The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Food and Health, Part 6

SugarIn David Servan-Schreiber's book Anticancer, we learn that cancer tricks the body to feed it by using the body's response to inflammation, and that without this inflammation cancer cannot thrive.  What do sugar and refined flour have to do with inflammation?

Plenty, it turns out.  Studies of cultures without juveline acne discovered that diet played an important role in acne inflammation.  By feeding Western adolescents a diet without these two foods, their acne miraculously disappeared in three months.

The human body developed over many eons eating in a certain way.  Our ancestors' diets were made up of a lot of vegetables and fruit, with the occasional eggs and meat from wild animals.  This diet began changing with the advent of agriculture around ten thousand years ago.  Up until recently, humans consumed around four pounds of sugar a year, mostly in the form of honey.  Our ancestors occasionally had some wild grains, but they'd never heard of flour.

In less than two hundred years, the Western diet went from under ten pounds of sugar eaten per year to over one hundred and fifty pounds.

Editor's Note from Anna: If you missed the first week of the food and health series, you can find it in our archives.  Daddy introduced the Anticancer book in part two.

This post is part of our Food and Health lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Ugh! This is depressing, yet eye opening. Thank you for putting this info out there.
Comment by Amber Mon Feb 23 14:49:36 2009
I got my AARP Magazine today and in it was a nice article about the Anticancer book by its author--a summary.
Comment by Errol Mon Feb 23 17:02:42 2009

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