Diabetes Type 2: Genetic reasons for lowered risk

Diabetes Type 2: The 3% who lose fat eating sugar

  • Revealed, the country where sugar aids weight loss, lowers cholesterol and reduces appetite!
  • How your genes control what happens to sugar
  • If you are worried about inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s, as well as ulcerative colitis, read on

Imagine that sugar was good for you.

I’m not talking about the ‘good’ natural sugars in whole fruit and veg either.

I mean being able to eat Haagen Dazs and cakes and NOT ending up with loads of sugar in your bloodstream, getting absorbed by your body.

Instead, the sugar just goes right through you!

Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

But this is the reality for a very tiny percentage of the global population.

Those people are the Greenlanders.

Well, to be precise, around 3% of Greenlanders.

This small group of people are fortunate enough to have a genetic mutation which means they don’t get harmed by sugar, and also will never suffer Diabetes Type 2.

Thanks to this quirk of their genes, they don’t absorb sugar into their blood like the rest of us.

Instead, it goes to the intestine, where it’s metabolised by their gut bacteria into a fatty acid known as acetate.

This actually REDUCES their appetite, INCREASES their metabolism and BOOSTS the immune system.

In short, the sugar is highly beneficial for them.

It becomes a natural superfood, rather than enemy number one!

Just goes to show, doesn’t it, how health and nutritional advice can never be a ‘one size fits all’ thing? Foods can affect different bodies in different ways.

So why is this tiny group of Greenlanders lucky enough to have a different process of sugar metabolism?

The genetic connection

Greenland is a large island located between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans.

It’s cold, with large parts covered in ice.

So it’s not the ideal growing environment for fruit and veg, to say the least!

This is why, for millennia, Greenlanders ate mainly meat from fish, whales, seals and reindeer.

There was a lot of fat in their diet and very little sugar.

Almost zero sugar in fact.

They evolved to do fine without it.

And eventually, a genetic mutation meant that their bodies didn’t absorb sugar into the bloodstream.

Which meant that in the very times they came across sugary food, they were free of the same consequences we suffer when we eat it.

Quite the opposite in fact…

It makes them healthier.

Professor Anders Albrechtsen from the University of Copenhagen biology, who led a study into this phenomenon last year, said:

“Adult Greenlanders with the genetic variation have lower BMI, weight, fat percentage, cholesterol levels and are generally significantly healthier. They have less belly fat and might find it easier to get a six pack.”

Lucky so-and-so’s!

Alas, there is no way for us to engineer this same outcome…

We’d need thousands of years of a specific high fat, low sugar diet to even stand a chance – during which time we’d be dropping dead like flies as our bodies struggled to adjust to extreme diet changes.

In other words, we are stuck with our genes and our metabolisms.

Which means we cannot avoid this big problem…

Why we are addicted to sugar

In warmer lands where fruits and veg could be found, we evolved to crave sugar, so that we eagerly wanted to eat it whenever we found it.

This is why it has such a profound effect on us.

When sugar hits our taste buds, it fires off messages to the brain, which releases dopamine, a feel-good chemical.

This makes us want more!

So we eat more…

And the dopamine rewards us again.

So we want even more!

On and on it goes…with Diabetes Type 2 being the result.

Of course, back in the stone age, sugar was scarce, so this feedback loop was a good thing.

We couldn’t possibly over-indulge.

But in an era of mass production of sugary items, available everywhere at low prices, this is an obvious problem that’s hard to beat with simple ‘self control’.

And while there’s a lot of reporting about sugar’s addictiveness, its contribution to obesity, and its links to diabetes…

There is another consequence of our addiction that’s worth bearing in mind.

How sugar causes inflammation

It’s a fact that eating too much sugar and other carbohydrates over a long period of time can cause inflammation.

It can also increase the risk of developing an autoimmune disease, including chronic inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s, as well as ulcerative colitis and inflammation of the thyroid gland.

So if these are things that worry you, consider some ways to reduce your intake.

As always, I recommend trying to eat only whole foods, prepared at home.  This way you avoid more of the stealth sugars that creep into packaged foods.

If you’d like help with tasty recipes which can do this, I recommend The Nostalgic Cook Book.

It covers every meal of the day from breakfast to supper and the recipes are healthier than all those high salt and high sugar foods on your supermarket shelves.

To order a copy for a risk-free look, click here.