It’s addictive, white, accelerates aging, comes from a plant, impairs mental and neurological function, can destroy your brain, heart and organs, creates systemic inflammation, gives some people a buzz and destroys bodies. Am I talking about cocaine or sugar?
People get addicted to sugar. They love the taste and the quick energy it releases. However they can’t see the pervasive damage being done to their blood vessels, brain, heart and other organs until its almost too late.
The first Guidelines for Nutrition was published in 1977 by the McGovern Report on Nutrition. When the many different food groups found out what the report was recommending (reducing the intake of saturated fats, meats, dairy, sugar and salt, they did what they do best, began lobbying Congress. This created a backlash from food manufacturers and those in Congress representing them. After the lobbying the only meaningful recommendation was to reduce the intake of fats. When the final report was released it provided a way for the Sugar Association to sale sugar as a way to replace fat. After all, fat has a lot of flavor. When you remove the fat from foods they become bland and people will not buy them. Replace the fat with sugar! What a great way to sell more sugar to food manufacturers. We went from eating 10 pounds of sugar a year in per person in the early 1900’s to over 150 pounds of sugar a year per person. Along with it came a great decline in our health and the rates of diabetes and obesity are at epidemic rates!
If you will take a look at the Nutrition Facts panel on food labels you will notice all categories on the label have % DV (this stands for percentage of daily value consumed per serving of that nutrition category). You will see it beside Fat, Saturated fat, Cholesterol, Sodium and Carbohydrate, but not sugar. How did they get away with that? MONEY! They actually lobbied Congress to make a recommendation in the report to state that 25% of daily calories should come from sugar. So instead, they didn’t recommend any intake level for sugar. Eat all you want!
The truth is excessive sugar is toxic. Simple sugars and added sugars should not exceed 10% of your daily calorie intake. If you go by the Nutrition Facts Labels guideline for 2,000 calories that means you should not consume more than 50 grams of sugar a day. One 12 oz. soft drink has 42 grams of sugar. A famous national brand of smoothies has anywhere from 30 to over 100 grams of sugar in their 20 oz. smoothies. You must read the food labels to avoid hidden sugars.
I recommend no one, regardless of calorie intake consume more that 10% of your calories from sugar unless you are an endurance athlete.
In 1980 there were no cases of Type II diabetes in children. By 2012 there were over 56,000 cases of childhood Type II Diabetes.
Heart disease, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes and stroke rates have rocketed up the charts.
We now have infants being born with adult diseases. A baby’s health is a reflection of what the mom has eaten ( the nutrition or lack there of ) and the toxins she has been exposed to, up to 2 years prior to conception of her child.
This may shock you, but I believe sugar and sugar like foods (processed flour products) are probably the biggest cause of all illness and disease. While table sugar has a glycemic index of 70, white bread has a glycemic index of 95. This means white bread turns to blood sugar even faster than table sugar! I bet you didn’t realize that.
Sugar creates so much stress on the body. It lowers the immune system, wrecks havoc on the hormonal system and creates systemic inflammation across the cardiovascular system. Sugar even turns cholesterol into a bad health issue. Cholesterol is not the demon it is made out to be. Its only when we eat so much sugar that cholesterol is released in larger amounts to patch damaged blood vessels caused from the sugar. We actually need cholesterol. The harm being caused from sugar is wide-spread and long-lasting.
Sugar has made its way into almost every food stuff man is processing and refining. Sugar is added to bacon. luncheon meats, mayonnaise, peanut butter, dried fruit, fruit juices, tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, prepared foods, cereal, granola, cookies, flavored milk, soft drinks, coffee drinks and hundreds if not thousands of other foods. Milk has about 12 grams or 3 teaspoons of sugar per 8 ounce glass. Yogurt can have much more.
The purpose of the added sugar is to make you eat more of the food it is in. It’s all about money. If you keep buying it, the food manufacturers will keep selling it. Stop buying it and they will begin to make healthier foods.
Your best defense is learning to read food labels and being able to find all the different names of sugar. When reading the food label pay special attention to the serving size and the grams of sugar per serving. Try to limit the amount of sugar you consume to 6 grams or less per serving. Look for foods that have 4 or more grams of fiber per serving. Sugar should never be more than 10% of your daily calories. In a 2,000 calorie diet, that means no more than 50 grams of sugar. An 8 ounce glass of milk has 12 grams of sugar. An 8 ounce glass of orange juice can contain over 30 grams of sugar. A 12 ounce can of Coke has 42 grams of sugar.
Sugars Many Names
When reading the food ingredient list on the food label look out for these names. I would also include agave nectar as a sugar to avoid. It is higher in fructose that HFCS and is a processed sugar.
- Agave Nectar ( can be worse that high fructose corn syrup)
- Barley malt
- Beet sugar
- Brown sugar
- Buttered syrup
- Cane juice crystals
- Cane sugar
- Corn syrup
- Corn syrup solids
- Confectioner’s sugar
- Carob syrup
- Castor sugar
- Date sugar
- Demerara sugar
- Diastatic malt
- Ethyl maltol
- Fruit juice
- Fruit juice concentrate
- Glucose solids
- Golden sugar
- Golden syrup
- Grape sugar
- High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
- Honey (raw honey is best and used in moderation is very healthy)
- Icing sugar
- Invert sugar
- Malt syrup
- Maple syrup
- Molasses (molasses is a natural sugar containing many nutrients, use in moderation)
- Muscovado sugar
- Raw sugar
- Refiner’s syrup
- Rice syrup
- Sorghum syrup
- Turbinado sugar
- Yellow sugar
These are the sugars I recommend (in moderation).
- Raw local honey
- Organic evaporated cane juice
Flour Based Products
Refined Flour (ground up grains) turns to blood sugar as rapidly as white table sugar! Most breads, cereals, cookies, crackers and pastries have a high glycemic value. They raise blood sugar rapidly. Not all grain based products have higher glycemic load values. Whole Grains when eaten in their natural form release sugars more slowly. Steel cut oats have a lower glycemic load value that rolled oats. Enriched and refined flours have little fiber allowing the starch to turn to blood sugar rapidly. Even whole grain breads can cause a quick release of blood sugar because part of the bodies digestive process has already been performed. To my knowledge the lowest glycemic bread is Ezekiel Bread.
In summary, to reduce your risk of developing a sugar related disease or adverse health condition avoid or limit simple carbohydrates by eating more vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grains (limit to 2 servings per day if any). Use natural sweeteners, however, learn to enjoy foods that are less sweet. Break that sugar addiction, kick it to the curb and enjoy life.
Try these recipes for bread products using almond flour and coconut flour. They are gluten free and grain free. You might be surprised just how good they are!
http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=1530358 pizza crust
http://paleogrubs.com/pizza-crust-recipes pizza crust
I would highly recommend you read the book Grain Brain by neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, it could be a life changing book. Get away from sugar! It is a slow killer and will rob you of a long quality life.
Wally Bishop C.N.C.
The contents of this blog is not and should not be considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.
- Kids and Sugar-Together in Surprising Places (dramykids.com)
- The Real Scoop on Sugar (thedailymuse.com)