Monthly Archives: April 2020


Other Health Risks

Aside from the risks listed in prior blogs, sugar can harm your body in countless other ways.

Research shows that too much added sugar can:

• Increase kidney disease risk: Having consistently high blood sugar levels can cause damage to the delicate blood vessels in your kidneys. This can lead to an increased risk of kidney disease.

• Negatively impact dental health: Eating too much sugar creates bacteria in your mouth to feed on sugar and release acid byproducts, which cause tooth demineralization.

• Increase the risk of developing gout: Gout is an inflammatory condition characterized by pain in the joints. Added sugars raise uric acid levels in the blood, increasing the risk of developing or worsening gout.

• Accelerate cognitive decline: High-sugar diets can lead to impaired memory and have been linked to an increased risk of dementia.

Consuming too much sugar may worsen cognitive decline, increase gout risk, harm your kidneys and cause cavities.

How To Reduce your Sugar Intake

Although consuming small amounts now and then is perfectly healthy, you should try to cut back on sugar whenever possible.

Fortunately, simply focusing on eating less processed foods automatically decreases the amount of sugar in your diet.

Here are some tips on how to:

• Swap sodas, energy drinks, juices and sweetened teas for water or unsweetened seltzer.
• Drink your coffee black or use Stevia for a zero-calorie, natural sweetener.
• Sweeten plain yogurt with fresh or frozen berries instead of buying flavored, sugar-loaded yogurt.
• Consume whole fruits instead of sugar-sweetened fruit smoothies.
• Replace candy with a homemade trail mix or fruit, nuts and a few dark chocolate chips.
• Use olive oil and vinegar in place of sweet salad dressings like honey mustard.
• Choose marinades, nut butters, ketchup and marinara sauce with zero added sugars.
• Look for cereals, granolas and granola bars with under four grams of sugar per serving.
• Swap your morning cereal for a bowl of rolled oats topped with nut butter and fresh berries, or an omelet made with fresh greens.
• Instead of jelly, slice fresh bananas onto your peanut butter sandwich.
• Use natural nut butters in place of sweet spreads like Nutella.
• Avoid alcoholic beverages that are sweetened with soda, juice, honey, sugar or agave.
• Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, focusing on fresh, whole ingredients.

In addition, keeping a food dairy is an excellent way of becoming more aware of the main sources of sugar in your diet.

The best way to limit your added sugar intake is to prepare your own healthy meals at home and avoid buying foods and drinks that are high in added sugar.

Focusing on preparing healthy meals and limiting your intake of foods that contain added sweeteners can help you cut back on the amount of sugar in your diet.

The Bottom Line

Eating too much added sugar can have many negative health effects.

An excess of sweetened foods and beverages can lead to weight gain, blood sugar problems and an increased risk of heart disease, among other dangerous conditions.

If you need to cut added sugar from your diet, try some of the small changes listed above.

Before you know it, your sugar habit will be a thing of the past.

The Archies Lyrics
“Sugar, Sugar”

Sugar, ah honey honey
You are my candy girl
And you got me wanting you
Honey, ah sugar sugar
You are my candy girl
And you’ve got me wanting you

I just can’t believe the loveliness of loving you
(I just can’t believe it’s true)
I just can’t believe the one to love this feeling to
(I just can’t believe it’s true)

Ah sugar, ah honey honey
You are my candy girl
And you’ve got me wanting you
Ah honey, ah sugar sugar
You are my candy girl
And you’ve got me wanting you

When I kissed you, girl, I knew how sweet a kiss could be
(I know how sweet a kiss can be)
Like the summer sunshine pour your sweetness over me
(Pour your sweetness over me)

Sugar, pour a little sugar on it honey
Pour a little sugar on it baby
I’m gonna make your life so sweet, yeah yeah yeah
Pour a little sugar on it oh yeah
Pour a little sugar on it honey
Pour a little sugar on it baby
I’m gonna make your life so sweet, yeah yeah yeah
Pour a little sugar on it honey

Ah sugar, ah honey honey
You are my candy girl
And you’ve got me wanting you
Oh honey, honey, sugar sugar…
You are my candy girl…

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Five more reasons why too much sugar is bad for you, according to Jillian Kubala, MS, RD.
1. May Increase Your Risk of Depression

While a healthy diet can keep you mellow, a diet high in added sugar and processed foods may increase your chances of developing depression.

