Why Real or Fake Sugar Is Toxic|
Compiled by Alex Cosper
Tuesday, November 16, 2015
At one time sugar was considered sweet and innocent in society. Everyone was taught as children that girls are made out of "sugar and spice and everything nice." Even though scientists have known for decades that sugar isn't healthy, their research has been overshadowed by the commercialization of sweets. But as the obesity rate in America has skyrocketed, it is increasingly difficult to hide the effects of sugar. Here are reasons why it's wise to take a closer look at sugar intake.
1. Sugar - whether real or artificial - is not a healthy choice. Scientific evidence is piling up that sugar is not only responsible for two thirds of Americans becoming over-weight, it has also been linked to tooth decay, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other illnesses. Dr. Robert Lustig at the University of California, San Francisco, is a leading authority on sugar's impact on the body. In 2015 he published definitive findings that sugar is toxic.
2. While a war on sugar has been launched by health and nutrition experts, a legal battle has developed between the sugar industry and High Fructose Corn Syrup manufacturers. Both sides are suing each other for misleading the public. The sugar industry says HFCS manufacturers, which they compete with, have misled the public that corn syrup is the same thing as table sugar. Meanwhile, the corn refiners' attorney Dan Webb has admitted in opening statements that too much of either type of sugar is "not good for you."
3. Another showdown is growing between the FDA and the sugar industry that involves updating nutrition labels on sugar content. Even though sugar content is already listed on labels in grams, the proposed changes would require food manufacturers to finally list how much "added sugar" is in the ingredients. Food manufacturers currently disguise sugar under many different names.
4. Some of the many different names you'll find on food labels that are just synonyms for sugar include:
barley malt extract
brown rice syrup
dehydrated cane juice
evaporated cane juice
fruit juice concentrate
5. Just like the tobacco industry, the sugar industry has deceived the public by covering up the health dangers of its products for decades. Big Sugar has spent millions of dollars on public relations to promote misinformation through media. The Sugar Association was so successful at their campaigns of paying nutrition experts and scientists to concoct evidence in their favor, they even convinced the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association throughout the 1980s that sugar was safe.
6. Since the early 1970s, obesity rates in America have been escalating. At the same time, diabetes cases have more than tripled. Only 2.5 percent of Americans had diabetes in 1980. By 2010 the number had climbed to 6.8 percent. In the 1980s obese adults represented 15 percent of the population, but by 2010 it was 35.7 percent. After Big Sugar's years of infiltrating media and government with propaganda that sugar isn't harmful, the FDA classifies it as "generally recognized as safe."
7. The average American kid's daily intake of added sugar is currently 16 percent of their diet. The World Health Organization has recommended they reduce the level added sugar to 10 percent, but the preferred amount in 5 percent. One of the proven methods this can happen is initiating a sugar tax. Mexico, the world's most obese nation, adopted a 10 percent tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in 2013. By the following year consumption dropped by 6 percent.
8. Researchers at the Karolina Institute in Sweden conducted a 12 year study on the diets of over 42,000 men from ages 45 to 79. Participants tracked the food they consumed on a daily basis. The study, published in 2015, found that subjects who drank at least two servings of sweetened drinks per day had a 25 percent higher risk of heart failure.
9. Heart failure is the number one reason that individuals aged 65 and over end up in a hospital. Current recommendations by the American Heart Association for preventing heart failure are vague. Essentially they suggest sticking with a healthy diet low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium, without any mention of real or artificial sweeteners.
10. The amount of High Fructose Corn Syrup in commercial food, snacks and soft drinks increased by over 1000 percent from 1970 to 1990. HFCS is favored by manufacturers of sweet products because it's a cheaper ingredient than cane sugar. Today half of American consumers drink sugar-sweetened beverages that contain HFCS on a daily basis. Even though fructose breaks down in the liver, excessive sugar coverts to fat, in which some of it ends up in the bloodstream. High levels of fat in the bloodstream present an increased risk of heart disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.
11. High Fructose Corn Syrup has been linked to fatty liver disease. A study by the University of Southern California and Oxford University found that HFCS consumption leads to a 20 percent higher risk of developing diabetes than for people who avoid it. This higher risk is not dependent on any amount of sugar intake. HFCS also depletes energy more than other types of sugar. Another health consequence linked to HFCS includes chronic inflammation.
12. Here's a quick lesson about the history of sugar. The average American only consumed about four pounds of sugar per year in 1700. A century later the number spiked to about 18 pounds per year. By 1900 the age of mass marketing of sugar was underway as consumption jumped to 90 pounds per year. After much more mass marketing through popular media, the amount of average sugar consumption per year was up to 180 pounds by 2009.
13. Not only can sugar trigger various unwanted diseases, it is further linked to learning disabilities. A study by the University of Southern California found that chronic consumption of beverages containing High Fructose Corn Syrup disrupts an individual's ability to learn and remember information. The problem appears to be worse for people who consume sweetened drinks on a daily basis in their adolescent years.
14. Cancer has been on the rise the past century, but it's no longer just the hereditary disease it was once thought to be. Sugar has actually been linked to cancer since the 1920s when Nobel Prize in Physiology winner Dr. Otto Warburg's studies suggested that sugar fermentation helps facilitate tumors. A more recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found evidence that when a cell's sugar-based metabolism is activated, it can initiate cancer.
15. Keep in mind the three main different types of sugar. Glucose is the energy the body was meant to run on. Fructose is the hardest type of sugar for the liver to metabolize. Fruits and vegetables contain fructose, but they also contain fiber and nutrients, whereas processed foods do not. The combination of glucose and fructose form sucrose, which is equivalent to table sugar. Try to cut down on processed foods and table sugar while focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables.