Both sugar and especially fructose have really been vilified these days, and therefore it’s not surprising that Dr. Hite, following conventional thinking quite closely, is not a big fan of fructose. I don’t want to say too much about this here and if you’re interested you can check out an article I did earlier called Fructose and Diabetes, and it’s an interesting topic to say the least.
The studies that purport to show fructose as particularly evil, more so than glucose, are woefully tainted and don’t stand up to scrutiny, although as tends to be the case, if the audience is receptive, these things sure can have them banging their pitchforks.
One of the things these discussions do is look to place the blame on what we normally call sugar and take the emphasis off other forms of carbohydrates, starches. Sugar is half glucose half fructose, where starches are pure glucose essentially, they metabolize to that immediately upon digestion that is, so it is indeed important to know the difference between these two main types of sugars.
In a nutshell, we give people excess sugar and not surprisingly, they have negative effects from it, so then we say aha, sugar is to blame, and glucose is to blame specifically. What we have shown though as if you take two groups of people and you give one of them some cokes to drink and not the other, sure you’re going to see some metabolic stuff go on, and among other things, extra liver fat being created, as this stuff elevates insulin levels and metabolizes the extra sugar, glucose specifically, into fat.
This by the way is the basis for them saying that they have scientific evidence that fructose increases liver fat, and the fact that this is nonsense doesn’t bother them.
When we actually look at the science, as Ray Peat has done, we see that there should be little doubt that glucose is definitely more harmful than fructose, with sucrose being in between. So fructose is the preferred carb, starches are the least, and sucrose, what we call sugar, is in the middle.
Now with that said, high fructose corn syrup is not healthy, and particularly bad, but it’s not the added fructose that’s the problem, and that doesn’t even make sense, it’s probably because this is grain derived, from corn. It doesn’t really matter why, HFCS is simply a bad idea and there’s no science that supports it, and plenty that damns it, but this is not the case at all with fructose generally.
Dr. Hite even blames the rise in our blood sugar from starches on fructose, even though this is wild speculation that is not in any way based upon known facts. We do agree though that sugar laden sodas aren’t healthy, but he does want to restrict our fruit consumption while being much more permissive toward starches, and this doesn’t really make much sense, nor does he provide even a modest attempt at justifying his position, aside from appealing to the junk science out there on this, which is not sufficient.
The next question concerns alcohol, and he warns against hypoglycemia from drinking it, which is quite ridiculous. Alcohol does tend to reduce an overactive liver but it does not produce hypoglycemia in itself, especially in a type 2 diabetic, although if you are on medications that rely on elevating our insulin to harmful levels, requiring our livers to spew out excess glucose to keep us from going hypo, then yes, this can be a concern.
Alcohol would be quite therapeutic actually if not for the fact that its excessive consumption is simply not good for the liver, but there’s no reason why diabetics should resist consuming it in the modest amounts that would otherwise be healthy, provided one can tolerate the carbohydrate content that is. So this is really simply a carb choice that also has the added benefit of turning down excessive liver dumping for a time.
We then move to the topic of overeating, and specifically, someone eating when they are not hungry, although he answers this by saying that our leptin levels are impaired by high triglycerides. Actually though, our leptin levels tend to be too high, and this is caused by obesity itself, which is caused by too high insulin levels, and the excessive levels of both hormones contributes to our hunger, as does the hormone ghrelin.
The way to fix this is to avoid your insulin levels from being too high, and this will reduce the effects of insulin on your appetite, and also cause you to lose the excess fat that this stores, and this in turn will turn down your leptin levels and allow you to restore your leptin sensitivity more.
A lot of overeating is from habit though, and one can change this habit somewhat at least, in addition to looking to balance our hormones more.
We now move to someone asking why their energy levels are so low. This is a condition not specific at all to diabetes and many people suffer from low energy, and diabetes is just one of many causes of this. When one is ill in fact, the first thing that happens is that the body will downregulate energy expenditure so that more can be devoted to recovery.
It can be the case though that low energy is caused by a reduced uptake of glucose, particularly when one’s metabolism is disturbed, and that’s actually the problem, broken cellular metabolism. So our cells have been poisoned by fat basically from all those years of excessive fat exposure from all those years of high insulin levels, and are in need of repair.
So doing some exercise can help a bit as moderate exercise is helpful and can improve metabolism but this is not a solution, the only way to fix this is to repair our mitochondria. Things like CoQ10 and PQQ can help this along by the way, but the only real way out is to normalize our hormone levels, especially our insulin levels. High insulin is indeed behind all of this.
Dr. Hite then discusses someone’s blood sugar going up after exercise and looks to minimize this as well as demonstrating a lack of understanding of the process behind this. He even talks about calories here which is utter nonsense. The long and the short of this is that blood sugar will go up when more gets put into our blood than is taken in by our cells during this activity.
Depending on how much we put out, we can go up significantly, in which case we need to at least pay attention to this and exercise with this all in mind, perhaps finding less intensive activities to do which will minimize this effect while we seek to improve and reduce our excess glucose secretion overall and under stress in particular.
Next we will talk about his take on prescription medication.