"Sugar’s not dangerous because of its calories, or because it makes you fat. Sugar is dangerous because it’s sugar. It’s not nutrition. When consumed in excess, it’s a toxin. And it’s addictive." - Robert Lustig, MD, MSL, The Toxic Truth About Sugar
Our Desire for Sugar
If the question "can I have a lollipop?" sounds somewhat familiar, then read on...
Sugar is bad, as the above quote clearly says. 'Toxin' and 'addictive' should have piqued your interest regarding something that is so abundant around you. You know that you shouldn't add it to your food and drink, and you know that you should limit the amount you give to your children, but for it to be labeled as a toxin and addictive is something else...
Sugar though, can come in different forms, so those who may not know:
- fructose, which derives naturally from fruit and honey
- lactose, which is found in milk
- maltose which is found in barley
- sucrose, which derives from cane or beet
A High Fructose Corn Syrup World
Have you heard of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)? You should have, because it seems to be in almost everything these days. it's a sweetener made from corn starch. High consumption can lead to some serious health problems in the future.
These are the common foods that contain it:
- sweetened yogurt
- salad dressing
- frozen junk foods
- processed breads
- canned fruit
- boxed dinners
- granola bars
- breakfast cereal
- store baked goods
- sauces and condiments
- snack foods
- nutrition bars
- coffee creamer
- energy and sports drinks
- jame & jelly
Do you know why so much packaged food you buy in the supermarket contains HFCS? Well, it's due to the fact that fibre is taken out of the food to help prolong the shelf life of the product. As the fibre is reduced or taken out, the taste is affected, so in comes HFCS to ensure it tastes like something other than cardboard! Don't they realise that fibre is vital for us though?!
As you can see, that list is pretty extensive, and so unfortunately it can be difficult to eliminate from your diet completely. Moral of the story is to keep your food as natural as possible. i.e. grow food and make food yourself as much as possible so you know exactly what goes into your body...
More reading on this topic can be found here.