Healthy Teeth

How Much Sugar Is Too Much?

We know that there is an epidemic of Diabetes around the Western World.  Why now? Sugar has been around since 509 BC Emperor Darius of Persia invaded India and discovered sugar cane, “the reed which gives honey without bees.

When the Arabs spread their culture through in the 7th Century they discovered sugar in Persia and the secret of the sweet spice was out. Sugar was first recorded in London in 1099. The Venetians first refined sugar in the 15th Century. Columbus took sugar cane plants to the Caribbean and a new industry was born in the New World.

By 1750, there were 120 sugar refineries in Great Britain. Beets were identified as a source of sugar in 1747, but not used in quantity until the Napoleonic Wars caused the British to blockade sugar cane to the rest of Europe. Sugar beets became the main source of sugar to Europe, as a result. Today about 40 million tons of sugar are produced worldwide. Sugar has been big business since England built refineries and the government was able to tax and control the business of sugar.

In today’s world sugar comes in many other forms: agave, high fructose corn syrup, honey, maple syrup to name a few. Which is the healthiest choice for you?

Here are some definitions and descriptions to help you sort out the sweets.

1.     White sugar or pure refined sugar. It is 99.9% sucrose, which is a double sugar molecule and the body breaks it down into glucose and fructose.

2.     Caster sugar means smaller granules of refined white sugar.

3.     Icing sugar or powdered sugar-dissolves better in liquids or egg whites.

4.     Raw sugar-similar to white sugar in nutrient value, but brown colored.

5.     Brown sugar is sucrose with 5% molasses added. This gives a tiny amount of minerals and nutrients.

6.     Fructose, the fruit sugar, is metabolized differently. It is a single sugar molecule. Pure refined fructose is converted to body fat more easily than glucose. It is released more slowly when consumed with the fiber from whole fruit.

7.     Glucose is the form of sugar that your body actually uses for cellular energy. It is also a single sugar molecule. Athletes will take pure glucose (called Dextrose) for extreme athletic events. If not utilized by the body for energy it will be converted to fats (called triglycerides) by the liver and then stored as body fat.

8.     Agave nectar or syrup is 90% fructose. It is not more nutritious than sugar, despite its reputation.

9.     High fructose corn syrup is made from cornstarch and contains 55% fructose and 45% glucose. Because it is made from corn, a government subsidized crop, it is much cheaper than sugar, but just as sweet. Regular corn syrup is glucose (called Dextrose on food labels) and is not as sweet. High fructose corn syrup requires a number of chemical processes to convert part of the glucose into fructose. This fructose is not necessarily natural because of the chemical processing and may alter the taste in foods, despite the sweetness.

See my next blog for more about the different types of sugar and how much is too much.

Teeth-The Hard Facts

What did you learn about taking care of your teeth? I remember being told to brush after every meal, floss daily, and visit the dentist often to take care of the fact that brushing and flossing didn’t save teeth from cavities.

We all know that tooth decay is just one more reason why we should avoid eating sugar. But sweets in the mouth are only half the story. Like the Big Bad Wolf sugar can only blow your house down (or blow holes in your teeth) if your house is made of straw, or your tooth enamel is too weak or brittle.

How do you get strong teeth? Minerals. The very things that are so missing from the American food supply because of our farming methods run by the Dark and Evil forces of Big Agriculture.

In his seminal work, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, published in 1939, Dr. Weston A. Price published his findings following a round the world research project to discover why American teeth were so riddled with cavities. He found that primitive people (defined as those not yet enjoying the white man’s diet of white flour and refined sugar) eating their native diet, composed of locally procured meats, fish, vegetables, grains and fruits, had no cavities. They also had dental arches and palates so wide and strong that wisdom teeth grew in easily and teeth lasted a lifetime.

A new study warns us to stop eating so much sugar. Excellent advice.

But we also need to dramatically increase our minerals. In the years Dr. Price studied native diets, people around the globe had 2-10 times the ratio of minerals that Americans and Europeans had then. Today, thanks to more “advances” in modern farming methods, the problem is even worse.

