Sugar. It’s delicious. We snack on it, add it to foods, and don’t even realize that we’re feasting on it daily. While we love sugar-laden foods — bread, pasta, chips, soda, candy, fruit — no one likes what sugar is doing to our bodies.
And among the most vocal critics of sugar is Scottsdale podiatrist Dr. Richard Jacoby, the author of “Sugar Crush,” a book that outlines how sugar is poisoning our bodies and causing inflammatory diseases.
“For years, I’ve been focused on the pathology that sugar creates in the lower extremities,” said Jacoby, who practices at the Scottsdale Neuropathy Institute. “Sugar causes inflammation. And inflammation causes many problems.”
Inflammation is a term used to describe the body’s reaction to something harmful. A rash is an obvious example of inflammation that you can see. But inflammation occurs inside the body — in the joints, in organs, in our nervous system. And when a part of the body becomes inflamed, an illness or disease is the likely result.
The simplest way to identify inflammation is to look for the suffix “itis” in a diagnosis. Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. Bronchitis is inflammation of the bronchi. Dermatitis is inflammation of the skin.
According to the National Institutes of Health heat, swelling, pain, redness and loss of function are all indicators of inflammation. The bigger issue for physicians like Jacoby is the later results of inflammation: chronic disease, including cancer.
The ketogenic diet
In “Sugar Crush,” Dr. Jacoby recommends trying a ketogenic diet, is a diet that contains very little sugar or carbohydrates and is high in ketomes, which is the byproduct of burning fat. In 1931, Otto Warburg won a Nobel Prize when he proved that fructose causes cancer. Ketomes kill cancer.
For Jacoby, the equation was clear: Sugar causes cancer, ketomes (fats) kill cancer.
“The most important new diet is a diet we were introduced to in the 1930s,” Jacoby said. “You produce ketomes when you eat fat. Cancer cells are killed by ketomes. We’ve known all this stuff for years. Why don’t we know that today?”
And, Jacoby suggests, if a ketogenic diet kills cancer cells, then what else might it cure? He’s had patients who suffer from diabetic neuropathy transition, and remain, on a ketogenic diet, and he’s watched their symptoms disappear.
It’s a diet that Jacoby not only recommends, he also practices it. In “Sugar Crush” Jacoby teaches how to read labels for hidden sugars, and how to eliminate them from your food routine. He knows removing sugar from a diet is difficult, but he also knows the cost of eating sugar is prohibitive.
“Sugar tastes great. You know why? It’s addicting,” he said. “It’s important to know that we as humans should eat fat. It’s the reverse of what we’ve been taught, but the fact is that you can’t get fat — overweight — by eating fat. You do get fat by eating sugars and carbohydrates.”