"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease."~ Thomas Edison
Sugar: Addiction & Dangers
Human researchers are fascinated by the behavior of lab rats in response to food rewards, but few humans are willing to closely examine their own behavior in relationship to sugar. Most people living in western societies (the U.S., Canada, UK, Australia, etc.) are truly addicted to sugar, and they use it as a form of self-medication to temporarily boost their mood and energy. The frequency and context in which these people press a button on a soda machine is eerily similar to the way lab rats press a lever to produce a food reward.
This CounterThink cartoon attempts to ask, "What would an outside observer think of modern human behavior in relation to sugar?" The answer is not difficult to predict: They would think humans were strange animals to be so utterly controlled by a crystalline white substance. Refined white sugar is like dietary crack, and it rots out your teeth just like meth, only slower. To get the real story on white sugar, read the pioneering book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston Price, or check out the Price-Pottenger Foundation.
Of course, most people reading this cartoon will insist, "I'm not addicted to sugar. I can quit eating sugar anytime I want." Really? Prove it! See if you can go sugar-free for just ten days. That's a real eye-opener for most people, because even if they have the determination to attempt such an experiment, most soon find themselves crawling back to the pantry, desperately seeking a soda beverage loaded with high-fructose corn syrup (liquid sugar) to end their withdrawal symptoms.
The truth is, most American consumers are so addicted to sugar that they will deny their addictions in the same way that a crack or heroin addict might. And yet, when it comes down to it, sugar controls their behavior. If they don't have their sugar in the morning (in their coffee, pancakes and cereals), sugar at lunch (in the salad dressing, pasta sauce, soda and restaurant food) and sugar at dinner (there's sugar in pizza, ketchup and BBQ sauce, plus virtually all restaurant foods), then they suffer serious withdrawal symptoms and go crazy with moodiness and irritability. They start blaming everyone around them for silly things, and they may even become sweaty and light-headed.
Curious, isn't it? That's what happens when you take a substance out of nature and refine it to maximize its chemical surface area and biological activity. Cocaine is a drug that's refined from coca leaves. Opium is a drug that's refined from poppies. And sugar is a drug that's refined from sugarcane. And while we have a "war on drugs" against cocaine and heroin, our taxpayer dollars actually subsidize the sugar industry, making refined white sugar cheap and widely available to the entire population so that everyone can be equally hooked.
Refined white sugar is a pleasure drug. If you don't believe me, just put a spoonful on your tongue and observe the instantaneous effects. You'll experience a warming, comfortable feeling that makes you feel safe and happy. They're not called "comfort foods" by accident.
Sugar is, essentially, a legalized recreational drug that's socially acceptable to consume. And yet, just like other drugs, it destroys a person's health over time, rotting out their teeth, disrupting normal brain function, promoting heart disease and directly causing diabetes and obesity. The argument that "street drugs are outlawed because they're dangerous to a person's health" falls flat on its face when you consider what sugar does to the human body. It's a lot more dangerous than marijuana, for example, and yet marijuana is illegal to possess or consume.
Isn't it curious how, in modern society, we fight a war against certain drugs (like cocaine), yet subsidize others? (Like sugar.) The difference, of course, is that the sugar industry has a powerful political lobby and is universally abused by virtually the entire population. Drugs that are abused by only a few (such as heroin) get outlawed, while drugs that are abused by everyone (such as caffeine and sugar) receive legal immunity. It's mob rule. And the mob is addicted to sugar.
Xylitol is not only a safe, natural sweetener without the bad side-effects of sugar and artificial substitutes, it's also good for your teeth, stabilises insulin and hormone levels and promotes good health.
There's the old saying that sugar is poison. After reading Lick the Sugar Habit, you'll be convinced of that. Americans each consume more than 150 pounds of sugar and related sweeteners each year. It's pretty easy for it to add up when you consider that there are 17 teaspoons of sugar in a single can of Coke. Author Nancy Appleton delineates how this sugar overconsumption wreaks havoc with our immune and endocrine systems, leading to chronic conditions including arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, asthma, and hypoglycemia, along with the usual suspects such as cavities and periodontal disease. Appleton admits that she herself used to be a sugar addict, preferring to take her sweets in the form of chocolate, and consequently suffered from numerous allergies, plus bronchitis, pneumonia, and even a chest tumor that turned out to be a huge calcium deposit that resulted from her body's inability to process the pounds of sugar she consumed.
The book starts with thorough quizzes to determine if you really are a "sugarholic" and to test for sugar-related food allergies. Appleton then offers three distinct plans for weaning yourself from the sweet stuff and starting your new "low-sugar life." The best part is the dozens of easy, low-sugar, high-flavor recipes such as Hot Asparagus Soup and Pumpkin Pie.
