Now take a look at the sugar consumption trends of the past 30 years:
- In 1700, about 4 pounds of sugar was consumed by the average person annually.
- In 1800, about 18 pounds of sugar was consumed by the average person annually.
- In 1900, individual sugar consumption had increased to 90 pounds
- In 2012, over 50% of people living in United States consume ½ pounds of sugar daily—means that as high as 180 pounds of sugar annually.
Only 3 people out of every 100,000 people were diagnosed with diabetes in 1890. Nearly 8,000 people out every 100,000 people had diabetes in 2012.
Now, our children are the target of this sugar rush. Children in USA are presently consuming approximately 10 times the sugar consumed in 1900, specifically in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which happens to be the greatest source of calories of the average American. There is fructose and glucose in highly addictive HFCS, but both are not bound together; thus there is no need for the body to break it down. So, the fructose is absorbed immediately, direct to the liver, where it is converted into fat (triglycerides and VLDL).
Fructose tricks your body into adding more weight by fooling your metabolism—turning off your body’s appetite control system. It also doesn’t correctly stimulate insulin, which consecutively does not suppress the hunger hormone (ghrelin) and doesn’t stimulate the satiety hormone (leptin), which altogether makes you eat more and consequently develop insulin resistance. This particular process also suppresses your immune system.
However, know that avoiding HFCS does not mean that you’re safe or clear. Taking all processed sugars in excess leads to compromised immune function, obesity, and diabetes.
In addition, have it at the back of your mind that sugar is highly addictive. One doctor worked with white mice and he made them to choose between sugar and cocaine. Guess the winner between both. …sugar, of course!
The truth is that sugar’s sweet taste is more rewarding than the “high” of cocaine.
Sugar produces dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a happy or feel-good chemical. People become addicted to consuming sugar, making them to eat sugar to feel normal and they withdraw if sugar is cut from their diets. If sugar addicts suddenly stay away from sugar for some days, their brain will start to produce dopamine on its own; however, many sugar addicts get trapped in their addiction due to the discomfort of the withdrawal process.
Sugar happens to be the favorite food of cancer, and this is because of the anaerobic respiratory mechanism used by cancer cells. Half of the white sugar found in the USA are from sugar beets, and don’t forget that majority of the sugar beets are genetically modified. Hence, this is one more reason for you to avoid the white sugar.
I recommend that you stay away from white and brown sugar, agave, and any other artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, or sucralose. If it happens that you have a sweet tooth, then it would be better you stick with xylitol, stevia, molasses, pure maple syrup, coconut sugar, and raw honey. The conclusion of the matter is that, if you want to stay healthy always, you must be in control over your sugar intake, to avoid your sugar taking control over you.
Putting An End to The Sugar Confusion
Becoming confused by various sweeteners and sugars is very easy. Carefully read the following basic overview.
- Saccharide is sugar.
- Glucose (dextrose or grape sugar), fructose (fruit sugar), and galactose (milk sugar) are all monosaccharides—also called simple sugars. The major difference between these three simple sugars is the way they are metabolized by your body.
- Glucose is the energy form you were design to utilize. All your body cells make use of glucose as their energy source.
- High amounts of fructose are very harmful to your body if it is not burnt instantly for energy. The reason for this is that, fructose moves directly to the liver, where it is converted to triglycerides, i.e. fats. Additional triglycerides increase insulin resistance and production of insulin, thus contributing to development of insulin in a backdoor style.
- Simple sugars can come together to form more complex sugars such as sucrose, which is disaccharide that is made up of 50% glucose and 50% fructose.
- Refined white sugar is washed with syrup solution, next with hot water, chemically clarified to get rid of impurities, decolorized, concentrated, evaporated, re-boiled until crystals are formed, centrifuged again to separate, then dried. At this point, there won’t be any nutrients or natural value in the sugar again. Sincerely, white sugars should be classified as an industrial product instead of food.
- Brown sugar is the product of white sugar mixed with molasses.
- There is nothing raw in raw sugar, because it has been cooked and most of the vitamins and minerals are lost. However, it is still better than refined white sugar, as there are few amounts of molasses present.
- Aspartame or AminoSweet is a neurotoxic poison for rats.
- Splenda, which is sucralose, is not a sugar. It is a chlorinated artificial sweetener similar to aspartame, but not as harmful as aspartame.
- Honey is 50% fructose, but in its natural form possesses many health benefits. So the best thing for you is to buy local and unpasteurized honey.
- Stevia is an extra sweet herb gotten from stevia plant and it is totally safe in its natural form. Also know that green stevia is the whole plant and the white stevia is the processed form, and it usually contains ingredients like dextrose or natural flavors. What you should go for is 100% green stevia.
- Agave nectar is from the agave plant (cactus). It sounds to be natural, right? However, it is not natural. Agave is highly processed and its end product doesn’t resemble the original agave plant a bit. Also, agave contains 80% fructose.
- High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contains 45% and 55% fructose. You need to avoid it because most HFCS are genetically modified.
- Rapadura is the pure juice extracted from sugar with the aid of a press. It is evaporated over low heat while stirring with paddles. It is finally sieve-ground to produce a grainy sugar. Note that the product hasn’t been cooked at high heats or turned to form crystals, and its molasses are still retained in the sugar.
- Coconut sugar is from the sweet watery sap from coconut palm. Its glycemic index (GI) is low and it is rich in amino acids. Sucrose is its primary component and it contains less than 10% fructose.
- Xylitol is a sweetener that is commonly called sugar alcohol or polyol. Sugar alcohols are carbohydrates and not sugars or alcohols (though their structures look like sugar and alcohol). Xylitol is gotten from birch cellulose. Xylitol unlike sugar, is absorbed slowly, doesn’t cause a rapid increase in blood sugar, and it doesn’t need an instant insulin response from the body before it can be metabolized. Besides, a lot of research studies have revealed that xylitol can help in preventing dental cavities, ear infections, and because of its anti-bacterial properties, it can help in preventing gum disease.