Consuming a lot of processed foods, including high-sugar products such as cakes and sugary drinks, has been associated with a higher risk of depression.

Researchers believe that blood sugar swings, neurotransmitter dysregulation and inflammation may all be reasons for sugar’s detrimental impact on mental health.

A study following 8,000 people for 22 years showed that men who consumed 67 grams or more of sugar per day were 23% more likely to develop depression than men who ate less than 40 grams per day.

Another study in over 69,000 women demonstrated that those with the highest intakes of added sugars had a significantly greater risk of depression, compared to those with the lowest intakes.

A diet rich in added sugar and processed foods may increase depression risk in both men and women.

2. May Accelerate the Skin Aging Process

Wrinkles are a natural sign of aging. They appear eventually, regardless of your health. However, poor food choices can worsen wrinkles and speed the skin aging process.

“AGE5” are compounds formed by reactions between sugar and protein in your body. They are suspected to play a key role in skin aging.

Consuming a diet high in refined carbs and sugar leads to the production of AGEs, which may cause your skin to age prematurely.

When collagen and elastin become damaged, the skin loses its firmness and begins to sag.

In one study, women who consumed more carbs, including added sugars, had a more wrinkled appearance than women on a high-protein, lower-carb diet.

The researchers concluded that a lower intake of carbs was associated with better skin-aging appearance. Sugary foods can increase the production of AGEs, which can accelerate skin aging and wrinkle formation.

3. Can Increase Cellular Aging

Telomeres are structures found at the end of chromosomes, which are molecules that hold part or all of your genetic information. Telomeres act as protective caps, preventing chromosomes from deteriorating or fusing together. As you grow older, telomeres naturally shorten, which causes cells to age and malfunction.

Although the shortening of telomeres is a normal part of aging, unhealthy lifestyle choices can speed up the process. Consuming high amounts of sugar has been shown to accelerate telomere shortening, which increases cellular aging.

A study in 5,309 adults showed that regularly drinking sugar-sweetened beverages was associated with shorter telomere length and premature cellular aging.

In fact, each daily 20-ounce (591-Ml) serving of sugar-sweetened soda equated to 4.5 additional years of aging, independent of other variables. Eating too much sugar can accelerate the shortening of telomeres, which increases cellular aging.

4. Drains Your Energy

Foods high in added sugar quickly spike blood sugar and insulin levels, leading to increased energy.

However, this rise in energy levels is fleeting.

Products that are loaded with sugar but lacking in protein, fiber or fat lead to a brief energy boost that’s quickly followed by a sharp drop in blood sugar, often referred to as a crash.

Having constant blood sugar swings can lead to major fluctuations in energy levels. To avoid this, choose carb sources that are low in added sugar and rich in fiber.

For example, eating an apple along with a small handful of almonds is an excellent snack for prolonged, consistent energy levels.

High sugar foods can negatively impact your energy levels by causing a spike in blood sugar followed by a crash.

5. Can Lead to Fatty Liver

A high intake of fructose has been consistently linked to an increased risk of fatty liver disease.

Unlike glucose and other types of sugar, which are taken up by many cells throughout the body, fructose is almost exclusively broken down by the liver. In the liver, fructose is converted into energy or stored as glycogen. However, the liver can only store so much glycogen before excess amounts are turned into fat.

Large amounts of added sugar in the form of fructose overload your liver, leading to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition characterized by excessive fat buildup in the liver.

A study in over 5,900 adults showed that people who drank sugar-sweetened beverages daily had a 56% higher risk of developing NAFLD, compared to people who did not.

Eating too much sugar may lead to NAFLD, a condition in which excessive fat builds up in the liver.

