Christopher Ranch

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Obesity & Diabetes – A Growing Epidemic That Fresh Garlic Can Help Fight

Soda Pop
Like garlic, all sugars are not created equal.

At last week’s joint hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Obesity and Diabetes, “Exploring The Link Between Sugar-Sweetened Drinks & Obesity,” we heard how different sugars in different forms can trigger varying levels of harm to the body.

For example, sugars – such as sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup – found in sugar-sweetened beverages (like soda, Vitamin Water, Gatorade, juices, teas, etc.) can be particularly detrimental. These sugars increase caloric intake and strengthen the risk of obesity-related and cardiovascular conditions, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high-fasting insulin – all of which are early diabetic signs, according to several panelists and various studies, such as UCLA’s “Bubbling Over: Soda Consumption and Its Link to Obesity in California.”

Therefore, a strong relationship exists between drinking sugar-sweetened beverages and diagnosis of obesity and diabetes – a debilitating disease that can cause amputation, kidney failure, blindness and others, according to panelists, like Kelly D. Brownell, Ph.D. and co-founder and director of the Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity and Francine Kaufman, M.D. and chief medical officer and vice president of global medical affairs at Medtronic Diabetes, director of the Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, director of the Comprehensive Childhood Diabetes Center and author of “Diabesity: The Obesity-Diabetes Epidemic That Threatens America – And What We Must Do To Stop It.”

Obesity and diabetes, panelists said, are assisting in the rise of such alarming health and economic numbers, as:
- 24 million Americans have diabetes;
- 1 in 3 children are expected to contract diabetes;
- Diabetes causes more deaths than breast cancer and AIDS;
- $174 billion in health care costs were attributed to diabetes in 2007;
- There are 164,000 youth with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Therefore, the argument stands that lowering intake of these beverages would lower the population’s obese and diabetic, as well as health care dollars spent on the diseases.

The opposing side states calories are calories, and you can’t point such a strong, accusatory finger at sugar-sweetened beverages, as numerous variables facilitate obesity and diabetes, argued Maureen L. Storey, Ph.D. and senior vice president of science policy at the American Beverage Association.

There was, however, one element that both sides agreed upon – “diabesity” is a rapidly escalating issue in the U.S. and needs to be combated before its severity increases.

This is where fresh garlic – particularly California heirloom garlic – enters the equation.

Numerous studies suggest fresh garlic can help fight obesity, cardiovascular conditions and diabetes, with its natural digestant and anti-inflammatory properties and ability to help control heart rate and lower cholesterol. This ability is largely attributed to the sulfur compound, allicin, activated in fresh garlic when it’s chewed, crushed, cut, sliced, etc., and two different compounds – alliin and alliinase – are combined.

Now, just to be clear – we at Christopher Ranch are not doctors, and we’re not claiming that fresh California heirloom garlic can cure obesity and diabetes. Far from. Rather, we’re sending a friendly reminder that consuming fresh garlic is one simple, natural step to build a healthier body to help contest such diseases.

Popping a clove a day might help keep the doctor away.

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