and Gamble began using a chemical process called hydrogenation to turn cottonseed oil into a solid fat that could be used for cooking instead of lard. The result, in 1911, was Crisco.1

The success of the world’s first vegetable shortening led to the marketing of soybean, corn, safflower, and canola (made from rapeseed) oils. They were cheap to make and manufacturers pushed them hard on the public. Soon, they were a staple of American cooking.

A few years later, the concept that cholesterol and saturated fat cause heart disease was first presented by a physiologist named Ancel Keys. Even though there were epidemiologists at the time who strongly disputed his findings, the hypothesis that animal fats raise the risk of heart attacks became conventional wisdom in mainstream medicine.2

As I’ve been saying for years, this is entirely wrong, and research bears this out.3

As a substitute for animal fats, Keys urged people to consume—you guessed it—seed oils. He championed polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) from plant-based foods as a superior alternative.

Over time, this erroneous belief became entrenched in mainstream medicine.

Doctors and medical organizations such as the National Institutes of Health and the American Medical Association declared war on animal fats. They strongly suggested lard and tallow should be avoided for cooking in favor of vegetable-based shortenings such as Crisco, corn oil or soybean oil. They insisted people should stop buying butter and use solid seed oil—margarine—instead.

It’s incredible, because scientific support for this nonsense is mainly based on deeply flawed, outdated studies from the ‘50s and ‘60s.

I recommend you rid your kitchen pantry of any vegetable shortenings such as Crisco and any of these oils: sunflower, cottonseed, soybean, corn, peanut, safflower, and canola.

Second, make a point of avoiding processed foods. These often contain seed oil in the form of hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. The worst offenders include cookies, cakes, fried foods, frozen pizzas, margarine, biscuits, artificial coffee creamers, microwave popcorn, and pies.

The healthy fats I recommend instead of seed oils include:

Coconut oil. This healthy fat continues to get a bad rap. But, it’s made up of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are good for your brain and boost your immunity.4,5 They also prevent osteoporosis, protect your liver, and help your body burn fat.6,7,8

Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Studies show it protects against cancer, heart disease, stroke, obesity, Alzheimer’s, and arthritis.9 To make sure you’re getting the real thing, check the bottle labels. Look for these acronyms: PDO, DOC, DO, or DOP. These are European certifications of quality. The COOC (California Olive Oil Council) serves the same function for American-made olive oils. Also, only buy olive oil in dark or opaque containers. Exposure to light causes oxidation and rancidity.

Lard. Rendered from pig fat, it’s mainly made up of monounsaturated fat, the same as olive oil. But, it’s also rich in healthy saturated fat and a good source of vitamin D. Make sure the lard comes from a natural source. Check the label to be sure it hasn’t been hydrogenated to extend shelf life. If it’s not refrigerated, don’t buy it.

Tallow. Fat rendered from any animal other than pigs—usually beef—is called tallow. It has a high smoke point which means it’s excellent for cooking. Tallow is high in saturated and monounsaturated fats. Look for tallow from grass-fed cows—it’s higher in omega-3s. Like lard, tallow helps you absorb essential vitamins and helps keep your skin hydrated.

Other great sources of dietary fats include wild-caught fatty fish, avocados, and nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and pistachios.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD, CNS

  1. “Crisco.” Wikipedia (, accessed 10/27/20
  2. “Ansel Keys.” Wikipedia (, accessed 10/27/20
  3. Harcombe Z. “US dietary guidelines: is saturated fat a nutrient of concern?” British Journal of Sports Medicine 2019;53:1393-1396.
  4. “America’s most widely consumed cooking oil causes genetic changes in the brain.” University of California (http://health.universityofcalifornia), accessed 10/28/20 5. “Coconut Oil Offers Hope for Antibiotic-Resistant Germs” Coconut Oil (, accessed 10/28/20
  5. Hayatullina, Z., et al. “Virgin coconut oil supplementation prevents bone loss in osteoporosis rat model.” Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2012, 237236.
  6. Nagao, K., et al. “Medium-chain fatty acids: functional lipids for the prevention and treatment of the metabolic syndrome.” Pharmacological research, 61(3), 208–212.
  7. Otuechere, C. A., et al. “Virgin coconut oil protects against liver damage in albino rats challenged with the anti-folate combination, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole.” Journal of basic and clinical physiology and pharmacology, 25(2), 249–253.
  8. “11 Proven Benefits of Olive Oil” Healthline (, accessed 10/28/20

