« You should pray for a healthy mind in a healthy body.
Ask for a valiant heart that is not afraid of death,
and considers the length of days as the least of nature’s gifts
who can endure any kind of toil,
who knows neither anger nor desire and thinks
misfortunes and arduous labors of Hercules better than
the cupids and the banquets and the downy cushions of Sardanapalus.
What I recommend to you, you can give yourself;
For surely, the only path to a life of peace is virtue. »
Juvenal, Evil desire is the source of suffering, Satire X (10.356-64).
Hello, young Padawan
Today, we will discuss our daily carbohydrate needs and intakes and the risks and pathologies linked to sugar.
Quite a program, you will tell me, indeed. So no long speeches, and let’s go.
Needs and daily intake of carbohydrates, risks, and pathologies linked to sugar.
The daily food needs and intake in human health have been the subject of debates and dialectics for centuries. For a good reason, they are variable according to the seasons, the subject’s age, sex, physical activity, health, and even geographical location, because each climate has its diet. It can also become expert if we think, for example, of a professional athlete’s diet, where any intake will be calculated to the nearest comma.
Looking at them scientifically, these data are hyper-complex, but we also forget that they can be relatively simple if we appeal to our common sense. Because, after all, if the majority of animals on earth know how to manage their intake optimally, why has the human being forgotten his basics? Would we have omitted this natural common sense, or would we be vitiated both by an unnatural, hyper-transformed diet and by the science of nutrition, which continues to progress, indeed, but also constantly contradict?
Thus, the modern Western human being is often lost in the face of all this. Take the example of diet choice; sometimes we demonize fats in favor of sugars, like in the 60s and 70s, then it will be the turn of eggs which would give cholesterol, then the excess of proteins which would tire the kidneys, sometimes, we have to eat like a king in the morning and a beggar in the evening, then the young intermittent removes the monarch’s meal from us…
And for good reason! Our lifestyles have radically changed since the Paleolithic era, not to mention our diet in general, which has evolved more in seventy years than in three million years.
At the same time, industrialists have gained as much creativity as they have lost in ethics, making healthy ingredients hyper-processed at the base. Thus, stuffed with additives, concentrates, colorings, and endocrine disruptors, our foods are nothing more than empty calories. However, if we remember the instructions of our elders, for example, that of Hippocrates and his “Let your food be your first medicine,” we know, deep down inside, how essential our daily intake is for our health.
– Professor Henri Joyeux, cancer surgeon, and his son, Jean Joyeux, nutritionist, micro nutritionist, and liberal dietitian, have developed a sheet establishing our daily energy needs in carbohydrates:
“Regarding carbohydrates, a male adult has the following needs, depending on his activities:
310 g per day for a sedentary man,
450 g per day for average activity,
470 to 800 g per day for heavy work.
The daily carbohydrate needs of an adult woman are as follows:
250 g per day for a sedentary woman,
330 g per day for average activity,
470 to 580 g per day for heavy work
250 to 470 g per day for a pregnant woman
470 to 580 g per day for a breastfeeding woman. »
– The WHO has also established some small recommendations concerning our intake of free sugars and carbohydrates:
“Less than 10% of total energy intake from free sugars, equivalent to 50g (or about 12 level teaspoons) for an average weight person consuming approximately 2000 calories per day; Ideally, to further preserve health, this share should be less than 5% of total energy intake. Free sugars are added to foods or beverages by the manufacturer, cook, or consumer but are also found naturally in honey, syrups, fruit juices, or fruit juice concentrates.
To sum it up more straightforwardly and calculate it for children, adolescents, and the elderly, carbohydrate intake should be 55% of daily calorie intake. »
Sugar-related pathologies and risks
Now that we know a little more about the physiological amounts of carbohydrates to consume daily, what happens if we do not consume enough, or too much?
1/ Insufficient consumption :
Whether it is due to a restrictive diet, intended or not, an eating disorder, taking medication with a hypoglycemic effect, or pathology, for example, hepatic or pancreatic, on type I diabetes (“autoimmune disease caused by the dysfunction of T lymphocytes – cells of the immune system – which begin to identify the ß cells of the pancreas as cells foreign to the patient’s body and to eliminate them” – Inserm), a Carbohydrate deficiency can be problematic, even dangerous.
A carbohydrate deficiency will induce signs of hypoglycemia, namely a drop in blood sugar levels, which the body will manage by drawing on its glycogen stores. Still, if this goes further, the patient becomes deficient in carbohydrates over the long term, and muscle atrophy may occur.
Worse, brain damage, kidney failure, bone mineral loss, or impaired immune system function is possible.