While Appleton has a Ph.D. and has been studying nutrition for years, she doesn't go into unnecessary scientific details when she explains what those little sugar cubes do to your body. This is a thoroughly readable, eye-opening guide to changing your diet--and your health--for the better. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In addition to throwing off the body's homeostasis, excess sugar may result in a number of other significant consequences. The following is a listing of some of sugar's metabolic consequences from a variety of medical journals and other scientific publications.
Sugar can suppress your immune system and impair your defenses against infectious disease.1,2
Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in your body: causes chromium and copper deficiencies and interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium. 3,4,5,6
Sugar can cause can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline, hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.7,8
Sugar can produce a significant rise in total cholesterol, triglycerides and bad cholesterol and a decrease in good cholesterol.9,10,11,12
Sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function.13
Sugar feeds cancer cells and has been connected with the development of cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate, rectum, pancreas, biliary tract, lung, gallbladder and stomach.14,15,16,17,18,19,20
Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose and can cause reactive hypoglycemia.21,22
Sugar can weaken eyesight.23
Sugar can cause many problems with the gastrointestinal tract including: an acidic digestive tract, indigestion, malabsorption in patients with functional bowel disease, increased risk of Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis.24,25,26,27,28
Sugar can cause premature aging.29
Sugar can lead to alcoholism.30
Sugar can cause your saliva to become acidic, tooth decay, and periodontal disease.31,32,33
Sugar contributes to obesity.34
Sugar can cause autoimmune diseases such as: arthritis, asthma, multiple sclerosis.35,36,37
Sugar greatly assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections)38
Sugar can cause gallstones.39
Sugar can cause appendicitis.40
Sugar can cause hemorrhoids.41
Sugar can cause varicose veins.42
Sugar can elevate glucose and insulin responses in oral contraceptive users.43
Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.44
Sugar can cause a decrease in your insulin sensitivity thereby causing an abnormally high insulin levels and eventually diabetes.45,46,47
Sugar can lower your Vitamin E levels.48
Sugar can increase your systolic blood pressure.49
Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.50
High sugar intake increases advanced glycation end products (AGEs)(Sugar molecules attaching to and thereby damaging proteins in the body).51
Sugar can interfere with your absorption of protein.52
Sugar causes food allergies.53
Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.54
Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.55
Sugar can cause atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.56,57
Sugar can impair the structure of your DNA.58
Sugar can change the structure of protein and cause a permanent alteration of the way the proteins act in your body.59,60
Sugar can make your skin age by changing the structure of collagen.61
Sugar can cause cataracts and nearsightedness.62,63
Sugar can cause emphysema.64
High sugar intake can impair the physiological homeostasis of many systems in your body.65
Sugar lowers the ability of enzymes to function.66
Sugar intake is higher in people with Parkinson's disease.67
Sugar can increase the size of your liver by making your liver cells divide and it can increase the amount of liver fat.68,69
Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney such as the formation of kidney stones.70,71
Sugar can damage your pancreas.72
Sugar can increase your body's fluid retention.73
Sugar is enemy #1 of your bowel movement.74
Sugar can compromise the lining of your capillaries.75
Sugar can make your tendons more brittle.76
Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.77
Sugar can reduce the learning capacity, adversely affect school children's grades and cause learning disorders.78,79
Sugar can cause an increase in delta, alpha, and theta brain waves which can alter your mind's ability to think clearly.80
Sugar can cause depression.81
Sugar can increase your risk of gout.82
Sugar can increase your risk of Alzheimer's disease.83
Sugar can cause hormonal imbalances such as: increasing estrogen in men, exacerbating PMS, and decreasing growth hormone.84,85,86,87
Sugar can lead to dizziness.88
Diets high in sugar will increase free radicals and oxidative stress.89
High sucrose diets of subjects with peripheral vascular disease significantly increases platelet adhesion.90
High sugar consumption of pregnant adolescents can lead to substantial decrease in gestation duration and is associated with a twofold increased risk for delivering a small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infant.91,92
Sugar is an addictive substance.93
Sugar can be intoxicating, similar to alcohol.94
Sugar given to premature babies can affect the amount of carbon dioxide they produce.95
Decrease in sugar intake can increase emotional stability.96
Your body changes sugar into 2 to 5 times more fat in the bloodstream than it does starch.97
The rapid absorption of sugar promotes excessive food intake in obese subjects.98
Sugar can worsen the symptoms of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).99
Most people know about the massive sugar intake in the United States. Despite the warnings of dental and healthcare professionals, the average American consumes 150 pounds of sugar per year. However, not everyone knows about the hand the sugar industry, or "Big Sugar," has in nutrition guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Fewer still know of sugar companies' stronghold on U.S. import taxes, which puts $1 billion in excess profits into the pockets of American sugar barons.