Sugar Blues Chapter 2—The Mark of Cane

by William Dufty: 

Dufty takes us back to the beginning of time, Paradise Lost and the Garden of Eden.  He references Biblical references to people living a very long time.  He discusses ancient Chinese acupuncture meridians, which are called beauty marks in the West, dark spots that appear at the time of birth or later.

When these charts are compiled thousands of year ago, “natural death” was going to sleep without waking up—was the normal way to die….refined sugar [sucrose] did not form a part of the human diet.

He relays to us the diet of these early people which consisted of a variety of nuts including almonds, chestnuts, walnuts, and pistachios.  For fruits and vegetables they had apples, fig, grapes, mulberries, olives, melons, carob, mint, onion, anise, cucumbers, lentils, and mustard.  For grains they had barley, millet, rye, and wheat.  They had milk and honey and a multitude of natural goodies.  Most all of these had natural sugars.

Dufty explains that none of the ancient books, the Bible, the Code of Mann, the I Ching, the Yellow Emperors Classic of Internal Medicine, the New Testament and the Koran, make any reference to sugar.  He references “sweet cane” that may have come from India and Polynesian myths and legends that made much of this sweet cane.  It was native to tropical climes, and efforts to cultivate it elsewhere failed.

The sweet cane “was cultivated with great labor by husbandman who bruise it when ripe in mortars, set the juice in a vessel until concreted in form like snow or white salt.”

The Greeks described it as a “kind of honey” growing in canes of reeds.  Early Roman and Greek accounts compared it to basic staples of the time, “Indian salt” or “honey without bees; and they imported it at an enormous cost.  The Persians were credited with the research and development of a process for refining the juice of the cane into a solid form that would last without fermenting.  It was feasible to transport the product.  He sets the time around 600 A.D.  Dufty continues with this interesting quote:

The Persian empire rose and fell, as empires always do.  When the armies of Islam overran them, one of the trophies of victory was the secret for processing sweet cane into medicine.

Dufty recounts the victories of the Arab armies and the spread of the Arab empire.  He continues:

It is tempting to wonder from eyewitness reports that turn up later, what role sugar played in the decline of the Arab empire.  Sugar is not mentioned [in the Koran], but the heirs of the Prophet [Mohammad] are probably the first conquerors in history to have produced enough sugar to furnish both troops and courts with candy and sugared drinks.  An early European observer credits the widespread use of sugar by desert fighters as their reason for their loss of cutting edge.

 The author quotes Leonhard Rauwolf, a German botanist:

The Turks and Moors cut off one piece [of sugar] after another and so chew and eat them openly everywhere in the street without shame…in this way [they] accustom themselves to gluttony and are no longer the intrepid fighters they had formerly been.

Dufty comments, “This may be the first recorded warning from the scientific community on the subject of sugar abuse and its observed consequences.”  He draws a parallel with the Christian Crusaders.  They, too, acquired a taste for the “sauce of the Saracens”.  He quotes Pope Clement V advocating that the Christians, too, get in the sugar business.

…If the Christians could seize those lands [the Sultans] great injury would be inflicted on the Sultan and at the same time Christendom would be wholly supplied from Cyprus.  Sugar is also grown in the Morea, Malta, and Sicily, and it would grow in other Christian lands if cultivated there.  As regards Christendom, no harm would follow.