2/ Excessive consumption :
Excess consumption of carbohydrates, much more widespread than the lack in our modern Western world, induces many risks to human health. Already, overconsumption of sugars prevents us from feeling full, disrupting the roles of ghrelin, which stimulates appetite; leptin, a hormone produced by the stomach that induces satiety, as well as other hormones or neurotransmitters that play their role perfectly when carbohydrate servings are physiologically appropriate.
Additionally, there is a persistent belief that fat consumption is the main risk factor for cardiovascular disease. However, sugar does indeed have a leading role in this matter. This belief is mainly due to the fact that manufacturers paid scientists in the 1960s to blame fat and exonerate sugar – all this was published in the medical journal JAMA internal medicine.
Then, our pancreas, damaged by excess sugar, can cause type II diabetes, also called fatty diabetes, because patients are generally overweight. It accounts for 90% of diabetes cases. Thus, the pancreas becomes exhausted to secrete increasing amounts of insulin. Indeed, blood sugar is so high that the body constantly produces insulin and spends its time storing it. The pancreas gets tired because it can no longer produce enough insulin, so the patient is prescribed insulin because he dies if he has too much sugar in the blood. And unfortunately, patients who take insulin often gain even more weight.
Then, our liver, with the saving role of having made us survive periods of famine for millennia (by making glycogen reserves from carbohydrates and triglycerides from lipids, chb.org), now has the perverse effect of gratifying us with excess weight, even obesity, since we no longer experience deprivation. Indeed, if we compare it to the Palaeolithic, winter was scarce; today, with a supermarket or a restaurant on every street corner, the liver has a field day to the great displeasure of our skinny jeans.
Thus, many of our congeners declare fatty liver disease, that is to say, a non-alcoholic disease of the liver, otherwise known as “fatty liver disease,” “NASH,” or even “soda drinkers’ disease.” Indeed, faced with overconsumption of sugars (and to a lesser extent of fats), the liver becomes sick and fatty, like an animal force-fed for Christmas.
The two main hygiene measures to cure this disease are to limit overweight and to fight the patient’s insulin resistance, as with a person with type II diabetes.
To finish with the chapter on diabetes, after having seen types I and II above, a new disease has emerged: type III diabetes.
Indeed, it has been shown that degenerative diseases of the cognitive functions of the brain, such as Alzheimer’s, are directly linked to the excessive consumption of sugars and how the body metabolizes them. For some, the pancreas will tire first. For others, it will affect other organs, such as the brain, but in the majority of cases, it is long-term type II diabetes that will generate a type III.
The proliferation of candida albicans in our microbiota, in which the overconsumption of sugars plays a significant role, is also a concern since it can cause chronic candidiasis. This pathology leads to an imbalance of the flora but also of the overall functioning of the organism by creating fungal infections, food cravings, a drop in our serotonin, significant fatigue, symptoms similar to depression (due to the release of mycotoxins by candida, formidable competitors to dopamine), bloating, and induce other digestive or even autoimmune pathologies… research is underway on this subject by several universities, in particular on polyendocrine syndromes.
Finally, cancer. We already know that cancer feeds on sugar since the doctor prescribes a PET scan when we have it. Indeed, the tracer of this medical examination is fixed at the level of the tissues which consume large quantities of glucose, such as the brain, the heart muscle, or the famous cancerous tissues. In addition, the ARC, a French cancer research foundation, has been campaigning for several years to raise awareness among the population about the risk between sugar consumption and the appearance of cancer, particularly breast cancer. They source a study on this subject from September 16, 2020, published on Pubmed*.
Excess sugar disrupts our intestinal microbiota, hormones, and key organs such as the pancreas, liver, and brain and disrupts our entire homeostasis. Many so-called civilization diseases are induced by overconsumption of sugars, such as fructose in syrup, a concentrate used in the food industry, named the number one public toxin by Dr. Robert Lustig, author of “Sugar, the Bitter Truth.”
In this sense, our daily carbohydrate intake is essential to quantify and control so that we Westerners do not lose our health over the long term. So it is crucial to educate ourselves, each one personally, to our needs.
Ultimately, a great British politician, born at the end of the 19th century, had a somewhat original philosophy in public health: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away, as long as you aim well!” W. Churchill.
Changez d’alimentation – Pr Henri Joyeux
Mangez mieux et meilleur de 0 à 100 ans – Pr Henri Joyeux et Jean Joyeux.
Sugar Industry and Coronary Heart Disease Research.
OMS link on the daily recommendations, medisite link about deficiencies, inserm link on type I diabetes.