(Health Secrets Newsletter) Sugar is one of the deadliest poisons in our diets, according to health scientists from the University of California, and they believe that sugar consumption should be regulated in the same way as alcohol to protect public health.
By now we are all aware of the dangers of drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, and eating too much salt, but sugar, that sweet innocent looking powder that we sprinkle on our cereal every morning, often gets overlooked as a cause of chronic diseases.
However a comment article published in the scientific journal Nature by researchers from the University of California has suggested that sugar may be a major killer, and that it is indirectly responsible for around 35 million deaths each year worldwide. The article suggests that worldwide consumption of sugar has tripled over the last fifty years, mainly due to the fact that it is added to cheap processed foods to make them taste good.
This is particularly relevant in the U.S. which has the highest per-capita sugar consumption in the world, averaging a staggering 600 calories worth of sugar per person per day. As well as processed foods, sweets, and baked goods, sugary sodas make up a large proportion of this sugar intake.
Why Is Sugar Dangerous?
While sugar is a relatively natural substance that was available in limited amounts to our ancestors in the form of fruit and honey, our bodies were not designed to cope with the enormous quantities of refined sugar we eat today.
When we consume sugar our blood sugar levels, or glucose levels, rise dramatically, which makes us feel good in the short term. While we’re feeling great, however, our bodies are kicking out huge amounts of insulin to try to bring our blood sugar levels back down again, and our livers are working overtime to process all the sugar in our blood. This inevitably leads to a sudden drop in blood sugar, which leaves us feeling exhausted, run down, and yes, you’ve guessed it, craving more sugar.
This vicious cycle and the impact it has on our bodies can lead to a number of conditions such as insulin resistance and high blood pressure as well as sugar dependence, and scientists are concerned about the enormous increase in chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer that has occurred in the years since we began eating large amounts of sugar in processed foods.
The Scientists’ Recommendations
The researchers believe that regulation rather than education is the way to make an impact on the amount of sugar we eat every day. Often we don’t realize how much sugar there is in processed foods. One example is a recent UK based study by independent consumer watchdog group that compared the nutritional content of 50 breakfast cereals, something that we often believe to be a healthy choice. The survey discovered that 32 out of 50 breakfast cereals contained more than 12.5% sugar, a level that is believed to be too high. Some contained as much as 35% sugar!
Some suggestions on how sugar consumption in the U.S. could be controlled are similar to the ways in which we regulate alcohol and tobacco and they include:
- Introducing a tax on processed foods with added sugar
- Limiting the sale of sugary foods during school hours
- Placing an age restriction on the sale of sugary foods
- Tightening the licensing laws for vending machines that contain sugary foods
- Controlling the number of fast food outlets serving sugary foods
While it may seem extreme to treat sugar in the same way as alcohol or tobacco, the public health implications of our current levels of sugar consumption and the associated costs to society may well mean that these measures aren’t too far from becoming a reality.
If reading this article has been the final straw for your sugar over consumption, you can ease the withdrawal by taking Sugar Balance. The unique formulation of the herbs and minerals in Sugar Balance will help keep your blood sugar levels balanced so sugar cravings are lessened or eliminated.