Updated: Nov 11, 2021
How Are You Doing on Your Road to Wellness?
ME: Well, give me an update on your quest for health?
YOU: I'm doing great. I have kind of gotten over the hump on the sugar. My diet is so different! A whole lot of things are gone from my diet!
ME: How are you feeling?
YOU: That's the interesting part! I feel calmer and I'm sleeping better! One person mentioned that I seem to be in a better mood.
ME: Have you noticed a better mood?
YOU: Well, yes. I'm not constantly fighting a headache anymore, so of course I'm in a better mood. I think the diet helped the headaches, and less headaches helped the mood.
ME: Well, it sounds like you are doing great! Congratulations! Are you having any new problems?
YOU: I'm not sure what to fill out the rest of my diet with? Not eating sugar means about half of my diet is gone. What do I replace it with?
ME: Yes, that's a great question. Now that you have quit all of the sugar foods, you have a huge calorie void. When you eat less of one thing, you have to eat more of something else.
YOU: So, what do I eat?
ME: Think of the 3 main types of foods:
Protein/fat which is eggs, cheese, meat, and fish.
Carbs which are grains, potatoes, corn, pasta and fruits.
You're eating less carbs now that you have dumped foods with added sugar and that is fine. Your carbs were undoubtedly too high. Your protein/fat was probably OK, so you don't need to increase or decrease that. But vegetables are the category that is always deficient. You want to replace all of the food you quit eating with more vegetables. Vegetables have the nutrients all Americans need: lots of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
YOU: That seems like kind of a high vegetable diet.
ME: It probably is compared to the SAD diet (Standard American Diet), which you admitted was your standard diet. But it is an important part of stopping sugar.
YOU: I've never been a big vegetable eater.
Study Found All Americans have
ME: Exactly. Let me tell you about a study that came out about 40 years ago, when I was just starting my practice. This study had a huge impact on me.
YOU: Let's hear it.
ME: OK, this study surveyed 20,000 Americans representing all 50 states and all walks of life. College graduates, high school dropouts, nurses, doctors, clerks, teachers, etc. They did an in depth analysis of their diets. Their question was: How many people get the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of the 10 most important vitamins and minerals. What percentage do you think got the RDA of the 10 most important vitamins and minerals?
YOU: Well if you're bringing it up, it must have been pretty low. I'll guess.....Ok...let me think....let's say 10%.
ME: And the correct answer is NONE. Not one single American in this study was getting the RDA of the 10 most important vitamins and minerals.
ME: Not a single one of those 20,000 people. Think of the significance of this. The RDA is the minimum amount of a nutrient that people must eat to avoid deficiency diseases. If Americans aren't getting the RDA, they are by definition malnourished. They don't have the essential nutrients to maintain health.
YOU: How does sugar fit into this problem?
ME: Simple, added sugar has lots of calories, but no vitamins or minerals and no fiber. When you eat added sugar, that sugar replaces food that has the nutrients you need. Sugar has get lots of calories, but no nutrients. Remember: "added sugar" is another way of saying "fiber/vitamin/mineral deficiency".
YOU: Keep talking!
Universal Nutritional Deficiencies
are Due to "Added Sugar"
ME: Now back in the day, I did a complete nutritional analysis on dozens of patients. I would have the patients keep a 1 week, written diet diary. They would record everything they ate or drank, along with amounts. Then I would sit down with a big reference book, that had every food listed, along with the nutrients supplied by that food. I would look up every food they ate, and the amount and add up the fiber, vitamins and minerals.
YOU: That sounds labor intense.
ME: It was, and now they probably have some software that does it all for you.
YOU: So what did you learn from all of that work?
ME: Well, my patients were all deficient in some combination of fiber, vitamins and minerals. They were just like the people in the study, none of them were getting the RDA. So I would sit down with the patient, and deal with each deficient nutrient. We would look up different foods they could substitute for what they were already eating, to design some type of diet that would supply the RDA of the vitamins and minerals their own diet diary showed them to be deficient in.
YOU: Well what did you find? Was there a pattern?
Stopping Sugar & Eating More Vegetables is the
Only Correction for Nutritional Deficiencies
ME: YES! In every single case, the only way the patient could correct their deficiencies was to eat more vegetables. To do that, they had to give up the foods with added sugar, to make place for the vegetables. Added sugar really is a synonym for fiber/vitamin/mineral deficiency.
YOU: That must have been eye opening for the patients!
ME: Yes, it really was. I had patients that tried to just increase their vegetables without dropping the sugar. That never worked. You have to open up some space in your diet, to make room for the vegetables.
YOU: What about vegetarians? They must get enough vegetables. Were they included in the study?
ME: I don't know if they were included in the study, but I had some vegetarians in my practice. I went through the whole nutritional analysis with some of the vegetarians in my practice, and none of them were getting the RDA of all 10 of the most essential nutrients either.
YOU: How could that be? Vegetarians must eat lots of vegetables.
ME: Maybe the vegetarians in my practice weren't representative of vegetarians in general. I don't know. But the vegetarians in my practice were eating mainly carbs, (grains and starches), and a lot of sugary drinks, mostly in the form of fruit juice and smoothies. It was very hard to get enough protein in their diet, and all of them needed to eat more vegetables, good old fashioned, non starchy vegetables. They were eating lots of wheat, rice, pasta, potatoes and fruit juice. But that is not a healthy diet.
YOU: I always thought a vegetarian diet was good.
ME: Not if you try to live on a starch and juice diet. I don't think a vegetarian or vegan diet is healthy. But neither is the typical vegetable sparse diet either. We need the quality protein from eggs or meat or fish, but we also need lots of vegetables. Most people just don't eat enough non-starchy vegetables.