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“Sugar, sugar, how sweet it is”
“Honey, honey, you’ve got me wanting you.”

The lyrics from The Archies’ hit song about teenage love.

The first five of 10 reasons why too much sugar is bad for you

From marinara sauce to peanut butter, added sugar can be found in even the most unexpected products. Many people rely on quick, processed foods for meals and snacks. Since these products often contain added sugar, it makes up a large proportion of their daily calorie intake.

In the U.S., added sugars account for up to 17% of the total calorie intake of adults and up to 14% for children. Dietary guidelines suggest limiting calories from added sugar to less than 10% per day.

Experts believe that sugar consumption is a major cause of obesity and many chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.

Here are the first five of 10 reasons why eating too much sugar is bad for your health, according to Jillian Kubala, MS, RD.

1. Can Cause Weight Gain

Rates of obesity are rising worldwide and added sugar, especially from sugar-sweetened beverages, is thought to be one of the main culprits. Consuming fructose increases your hunger and desire for food more than glucose, the main type of sugar found in starchy foods. Additionally, excessive fructose consumption may cause resistance to an important hormone that regulates hunger and tells your body to stop eating.

In other words, sugary beverages don’t curb your hunger, making it easy to quickly consume a high number of liquid calories. This can lead to weight gain. Research has consistently shown that people who drink sugary beverages, such as soda and juice, weigh more than people who don’t.

Also, drinking a lot of sugar-sweetened beverages is linked to an increased amount of visceral fat, a kind of deep belly fat associated with conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
Consuming too much added sugar, especially from sugary beverages, increases your risk of weight gain and can lead to visceral fat accumulation.

2. May Increase Your Risk of Heart Disease

Sugar diets have been associated with an increased risk of many diseases, including heart disease, the number one cause of death worldwide.

Evidence suggests that high-sugar diets can lead to obesity, inflammation and high triglyceride, blood sugar and blood pressure levels—all risk factors for heart disease.

Additionally, consuming too much sugar, especially from sugar-sweetened drinks, has been linked to atherosclerosis, a disease characterized by fatty, artery-clogging deposits.
A study in over 30,000 people found that those who consumed 17-21% of calories from added sugar had a 38% greater risk of dying from heart disease, compared to those consuming only 8% of calories from added sugar.

Just one 16-ounce can of soda contains 52 grams of sugar, which equates to more than 10% of your daily calorie consumption, based on a 2,000-calorie diet.

This means that one sugary drink a day can already put you over the limit for added sugar.

Consuming too much added sugar increases heart disease risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure and inflammation. High-sugar diets have been linked to an increased risk of dying from heart disease.

3. Has Been Linked to Acne

Foods with a high glycemic index, such as processed sweets, raise your blood sugar more rapidly than foods with a lower glycemic index.

Sugary foods quickly spike blood sugar and insulin levels, causing increased androgen secretion, oil production and inflammation, all of which play a role in acne development.
Studies have shown that low-glycemic diets are associated with a reduced acne risk, while high-glycemic diets are linked to a greater risk.

For example, a study of 2,300 teens demonstrated that those who frequently consumed added sugar had a 30% greater risk of developing acne.

Also, many population studies have shown that rural communities that consume traditional, non-processed foods have almost non-existent rates of acne, compared to more urban, high-income areas.

These findings coincide with the theory that dies high in processed, sugar-laden foods contribute to the development of acne.

High-sugar diets can increase androgen secretion, oil production and inflammation, all of which can raise your risk of developing acne.

4. Increases Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

The worldwide prevalence of diabetes has more than doubled over the past 30 years.

Though there are many reasons for this, there is a clear link between excessive sugar consumption and diabetes risk.

Obesity, which is often caused by consuming too much sugar, is considered the strongest risk.

What’s more, prolonged high-sugar consumption drives resistance to insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates blood sugar levels, causes blood sugar levels to rise and strongly increases your disk of diabetes.

A population study comprising over 175 countries found that the risk of developing diabetes grew by 1.1% for every 150 calories of sugar, or about one can of soda, consumed per day.
Other studies have also shown that people who drink sugar-sweetened beverages, including fruit juice, are more likely to develop diabetes.

