I found an article yesterday that was reporting a new kind of MRI scan that is being developed to locate cancerous tumors. Here is an excerpt:
Researchers say they have developed a new way of detecting cancer by giving patients an injection of sugar before doing an MRI scan (magnetic resonance imaging).
Scientists from University College London (UCL) have developed a technique they callglucose chemical exchange saturation transfer (glucoCEST).
The work, published in the journal Nature Medicine, is based on the fact that tumors consume a higher amount of glucose compared with healthy tissues, as a way of sustaining their growth.
Dr. Simon Walker-Samuel from the UCL Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging says: "We have developed a new state-of-the-art imaging technique to visualize and map the location of tumors that will hopefully enable us to assess the efficacy of novel cancer therapies."
The researchers found that when sensitizing an MRI scanner to recognize glucose, tumors appeared as bright images on the MRI scans of mice. The tumors can be detected using the same amount of sugar found in half a standard chocolate bar.
While this IS an exciting innovation in world of imaging and detection for cancer, what this article shouts out to me is that the same amount of sugar contained in half of a standard chocolate bar will feed a cancerous tumor so much that it can be found on an MRI scan!
With people living ever more frantic and fast-paced lives, we can often lose track of which essential and non-essential nutrients we consume. Sugar is vital for good health, without it all the cells in our body would come to a halt and perish. However, too much sugar raises the risk for obesity, insulin resistance, inflammatory issues, and diabetes. I have talked a lot about cutting down on sugar, but sometimes we can be unaware of just how much sugar is in the food that we are eating.
To help you, I have listed some common everyday foods and drinks, together with their sugar content:
What is sugar?
Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that belongs to a class of chemically-related sweet-flavored substances. It comes in many different forms. The three main types of sugar are sucrose, lactose, and fructose.
Even though our cells need sugar (glucose) to survive, consuming too much of it can cause numerous health problems. Added sugar contains no beneficial nutrients and in excess only contributes to tooth decay, diabetes, and obesity.
The American Heart Association (AHA) have said that “added sugar adds zero nutrients and contributes extra pounds, or even obesity, thereby reducing heart health."
Being aware of the existing and added sugar contents of the foods and drinks we consume is vital for our health - even more so today because so many products have sugar added to them.
The AHA currently recommends that men consume no more than 150 calories from added sugar per day, and women 100 calories.
Nutritionists strongly recommend against consuming more than 12 teaspoons a day.
How much sugar do chocolates and candy contain?
With high sugar content, chocolate should always be viewed as an occasional treat.
- Milk chocolate bar (44g) - 5.75 teaspoons of sugar
- Snickers bar (57g) - 7 teaspoons of sugar
- Milky Way bar (58g) - 8.5 teaspoons of sugar
- Marshmallows (100g) - 14.5 teaspoons of sugar
- Caramel piece (10g) - 1.7 teaspoons of sugar
- Butterfinger bar (60g) - 6.9 teaspoons of sugar
- Dove chocolate bar (37g) - 5 teaspoons of sugar
- Starburst packet (45 grams) - 5.5 teaspoons of sugar
- Twix bar - 2.75 teaspoons of sugar
- M&Ms packet (45 grams) - 5.75 teaspoons of sugar
- Boiled sweets bag (100 grams) - 11.5 teaspoons of sugarHow much sugar do soft drinks contain?
Soft drinks often contain a high amount of sugar. Remember that studies have shown that the artificial sweeteners found in sodas activates the pancreas to excrete insulin just as if it was dealing with sugar.
- Coca cola (one can) - 7 teaspoons of sugar
- Red Bull (one can) - 7.5 teaspoons of sugar
- Lemonade (one glass) - 5.5 teaspoons of sugar
- Orange squash (one glass) - 2.5 teaspoons of sugar
- Hot chocolate (one mug) - 4.5 teaspoons of sugar
- Fruit smoothie (one glass) - 3.5 teaspoons of sugarA study published in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, identified a link between drinking more than one soft drink a day and an increased risk of creating heart disease and/or diabetes for yourself.
How much sugar do breakfast cereals contain?
*(per 100 grams)
Fruit Loops are said to contain 106 times more sugar than Shredded Wheat.
- Alpen - 5 teaspoons of sugar
- Cheerios - 1.1 teaspoons of sugar
- Corn Flakes - 2.4 teaspoons of sugar
- Cocoa Krispies - 9.6 teaspoons of sugar
- Froot Loops - 10.6 teaspoons of sugar
- Raisin Bran - 7.8 teaspoons of sugar
- Frosted Flakes - 8.9 teaspoons of sugar
- Honey Smacks - 14 teaspoons of sugar
- Rice Krispies - 2.5 teaspoons of sugar
- Special K - 3 teaspoons of sugar
- Wheaties - 3.8 teaspoons of sugar
- Trix - 8 teaspoons of sugar
- Lucky Charms - 9 teaspoons of sugar
- Rice Chex - 2 teaspoons of sugar
- Wheat Chex - 2.6 teaspoons of sugar
- Corn Chex - 2.8 teaspoons of sugar
- Honey Nut Cheerios - 8.25 teaspoons of sugar
- Reese's Puffs - 8.9 teaspoons of sugar
- Golden Grahams - 8.8 teaspoons of sugar
- Cocoa Puffs - 9.3 teaspoons of sugar
- Cookie Crisp - 8.7 teaspoons of sugar
- Shredded Wheat - 0.1 teaspoons of sugar
- Cocoa Pebbles - 8.6 teaspoons of sugar
- Banana Nut Crunch - 4.7 teaspoons of sugarIn June 2012, researchers from Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity revealed that even though cereals aimed at kids had become more nutritious, cereal companies (such as Kellogg, General Mills, and Post) had increased their advertising spending considerably. Cereal advertising aimed at children increased by 34% between 2008 and 2011.
