Your Guide to Sugar

Consider this: We often show our love for others by offering sweets. Birthday parties, Easter candy, Christmas cookies. I get so frustrated from October until Easter because it’s one candy festival after another….Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter. But when you hand that piece of candy to your loved one, perhaps your child, consider whether you are really offering him or her a piece of poison.

Statistics and Facts You Need to Know

Consumption of sugar in the United States
1887 – 1890 5 pounds per capita
1986 75 pounds per capita
2000 90 pounds per capita

Sugar and HFCS now comprise 20-25% of the average person’s daily food intake.

High fructose corn syrup, which entered the market in 1978, is incredibly cheap, partly because the U.S. government artificially fixes sugar prices and partly because corn is heavily subsidized. It is called “high fructose” because it is 55% fructose and 45% sucrose, unlike sugar, which has a 50/50 ratio.

“The combination of glucose and fructose – either the 50-50 mixture of table sugar (sucrose) or the 55-45 mixture of high fructose corn syrup – stimulates fat synthesis and fixes fat in the fat tissue more than does glucose alone, which comes from the digestion of bread and starches.” Good Calories, Bad Calories, by Gary Taubes, p. 393.

In other words, starches MIGHT make you fat, but sugars will DEFINITELY make you fat.

Foods marketed as “health foods” often have HFCS in them. These 7 “health” food products all contain high fructose corn syrup: Yoplait yogurt, salad dressings, low cal ice cream sandwiches, whole grain cereal, Special K, 100-calorie snack packs.

Honey, brown sugar, and turbinado sugar, often marketed as being healthier, are no better than table sugar.

Raw honey might have some nutritional benefits (containing some nutrients) but must still be used in moderation.

Saccharine is carcinogenic.

Aspartame is related to weight gain. The body sometimes “sees” it as sugar, and so the attendant rise in insulin still occurs, leading, you guessed it, to metabolic syndrome, and the diseases of civilization (obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer).

Agave nectar, often marketed as “natural” and “healthful,” got this reputation because it is lower on the glycemic index. However, it is 90% fructose, which is metabolized by the liver, leading to fatty liver, metabolic syndrome, and the diseases of civilization (obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer).

Stevia and sucralose (Splenda) are low calorie and low carb, but could still cause sugar cravings, so beware. These are the best of the sugar substitutes, as best we know right now.

52 Reasons Why Sugar is Toxic to the Body
1. Sugar stimulates a physiological stressor-reaction cascade that provokes adrenaline and cortisol release and thickens the blood. Excess cortisol in the body will break the body down over time. High levels of cortisol will cause healthy bone and muscles to become weak and fragile. Cell regeneration is decelerated, and the body’s ability to heal itself and ward off illness is impaired. Too much cortisol hinders digestion and metabolism, causing stomach disorders and weight gain especially around the midsection. It may also cause disorders such as Cushing’s syndrome and fibromyalgia.

2. Sugar effectively disables your immune system by impairing white blood cells’ functioning. Sugar competes with Vit C for entry into your cells.

3. Sugar decreases your body’s production of leptin, a hormone critical for appetite regulation – this makes you feel hungry when you shouldn’t be. Just try eating a piece of candy and see how hungry you are in about 20 minutes!

4. Sugar induces significant oxidative stress in the body. – oxidative stress damages or kills cells, and is involved in many diseases, including atherosclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, heart failure, myocardial infarction, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, fragile X syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome

5. Sugar appears to fuel cancer cells.

6. Sugar promotes fat storage and weight gain.

7. Sugar disrupts the effective transfer of amino acids to muscle tissue.

8. Sugar intake over time spurs insulin resistance, subsequent Type II diabetes and the entire host of related health issues like nerve damage and cardiovascular disease.

9. Sugar can upset the body’s mineral balance.

10. Sugar can contribute to hyperactivity, anxiety, depression, concentration difficulties, and crankiness in children.

11. Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.

12. Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.

13. Sugar can reduce helpful high density cholesterol (HDLs).

14. Sugar can promote an elevation of harmful cholesterol (LDLs).

15. Sugar can cause hypoglycemia.

16. Sugar contributes to a weakened defense against bacterial infection.

17. Sugar can cause kidney damage.

18. Sugar can increase the risk of coronary heart disease.

19. Sugar may lead to chromium deficiency.

20. Sugar can cause copper deficiency.

21. Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.