A high-sugar diet may lead to obesity and insulin resistance, with of which are risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

5. May Increase Your Risk of Cancer

Eating excessive amounts of sugar may increase your risk of developing certain cancers.

First, a diet rich in sugary foods and beverages can lead to obesity, which significantly raises your risk of cancer.

Furthermore, diets high in sugar increase inflammation in your body and may cause insulin resistance, both of which increase cancer risk.

A study in over 430,000 people found that added sugar consumption was positively associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer, pleural cancer and cancer of the small intestine.

Another study showed that women who consumed sweet buns and cookies more than three times per week were 1.42 times more likely to develop endometrial cancer than women who consumed these foods less than 0.5 times per week.

Research on the link between added sugar intake and cancer is ongoing, and more studies are needed to fully understand this complex relationship.

Too much sugar can lead to obesity, insulin resistance and inflammation, all of which are risk factors for cancer.

We’ll outline the other half next week.

It’s pretty overwhelming.

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Media often report that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is a “protest against Israeli occupation of the West Bank”—but facts prove otherwise.

Some mainstream press and politicians whitewash the BDS position, representing it as legitimate criticism of Israeli policy toward Palestinians. The truth is, BDS stands openly against the very existence of Israel—and advocates anti-Semitic measures to destroy the Jewish state.

What are the facts?

The U.S. Senate recently passed a landmark bill—the Combating BDS Act—upholding the rights of states to punish companies that discriminate commercially against Israel. While the ACLU, a few media and several presidential candidates opposed this Act, saying it violates free speech rights, this rationale ignores the fundamental nature of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

In fact, BDS has nothing to do with political speech and everything to do with commercial discrimination against a religious and ethnic group—Jews—as well as opposition to Jewish national self-discrimination. Imagine these media and politicians objecting to an act of Congress meant to protest the existence of a religiously Muslim or racially black country that is opposed by its enemies solely for religious or racial reasons.

Yet, as facts show—and despite media misrepresentations—this is precisely the intention of the BDS movement.

BDS doesn’t just criticize Israeli policy, it opposes the state of Israel. BDS doesn’t simply question Israel’s “occupation” of its Jewish biblical homeland, Judea-Samaria (the “West Bank”). Rather BDS opposes Israel’s occupation of the entire Holy Land. The BDS slogan says it all: “Palestine shall be free from the (Jordan) river to the (Mediterranean) sea”—meaning the entire state of Israel. Indeed, BDS founder, Omar Barghouti, admits, “If the occupation ends, would that end support for BDS? No, it wouldn’t—no.” Why do the media neglect this damning fact?

BDS doesn’t criticize any other nation for its treatment of Palestinians. While BDS attacks Israel stridently for its defensive policies in the disputed territories and Gaza, the movement does not criticize any other nation or ethnic group. It ignores the slaughter of Palestinians in Syria. It voices no objection to brutal discrimination against Palestinians in Arab Lebanon, where for 70 years Palestinians have been prohibited from leaving their refugee camps, practicing in many professions and even owning land. This double standard proves that BDS is not a Palestinian support group—rather it is an anti-Semitic, anti-Israel group, bent on the destruction of the only Jewish state. Why do journalists fail to reveal this?

BDS doesn’t criticize Hamas or the PLO for their cruel oppression of Palestinians. Israeli-Palestinians enjoy full equality under law and more civil liberties and economic opportunity than Arabs anywhere in the Middle East. By contrast, Palestinians living under the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Judea-Samaria suffer under rampant corruption and the repressive dictatorship of Mahmoud Abbas. Palestinians under the Islamist yoke of terror group Hamas in Gaza suffer even more, living in a virtual police state, whose meager resources are focused on conquering Israel.

Political criticism is legal. Commercial-based racial discrimination is not. Like any democracy, Israel welcomes valid criticism—especially since the country, at just 70 years old, is a thriving, dynamic work in progress. Israel’s legal system has ruled against many of Israel’s policies regarding Palestinians. Israel’s legislature—including Arab caucuses—vigorously debates such issues, which are reported by a free press.

