Life is sweeter with honey and, well, sweets!
But taken in excess these delectable morsels may kill.
Most North Americans eat too much sugar. It's found in almost everything but fresh food, including many brands of table salt! Chemically as a close cousin to cocaine(!) it is addictive, rewards the brain but can later depress it, reduces our mental capacities, and refined sugar likely injures every organ in our bodies.
Recent research indicates that sugar, not salt, is more likely to increase your blood pressure, increase the risks of heart disease, and more.
Tobacco was made popular in the early 1900's by making it sweeter!
Are you addicted to sugar? Most of us are! Some researchers consider sugar to be as addictive as cocaine. As a result refined sugar consumption (including the even more dangerous high fructose corn syrup) in North America continues to rise (it's now at least 120 - 150 pounds per person per year!), and leads to Type-2 diabetes & obesity, as well as being linked to cancer, stroke, hypertension, gallstones, tooth decay, heart disease, weight gain, lethargy, cognitive decline (dementia as well as poor memory function), and mental instability (sometimes leading to violence). Refined sugars are actually "anti-nutrients", that is, the body extracts vitamins and minerals from our bodies in order to digest refined sugars! This leads to bone and tooth decay, and harm to the brain and every other part of our bodies.
Not bad enough? Sugar also makes our blood more acidic, the perfect environment for cancer and other diseases. Also, refined sugar is composed of right-spinning molecules -what cancer cells crave. Indeed, some consider sugar a toxin or poison, such as Dr. Robert Lustig, the leading expert in childhood obesity at the University of California School of Medicine in San Francisco. He also calls sugar usage a public health crisis. View a 60 Minutes segment on his findings or see him on Youtube called "Sugar: The Bitter Truth" (1.5 hrs; if you care about your health it is well worth watching!). An excellent historical and informative read is the bestseller "Sugar Blues" (by William Duffy or read this abbreviated piece). Two other excellent books are Dr. Richard Johnson's The Sugar Fix and Gary Taubes' The Case Against Sugar. More warnings about sugar can be read in these links: here, here and here. The CBC on-line has a short story on how the sugar industry is using the same tactics as has the tobacco industry to confuse the public. Watch this video about how sugar is likely more deadly than the top-10 causes of death combined!
Why haven't we known about the dangers of sugar? Because the industry has very cleverly avoided attention by encouraging the medical community to focus on fats and other things. Old documents from that industry have now revealed this strategy. Click here to read an article about the findings.
Artificial sweeteners are also dangerous, actually raising the risk of type-2 diabetes and weight problems.2 And they often increase one's appetite.
So what happens when we eat sugars? The pancreas releases the hormone insulin in response to sugars (including refined carbohydrates from grains such as wheat, rice, etc., but at a slower rate). Then the liver has to work hard to re-balance the blood sugar (glucose) levels. Frequent intake of sugars exhausts this process and the cells are increasingly less able to take in insulin, leading to type-2 diabetes. On the way to diabetes, many people become hypoglycemic (too much insulin is produced, leading to tiredness and a desire to repeat the cycle by consuming more sugar...).
It is likely that the added colorants and acid in soft drinks combines with their high sugar intake to significantly increase the likelihood of developing cancer, osteoarthritis and other health issues. We are wise to withdraw from refined sugars altogether (including fruit juices), and instead go back to nature's sweeteners that also contain vitamins and minerals: maple syrup, black-strap molasses, honey and agave syrup -but in limited quantities (they are all high in fructose, especially agave). Here's a link to some other suggestions.
Enjoying a treat now and then helps to make life more enjoyable. Limiting consumption may lead to having a somewhat longer, higher quality, life to enjoy!
Here's to a living a sweet life!