In 2008 a group of researchers in Australia made a surprising discovery about the effects of food on DNA.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the fact that DNA is the molecule in every cell of the body that controls how well our bodies function to stay strong and healthy. That’s what makes this discovery so startling… and so potentially dangerous.

More importantly, it also gives us the opportunity to make a simple change that will drastically reduce the likelihood of getting serious diseases like diabetes and heart disease, not only in ourselves but in our children and grandchildren.

The Study

Researchers at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute had noticed that just one serving of sugar-laden food had longer-lasting negative health effects than could be accounted for by the immediate sugar buzz we’re all familiar with.

To get to the bottom of this, they designed an experiment to uncover what other factors contribute to the negative health effects from sugary foods.

One of the variables they looked at is a part of the DNA that protects the body against diabetes and heart disease. Their finding? Eating sugar turns off this protective gene.

Even more shocking was the discovery that this damaging effect lasts up to two full weeks after eating just one helping of sugar. That means even waiting two weeks between eating foods with concentrated sugar, the genetic damage from that single meal continues the whole time.

I’d wager that most people don’t wait even two weeks between sugary snacks and drinks.

“We now know that chocolate bar you had this morning can have very acute effects, and those effects can continue for up to two weeks,” said lead researcher Sam El-Osta.

He went on to say that, “These changes continue beyond the meal itself and have the ability to alter natural metabolic responses to diet.”

Imagine how this affects us when we don’t ever give our bodies a break from the sugary onslaught. The genetic damage could go on for months, or even years. And because DNA gets passed through to our offspring, that damage can potentially affect them as well.

What this study means is that we now have evidence at the cellular level that ongoing sugar consumption directly causes diabetes and heart disease. It’s a hard fact to swallow if you’re one of the billions of people who crave their sugar fix.

Fortunately, there is a relatively simple way to combat this craving. Pay attention to how you feel 1 to 2 hours after a meal. If you have cravings, your mix of fats, proteins and carbohydrates was off.

Next time you eat, have a different mix of these three types of nutrients. Usually, increasing your fat and/or protein is the best direction to go.

Proteins include meat, poultry, fish, dairy, legumes and nuts. Fats include butter, flax oil, olive oil, coconut oil, etc. Carbohydrates include everything else - fruits, grains and vegetables (yes, even lettuce is a carb!)

When you find the ideal ratio of these three nutrients, you'll find the cravings go away. You'll feel satisfied until your next meal.

One more thing - because we're each unique, this ratio will be different for each person. What works for your spouse might not be right for you. Also, the ratio can be different at each meal of the day, so you may want to dial in one meal at a time when adjusting ratios.


Journal of Experimental Medicine, 2008 Sep 29;205(10):2409-17.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Eichelberger practices Alternative Medicine in Reno, Nevada. He emphasizes individualized treatments, working with each patient’s unique health issues. He uses Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Neurotransmitter Testing, Mediator Response Testing and Metabolic Typing® for helping people achieve optimal health. He is also available for telephone and email consultations. You can reach him at (775) 827-6901 or through his web site,