Ask Janice “If sugar were to be put on the market for the first time today, it would probably be difficult to get it past the FDA.” Of all the foods consumed today, refined sugar is considered to be one of the most harmful to our bodies! Sugar is a simple, edible, crystalline carbohydrate. The history of sugar dates back thousands of yeas. The process of making sugar from sugarcane was developed in India around 500 BC. Sugar production has a dark ugly history, intertwined with corporate fights for profits at the expense of third world country slavery and enormous environmental impacts. To this day sugar production still uses exploitative labor practices. Sugar manufacturers are aggressive in defending their product and have a strong political lobby, which allows them to continue selling a deadly food item that by all reason should not be allowed in the American diet. However this article is not about the politics or history of sugar.
Sugar meets the definition of a drug. Refined sugar, by some is called a drug, because in the refining process everything of food value has been removed except the carbohydrates – pure calories without vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, enzymes or any of the other elements that make up food. When you take a substance out of nature and refine it to maximize its chemical surface area and biological activity you are creating a drug with intentions of a desired bodily affect. Cocaine is a drug that's refined from coca leaves. Opium is a drug that's refined from poppies. And sugar is a drug that's refined from sugarcane. ...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 C12H22O11. Sugar is, essentially, a legalized recreational drug that's socially acceptable to consume. And yet, just like other drugs, it destroys a person's health over time, rotting out their teeth, disrupting normal brain function, promoting heart disease and directly causing diabetes and obesity. The argument that "street drugs are outlawed because they're dangerous to a person's health" falls flat on its face when you consider what sugar does to the human body. If you have any doubts as to the detriments of sugar (sucrose), try leaving it out of your diet for several weeks and see if it makes a difference! You may also notice you have acquired an addiction and experience some withdrawal symptoms. ...Studies show that “sugar” is just as habit-forming as any narcotic; and its use, misuse, and abuse is our nation’s number one disaster.
Sugar is now 20 percent of the American diet. More facts: the average American eats 22 teaspoons of sugar a day, in 2003 we ate 142 pounds on average of sugar (much more for teenagers), and sweeteners, 46 gallons of soft drinks but only 8.3 pounds of leafy vegetables. Hidden sugars: Sugar has many forms and is hidden in our food. You may have stopped adding that teaspoon of sugar to your coffee and cut back on your afternoon candy run, many not-so-obvious foods are chock-full of hidden sugars. Anything from bagels to yogurt can contain a high amount of added sugars.
Deciphering Labels It can be confusing to try to find out how much added sugar a food contains. The sugar listing on a Nutrition Facts label lumps all sugars together, including naturally-occurring milk and fruit sugars, which can be deceiving. This explains why, according to the label, one cup of milk has 11 grams of sugar even though it doesn't contain any sugar “added” to it.
Read the ingredients list. Learn to identify terms that mean added sugars, including sugar, white sugar, brown sugar, confectioner’s sugar, corn syrup, dextrin, honey, invert sugar, maple syrup, raw sugar, beet sugar, cane sugar, corn sweeteners, evaporated cane juice, high fructose corn syrup, malt, molasses, and turbinado sugar, to name a few. Sugar means beat and cane sugar, white or brown, fructose and corn: the biological effects are all the same. The point is sugar is poison! For more information I suggest watching a lecture given by Dr. Robert Lustig called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” posted on YouTube.