Dufty explains that Christians took a big bite of the “forbidden fruit”.  What followed was seven centuries in which the seven deadly sins flourished across the seven seas, leaving a trail of slavery, genocide, and organized crime.

My comments:  Yes, the forbidden fruit: I had a paper route, and in those days the paperboy collected for the monthly subscription. I had change jingling in my pocket, and there were little mom and pop markets all around me.  I could easily sneak a soda pop or a Snickers bar. It was easy to get hooked on the sweet stuff.

I recall my son’s morbidly obese Cub Scout leaders acting as drug pushers in tantalizing their charges with CAKE!! after the evening’s activities.  I remember fighting with my brother over splitting a leftover piece of cake, pie, or candy as to who got the biggest piece.  Funny thing, we never fought over who got how much of the leftover vegetables!  So yeah, it’s easy to understand how these people of hundreds of years ago went berserk over sugar.  I was no different.

Continuing: Dufty quotes the British historian, Noel Deerr: “It will be no exaggeration to put the tale and toll of the slave trade at 20 million Africans, of which two thirds are to be charges against sugar.”  He then spends the next couple of pages describing the growth of the Portuguese and Spanish slave trade and sugar cultivation.  Then the Dutch got into the act by 1500.

No other product has so profoundly influenced the political history of the Western world as has sugar. . .The Portuguese and Spanish empires rose swiftly in opulence and power.  As the Arabs before them had crumbled, so they too fell rapidly into a decline.  To what extent that decline was biological—occasioned by sugar bingeing at the royal level—we can only guess.  However, the British empire stood by waiting to pick up the pieces.

He tells us that Queen Elizabeth initially called the slave trade, “detestable”, but she soon capitulated.  The Queen sanctioned the Company of Royal Adventurers of England, which gave them a state monopoly of the West African slave trade.  In the West Indies the Spaniards had exterminated the natives and brought African slaves to tend their fields of cane.

Comment: What is a 20th century parallel to the 15th and 16th century European sugar craze?  I would think that one parallel is the oil rush.  Just like the machinations of the governments back then, I think of the 1953 U.S. CIA sponsored overthrow of the democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh.  He nationalized the Iranian oil industry, and the Western powers [Standard Oil and BP] didn’t like that.  Weren’t Gulf Wars I and II primarily about oil? Sugar then, oil now.

Continuing: The sugar trade in the West Indies grew in another way.  Fermented cane juice was turned into rum.  The first rum runner imported their precious tonic to New England where a “pennies worth” of rum was traded with the Indians for furs.  That latter were sold in Europe for a fortune.  On the return voyage back to the New World, the ships of the Queen’s Company of Royal Adventurers visited the West African coast to pick up more slaves, who in turn would tend the sugar cane fields to produce more sugar, molasses and rum.

It was rum for the American Indians, molasses for the American colonists, and sugar and furs for Europe.  It was quite a neat deal until the land in Barbados and other British islands was worn out and exhausted.

Britain’s Navigation Acts of 1660 required that the trade of all British colonies had to be with England, Ireland, and British possessions.  Mother England wanted to protect her revenues and maintain the priceless shipping monopoly.  Dufty explains that by the 1860’s sugar became a synonym for “money” in the English language.

He explains that the Molasses Act of 1733 did as much or more to precipitate the American War of Independence as did the Boston Tea Party.  The act levied a heavy tax on sugar or molasses coming from anywhere other than the British sugar islands in the Caribbean.  The ship owners of New England cut themselves in.  They delivered rum to West Africa in exchange for more slaves, who were then sold to the British plantation owners.  Then they shipped molasses back to the colonies which was to be distilled into rum.  Dufty explains that the per capita consumption of rum in the colonies was an annual four gallons per person.

Dufty quotes the French philosopher Claude Adrien Helvetius: “No cask of sugar arrives in Europe to which blood is not sticking.  In view of the misery of these slaves anyone with feelings should renounce these wares and refuse the enjoyment of what is only to be bought with tears and death of countless unhappy creatures.”

