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Sugar Blues

February 1, 2010


Today I am on a mission to educate you about sugar.  I’m not a doctor, and I don’t play one on TV, but I know what sugar does to me and what living without it feels like.

In the late 70’s,  I read  Sugar Blues
by William Dufty and in my gut I knew he was right when he detailed the history of sugar, its addictive properties, and its significant role in chronic diseases.  But I liked the stuff.  I was a teenager.  I was going to live forever anyway, right?

Fast forward to 2010.  I am definitely not a teenager anymore (well, yeah, inside, but I mean my carcass). As cases of late onset diabetes and obesity continue to rise and cancer and heart disease thrive, the role of sugar in disease is back in the spotlight.  The low-fat myth was finally busted a few years ago (Notice that people are still fat and having heart attacks on low-fat diets? My dad did.) and doctors and researchers are again looking at the role of sugar and insulin levels in relation to disease.

The reason why following a low fat diet doesn’t work for most people is that usually, when people reduce the fat in their diets, they end up eating more high sugar, processed carbohydrates. Whenever we eat sugar, it spikes our blood sugar and causes insulin levels to rise. Current research has shown that when insulin levels are high in the body, sugar is being stored as fat (triglycerides). Processed carbohydrates, such as pretzels, crackers and cookies give us an initial rush of energy, but later cause our blood sugar to drop too low, which results in cravings and weight gain. (1)

Did you know that manufacturers even put sugar in cigarettes?  Sugar is addictive and it sells more products.  They know this.  It is in your bread, gravy, soup, catsup, salad dressings, crackers, everywhere.  If you think it is not addictive, try living without it for a few days.  According to diet surveys conducted by the USDA, the average American consumes over 22 teaspoons of added sugar each day. For those of you counting that’s nearly 1/2 cup. Added sugar does not include sugar naturally found in milk and fruit or high fructose corn syrup. A 12 oz. Pepsi contains 10 tsp. of sugar… you do the math… and start reading the labels.

The WHO, the AMA and AHA have all recently published articles warning of the link of sugar consumption (especially excessive consumption) to heart disease, diabetes, cancer and chronic diseases related to obesity.  Since my family seems to have provided me with a genetic cesspool, I have begun to take more notice of these things.

I can attest to the benefits of eliminating all added sugar.  I have given up sugar completely (Yes, it can be done!), and I am now medication free for the first time in years because of this change. No more migraines, insomnia, aches, lethargy, or weight gain.  I have more energy than ever (like I need more, eh?).  The differences are very measurable for me, and because of that, this is a change worth sticking with.

Are you willing to give it a try?

As always, my aim on this blog is to give people tools and information to live happier and healthier lives with peace, joy, and intention.

Hopefully, thinking more about what you are putting into your mouth will be one means to that end.

Live well.

(1) The Weight and Wellness Way, Vol. 4, Issue 8. 9/07 by Anna Derhak, Nutrition Educator

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 1, 2010 1:20 pm

    Factoid from the USDA website:
    1970 consumption of sugar and sweeteners was 119 lbs. per person a year in the USA. In 2003 it was 142 lbs. THAT’S A WHOPPING 19% INCREASE! YIKES!

    I am completely free from added processed cane sugar also. For my added sweetener I use Agave nectar or 100% pure maple syrup.


  2. Nikki Sharp permalink
    February 1, 2010 9:33 pm

    Every word true. I stopped sugar some years ago and for some reason (undefined by reason) started eating it again last year. I decided after the last Christmas it had to stop as afflictions I had not suffered in years started coming back. Thank-you for sharing the perils of eating sugar, it is as dangerous as any drug out there, just more sly.


  3. doctorcrankenstein permalink
    February 9, 2010 6:57 am

    Thankfully I’m one of those weird people out there that would take savoury things over sugar and sweets any day.

    The alternatives to sugar are pretty bad though, Equal tastes terrible. Thankfully all the controversies about artificial sweeteners being carcinogenic has been swept away by research so they aren’t bad in that sense… but still they taste TERRIBLE!

    Then again I’m not the kind of person to eat a teaspoon of sugar on its own either…


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