by Janice Messino
I was eating my daily square of dark chocolate (a quasi-nutritious snack), and it got me thinking. I know that sugar is poison, yet I have a little dark chocolate most days. I know that there have been studies on sugar dependence that have likened it to cocaine dependence. I did some further studying up on sugar and was quite surprised on several fronts. What a knowledge journey this has been!
Dr. David Reuben, author of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Nutrition, says:
“white refined sugar is not a food. It is a pure chemical extracted from plant sources, purer in fact than cocaine, which it resembles in many ways. Its true name is sucrose and its chemical formula is C12H22011. The chemical formula for cocaine is C17H21N04. For all practical purposes, the only difference is that sugar is missing the ’N’ or nitrogen atom.”
Reuben is not the only researcher who makes this claim. This alone is disturbing, but the more I dug into it, the more compelling I found the scientific information about the dangers of sugar. I have now become completely turned off by sugar.
Sugar may be killing more people than cholera or cigarettes ever did. If history is any guide, the majority of people in the US will continue to eat or drink excess sugar, spiking their levels despite the life-shortening impact. The public has
been slow to give up their sugar addiction. What I find interesting are people who would not tolerate cigarettes or contaminated water, but have little concern about their sugar consumption. That’s how serious this is.
What’s So Bad About Sugar?
Sugar contains no nutrients, no protein, no healthy fats, no enzymes. Sugar exists in many forms besides the white powdered (usually GMO) beet sugar we find at the grocery store. There are varying degrees of effects from sugar in all forms (including high fructose corn syrup, honey, and maple syrup) and we are consuming more of it than ever before.
Chronic sugar exposure has been linked to hypertension, Myocardial infarction (heart attacks), dyslipidemia, pancreatitis, obesity, hepatic dysfunction, fetal insulin resistance, fatty liver disease, and habituation (if not addiction). Sugar is metabolized in the same way as ethanol, which is essentially fermented sugar. Thus, the effects of sugar consumption are the same as the effects of chronic ethanol exposure (habitual alcohol consumption); the only difference is that alcohol can lead to even more health issues than sugar.
The health issues related to sugar are not found exclusively in adults. Unbelievably, there is are obese six-month olds! Some researchers point to infant formula as the culprit. Similac infant formula is 43.2% corn syrup solids, and 10.3% sucrose. There is only a .2% difference in the amount of sugar in a serving of Coca-Cola verses Similac—imagine that! Parents who mean well are unknowingly harming their babies. High fat diets don’t hurt us; high sugar diets do, because they are metabolized as unhealthy fats. A low-fat diet may not really be a low-fat diet if there are sugars present in most of what you consume
Solutions for lowering sugar consumption
- Get rid of all sugared liquids in the house. Be sure to check all beverages, including juices. There’s no such thing as a good sugar-filled liquid!
- Eat carbohydrates with fiber to slow the rate of absorption and reduce insulin response.
- Wait 20 minutes before taking a second portion.
- Examine all processed food for added sugar.
Why exercise is important
- It improves skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity, which burns calories and brings insulin levels down.
- It reduces stress and stress and obesity go hand in hand.
- It lowers appetite.
- It detoxifies fructose, improving liver insulin sensitivity.
- It burns the food you eat so that it doesn’t become stored fat.
I have been shocked by my new understanding of the dangers of sugar to my body and to my family. For more information on how you can lower your sugar intake, thus lowering inflammation and improving your health, please contact me.
by Janice Messino ▪︎ Create Health ▪︎ (860) 970-7383
Corliss, Julie. “Eating too much added sugar increases the risk of dying with heart disease.” Harvard Health Publishing, February 6, 2014. Updated November 30, 2016. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/eating-too-much-added-sugar-increases-the-risk-of-dying-with-heart-disease-201402067021
Reuben, David. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Nutrition. Avon Books, September 1, 1979.
Sugar: The Bitter Truth. University of California Television (UCTV). July 30, 2009 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM#action=share