Helvetius was forced to recant [in part to save his skin], as the French were cutting themselves in on the sugar trade.  The Sorbonne [University of Paris] condemned him and his books were burned.  Nevertheless, the genie was out of the bottle.

The stigma of slavery was on sugar everywhere, but most particularly in Britain.  Everywhere sugar had become a source of public wealth and national importance.  Through taxes and tariffs on sugar, government had remained a partner in organized crime.  Fabulous fortunes were being amassed by plantation owners, planters, traders and shippers; and the sole concern of European royalty was how they would take their cut.

My comments:  Are things much different today?  President Nixon was paranoid about the 1972 election, and one of his concerns was rising food prices.  He teamed up with the then Secretary of Agriculture, Earl Butz, to start massive government subsidies for the growing of corn in an effort to keep food prices low.  Japanese scientists figured out in the early 1970’s how to make high fructose corn syrup [HFCS] from that cheap corn.  Therefore, we now have the price HFCS being kept artificially low through government subsidies and the price of imported sugar kept artificially higher because of tariffs.  Sound familiar?

Meanwhile, large multi-national corporations are making a fortune by selling, cheap, low quality, disease-facilitating food [if you can call it food] and beverages to the unsuspecting public all laced with HFCS.  And on the farm we now have herbicide-resistant genetically modified organisms [GMO’s] being doused with herbicides.  The lobbyists in the corn producing states push to keep the cash cow flowing. And the politicians are bribed [through campaign contributions] to continue to vote the status quo, and the tax-payers are pick-pocketed to finance the entire scheme.

Future generations have to be properly trained to keep the show rolling along.  Schools have gotten in on the act by allowing soda-pop vending machines on campus, although due to protests, some have since been removed.  At least one elementary school in Lewiston, ID has a Pepsi logo on its outdoor info sign.  Our local skateboard park is called “Mountain Dew Skateboard Park”. The objective is to burn the logos of these sugary drinks into the minds of new consumers.

The craze for sugar certainly continues.  What about the slaves?  We don’t have them anymore, or do we?  If we do, who are they?

Continuing: Dufty explains the British Empire was totally hooked on the issue of sugar.  Gluttony had produced necessity.  Sugar and slavery were indivisible.  Therefore, they were defended together.  When sugar was originally introduced in England, a pound cost an entire year’s salary for the average working man.  As the sugar trade increased, the price fell precipitously.  By 1700 the British Isles were accounting for 20 million pounds of sugar per year.  By 1800 it was 160 million pounds per year.  The consumption had gone up eight-fold.  A hundred years later the British were spending as much on sugar as they were on bread.  The consumption had increased to 73 pounds per person per year.

The French didn’t sit idly by.  By 1700 refined sugar was France’s most important export.  The British struck back with naval blockades, cutting off their source of sugar cane.  A German scientist, Franz Carl Achard, was experimenting with a “type of parsnip” from Italy, originally believed to be from Babylonia.  Under pressure from the blockade, French scientists found a way to process the beet into a new kind of sugar “loaf”.  Napoleon ordered beets to be planted everywhere in France.  [Sound familiar?]

After Napoleon had beaten Britain’s naval blockade, the Quakers in Britain took up the cultivation of sugar beets as an anti-slavery gesture.  The status quo producers of sugar from sugar cane saw that as a serious threat and demanded that the “Quakers be uprooted”.  Most of their beets were fed to cows, and it wasn’t until a shipping shortage spawned by WW-I that Britain resumed the growing of sugar beets. [

The French abolished the slave trade in 1807, and the British did so 26 years later.  The British indemnified slaveholders in Barbados and Jamaica $75 to $399 a head.  Before then, there were plenty of slave revolts threatening those that ran the plantations.  After the abolition of slavery, East Indian immigrants were imported to man what was left of the powerful sugar business.

