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What They Don’t Want You to Know About Sugar

Do you have childhood memories of crying over some fourth grade trauma, then taking refuge in the gooey, glossy cupcakes from the local bakery?

Do you remember being rewarded for good behavior at the bank with a lollipop, or reveling in the scent of freshly baked brownies as you walked in the door from school?

What about digging through a pint of cookie dough ice cream to locate the best chunks? Lemonade on hot summer days? Cotton candy at fairs? Milk Duds at the movies, candy hearts on Valentine’s Day, cake at birthday parties, pancakes at sleepover breakfasts … 

And now that I’ve got you drooling, allow me to introduce John Yudkin MD, Ph.D., F.R.C.P., F.R.S.C., F.I. Biol., Prof of Nutrition at London University:

“If only a small fraction of what is already known about the effects of sugar were to be revealed in relation to any other material used as a food additive, that material would promptly be banned.” 

I evoke these youthful reminiscences to illustrate how interwoven childhood is with sugar. From the get-go, we’re assaulted with one of the most noxious substances that has ever been introduced into our food supply. We’re taught to associate it with comfort, appreciation, joy … but it’s actually rotting our insides.

Have you ever considered the fact that almost all of the degenerative diseases that plague us today were practically nonexistent just 200 years ago? Without a doubt, the biggest change in our diets has been our sugar consumption. Yes, sugar, also known as sucrose, brown sugar, corn sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, glucose, lactose, and maltose. The average American eats 152 pounds of sugar per year!

Sugar is a refined food. It contains no nutrients; it’s pure starch. Its digestion takes such a toll on the body that in order to neutralize its effect, calcium, potassium, and magnesium are leached from the bones and sent out into the bloodstream. This results in a brittle, weak skeletal system. Osteoperosis, anyone?

The valiant liver, purifier of blood, stores sugar as a toxin to prevent it from reaching other areas of the body. Eventually, though, it gets overloaded. A daily intake of sugar has been known to cause the liver to expand like a balloon. At this point the overflow sugar begins to float throughout the bloodstream and is stored in the body as fat. It’s also absorbed by other organs such as the heart and kidneys, and it predictably slows them down, clogging them with fat. Eventually the entire body is affected and the immune system is drastically compromised. Multiple studies and unfortunate events have actually demonstrated that subsisting on sugar and water is actually worse than subsisting on water alone, and will probably kill you.

Sorry to be so gloom and doom. But it’s true, and many people just aren’t aware of it. There have been countless studies documenting the impact of sugar on an individual’s health. You’ve probably heard sugar causes dental decay, gum disease, and obesity. Did you also know it causes hyperactivity, depression, anxiety, dizziness, and migranes … weakened eyesight, premature aging, cataracts, emphysema, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease … okay, I’ll stop for now and just link you to a list of ways sugar can impact your health.

“I give you bitter pills in sugar coating. The pills are harmless: the poison is in the sugar.”—Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

Unfortunately, various villainous industries seeking to capitalize upon sugar’s weight-gaining effects have released a flood of artificial sweeteners into the market. But beware! These are just as toxic. Here’s a quick rundown on a few of our most notorious figures of the shadowy saccharin underworld:

ASPARTAME given to animals in low doses results in lymphomas, leukemia, and brain tumors. When metabolized by the body, its by-products include methyl alcohol, aspartic acid, and formaldehyde. Methyl alcohol is known to cause blindness; formaldehyde, used as a wood preservative and to preserve laboratory specimens, is lethal in large doses; aspartic acid excites brain cells and disrupts neural function—contributing to hyperactivity, emotional stress, behavior changes, and loss of focus. Check out this youtube video documenting the fascinating link between the some-say-toxic Donald Rumsfeld and Aspartame …

SUCRALOSE, A.K.A. SPLENDA is made from normal sugar, which has been chlorinated, producing a host of chlorine byproducts that contribute to the pollution of our waterways. These chemicals work their way up the food chain and into our bodies—and they stay there, lodged in fat cells. Dioxins contribute to cancers, hormone imbalance, birth defects, and infertility, and they suppress the immune system. Research on sucralose in animal studies has shown effects including: shrinking of the thymus gland, enlarged liver and kidneys, reduced growth rate, decreased red blood cell count (anemia), extension of pregnancy period, birth defects, and atrophy of lymph follicles.

SACCHARIN, A.K.A. SWEET’N’LOW appeared on the U.S. FDA’s carcinogen list from 1998 to 2000. Like the others, it’s synthetically made. It appears in only one place in nature— as a component in coal tar.