But the BDS movement does not seek policy changes. As the BDS website, literature and public speeches make clear, its entire agenda is dedicated to turning the world’s only Jewish state into the 51st Muslim-majority nation. While the U.S. constitution protects free speech, it also prohibits discrimination against ethnic, religious and racial groups. For this reason, the Combating BDS Act is legal, ethical and politically appropriate, especially since Israel is by far the United States’ staunchest Middle East ally.

The canard that the Combating BDS Act is a violation of free speech rings disingenuous, even hateful. The United States already has hundreds of laws that prevent economic discrimination based on ethnic, religious and racial identity. Indeed, this objection appears no more than a hypocritical excuse invented by Israel haters to justify their opposition to the world’s only Jewish state.


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Last month we reminisced with you about our first USAID project in Romania. Here’s a run through of some of our other projects.

In the winter of 1999, we were off to Alexandria, Egypt. I was assigned to work with two partners who were hoping to have a trade show the following summer.

Gabriele had a client who had several retail stores and manufactured all the clothes that were sold there.

We had a junior suite of rooms at a Ramada Hotel and two almost okay restaurants to alternate for breakfast and dinner. Every Wednesday night the lobby would be jammed with dating and engaged couples eating bons-bons and listening to a local musical trio.

My client was hopelessly mired in conflicts about getting anything done and one partner wanted me to be an arbitrator. The other partner who had no trade show experience at all just wanted to be left alone to do things his way.

At the conclusion of the assignment, we went to Luxor and a cruise down the amazing Nile with 2,000-year-old temples.

I designed a website and developed copy for an exhibitor prospectus and attendee invitational materials. Nothing ever got produced and I cannot believe there was any chance of this event ever happening when no decisions could be made.

Gabriele’s assignment went beautifully. Every suggestion she made was immediately implemented.

In 2003, we went to Budapest and put on a two-day seminar for the consulting agency that arranged for projects in Hungary and Bulgaria. Then it was off to Sofia, Bulgaria, where we both had projects.

I met with a young, energetic woman who wanted to start another new business almost every day. Gabriele met with a group who were manufacturing for U.S. brands. They had problems but they weren’t terribly interested in solutions. They liked their problems.

Gabriele had an assignment outside of Bangkok, Thailand, with an apparel manufacturer. It was arranged by one of the large international consulting firms who wanted to direct all the discussions, as well as the input and the output.

When the assignment finished, we got to go to Northern Thailand, Chang Mai and Chang Rai, which was beautiful, and then on to Vietnam. We were one of the first American tourists in Vietnam and not entirely welcome in Hanoi up north.

I joined her for the last part of the consulting. The client wasn’t sure why he needed a consultant and the consulting firm didn’t seem to want any interference.

On her own, Gabriele had assignments in El Salvador and then Moscow, where she tried to help them set up their fashion association. She had an interpreter/ bodyguard and a good 10 days.

These assignments were all very interesting for us. Their success, however, was probably marginal at best.

They were all too long. We work at a much faster pace than any of these people. In Bulgaria, for example, my lady client asked if I could outline an educational program. She thought it would keep us there an extra week. I finished it in two days.

In the beginning, these projects were coordinated by paid staff. Then it changed. There was no more paid staff. There were now local offices of large international consultants with an attitude making arrangements for these projects who more often than not tried to direct the outcomes which made you wonder why you were there.

In most of these assignments, we were the third or fourth consultants brought in. It appears very little or anything the previous consultants had recommended had been implemented and there was no follow up on what we offered, either.

We were contacted to go to the capital of Zambia. They were interested in developing an export business and talked briefly with the consultants (one of the biggies). They wanted to build a trade center. I told them I was not a building developer and that was a huge step to start. There were many programs to start such an effort without raising millions of dollars to start a huge beginning.

Very impractical and overly ambitious. This was typical of many requests we had.

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