Up until this time, refined sugar was a raw, light brown-like sugar.  New American inventions were about to change that forever.  James Watt perfected the steam engine, Figuier developed a method for making charcoal out of animal bones, and Howard produced the vacuum pan.  Now the Americans could produce white, crystalline sugar.  Cuba became the new, back door colony for the U.S.  Import duties of $0.02 per pound provided for 20% of federal revenues.

Americans soon outdistanced the British and virtually every other nation in sugar bingeing.  The U.S. had consumed one-fifth of the world’s production of sugar every year but one since the Civil War.  By 1893 America was consuming more sugar than the whole world had produced in 1865.  By 1920…that figure for sugar production had doubled….It is doubtful there has ever been more of a challenge to the human body in the entire history of man.

Dufty draws several parallels of opium trade and production of the “mark of cane”.  They both began as medicines and ended up being used for habit forming sensory pleasures.  The opium traffic, as with sugar, seems to have originated in Persia.  Fortunes were made in their trade.  Opium was refined into morphine which was injected into those with sugar-induced diabetes, as the hypodermic needle had been invented by then.  Taxes were collected from both of them.  Many Union soldiers came home that were completely addicted to morphine.  Morphine was further refined into heroin, and the latter was also used to treat sugar diabetes.

Dufty quotes Dr. Robert Boesler’s [a dentist] 1912 comments:

Modern manufacturing of sugar has brought about entirely new diseases.  The sugar of commerce is nothing else but concentrated crystalized acid. If, in former times sugar was so costly that only the wealthy could afford to use it, it was, from the national economic standpoint, of no consequence. Today…because of its low cost, sugar has caused a degeneration of the people….The loss of energy through the consumption of sugar in the last century and the first decade of this century can never be made good, as it has left its mark on the race….

 Dufty concludes “The Mark of Cane” with a quote from Mark Twain’s autobiography.  His uncle ran a general store in Florida, Missouri around 1840.

It was a small establishment…a few barrels of salt mackerel, coffee, and New Orleans sugar behind the counter.  [They had the usual hardware items.] and…a barrel of two of New Orleans molasses and native corn whiskey on tap.  If a boy bought five or ten cents’ worth of anything, he was entitled to half a handful of sugar from the barrel…Everything was cheap…sugar, five cents a pound; whiskey ten cents a gallon.

The author explains that sugar was more expensive than whiskey, but they were pushing free samples on the kids.

By 1840 the sugar pushers and disease-establishment* were solid partners. Washington raked in two cents in federal taxes on every five-cent pound bag of sugar for another fifty years. Addicts supported the government—rather than vice versa—once upon a time. *That part of the establishment—once minor, now major—which profits directly and indirectly, legally and illegally, from human misery and malaise.


Fat Heals—Sugar Kills: Chapter 4 – Part 3, Sugar Isn’t Always Sweet

by Dr. Bruce Fife

Chapter 4, Part 3

Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs)

My Initial Comments: I wish I had known in my younger years just how potentially destructive sugar is on one’s health. Hopefully my sugar addiction from decades ago didn’t do any permanent damage. As I continue to read and understand from several experts who have researched this subject, it’s clear that the average person’s consumption of sugar is unhealthy.

Understanding the destructiveness of Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs) is really important if you consume refined sugars and are concerned about your health.

Sadly, I have spoken with too many people that preferred to continue with their sugar addiction and their resulting prescription addiction. Why do so many insist to continue with this insanity? I think much of it has to do with the same reasons that people are addicted to caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, mind altering drugs, and behaviors such as gambling. It teases our dopamine part of our brains. It’s pleasurable.

However, what we eat or drink, are behaviors, and we can choose what we will and what we won’t eat. We can choose to pass up the sweets when everyone around us is indulging. We can tell ourselves that the momentary pleasure I get from eating that doughnut or other sweet treat isn’t worth the damage it does to my health. We can choose to be the captain of our own ship.

