You’ve probably read loads of things about sugar before, but it’s always good to bring it up again to reinforce the reason why eating a healthy diet that’s relatively sugar free is beneficial in helping you lose weight. But not just that, it may just save your life!
And after reading this article I hope you’ll see that making a choice to follow a sugar free diet is really about creating the best health that we can and increasing our chances of leading a long and properous life.
So today I tackle the question. Is sugar toxic?
If we think about it logically we may already assume what the answer is, but let’s explore what some of the scientists have to say about it.
Before entering this discussion it’s necessary to define the term ‘toxic’. Dr. William Coda Martin defined a poison as:
“Medically: Any substance applied to the body, ingested or developed within the body, which causes or may cause disease”. Source
And another definition…
“Capable of causing injury or death, especially by chemical means; poisonous” Source
Keeping these in mind, read on and decide for yourself
1. Sugar has absolutely no value to the body
Our taste buds may love sugar but it actually has no value to our body whatsoever. Because of the massive amount of processing it normally goes through, it is depleted of all nutrients, vitamins and minerals, totally empty! The body cannot utilise sugar in any functional or useful way. It actually causes more harm than good.
Here’s an interesting fact…
“Incomplete carbohydrate metabolism results in the formation of ‘toxic metabolite’ such as pyruvic acid and abnormal sugars containing five carbon atoms. Pyruvic acid accumulates in the brain and nervous system and the abnormal sugars in the red blood cells. These toxic metabolites interfere with the respiration of the cells. They cannot get sufficient oxygen to survive and function normally. In time, some of the cells die. This interferes with the function of a part of the body and is the beginning of degenerative disease.” Source
In a ‘normal’ diet, the existence of sugar would really only be available to us in the form of fruit. Eating sugar/ fructose in the form of fruit is completely different because the fiber slows down the absorption of the sugar/fructose. We also get to consume the vitamins and minerals that are available in fruit. And most often we would only consume fruit in small amounts. It would be very unlikely to eat 10 apples or oranges in one sitting. Can you imagine how ill you would feel?
2. People are consuming astronomical amounts of sugar
Compared to 100 years ago we now consume more than 100% more sugar. Going from a mere 10 pounds per person per year, to an estimated 130-180 pounds per person per year! That statistic is incredible but believable. Sugar is hidden in so many modern foods, so most of the time it is being consumed unknowingly. All of those common processed and packaged food are made from refined carbohydrates that convert into sugar in your body.
Take a look at this table taken from Chapter 2 of an Agriculture Fact Book on ‘Profiling Food Consumption in America’ (you can find it online via a google search)
Compare the difference from just 40-50 years ago in the 60-70s era. Although cane sugar itself has had an overall reduction of consumption, check out the increase in high fructose corn syrup! From 0-63.8%!! Those statistics are from 2000 so I’d hate to see the figures that are current. I’m sure they must be more.
Dr Robert Lustig, pediatric endocinologist and sugar researcher, recommends men limit sugar consumption to a maximum of 150 calories per day, women 100 calories, that’s much less than one soda per day!
3. Sugar is equivalent to cocaine
Eric Stice, a neuro scientist, studies how sugar affects the brain. As if we didn’t know already but sugar is highly, highly addictive! In fact you may be surprised to know that it activates the brain in the same way as cocaine. It is literally as addictive as this highly potent drug! And just like a drug, the more sugar we eat, the more we build up a dependence, it blunts the response in our brain so we need to eat more and more and more.
There is no easy way to say this but we need to quit the sugar and break free of it’s evil hold over us!
Consumption of sugar is also linked to mental/emotional conditions of the brain such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, ADD/ADHD, bipolar, cognitive disorders and many others. It causes chemical reactions in both our bodies and our brain as Eric Stice clearly shows in his studies.
4. Sugar is a killer
So is sugar toxic? Well according to the definitions given above, yes sugar is highly toxic! And this final point will just drive it home.
Although we might like to think we can get away with eating it, our bodies do not lie. And the millions of people’s bodies around the world suffering from illness do not lie!
Sugar has been linked in many studies by many researchers all around the world to the development of heart disease, obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and even death! Certainly it’s not always the whole picture, but it is one of the largest contributors.
Lewis Cantly, a cancer researcher, has been studying sugar as a main contributer to the rise in cancer. He says that this is because insulin causes so many adverse affects to cells in the body. Eating sugar equals increased insulin! So limiting our sugar intake decreases our chances of contracting cancer. Refer to the paragraph above where it states how the cells don’t get enough oxygen to function. And in the video below Dr Cantly shows how sugar feeds cancer cells.
Another study by Kimber Stanhope, a nutritional biologist, shows that participants consuming sugar had increased blood levels of LDL cholesterol (the bad stuff), and cardiovascular disease. This can happen in just 2 weeks of increased sugar intake, so imagine what years can do to our cholesterol and heart condition.
Here’s a great video that addresses the very question on: Is Sugar Toxic?
Unfortunately we live in a world that is driven by the dollar. Multi billion dollar food industries that make our ‘so called’ food are not going to be in a hurry to change it. And although studies are well underway it is still a relatively new field of study. Meaning that majority of people still think it’s a crazy idea. People also thought Einstein had crazy ideas and yet it turned out he was a great inventor!
Dr Robert Lustig also states that most doctors don’t know how sugar affects the body. In my experience I’d have to agree totally agree, most doctors don’t know alot about anything except prescribing drugs. I said most, as there are some doctors out there doing great work too. Overall though what this means is that it is up to us to explore the facts and make informed decisions about how to live our lives.
Sugar is a major contributer to weight gain, and with everything else pointed out above, it would become clear that we’d all do ourselves a favor to cut out the sugar for good!
Sugar was always meant to be for a treat. A treat means on the odd occasion, not every day, and certainly not at every meal and everywhere in between!
Working on keeping it that way will be one sure way to maintain long term weight loss and improve our health in the long term as well.
If you need help quitting sugar, take a look at this Sugar Detox Guide, it has 3 different levels, supplement guides, food lists and everything you’ll need to make the process easier.
P.S. Please share this around and help to educate others about sugar 🙂