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Integrative Nutrition Visiting Teacher, and leader in the field of functional medicine, Mark Hyman, MD, has just settled a 50-year debate proving that sugar is far more detrimental to our health than fat. In a recent study of more than 40,000 people, it was determined that those with the highest sugar intake had a four-fold increase in their risk of heart attacks compared to those with the lowest intakes.
But wait, isn’t fat bad?
For so long we were taught to believe that fat – the purported root of all evil – causes heart attacks and raises cholesterol, while innocuous sugar was considered safe despite being a source of empty calories.
At Integrative Nutrition, we understand that the field of nutrition is ever-evolving as new studies continuously arise that contradict information previously regarded as true.
But what Dr. Hyman brings to light here is information that has been ignored by our healthcare system and policy makers for decades.
He explains, “U.S. Dietary Guidelines provide no limit for added sugar, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still lists sugar as a ‘generally regarded as safe’ (GRAS) substance.”
Dr. Hyman states that the biggest culprit affecting our health and waistlines is sugar-sweetened beverages, which include sodas, juices, sports drinks, teas and coffees. The sugar calories in these beverages are directly leading to the increase of heart attacks, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cancer and dementia.
Dr. Hyman also brings up an interesting point that Integrative Nutrition Founder and Director, Joshua Rosenthal, has stated for years – the dietary guidelines set by the government are not always based in medical research. More often than not, these guidelines are implemented as a means to drive mass production and increase profits, without any care or concern for the health of the public.
We are now facing an obesity epidemic that has resulted in the death of millions of Americans. In order to combat this trend, Dr. Hyman believes that we must revamp the outdated and dangerous national dietary guidelines that are failing to properly regulate the food we eat. This includes strategies such as revamping food labeling, taxing soda, and banning junk food television advertising. While the new nutrition label guidelines are a good start – is it enough?
At Integrative Nutrition, we believe that more time should be spent on education and prevention methods, and that Health Coaches are critical to the solution. Health Coaches fill a vital void in the current health care industry. By empowering their clients to make educated decisions and lifestyle adjustments, while supporting them to cut through contradicting theories to discover what really works for them, Health Coaches are creating a ripple effect of health and happiness around the world.
What do you think about this new study? Share your thoughts on the Sugar vs. Fat debate in the comments below!