At a recent family reunion everyone else was partaking of the pie and ice cream dessert except for my wife and I. She refrained due to food allergies, and I passed up the dessert as I didn’t want to fall off the wagon. I’d rather just “say no” to the high sugar eats and treats. Yes, it’s hard to do, initially, but once you get in the habit of doing so, it becomes much easier.


Dr. Fife begins this section by stating that sugar accelerates the aging process making you look and feel much older than you really are. He explains that elevated blood glucose levels increase molecular entities known as advanced glycation end-products or AGEs for short. The sticky glucose in your bloodstream could stick to fats, but it’s especially attracted to proteins.

He points out that aging is the accumulation of damaged cells.

The more AGEs you have in your body, the “older” you become functionally regardless of how many years you’ve lived. AGEs adversely affect other molecules generating free radicals, oxidizing LDL cholesterol (thus creating the type of cholesterol that collects in arteries and promotes atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes), degrading collagen (the major supporting structure in our organs and skin), damaging nerve tissue (including the brain), and wreaking havoc on just about every organ in the body. AGEs are known to play an important role in the chronic complications of [type 2] diabetes and in the development of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases. [Ed: My emphasis]

My comments: Many people will read the above paragraph and will say, yeah, yeah, I know all of that only to continue to indulge in what’s causing these various degenerative illnesses. When they see their doctor next, the doc is concerned because their A-1C is up, their blood pressure reading is up, and/or their “bad” LDL cholesterol is up. Solution? You guessed it: Up the dose of the meds and maybe a new one.

The doctor might give lip service about better nutrition, but that’s about it. The doc might even comment that you need to get your weight down by 15 or 20 pounds, but that about as far as it goes.

You the patient do not have to agonize by quitting your sugar addiction; the doc doesn’t have to fight to get a reluctant patient to change his/her lifestyle; the pharmacist will dutifully fill your prescriptions; and everyone is happy, or so they think.

Continuing: Dr. Fife explains that the AGE’s process is understood simply by observation. AGEs are involved in a vicious cycle of inflammation, generation of free radicals, amplified production of AGEs, more inflammation, and so on.

He goes on to say that everyone experiences the effects of AGEs to some extent and that it’s a part of getting older. The effects are the loss of skin tone, decreased organ function, reduction of motor skills, reduced ability to fight off infections, and other aging issues.

The problem is that insulin resistance raises blood glucose levels. Chronically elevated blood glucose levels can remain high even with the use of medications. The longer glucose is in contact with proteins, the greater the opportunity they have of forming AGEs. High blood sugar accelerates AGEing. [Ed: My emphasis]

Fortunately, we are not totally defenseless against the formation of AGEs. Our white blood cells have receptors to latch on to the AGEs and remove them. However, not all of them are easily removable, as this process sets off an inflammatory response. This, in turn, can lead to chronic inflammation.

Fife continues by explaining that heart disease is the leading cause of death in diabetics, and that heart disease is caused by diseased arteries. Studies have shown that the destructive effects of AGEs on blood vessels accounts for the rapidly progressive atherosclerosis experienced by diabetes.

It is this chronic high blood sugar characteristic of diabetics that leads to deterioration of the arteries that causes peripheral vascular disease, diabetic retinopathy, kidney disease, and other diabetic complications. …Elevated blood sugar itself, whether diabetes is diagnosed or not, is considered a risk factor for heart disease. [Ed: My emphasis] Elevated blood sugar is referred to as hyperglycemia.

Fife continues by explaining that AGEs have been identified as the primary mechanism that initiates the steps the lead to the development of atherosclerosis.

AGEs are highly damaging to the integrity and function of the blood vessel walls. They easily attach themselves to artery walls, generating free radicals and chronic inflammation. As tissues break down, proinflammatory cytokines, growth factors, and adhesion molecules are generated. Blood proteins, immune cells, LDL cholesterol, and fats infiltrate the damaged artery tissue where they are trapped. Cholesterol and fats are oxidized, and more inflammation is generated.