The good news about minerals is that they are also cancer protective and they offer relief from many health issues. Calcium is not just helpful for bones and teeth. Calcium can cause what is called a “calcium flash” which signals the White Blood Cells to respond to an immune issue, such as a viral or bacterial infection. (Note that not all calcium is created equal. Some forms are more easily assimilated than other forms, and sufficient stomach acid is vital for utilization.) Calcium must also be in balance with magnesium and phosphorus because Nature seems to like families of nutrients to work together. Magnesium is the heart mineral, and assists muscle relaxation and nerve conductivity.

Zinc is vital for immune health, and many people are zinc deficient. Zinc and selenium are helpful for prostate health. Chromium helps blood sugar and is helpful for hypoglycemia and diabetes.

You get the picture, and it is a mosaic of minerals. Not all minerals are needed in mega-doses, but anyone eating the standard American diet is deficient.

We hope that organic foods have more minerals, and studies do indicate that, but it depends on the soil. In order to grow produce without pesticides it is necessary to husband and treat the soil, so chances are your money is going to be wisely spent on organic foods. But there are no standards for soil management in the U.S., like there are in Europe.

Plants have to use the minerals in the soil and convert them to the form our bodies can use. That is why we don’t just eat rocks. So, healthy organic vegetables that taste delicious probably have better nutritional content. And, it will deplete our bodies even more to break down and eliminate the toxins from the pesticides and synthetic fertilizers in commercial product. Not to mention that genetically modified foods appear to be causing DNA mutation. We won’t know the full impact of that until this generation of kids has kids. Do you want to wait until then?

We are already seeing more allergies, asthma, neurological disorders, Diabetes, obesity and cancer in kids today. So, one thing parents can do is feed kids organic foods. Concerned about expense? Check out Trader Joe’s. I am very surprised about how inexpensive their organic produce is. And they have pledged to avoid GMO foods in their products, although there is no way to verify this fully because there are no labeling laws for genetically modified foods.

So, there is every reason to get more minerals into your diet. Just be warned that some minerals being sold commercially are difficult to digest and you don’t want an accumulation of minerals gathering in your body. This may result in bone spurs or kidney stones. You want to look for forms of minerals that break down easily, and are not isolated, without other support minerals for balance. You may want to take some diluted apple cider vinegar when you take mineral supplements, to give yourself enough acid for the ph of the stomach. One way I can tell if you are getting sufficient minerals is by checking your saliva ph. And I also have a saliva zinc test to check your zinc levels.

Ask me about supplements that can give your children’s (or your) teeth the exact minerals and nutrients that build enamel and keep teeth cavity proof. Start these during pregnancy, eat whole-nutrient foods, and we can bring back the kind of teeth our ancestors had. Your money may be better spent on mineral-rich foods than on the high prices dentists charge these days.

Burbank Farmer’s Market now sells bone broth, or you can make your own. This is one delicious way to get the right minerals for bones and teeth. Here is the link to the skinny on the new trend in bone broth 

A good recipe here

Bone Broth is available from Whole Foods. Want bone broth delivered? 10 grams of protein, 0 carbs and only 48 calories! The Lakers’ Nutritionist is recommending it.

More on the work of Dr. Price at

By the way, don’t stop brushing and flossing. I love my oral irrigator. There is a new way to “brush” your teeth with German sonic technology. Amazing for gum health.

Avoid fluoride in toothpaste and in tap water. The excess can make teeth brittle instead of strong, and is toxic. Use a water filter like Clearly Filtered water pitcher to remove impurities and fluoride and look for fluoride-free toothpaste.

We have wonderful dental technology, for fixing sick teeth or replacing lost or damaged teeth. But dentists are never taught how to help you have healthy gums and teeth for a lifetime. Eating plenty of nutrient rich foods is the answer to beautiful healthy teeth. And the health of the mother is reflected in the health and teeth of her children. Nature pays it forward.