Sugar Is Back In The News Again
And about time too! The various natural health sites have been warning of thedangers of high sugar consumption for years but it is only very recently that the mainstream media has started to agree.
The dangers of sugar have now been well publicized so that most are only too aware that they eat too much of this sweet poison. But many are in denial and just do not want to cut down or cut out.
Cutting down on sugar
Should you try to cut down, but continue with a diet of mainly processed and convenience food, you have no way of knowing how much sugar is included even if you study labels because those labels do not differentiate between natural sugar and added sugar. Even so called healthy foods can be high in added sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
Of course the sugar industry and those other corporations that rely on sugar to push their products were very unhappy back in the 1970s when the National Caries Program wanted to publish research identifying interventions that would eradicate tooth decay. They managed to dramatically alter and re-shape such research while backing the promotion of fluoride to prevent tooth decay.
Meanwhile we know that tooth decay is just one of the health problems associated with sugar. There are others that are considerably worse. And of course the use of fluoride comes with its own long list of health risks. And it is not just adults and sugar of course. Along with the increasing rates of obesity, children face a tooth decay "crisis" with huge numbers needing to have teeth removed under general anaesthetic,
Low fat can mean high in sugar
The sugar industry must have loved it when all the low fat recommendations came out. It led to a massive increase in sugar consumption because when the food industry removed the fat, they simply replaced it with high levels of sugar to make the food palatable.
What do we need to tell you to persuade you to reduce your sugar intake?And when we talk about sugar, we are talking about added sugar and that includes high fructose corn syrup too...
- It is sugar and not fat that leads to heart disease. ¬†Sugar is the primary dietary factor driving chronic disease development. So far, scientific studies have linked excessive fructose consumption to about 78 different diseases and health problems, including heart disease and cancer.
- As well as sugar feeding existing cancer, scientists are now reporting that sugar also appears to initiate cancer growth.
- Sugar is eight times as addictive as cocaine. Such addiction also ensures that you stay hooked on processed foods and sweet drinks.
- I have quoted Dr. Lustig in an earlier post on sugar. He considers there is a conspiracy around the sugar in sodas. Soft drinks contain caffeine which is a mild diuretic causing drinkers to urinate more often and eliminate water from their bodies. Those same sodas also contain about 55 mg of salt. When you take in salt and excrete water, you get thirstier. He says that the reason soda contains so much sugar is because the manufacturers have to mask the taste of the salt. It may be a win/win situation for the soda makers but a "no win" state of affairs for the consumers.
- Your liver has a very limited capacity to metabolize sugar. While you can safely deal with about six teaspoons of added sugar per day, the average American is consuming daily 22 teaspoons of added sugar - nearly 4 times the safe amount.
- If you are among the 80% who have insulin or leptin resistance (that is being overweight or a diabetic, having high blood pressure or taking a statin drug), you should be restricting your sugar intake to as low as 15 grams or 3 teaspoons per day - until your insulin and leptin levels are normal.
Your way forward
As a general rule, a diet that promotes good health is high in good fats and fresh vegetables along with a sensible and moderate amount of high quality protein. The same diet should be very, very low in sugar and non-vegetable carbohydrates.
Everyone can cut down on sugar but it can be much more difficult to cut it out altogether. And artificial sweeteners are never recommended.