Marlene Schwartz, deputy director of the Rudd Center, said:
"While cereal companies have made small improvements to the nutrition of their child-targeted cereals, these cereals are still far worse than the products they market to adults. They have 56% more sugar, half as much fiber, and 50% more sodium.
The companies know how to make a range of good-tasting cereals that aren't loaded with sugar and salt. Why can't they help parents out and market these directly to children instead?"
How much sugar does fruit contain?
Fruits contain fructose, a type of sugar. Fresh fruit have no "added sugar", but as you can see below, their levels of sugar range from 1 teaspoon per 100 grams in cranberries to 4 teaspoons in grapes.
*per 100 grams
- Mangos - 3.2 teaspoons of sugar
- Bananas - 3 teaspoons of sugar
- Apples - 2.6 teaspoons of sugar
- Pineapples - 2.5 teaspoons of sugar
- Grapes - 4 teaspoons of sugar
- Lemons - 0.6 teaspoons of sugar
- Kiwi fruit - 2.3 teaspoons of sugar
- Apricots - 2.3 teaspoons of sugar
- Strawberries - 1.3 teaspoons of sugar
- Raspberries - 1 teaspoon of sugar
- Blueberries - 1.7 teaspoons of sugar
- Cranberries - 1 teaspoons of sugar
- Tomatoes - 0.7 teaspoons of sugarHow much sugar do cakes and desserts contain?
A medium slice of carrot cake contains approximately 3 teaspoons of sugar.
- Banoffee pie (1 medium portion) - 4.25 teaspoons of sugar
- Carrot cake (1 medium slice) - 3 teaspoons of sugar
- Custard (1 medium portion) - 3.25 teaspoons of sugar
- Chocolate mousse (1 medium portion) - 3 teaspoons of sugar
- Cornetto (1 cone) - 3 teaspoons of sugar
- Donut (1 jam doughnut) - 3.5 teaspoons of sugar
- Fruit pie (1 medium portion) - 3.5 teaspoons of sugar
- Fruit cake (1 medium slice) - 5 teaspoons of sugar
- Muffin (one chocolate chip muffin) - 4.75 teaspoons of sugar
- Ice cream (1 scoop) - 3 teaspoons of sugar
- Rice pudding (1 portion) - 3.75 teaspoons of sugar
- Sponge cake (1 medium slice) - 5.5 teaspoons of sugar
- Swiss roll (1 roll) - 2.5 teaspoons of sugarFor several million years, humans existed on a diet of animals and vegetation. It was only with the advent of agriculture a mere 10,000 years ago -- a fraction of a second in evolutionary time -- that humans began ingesting large amounts of sugar and starch in the form of grains (and potatoes) into their diets. Indeed, 99.99% of our genes were formed before the advent of agriculture; in biological terms, our bodies are still those of hunter-gatherers.
While the human shift to agriculture produced indisputable gains for man -- modern civilization is based on this epoch -- societies where the transition from a primarily meat/vegetation diet to one high in cereals show a reduced lifespan and stature, increases in infant mortality and infectious disease, and higher nutritional deficiencies.
Contemporary humans have not suddenly evolved mechanisms to incorporate the high carbohydrates from starch- and sugar-rich foods into their diet. In short, we are consuming far too much bread, cereal, pasta, corn (a grain, not a vegetable), rice, potatoes and Little Debbie snack cakes, with very grave consequences to our health. Making matters worse, most of these carbohydrates we consume come in the form of processed food.
That 65% of Americans are overweight, and 27% clinically obese, in a nation addicted to sesame seed buns for that hamburger, with a side of French fries and a Coke, is no coincidence. It is not the fat in the foods we eat but, far more, the excess carbohydrates from our starch- and sugar-loaded diet that is making people fat and unhealthy, and leading to epidemic levels of a host of diseases such as diabetes.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, chances are very good that the excess carbohydrates in your body are, in part or whole, to blame:
- Excess weight
- Fatigue and frequent sleepiness
- Brain fogginess
- Low blood sugar
- High blood pressure
- High triglyceridesWe all need a certain amount of carbohydrates, of course, but, through our addiction to grains, potatoes, sweets and other starchy and sugary foods, we are consuming far too many. The body's storage capacity for carbohydrates is quite limited, though, so here's what happens to all the excess: they are converted, via insulin, into fat and stored in the adipose, or fatty, tissue.
Any meal or snack high in carbohydrates generates a rapid rise in blood glucose. To adjust for this rise, the pancreas secretes the hormone insulin into the bloodstream, which lowers the glucose. Insulin is, though, essentially a storage hormone, evolved over those millions of years of humans prior to the agricultural age, to store the excess calories from carbohydrates in the form of fat in case of famine.
Insulin, stimulated by the excess carbohydrates in our overabundant consumption of grains, starches and sweets, is responsible for all those bulging stomachs and fat rolls in thighs and chins.
Even worse, high insulin levels suppress two other important hormones -- glucagons and growth hormones -- that are responsible for burning fat and sugar and promoting muscle development, respectively. So insulin from excess carbohydrates promotes fat, and then wards off the body's ability to lose that fat.
Excess weight and obesity lead to heart disease and a wide variety of other diseases. But the ill effect of grains and sugars does not end there. They suppress the immune system, contributing to allergies, and they are responsible for a host of digestive disorders. They contribute to depression, and their excess consumption is, in fact, associated with many of the chronic diseases in our nation, such as cancer and diabetes.
The bottom line is this: Americans need to reduce their intake of grains, including corn-based foods, and all sweets and potatoes, dramatically.