A Sugar By Any Other Name is Still a Sugar

posted in: Musings from 20th Street | 0


Musings from 20th Street

A Sugar by Any Other Name Is Still a Sugar
According to professor of nutrition Barry Popkin’s research, sugar is added in 60% of the packaged foods in U.S. grocery stores.
Dr. Popkin did us the huge favor of compiling a list of dozens of names used by the food industry as stand-ins for sugar. Don’t be fooled. If it’s on this list, it’s sugar, even when it’s not called sugar.

Dr. Popkin warns us that fruit juice concentrates is a common way to slip sugar into foods. Before the concentrate is added to foods, the fruit is stripped of most of its nutrients as well as its fiber. The fiber is what curtails the glucose spiking. Sugar is what’s left. Juice concentrate is pure sugar. (One of my first nutrition mentors, Bernard Jensen—whose advice I credit with saving my mother’s life from terminal cancer—always warned us away from fruit juices: too much concentrated sugar, he explained over 40 years ago.)

No Sugars ‘Juice Concentrates’
(that really just means ’Added Sugar’)

I am going to address Agave (it’s the first and second product on the list of No-Sugars Sugar). I am talking about Agave specifically because so many health food advocates feel that it is a natural, and beneficial (or, at least not harmful) product. It is widely accepted that Agave has a low Glycemic Index (GI). Indeed, when compared to regular sugar, this is true. But the GI is not all that matters in assessing health benefits, or health challenges.

The Agave plant grows natively in the southern U.S. and South America. Like many foods, if it were used in its natural state, it would be fine, though all sugars—natural or not—need to be consumed with caution. The most common use of Agave is to ferment it to make tequila.

If we were still consuming a product that was made the original way tequila is made, it would be less of a health issue for us. But, the syrupy viscous liquid we call Agave today has little in common with the traditional sweetener made by the Mexicans. The beginning process of both the Mexican product and the popularly consumed Agave is the same: the plant is cut; fluid is extracted and pressed. This fluid is high in sugar, but it also contains fructans, which actually do have health benefits on both metabolism and insulin production. However, when the manufacturing proceeds to processing the fluid into a syrup, as is what happens when making the commercial Agave sold today, the fructans are further broken down into fructose.

Fructose and glucose are both sugars; but they are vastly different. We need glucose, and we produce it in our bodies. Every cell is able to metabolize glucose. Glucose is found in all living tissue, even animal and plant cells. As well as producing it internally, we also get it from various natural foods. Life does not and cannot exist without glucose.

Fructose, on the other hand, can be metabolized in the human body only by the liver. Agave has an astonishing high amount of fructose. Various estimates place it at between 66% and 85%. Wherever the number falls within that range, it is way too high for our livers. When we eat foods that contain these high levels of fructose, we overwhelm our liver, and in a desperate attempt to make a biological correction (in the innate brilliance of the human body, with its massive amount of checks and balances—better than that of the US government in most cases), the liver then converts the fructose to fat.

As the fructose gets metabolized, uric acid and free radicals form. These can trigger inflammation and damage cells. One of the most dangerous final products of fructose metabolism is triglycerides, which can contribute to the fatty arterial plaques responsible for cardiovascular disease. High triglycerides are particularly dangerous for women, whose risk for cardiovascular disease with this imbalance becomes significantly greater.

Take a look at your belly for a quick (and cheap, it’s free) diagnostic test. If it protrudes, the likely cause is that:
1) You are eating too much sugar in the form of fructose,
2) Your liver is converting the fructose to fat, and storing it for a rainy day.
Sorry for being the deliverer of bad news, but it will never rain that much to wash away your internal fat.

Parenthetically, after long touting Agave as a natural and healthy sweetener, TV icon Dr. Oz has reversed his position:

“Over the past few months, I’ve become increasingly concerned about a sweetener that I’ve recommended on my show in the past. After careful consideration of the available research, today I’m asking you to eliminate agave from your kitchen and your diet. Here’s why.

We used to think that because agave has a low-glycemic index and doesn’t spike your blood sugar like regular sugar does, it would be a good alternative for diabetics. But it turns out that although agave doesn’t contain a lot of glucose, it contains more fructose than any other common sweetener, including high-fructose corn syrup. Initially, we thought moderate amounts of fructose weren’t unhealthy, but now we know better.

When you eat fructose-rich agave, your body does not release nearly as much insulin as it does when you eat regular sugar. This can affect how your body releases a hormone called leptin, which helps to control appetite. At the same time, experts believe that fructose is converted into fat more rapidly than glucose is. This can lead to several alarming consequences. The first is that people who eat a lot of agave are at risk for weight gain, especially belly fat. The second is that agave may actually increase insulin resistance for both diabetics and non-diabetics.