And now the process of occluded (partially, plugged, blocked, or restricted) artery vessels in your heart is in full swing.

My Comments: I have a father and brother that both had a coronary bypass surgery due to mostly blocked coronary arteries. A few years later they both died from heart illness. My paternal grandfather never made it to the surgeon’s table. He died from a massive stroke at 69.

The wife of my deceased brother Alan warned me about how heart disease was running in the males in our family. She urged me to see a specialist and have all sorts of tests done Her perspective was that she had seen three generations of men die from artery related disease. I responded with the following explanation:

I pointed out to her that the common factor was that all three were once very overweight and consumed way, way too many sugar-laden foods. I also reminded her that the potato chips Alan ate contained unhealthy fats which likely were a contributory factor towards his heart illness.

The real irony is that the wives were unwitting enablers to their husbands’ illnesses. My paternal grandmother lived in Yuba City, CA, the peach tree capital of at least California. She baked plenty of peach pies. After all, who could turn down her tasty culinary efforts? Sadly, Grandpa was at least 40 pounds overweight. He was warned about his high blood pressure, but it was too late.

My mother, although a dietician by training, also did plenty of baking. There were the cookies, pies and cakes for special occasions and rich Christmas candies of various sorts. I would be woefully guilty of omitting important details if I failed to mention the fact that the household of my upbringing laid the seedbed for my sugar addiction. My sister-in-law wasn’t a baker, but she purchased plenty of unhealthy processed and sugary foods.

Isn’t it ironic that the wives who care about and love their husbands bake their husbands on their way to diabetes, heart disease, strokes, and a premature death? What are two most common ingredients of most baked goods? Yep, you guessed it, sugar and white, relined flour. And then you throw in unhealthy fats made from seed oils (aka vegetable oils) such as soybean and canola oil. To add insult to injury, you use the hydrogenated forms of these oils which are margarine and shortening.

I have been in households where the wives’ love of baking has contributed to their husbands being overweight, spiked their blood sugar, and been a factor in their diagnosis of adult onset diabetes.


Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs) have the following characteristics:

  • They serve no useful purpose whereas cholesterol is needed for cellular function.
  • They are toxic by-products of non-enzymatic reactions between sugar and body tissues and are highly destructive.
  • They tend to increase with age.
  • In addition to diabetes and heart disease, elevated levels of AGEs are often associated with kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other maladies.

Dr. Fife explains that various studies show the connection between diets with high levels of refined carbohydrates and the acceleration of the aging process. The research also found that indicators of inflammation, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance increased with age regardless of the subject’s [actual] age.

It’s not how old you are but how much accumulated damage you have sustained that really determines you level of health. Dr Fife concludes this section by saying that the formation of AGEs is an ongoing process but that we can minimize the problem my reducing our sugar and refined carbohydrate consumption.

My comments: I think to speak in terms of “reducing our sugar and refined carbohydrate consumption” is like telling a smoker to reduce the number of cigarettes he/she smokes. While reducing the number of cigarettes is an improvement, kicking the habit far more beneficial.

How much are you going to reduce your consumption of sugar and other refined carbs? If you drink two cans of pop per day, do you reduce it to one? Do you cut in half the number of times you have pie and ice cream? If you normally have four cookies, do you only have two?

My take is that if you know you are addicted to sweets and refined carbs, the very best thing to do is to kick the addiction. Which is better for an alcoholic, cut a two or three per day beer habit to one six pack per week or to eliminate the consumption of all alcoholic beverages?

Maybe you the reader might be different, but I know what can happen to me. If I have just one cookie, then I want a second and so on. For me, it’s better and easier to abstain.

Another big bonus of avoiding refined carbohydrates is that it’s much easier to either lose weight or to maintain your desired weight. Needless to say, absolutely avoid putting toxic chemicals such as artificial sweeteners into your body. That’s a discussion for another time, but I’d hope for now that everyone would understand the nature never intended for you to ingest laboratory concocted chemicals into your body.

To be continued…