The Sugar Industry Scandal

May 28, 2017

We all know sugar isn’t good for you, yet many of us find it hard to completely cut it out of our diet. It’s highly addictive and regrettably prevalent in our food supply.


By learning how sugar negatively impacts just about every organ in our body, you may feel more inclined than ever to quit sugar-- for good.


If I had to choose one culprit responsible for our country’s expanding waistlines, deteriorating health, and addiction to man-made foods, it would be sugar. Before getting into how sugar destroys your body, you must know that sugar has not always been to blame for chronic illnesses-- and this was no accident. Dietary fat was deemed the culprit for years up until 2016 when researchers revealed the sugar industry scandal. The sugar industry paid off Harvard researchers in the 1960s to blame dietary fats for heart disease. This took the attention away from the detrimental effects of sugar and instead made the world fearful of fat; thus, the low-fat, low-calorie craze that is finally winding down after decades. Some of us have taken a step back and realized how "low-fat" has only made America sicker and fatter than ever before. As more and more people are understanding this, healthy fats are becoming the hero of health and sugar is finally getting the admonition it deserves.


Sugar is not just found in your caramel iced coffee, it’s in a great chunk of the processed foods found in the shelves of grocery stores. Sugar is caught hiding out in drinks and processed foods by a variety of names such as high-fructose corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, evaporated cane juice, corn syrup solids, and many many more! A trick to steer clear of added sugar is by staying alert for words ending in “ose” (think: maltose, dextrose) as any ingredient with this ending is a type of sugar.


So, what does sugar do to your body? Tuft University discovered that one sugar-sweetened drink a day, be it a coca-cola, sweet iced tea, or a Frappuccino, increases your risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. You can also bet your last dollar that sugar changes your gut’s bacteria since it feeds yeast and bad bacteria—this damages your intestinal wall, meaning substances can transfer from the gut into the blood stream. This can trigger obesity and other chronic, metabolic diseases.


Additionally, your risk for type 2 diabetes increases drastically. Studies prove that added sugar increases your risk for certain types of cancer such as esophageal, small intestine, colon, and breast.  The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center conducted a study in 2016 concluding that sugar can increase the risk of breast cancer tumors and metastasis to the lungs.


Sugar is indeed one of the worst possible things you can ingest. If you’re a big sugar drinker (and eater), start by eliminating processed foods and drinks. Start eating real, whole foods to give you the energy you need. Increasing your consumption of high-quality protein and fiber can help you ditch the sugar cravings. It takes time, it takes effort, but it’s the most important step you can take to get on the fast track to good health.


To your health,

Dietitian Sara 





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