In addition, fructose poses a danger to your cardiovascular system and could increase your risk for metabolic syndrome and heart disease. Unlike glucose, fructose can only be broken down in the liver. As it gets metabolized, uric acid and free radicals form, which can trigger inflammation and damage cells. Plus, one of the most dangerous final products of fructose metabolism is triglycerides, which can contribute to the fatty arterial plaques responsible for cardiovascular disease. High triglycerides are particularly dangerous for women, whose risk for cardiovascular disease rises three times as much for every single unit increase in triglycerides compared to men.”
The Oz Blog

The good news is that last year the FDA passed new labeling laws. The new label law will be implemented in 2018. The law requires “added sugars” to be listed, just under the line for “total sugars.” This change allows consumers to understand the difference between naturally occurring sugars (as in milk sugars in your yogurt, or fruit sugars in your pineapple fruit salad, for instance) and the sugars that are added specifically for flavor, but are not necessarily health-inducing.

Fashion Maniac recently interviewed Jane about her eighth, and latest, book, My Mother, My Daughter, My Self.  

The article is reprinted in full below:

Jane G. Goldberg, Ph.D. releases her eighth book:

My Mother, My Daughter, My Self

Owner of La Casa Spa and Holistic Wellness Center releases her 8th Book – www.lacasaspa.com

“Dr. Goldberg has written a memoir that has answers that resonate and make you think twice about your own family connections. It is a stunning work of achievement, filled with both profundity and humor.”

Jane G. Goldberg, PhD. has been a shining light on the most exciting and inspiring mind/body services for the hyper-discerning health seekers. Her eighth book, My Mother, My Daughter, My Self (Free Association Books), is the culmination of Dr. Goldberg’s life-long search to discover and unravel the complexities of what it means to have a mother, and what it means to be a mother. From psychoanalytic clinician to an innovative founder of three holistic health centers in Manhattan and Puerto Rico, including Manhattan’s first mind/body facility, La Casa Spa & Wellness Center, Goldberg remains one of the most insightful/innovative thinkers around. She delivers psychological truths that are thoughtful and profound as well as useful and practical. In using her own search for self-discovery, Goldberg pays close attention to her two most important personal relationships—with her mother and daughter; and, too, she presents richly told narratives of her patients. The book is a beautifully rendered account—lyrical, revelatory, poignant, even poignantly searing at times, celebratory and vulnerable.

The book asks a core question for all mothers and adult children: How is the SELF created? How do we perform the perplexing, sometimes terrifying act of separation between mother and child while simultaneously marching toward the unknown terrain of individuality? In this, Goldberg explores what we all know to be true: our relationships with our mothers affect our other significant love relationships, our values, our self-esteem, and our essential sense of satisfaction, often throughout the whole of our lives. If we ourselves become parents, this absorption of our mothers’ legacy in our lives is reawakened and passed on, as if by blood, to our own children.

Throughout the book is the thread of Goldberg’s interest in holistic health. She tells the story of the remarkable healing of her mother from terminal cancer, as she moved from a wheelchair to playing tennis again. It is here, in this part of Goldberg’s story, that her interest is first piqued in mind/body health, and the convergence of the two, an interest that became her specialty in her psychoanalytic practice.

Dr. Goldberg says, “I came to understand that home is where the mother, is. I understood that notion first as a daughter, and then as a mother. I always returned home to New Orleans, even after I had fled to New York to get away from Mom’s worried hovering over me after my rape. When I became a mother, I saw that my toddler daughter was constantly positioning herself—either to be close to me or to be away from me. I saw that her very sense of self was being created, as she experimented with moving away and coming back ‘home’ to me. I searched all kinds of literature to find someone smart talking about this phenomenon—and all I could find was psychoanalytic literature, steeped in academic jargon.

“I decided to write a story that was instructive, illustrative, and most importantly, easily accessible to all, no matter their educational background. I wrote about my experiences, thoughts, and feelings as a self-exploration, following in the tradition of Freud, who through his Interpretation of Dreams, conducted a self-analysis.”

Goldberg has written a book that is revelatory as well as instructive and will find a ready audience not only in parents and adult children, but also in teachers, educators, and all students of the psyche as well as those interested in the intersection of the mind/body and health.

Respectfully submitted by:
*Licensed Psychologist
*Certified  Psychoanalyst
*Stone Carrier Medicine Woman, Native American Traditional Organization

For a complete archive of all previous issues of Musings From 20th Street, simply click HERE!

Tune into Talk

with Sara Mare. . .
Thurs, March 23rd, 2017 at 4 PM Pacific

Sara Mare talks with Psychoanalyst and memoirist Dr. Jane G. Goldberg about her recently published book, “My Mother, My Daughter, My Self.” Listen as Sara Mare explores how Dr. Golberg approached writing so candidly about her personal life through the lens of her professional, psychoanalytic perspective, to create this compelling, thought provoking, and educational memoir. Guided meditation by Ms. Mare during final segment of episode designed to put the psyche in touch with its many faces: parent, child, self.

Questions? Comments? Call In Live!
Toll Free: 1-866-472-5795

After reading about Jane’s rape and subsequent abortion in My Mother, My Daughter, My Self, Conde Nast’s The Scene contacted her for an interview.

She was proud to share her experience alongside these other brave women. Jane’s story is only one of so many/too many of those days when abortion was illegal, and women lost their lives and their fertility.  

