Is Sugar Toxic?…The Bitter Truth

According to Dr Robert Lustig…

“Sugar is not just empty calorie that makes us fat but sugar is a Poison!!”

Dr Robert Lustig is a paediatric endocrinologist and a leading expert in childhood obesity at the University of California in San Francisco.

In Dr Lustig’s view, sugar should be thought of like cigarettes and alcohol, as something that is killing us. Sugar is like a toxic substance that people abuse.

Dr Lustig claims that sugar is to blame for diseases such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer. He calls high-fructose corn syrup “the most demonized additive known to man.

Dr Robert Lustig

Our body handles fructose and glucose differently. Fructose is metabolised primarily by the liver, while the glucose from sugar and starches is metabolised by every cell in the body. When our liver is put under strain by excessive amount of sugar (glucose and fructose), fructose is converted to fat such as LDL cholesterol that increases the risk for heart disease.

In a recent episode of 60 Minutes titled “Is Sugar Toxic”, Dr. Sanja Gupta interviewed Dr. Robert Lustig where he recommends eliminating all sugar from our diet and insists that sugar should be regulated just like cigarettes and alcohol.

Check out the expression on Jim’s face, the guy from the Board of the Sugar Association at the 11.00 minute segment of the interview.

Here’s the video of Dr Rober Lustig’s lecture called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” where he discussed about fructose and the evil of sugar. He said that eating less sugar will reduce your risk of getting cancer and heart disease.

Source of sugar:

  • table sugar
  • white, brown, raw, castor and icing sugar
  • soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks
  • fruit juice, cordials
  • alcohol (which is fermented sugar)
  • flavoured milk
  • condensed milk
  • yoghurt
  • bread
  • breakfast cereals
  • spreads and jams
  • chewing gums
  • dried fruits
  • all the sweets and desserts – cakes, cookies, donuts, ice cream, lollies, chocolates, mints, chewing gums
  • anything low fat – as low fat food tastes like cardboard, the food manufacturers add sugar to make it more palatable
  • salad dressings
  • sauces – barbecue, ketchup, tomato
  • processed foods, fast foods, etc

Hidden source of sugar:

  • agave nectar
  • beet sugar
  • cane juice crystals, cane sugar, evaporated cane juice
  • caramel
  • carob syrup
  • corn sweetener, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, high fructose corn syrup
  • date sugar
  • dextrose, crystal dextrose
  • fructose, crystalline fructose, fructose sweetener, liquid fructose
  • fruit juice concentrates
  • galactose
  • glucose
  • golden syrup
  • grape sugar
  • honey
  • lactose
  • maltodextrin
  • maltose, malt syrup, barley malt
  • maple syrup
  • molasses
  • sorbitol
  • sucrose and syrup, etc

recommended sugar intake

What is the current recommendation for sugar intake?

The American Heart Association recommends a maximum of 6 teaspoons of added sugar for women and 9 for men.

The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council recommend consuming only moderate amounts of sugars and foods containing added sugars.

Tips on how to reduce your sugar intake:

  1. First you have to believe it is important to reduce your sugar intake.
  2. Start by looking at your diet on a daily basis and seeing how much sugar you eat “incidentally.” By that, I mean the hidden source of sugar in foods and drinks that you might not consider as sweet and not naturally recognise as part of your sugar intake. For example, bread, sauces, salad dressings, low fat foods, processed and fast foods.
  3. Aim to reduce your sugar intake to no more than 1 or 2 teaspoon per day.
  4. Reduce your sugar intake in the way that you feel will work best for you. For each person it will probably be a bit different.
  5. Sugar is very addictive. The more you eat, the more it takes to satisfy you. The opposite is also true. Train your taste buds to get used to less and you will be satisfied with less.
  6. Some people might want to cut out all sugar for a month and then stay on a diet with minimal sugar intake. You will need strong will power and determination if you choose to go cold turkey. This method might increase the likelihood of failure as your taste buds would not have had the time to adjust, resulting in excessive cravings.
  7. Some people might want to cut down slowly and give their taste buds time to get used to the change. You can have a little less sugar each week and aim to reduce your sugar intake to the desired level by the end of a month.
  8. Give yourself a daily sugar ‘quota’ and use it on the highest quality sweets that you can afford. Choose only the sweets you really love and stick to a small portion.
  9. If you have sugar every day, keep any sweet treats to a minimum, about once a week. If you don’t have sugar on a daily basis, you can afford to have sweet treats a couple of times a week.
  10. If you over indulged on one day, don’t beat yourself up too hard. Remember you are only human. Try to cut down your sugar intake the next day.
  11. Establish rules about desserts. For example, only have dessert on even days of the month, or only on weekends, or only at restaurants or only after dinner and never during lunch time.
  12. Go for a walk when you crave sweetness.
  13. Don’t skip meals because when you miss breakfast, lunch or dinner, your sugar levels drop and you will be tempted to reach for high-sugar foods to satisfy your cravings.
  14. Read the labels and look for hidden sources of sugar.
  15. Avoid soft drinks, cordials and fruit juices. Go for freshly squeezed juice which is full of vitamins and nutrients. Try a glass of iced filtered water or iced tea with lime/lemon.
  16. Have your tea or coffee without sugar and milk. You can spice up your coffee with cinnamon before brewing.
  17. Have hot cereal such as oats or unsweetened cereals for breakfast. Use organic fresh fruits (bananas, cherries, strawberries) or dried fruits (raisins, sultanas, dates, apricots) or nuts as toppings.
  18. Cut down on commercially prepared and packaged foods.
  19. Removing the lolly jar will dramatically reduce your sugar intake.
  20. Choose healthy snacks such as seeds, nuts or fresh fruits instead of cakes and chocolates.
  21. Reduce the amount of sugar you use in recipes. Try using half of the required amount of sugar or substitute with equal amount of unsweetened apple sauce. Use spices and extracts such as almond, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg or apple pie spice to add flavour to desserts.
  22. Avoid artificial sweetener such as aspartame which is detrimental to your health. For more information on aspartame, check out our recent blog.

Life without too much sugar is really not that bad. We are living it and loving it!!

You will feel a lot better…. Try it out and you will be surprised at how good you actually feel.

Let us know how you go.

Source: Gardener AZ