Sugar as a toxin came to my attention in a mainstream way a few nights ago due to the CBS 60 Minutes segment on Sunday night. There is compelling new research that lends credence to claims that sugar is killing us.
Dr. Robert Lustig of UCSF has been researching this topic for about the last 10 years. He has a compelling video on YouTube titled, “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” which I consider to be required viewing. Since being posted on YouTube in July of 2009 the video has been viewed by 800,000 viewers! It has been gaining viewers at an astounding rate of 50,000 per month, with more I would think since the 60 Minutes segment highlighting the issue. Dr. Lustig includes white table sugar, brown sugar, agave, and of course high fructose corn syrup.
It is a well known fact that American rates of obesity and diabetes II have skyrocketed in the past 30 years. According to Dr. Lustig’s research, this began right around the time the experts were encouraging the nation to limit fat intake in order to reduce heart disease. In response to this, the food industry began adding sugar at previously unheard of levels to compensate for the lack of taste in food left bland by the reduction of fats.
Dr. Lustig unabashedly claims that not only is sugar toxic but that people are abusing it due to its addictive nature. It is purported to be more addictive than cocaine! Research has shown that our sugar consumption has jumped alarmingly in the last 40 years. The USDA reports people are consuming an average of 90 pounds of sugar per person per year, an increase of over 55 pounds since the 1970s. This increase directly correlates with the epidemic of obesity and related diseases in our population–most notably diabetes type II.
The relatively recent acceptance of a condition known as metabolic syndrome has led to the acceptance of sugar being the culprit in Americans’ obesity woes. Metabolic syndrome exists when the body develops a resistance to insulin. Due to this resistance, the pancreas continues to pump out insulin hoping to gobble up the glucose in our blood streams. Eventually the pancreas becomes exhausted, no longer able to keep up with the glucose we consume. Once that happens, a person becomes dependent on insulin from outside the body to cope with all that circulating glucose. Thus a diabetic is formed.
Metabolic syndrome is now known to be THE MAIN risk factor for development of heart disease and diabetes II. An expanding waistline is the first sign a physician looks for in the development of the syndrome. The liver converts sugar into fat, the bad kind–LDL cholesterol. This clogs our arteries, leading to heart disease. The liver becomes fatty, waistlines expand, and metabolic syndrome is the result. This can happen in as short a time as a few WEEKS based on studies done on lab rats. Poorly controlled diabetes leads to endless unpleasant complications, and death is the result.
Yes, DEATH is the result. Dr. Lustig recommends men limit their sugar consumption to 15 grams per day and 11 grams per day for women. This is less than the amount of sugar in one can of soda. Couple this with a growing body of research linking excess levels of insulin to an increased risk for cancer, and that’s mighty compelling evidence to limit one’s sugar intake. As with any physically addictive substance, it is best to taper off high doses rather than quit abruptly in order to avoid the pain of withdrawal.
My challenge to you: Limit your sugar consumption to 11 grams per day for women and 15 grams per day for men. See if you can do it! You’ll have to read labels, since sugar is found in nearly every product on the supermarket shelves these days. Let me know how you do!
In fact, if you participate in my challenge, please contact me via email, Facebook, Twitter (@AnnieDayton), or on my website (www.anniesgatewaytohealth.com). There just might be something in it for you! That is, other than decreased risk of diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver, metabolic syndrome, and DEATH. You might just feel FANTASTIC!!!
To Your Health,
Annie, RN, MSN
PS Don’t forget–ZIJA has only 2 grams of sugar per serving, over 46 antioxidants and 30+ anti-inflammatory agents. All that spells out normalizing blood sugar, decreased blood pressure, decreased likelihood of strokes, and feeling GREAT!
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