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Volume III
July 20, 2012

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

SUGAR Ain't so Sweet!

By Alice Osborne

At the risk of irritating our readers, I am constantly banging the "NO SUGAR!" drum. In spite of this risk, I bang it anyway because of how crucial this point is to our health. Today I bang it again by sharing what I just read on Dr. Mercola's site - he's quoting and elaborating on a news segment recently aired on the popular 60 Minutes broadcast. I quote his quoting:

"60 Minutes recently reported on the scientific findings that sugar is a toxin that can lead to major chronic diseases including obesity, heart disease, and cancer. Test subjects in strict clinical trials who were monitored 24 hours a day, who consumed high fructose corn syrup, developed higher risk factors for cardiovascular disease within two weeks. "In the mid-70's, when dietary fats were inaccurately blamed for causing heart disease, spawning the still-persistent low-fat craze, processed food makers began swapping out the fats and replacing them with corn syrup. It's not difficult to see that trading fat for sugar was not a wise move. We now know, without a doubt, that it's the excessive fructose content in the modern diet that is taking such a devastating toll on people's health.

"Excessive fructose consumption leads to insulin resistance, which appears to be the root of many if not most chronic diseases. Fructose also raises your uric acid levels - it typically generates uric acid within minutes of ingestion - which in turn can wreak havoc on your blood pressure, insulin production, and kidney function. So far, scientific studies have linked fructose to about 78 different diseases and health problems.

"This is jolting to people who don't realize that even if they don't add it to their foods, hidden sugar, including high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), is in virtually ALL processed foods, from yogurts, sauces and soups, to breads and sodas. Even more startling is that a growing number of studies are also showing that the more sugar you eat, the less satisfied you are. "High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) entered the American market in 1975. Food and beverage manufacturers quickly began switching their sweeteners from sucrose (table sugar) to corn syrup when they discovered that it could save them a lot of money. Sucrose costs about three times as much as HFCS. HFCS is also about 20% sweeter than table sugar, so less is needed to achieve the same amount of sweetness.

"Around that same time, dietary fats were blamed for heart disease, giving rise to the 'no-fat, low-fat craze,' which resulted in an explosion of processed nonfat and low fat convenience foods - most of which tasted like sawdust unless sugar was added. Fructose was then added to make all these fat-free products more palatable. Yet as the low-fat craze spread, rates of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity skyrocketed.

"Clearly, this plan was seriously flawed from the get-go, and now researchers know that trading fat for sugar is not a wise move - it's the excessive sugar content in the modern diet that is taking such a devastating toll on people's health. "When scientists started seriously studying the effects of sugar on the body, they first believed that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was more problematic than regular sugar (sucrose). But later it became even more clear that whichever form of sugar you consume, it can act as a literal toxin in your body when consumed in excess."

So there you have the latest news. Knowing what we know now, we can see that "moderation in all things" isn't just a trite saying - it's a law to good health. A teensy bit of sugar once in a great while isn't going to hurt us, but the daily consumption we're prone to, will. So let's stop this insanity and get it through our heads that no matter WHAT others are eating, we just can't follow along. It's simple - sugar, in any of its forms, ain't so sweet!

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