KW Naturopath discusses the dangers of sugar

Sugar…Not So Sweet!

According to Statistics Canada, the average Canadian consumes 26 teaspoons of sugar per day. That works out to 40 kilograms per year —– or 20 bags.  Macleans magazine called it “Death by Sugar, the biggest public health crisis of our time”.  The food industry is practicing deceitful marketing all in the name of corporate profit, much like the tobacco industry did decades ago.  We must get wise to the many names for sugar, and simply stop eating so much of it.  This is a situation that we can manipulate on a personal level.  We can make a difference for ourselves.  You need to know that one can of Coca Cola (and most soft drinks) contains 42 grams of sugar or more than 10 teaspoons.  Some granola bars are only 1 step away from a cookie in their sugar content.  1 pack of 2 Nature Valley Crunchy Roasted Almond bars contains 11 grams of sugar or just under 3 teaspoons.

We all need to know the truth about our food.  Forty years ago, food companies were pressured to reduce fat content in their products.  But their new low-fat foods tasted like cardboard.  So to make them more appealing, manufacturers added sugar, or high-fructose corn syrup (called “glucose-fructose” on Canadian food labels).  Not only is high-fructose corn syrup much sweeter than refined sugar, it’s also much cheaper, and soon it was in all sorts of foods that you might not expect, from pretzels to deli meat to processed cheese.

Before food processing, we got our sugar mainly from fruits and vegetables.  This sugar was combined with fiber and it digests more slowly, giving the body a chance to use up stored energy.  And fiber leaves us feeling full, unlike a handful of candy.  By 1977, Americans consumed more than 70 grams of sugar daily, and by 1994, it was 110 grams.

“Fed Up” is a documentary which recently ran at the Princess Twin Cinemas in Waterloo. It’s narrated by Katie Couric and billed as the documentary film the food industry doesn’t want you to see. For the past 30 years, everything we thought we knew about food and exercise was dead wrong.  Exercise certainly matters for your health, but not your waistline.  Sugar-packed processed foods are the enemy, sometimes described as poisonous or toxic.

For years, we’ve been exercising and reducing fat intake to fight the obesity epidemic.  Fitness memberships have doubled, but so have obesity rates.  We’ve made no progress at all against this epidemic, and the situation is rapidly getting worse.  Research declares that today’s children will be the first generation to have a shorter lifespan than their parents, and it’s due to obesity and the metabolic diseases like Diabetes that come with it.

Here are several links for you to explore.  Warning: this knowledge is disturbing!

Sugar:  The Bitter Truth – Dr. Robert Lustig

The Real Truth about Sugar by Dr. Robert Lustig

Sugar:  Hiding in Plain Sight – Dr. Robert Lustig

“The Skinny on Obesity” – Dr. Robert Lustig

Pure, White and Deadly by Dr. John Yudkin

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