YOU: Are you saying you can't be healthy without eating animal food?
ME: What I am saying here, is that you can't be healthy without eating vegetables, and yes, you do need some quality protein with the vegetables. Look at our physical features. Grass eaters have eyes on the side of their heads, like a cow. Meat eaters have eyes in the front of their head, like a wolf. Our eyes are on the front of our head, like a meat eater. Think about our digestive system. We have the digestive system of a meat eater, not like a hay burner, like a cow or a horse. Look at our teeth. We have incisors to tear flesh, and molars to grind grain. Based on our physical features, we are designed to be omnivores, to eat flesh and plants. And both are essential to good health.
YOU: Never thought about it that way. Why don't we see signs of these nutrient deficiencies?
ME: You see people with deficiency diseases all the time, you just don't recognize them. You know that all of our cells and tissues are constantly being replaced, right?
People all Around You are Showing Signs of
ME: Deficiencies show up first in the cells that are replaced the most often, which is the immune system. People with impaired immune systems due to nutritional deficiencies have chronic infections. Think of all the people you know with:
Chronic sinus infections (30 million Americans. "For unknown reasons, the incidence of this disease appears to be increasing yearly." 2019, Itzhak Brook, MD, Chief Editor Medscape).
Chronic bronchitis (9 million Americans).
Chronic ear infections (1/3 of kids under 6).
Chronic coughs, (28 million adults in America).
Chronic gum infections (47% of adults 30+, 70% of adults 65+).
People that have a cold every time you see them.
People that manage to get the Flu 2 or 3 times in one flu season.
ME: There are studies linking every one of these chronic infections with sugar consumption. These conditions always improve when people get off sugar.
YOU: Oh, wow, half the population has some type of chronic infection.
High Cholesterol and Heart Disease are
Fiber Deficiency Diseases
ME: That's right. And look at the fiber deficiency diseases. Remember, "fiber deficiency" means "added sugar". When you quit added sugar, you automatically increase your fiber, and increased fiber brings your cholesterol level down and helps prevent heart disease. Most senior citizens are prescribed statin drugs to lower their cholesterol, rather than being taught about quitting sugar and eating food with fiber.
YOU: Quitting sugar will really lower cholesterol and help heart disease?
Nationally Recognized Experts Acknowledge
Sugar Causes Heart Disease
ME: Absolutely! Go to the WebMD website for more information about sugar, cholesterol level and heart disease. This is not a secret. Or try the Cleveland Clinic. This is off their website:
"For decades, research singled out saturated fat and cholesterol as the prime dietary villains in heart disease. Following a report that the sugar industry quietly funded much of that research, sugar has found itself in the spotlight."
Haitham Ahmed, MD then goes on to explain:
“Sugar has deleterious effects on the heart, and it’s important to be aware of them. It has a negative impact on your lipids (cholesterol level), your weight and your risk of diabetes. And it provides calories with no nutritional benefits.”
YOU: Why don't more people know about this?
ME: Well I'm telling you right now. Who are you going to tell?
YOU: I guess I'll start with my family!
ME: The word Doctor comes from the Latin word, docere, which means to teach. Your doctor's primary duty is to teach you. Why haven't your previous doctors shared this information with you?
YOU: I wish I knew.
Osteoporosis is a Vegetable Deficiency Disease
ME: Osteoporosis is another deficiency disease caused by eating added sugar and shirking high fiber, high nutrient vegetables. Osteoporosis afflicts almost 20% of women over 50. The best source of calcium? Green vegetables. The calcium in vegetables is more bio-available than calcium in dairy. Many people think dairy is the best source, but countries that have low dairy intake actually have less osteoporosis. You prevent osteoporosis by eating lots of vegetables to supply calcium in abundance and staying active.
YOU: My mom takes a drug for her osteoporosis, and she rarely eats vegetables. Actually, she is the sugar queen!
ME: I'm sorry to hear that.
Sugar Caused Cravings Contribute to Obesity
ME: And obesity itself. Obesity for many people is a deficiency disease. Because the sugar does not provide the needed nutrients, sugar leads to cravings. These cravings lead people to eat more high calorie, sugar laden, nutritionally empty food, resulting in obesity. People from countries that eat very little sugar have lower rates of obesity. Some people point out that people in these other countries are from a different genetic stock than us and might be genetically resistant to obesity. They might come from a different gene pool, but when they move to America and adopt our diet, they get fat and sick, just like other Americans.
YOU: I did drop about 5 pounds last month after I stopped the sugar.
ME: Obviously eating lots of vegetables will have a slimming effect.
Now is the Time: Quit Sugar and Start Vegetables
YOU: This has been a very eye opening discussion for me!
ME: I'm glad you appreciate the insights I have gained after 40 years of treating patients, augmented by the results of millions of dollars of research, most of it paid for with our tax dollars. Too often that research seems to be ignored.
YOU: I am more determined than ever to stay off sugar, to chart my own path to wellness. But now I have some key new elements I want to to add to it.
ME: Tell me what you will add to your plan.
YOU: Your graphic above has inspired me. I don't know exactly how much vegetables I need to eat, but I am going to try and eat 400 calories worth of non-starchy vegetables at 1 or 2 meals a day for awhile. I think after a few weeks of that I will have a pretty good sense of how much vegetables I should be eating.
ME: Sounds like a great plan. I would suggest that you eat the vegetables as the first course of your meal, followed by the higher calorie meat and grain/starch options. And if you need to add salt or butter or something like that to make the vegetables more palatable, do it. Keep me posted.