In the last article, I discussed how how sugars and starches can keep us healthy and make us sick, and can even kill us. I'll go into more detail on that in today's post.
Some fatty acids found in nature can heal degenerative conditions; others can kill us. Killer saturated long-chain fatty acids, which are sticky and therefore increase our chances of stroke, heart attack, clogged arteries, and diabetes, are produced from refined sugars.
Our body can insert double bonds into these sticky, saturated fatty acids, making them unsaturated. Unsaturated fatty acids can oxidize and damage arteries if our diet lacks antioxidants. The latter are removed from many foods when they are processed. Both saturated and body-made unsaturated fatty acids can serve as sources of energy for our body, but neither type is essential. Neither type can fulfill our body’s need for essential fatty acids, or help cure deficiency.
Connections to Cholesterol
On the contrary, fatty acids made from sugars interfere with essential fatty acid functions, and increase the likelihood of diseases of fatty degeneration. An excess of refined sugars can also increase cholesterol levels in our blood.
How does our body convert sugar molecules into fats and cholesterol? When our cells’ furnaces (mitochondria) break down a 6-carbon glucose molecule to produce energy, one of the steps involves the creation of 2-carbon acetates (vinegar). These acetates are building blocks for both cholesterol and saturated fatty acids.
If acetates are produced faster than they can be burned by our body into carbon dioxide, water, and energy, they pressure enzymes in our cells to hook them end to end to make saturated fatty acids and cholesterol. This process prevents the metabolic problems that excess acetates would cause in our cells if they were allowed to accumulate. In the short term, excess vinegar in our cells is more toxic than excess fats and cholesterol.
But not fat back to sweet. Our body can turn excess sugars into fat, but it cannot turn fat back into sugars. It must burn off the fat through activity.
Fat burn-off can take place in most of our organs, because they can use fat as energy-producing fuel. Our brain, however, is more fussy about its fuel supply. It demands glucose, glutamic acid, or ketones to function. It cannot use fat. If no glucose is present in our diet, our body must make it. Since our body is unable to use fat to make glucose, it converts protein to the brain fuel glucose.
People intolerant of, or allergic to certain grains must eat extra protein. For them, proteins must perform double duties: providing building materials for enzymes and body structures; and providing materials for making brain fuel.
In the next article, I'll talk about what happens when sugars enter our bloodstream.