To watch the video (which has already been watched more than 5 million times on Facebook), click


Thank You For The 

Great Review,


La Casa was recently included in a list compiled by Fashion Reverie, of their “New York Fashion Week Editors’ Essentials”. 

Here’s what the website had to say about us:

New York Fashion Week can be really stressful and even though most of the shows are spread out all over Manhattan, fashion industry professionals will have some downtime. Why not spend those breaks at a great rejuvenation spa?

La Casa Spa and Wellness Center, founded in 1993, enjoys the status of being the oldest spa in the city. La Casa represents the vision of its Founder and Director, Dr. Jane G. Goldberg.

La Casa Spa was born out of Jane’s understanding of a paramount need for a healing center in NYC in which holistic therapies would be offered. Jane has authored several highly acclaimed books on both psychological and physical health.

“Our treatments and products begin with the idea that the skin is the door to inner health. Your skin is the largest organ in your body and serves as a link to all the other organs. Our approach is, then, to renew the body through the skin. We use various methods of tactile stimulation through ancient as well as modern massage techniques. We use methods of detoxification to cleanse and refine the skin; we then nourish the skin through careful application of our nutrient-rich formulas, selected especially to meet the unique needs of your skin.”

La Casa Spa & Wellness Center offers colonics, floatation, cleansing and body massages, body wraps, facials, oxygen therapies and pedi-detox. The services are very affordable and they work. Fashion Reverie tried it out!

To see the full article,

click HERE

More Info on the 

Lumina Nocturna

We’ve had an outstanding response to our last Musings reporting on the healthful effects of the Lumina Nocturna.

We’ve had a number of new visitors to La Casa eager to try it out, but one of our regulars came in just one day after breaking her wrist while ice-skating. 

She found the first session with the Lumina Nocturna greatly effective in reducing her pain. She told us the second treatment worked even better. And then, just last week, we got an exciting email:

“Hi Jane!
Went to Orthopedic surgeon today and they took new X-rays. Good news is they can’t believe how fast it’s healing!!! They said that whatever I am doing is quite impressive and I should keep doing it.

90% of people with this kind of fracture need surgery and they think I can just have a splint. Bad news is I don’t get the removable splint until next Wednesday because they are afraid to move anything because it’s going so well.


If you’re interested in finding out more about this amazing device, please take a look at a video in which Veronica MacKay, MS, HHP, talks about the health assets of the Hemo-Sonic Lymph & Tissue Light, which was the first generation Lumina Nocturna. 

You can see the video by clicking HERE.

Are Mammograms Bad For You?

Five years ago, I wrote about some alarming statistics regarding mammography. Notably, at that time, women in their 40s were being advised to avoid mammograms altogether.

In that edition of Musings – titled Cancer Stats, Cancer Screening, Cancer Chemo – I noted that:

“…while mammograms find cancer in 138,000 women each year, as many as 120,000 to 134,000 of those women either have cancers that are already lethal (and thus the detection has come too late for effective allopathic treatment).

Last month, Mercola weighed in on the subject with an article about the efficacy and dangers of mammograms, prompted by “a 17-year-long study” that “again concluded that mammograms have no impact on advanced breast cancer incidence.”

The article also concludes that:
“…one-fifth to one-third of all breast cancer tumors detected by mammograms were overdiagnosed, leading to biopsies, surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy — all of which can cause serious harm.

To read the full article,

click HERE

More on the Safety of Cancer Screenings…

Also relating to my Cancer Stats, Cancer Screening, Cancer Chemo article, is one published last month by Sayer Ji for Green Med Info

Titled Cancer Screening Has Never Saved Lives – BMJ Study Concludes, this fascinating piece uses a study published by the British Medical Journal that concludes that “in some cases overall mortality actually increased because of screening.”

Do You Want to

Make It To 120?

More and more seniors are setting their sights on living comfortably into three digits. Are you one of them?

Send your views on healthy aging and longevity to: rae.jgpa@gmail.com for a chance to be featured on our website, Make It To 120.

Introducing our latest promotion – Midweek Specials! Join us at La Casa Spa & Wellness Center Tuesday-Thursday for enticing deals on our self-healing services. Book any 60-minute service or package with us and add an additional service for an unbelievable discount – or book any three self-healing services for just $69 (save up to $211!)

La Casa Spa and Wellness Center was created out of the experience one woman had with her mother. Long before holistic medicine became widely known, Dr. Jane Goldberg spent the 1970s seeking alternative cancer therapies for her mother, who had been diagnosed with terminal bone cancer. Following sound principles of holistic health, Jane’s mother was able to reverse her cancer condition entirely, moving from her wheelchair to joyfully playing tennis again. This experience inspired Jane to specialize in her psychoanalytic practice to work with cancer patients, and to fulfill the need for a holistic healing center in NYC. Jane and La Casa invite you to partake of the restorative and profoundly cleansing therapies that have brought La Casa world-wide recognition.

Legal Disclaimer
Information provided is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. No health claims for these products or therapies have been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), nor has the FDA nor any other medical authority approved these products pr therapies to diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. Since every person is unique, we highly recommend you to consult with your licensed health care practitioner about the use of products or therapies discussed here as it relates to your particular situation.