Carbs and Inflammation: How Sugar Causes Inflammation: Thomas DeLauer

Carbs and Inflammation: How Sugar Causes Inflammation: Thomas DeLauer



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Carbs and Inflammation: How Sugar Causes Inflammation: Thomas DeLauer

How Does Sugar Affect Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is extremely common and tied to most, if not all, of our chronic illnesses today

Our diet can either increase chronic inflammation or reduce it

The average American adult consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar every day – most of it is of the HFCS or processed white sugar form, hidden in processed and junk foods
● American Heart Association’s daily recommendation (which is really too high) is 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men

Processed sugar is a large component of the inflammatory foods in the US diet today

Excess sugar consumption, in particular processed sugars, such as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and white table sugar, can lead to the overproduction of proinflammatory cytokines

Markers used to detect inflammation levels include:
● C-reactive protein (CRP)
● Tumor necrosis factor
● Specific interleukins (IL-6 and IL-18)

How processed sugar works in the body (and inflammation)

Why white table sugar and HFCS are so much worse for us

Highly refined sugars, such as white table sugar and HFCS remove the beneficial aspects of plant foods, including:
● Phytonutrients
● Fiber
● Vitamins
● Minerals
● Essential fatty acids

The removal of these beneficial aspects of foods leads to a rapid rise in insulin and blood glucose levels

This short-term acute hyperglycemia leads to
● reduced nitric oxide availability
● Increased production of free radicals
● Increased proinflammatory cytokines, such as IL-6, IL-18, and TNF

Additionally, these processed forms of sugar are higher in fructose

Case Study:

A 2016 study published in Cancer Research found that fructose from table sugar and HFCS were responsible for encouraging growth of breast tumors and lung metastasis in mice.

In fact, glucose is absorbed more rapidly than fructose by an active transport system in our bodies

Are there better alternatives than table sugar and HFCS?


First step is to cut out processed and fast foods and replace table sugar with stevia, pure maple syrup, or honey.

You can also use raw cane sugar, however maple syrup, stevia, and honey are better options.

Maple syrup in particular has a lower ratio of fructose and overall grams of sugar per tablespoon.

Be sure to use added sugar sparingly, not matter the form.


1. Turbinado sugar

2. The effects of diet on inflammation: emphasis on the metabolic syndrome

3. Added sugars add to your risk of dying from heart disease

4. Sugar in western diets increases risk for breast cancer tumors and metastasis

5. Dietary fructose and metabolic syndrome and diabetes


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