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Volume II
October 12, 2007

Sugar, Not So Sweet
by Bethany Booth

Where do most American’s turn when they feel a little stressed? Just read the word stressed backwards and you’ll get the answer...desserts!

On average, Americans over the age of 2 are consuming 20 teaspoons of added sugars a day. That is twice the recommended amount. Table sugar, sucrose, fructose, glucose-fructose, high-fructose corn syrup...heavily processed sugar by any name can be harmful. Overindulging in sweets has been directly or indirectly linked to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, strokes, headaches, mood-swings, fatigue, ADD/ADHD, allergies and other modern epidemics of American society.

Sugar is difficult to avoid because it is hidden in almost everything we eat from vegetable soups to breads. The more sugar we eat the more addicted our brains and bodies become.

Sugar triggers production of the brain’s natural opioids. Excessive amounts of sugar lead to the brain to become addicted to its own opioids just as the brain would become addicted to morphine or heroine. Sugar addiction happens on a smaller scale than drugs of course, but it is essentially the same process.

Once in the body, a doughnut or soda causes blood sugar to spike quickly. In response to the spike, the body secretes large amounts of insulin into the bloodstream dropping the glucose rapidly to a level lower than normal. After this, you begin to feel tired, cranky, and quickly become hungry again, craving refined carbs and sugars to rapidly restore blood sugar, feel good, and begin the vicious cycle all over again.

Dangerous Solutions:

Many people turn to artificial or non-nutritive sweeteners to help curb sugar cravings but this can present even scarier health risks. Research conducted in Italy indicates that aspartame is carcinogenic, resulting in lymphomas and leukemia in female test animals. Aspartame also releases many harmful bi-products as it breaks down within the body, such as methyl alcohol (know to cause blindness), and formaldehyde just to name a couple.

It is said to have been developed as an ant poison and then, when manufacturers found it to be sweet, was marketed as a sugar substitute.

Note: as an ant poison, aspartame works remarkably well - better than most pesticides.

Sucralose (Splenda) begins as normal sugar that is then chlorinated which produces dioxins which contribute to cancers, hormone imbalance, birth defects, infertility, as well as suppression of the immune system.

Saccharin (Sweet’N’Low) was named on the US FDA Carcinogen list from 1998-2000, and then removed for lack of sufficient data to meet FDA’s carcinogen criteria. The only place saccharin appears in nature is as a component in coal tar.)

Natural Solutions:

Believe it or not, there are actually some sugars that can be good for you. Nature created some wonderful natural sweeteners, like Agave Syrup, all on her own.

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