22. Sugar can increase fasting levels of blood glucose.

23. Sugar can promote tooth decay.

24. Sugar can produce an acidic stomach.

25. Sugar can raise adrenaline levels in children.

26. Sugar can lead to periodontal disease.

27. Sugar can speed the aging process, causing wrinkles and grey hair.

28. High intake of sugar increases the risk of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

29. Sugar can contribute to diabetes.

30. Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.

31. Sugar leads to decreased glucose tolerance.

32. Sugar can cause cardiovascular disease.

33. Sugar can increase systolic blood pressure.

34. Sugar causes food allergies.

35. Sugar can cause free radical formation in the bloodstream.

36. Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.

37. Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.

38. Sugar can overstress the pancreas, causing damage.

39. Sugar can cause atherosclerosis.

40. Sugar can compromise the lining of the capillaries.

41. Sugar can cause liver cells to divide, increasing the size of the liver.

42. Sugar can increase the amount of fat in the liver.

43. Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney.

44. Sugar can cause depression.

45. Sugar can increase the body’s fluid retention.

46. Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance.

47. Sugar can cause hypertension.

48. Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.

49. Sugar can cause an increase in delta, alpha and theta brain waves, which can alter the mind’s ability to think clearly.

50. Sugar can increase blood platelet adhesiveness which increases risk of blood clots and strokes.

51. Sugar can increase insulin responses in those consuming high-sugar diets.

52. Sugar increases bacterial fermentation in the colon.

Sugar and the Big Diseases
The Nurses’ Health Study, an ongoing 10-year study of 120,000 women, has found that sedentary, overweight women who eat a lot of refined carbohydrates and sugary foods have an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer than those who don’t. Let’s talk about each one in turn.

Obesity. Up to 80% of Americans should lose weight. Moreover, our nations kids are also getting more and more overweight, with 17% overweight and the climbing. Sugar is directly involved in this travesty, thanks to low fat high calorie snacks like Snackwells, sodas and fruit drinks, and the addition of high fructose corn syrup to everything from ketchup to breakfast sausage to spaghetti sauce. Consuming sweetened beverages with meals actually decreases the secretion of insulin and leptin, two hormones that tell our bodies we are full and should stop eating. In other words, eating sugary foods makes you eat more. And eating more leads to overweight and obesity. Sugar actually tricks the body’s metabolism and causes obesity faster than other foods.

Diabetes. Three highly respected studies (The Nurses’ Health Study I, The Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, and the Nurses’ Health Study II) which included nearly 300,000 participants, recently showed that people with a higher intake of sugar had twice the risk of developing diabetes compared to those people who had a lower intake of sugar. Another study showed that simply having one extra soda per day led to an 80% increased risk of diabetes. Drinking fruit punch each day doubled the risk. It is a fact that when we overload the body with sugar day in and day out that we put tremendous demand on the pancreas to secrete enough insulin to handle all the sugar. This leads to exhaustion and burnout of the pancreas, which ultimately leads to diabetes. Diabetes is the 5th leading cause of death by disease and costs Americans $132 billion each year.

Heart Disease. Studies show that sugar raises triglycerides and LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol), and decreases our HDL, or “good” cholesterol. This kind of blood lipid profile is a strong marker for heart disease. Sugar is also linked to metabolic syndrome, which often leads to heart disease.

Cancer. Epidemiological and anthropological evidence abounds: cultures that are insulated from western foods such as refined flour and sugar exhibit virtually NO cancer among their people. But when refined flour and sugar are introduced, cancer begins to spread throughout the population. This has happened time and again among the Eskimo, Native Americans, and Tokelau (New Zealand) and in Africa, to name just a few. According to Dr. Block, medical director for the Block Center for Integrative Cancer in Illinois, assistant professor at the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and editor of the peer-reviewed journal Integrative Cancer Therapies, “A major ingredient in the recipe for getting cancer is a diet high in refined sugar, and high in unhealthy fats.” He continues, “Reducing or eliminating refined and simple sugars can provide many benefits, including reducing and containing cancer growth. We know that tumors are glucose (sugar) guzzlers. If you strangulate the supply of sugar to a tumor, it may actually trigger a form of biological suicide among the malignant cells. Very few cancers can survive without a steady supply of glucose.” Cancers that are known to be related to sugar intake are: breast, gallbladder, prostate, colon, uterine, and pancreatic cancers.

More in the Sugar Series:

Sugar Shock Test – click here to find out if your body is having trouble handling sugars, starches, and carbs

Sugar Addiction Is Real – click here to learn about sugar addiction and breaking the addiction cycle

Sugar is Uniquely Toxic – click here for research on how sugar is uniquely toxic – 100 calories of sugar is not the same as 100 calories of starch

 

 

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