Thursday, September 15, 2011

What's So Wrong with Sugar - Part 2

A continuing guest post from Regina. You can read the first part here.

Learn to check and read food labels all the time! Take nothing for granted! Sugars are hidden in everything from soups to nearly all prepackaged foods to breads to veggie dips, to hamburger patties etc. We do not have to eat only refined sugar to be consuming sugar. Sugar is also labeled in other terms. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS), corn syrup, sucrose (table sugar), fructose (fruit sugar), lactose (in milk), maltodextrin, caramel, beet sugar, barley malt, fruit-juice concentrate, and brown sugar (almost the same as white sugar and not any “healthier”) are all different terms for sugar. Sugar is also often the second ingredient listed in products and in some cases (Honey Puffs cereal, Hershey Chocolate Syrup, Baby Rays BBQ etc.) it is the very first ingredient which means that sugar makes up more than anything else in the food.

High fructose corn syrup is one of the worst forms of sugar and is used more than any other sugars since it is so cheap to manufacture. HFCS has replaced regular sugar in nearly all products and studies are know showing how detrimental to our health HFCS is. Our bodies do not know how to use and digest HFCS and it can take up to 3-4 days for our bodies to metabolize what we consumed of HFCS versus a day or so for regular sugar. One study showed that rats who ate HFCS gained significantly more weight than rats who ate basic table sugar. Since HFCS was formulated in 1970, the obesity rate has been considerably on the rise. Another research has shown that HFCS is destructive to the liver (it is so hard for the liver to pass it through) and that a lot of it is laden with high levels of mercury. The problem is, it saves the manufacture’s money and is so easy to mix with foods that it is found in everything we buy. Pancake syrup is mostly high fructose corn syrup, commercially made jams and jellies and ketchup are made with it, and so is drinks, juices, cakes and cookies, marshmallows and breads. A very sad one I just discovered was Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup. HFCS is the first thing listed on the label. A quick note, Karo is nothing but high fructose corn syrup with King Syrup close behind.

Some of you may be thinking, why worry? What is the harm of consuming a cup of sugar a day or 180 pounds a year?

Do a quick Google search and you will get endless sites of research of the effect that sugar has in our bodies. To name just a few, sugar causes excitability, hyperactivity and anxiety in children. It hinders concentration in studying and reduces learning capacity and foggy thinking. Sugar causes headaches, bone, tendon and teeth decay, irritable feelings, mood swings, depression, kidney stones, diabetes, and food allergies. Sugar also is a cause of poor complexions, feeds cancers, yeast and suppresses the immune system.

When our body gets more sugar than it can use (one research said our body can safely handle only about 3-4 tsp. a day ) then it can not metabolize it correctly and an over-acid condition results. So the body pulls calcium, minerals, and enzymes out of its store deep in our body to offset the affects of all the sugar in the system.

Sugar is also very addicting and your body will crave sugar just like a drug addict. If you remove sugar from your diet, you can have withdrawal symptoms, and if you don’t believe me, just try it! Try going without any added sugars for several days. You will find that you crave it, that you will walk around trying to find something to eat with sugar, you will have to about sit on your hands to keep from grabbing jelly beans and stuffing them into your mouth!! You may get shaky and jittery and have a headache just like a person on drug withdrawal. Studies show that sugar is just as habit forming as any narcotic. Refined sugar is called a drug by some because in the refining process everything of food value has been removed except the pure calories. Many experts say that white sugar is extremely harmful, possibly as harmful as a drug in the quantities consumed by Americans today. A very interesting fact: Dr. David Reuben states that sugar is a pure chemical extracted from plant sources, and is purer than cocaine, which it resembles in many ways and shares a close chemical formula.

Another point of interest is that you will find after you haven’t had sugar for a while, and especially after you work it out of your diet for months, when you do introduce it again into your system, you may get flu like symptoms and will feel tired and irritable!

Article continued tomorrow...


  1. This has been interesting so far. We've really begun to pay attention to HFCS. I have found that Nesquick chocolate syrup by Nestle doesn't have it in there. They use plain old sugar - which still isn't great but is the lesser of the evils. I've also found that Heinz and Hunts are both making ketchup without it now. The thing my family has found interesting with the two items listed above is that the products that use sugar instead of HFCS taste so much better.

  2. Have you read the book "Sugar Blues"? We very consciously watch sugars for our family, but I'm convinced the "sugar" that God put in food naturally, such as eating a peach, is good for me, as long as I'm not diabetic, which I think wouldn't be caused by those sugars. It's all the processed sugar in practically everything that is helping to destroy our health. Thanks for all the interesting info! -Wendy

  3. Sorry to leave 2 comments... but if you just don't give your children chocolate milk, except once in a very great while, they never miss it! And the best hot chocolate can be made with a very small amount of sugar, liquid stevia, cocoa and milk!-Wendy

  4. I agree that the typical American diet has way too much sugar. Even knowning that I know that I still willingly eat way too much of it (doughnuts!).

    That being said, the tone of the post seems a bit alarmist to me. I think that it makes a lot of really good points but the fact remains that our bodies need some sugar.

    Where the distinction lies for me is in trying to avoid processed and added sugars. Even plain unflavord yogurt has ~3 tsp of sugar per serving, but most would consider that a healthy food. Most vegetables even have some sugars in them.

    My guidelines for myself are:
    Natural, unprocessed sugar = okay
    Added sugar = avoid
    HFCS = actively avoid

    But alas, I break my own rules more often than not.

    I look forward to your final(?) post on this tomorrow!


  5. wow. helpful, if a little alarming, to think of sugar as an addictive drug.

  6. There is a lot of misinformation on the Internet and other media right now about HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). The truth is that the body digests HFCS the same way it does table sugar. Table sugar comes from sugar cane while HFCS comes from corn, that's all. Some links about HFCS can be found here:
    Watching sugar intake is a good idea, but please don't be misled by misconceptions.

  7. I agree with PapaBear on the tone of this post. It contains quite a few opinions and myths, which is probably why there are no citations or mentions of sources. I thought perhaps they would be included at the end of the 3rd installation but no, they're not.

  8. I have successfully cleansed our house of chocolate syrup and ketchup with HFCS. I still buy my ketchup (because we didn't have a garden this year, but I want to try making my own ketchup sometime).

    But I don't buy any chocolate syrup. I do occasionally miss it on icecream. But we don't miss the chocolate milk - because now I make it from scratch. It's not hard and it takes very little time.

    And it's just like making your own bread. You may not do it often, but when you do make it and eat/drink it - you REALLY enjoy the taste.

    We might all do better to drastically reduce how much we eat of some things - then when we do eat them, we can thoroughly enjoy the experience.

    As a side note, I disagree that the tone is alarmist - but then, I've done a fair amount of reading on the evils of modern-day food, so perhaps my senses are deadened.

    I would like to see citations, also - but I also recognize that normal people don't often think to include sources. Those of us who were / are steeped in academia were / are trained to include sources and examine the sources.

    However - don't throw the baby out with the bath water. :) And, if in doubt, we would all do well to investigate and do our own research!

  9. To those who considered this post "alarmist", I'm sorry. I think Regina's goal was to seriously consider the affect of what we put in our bodies.

    Moon Rani- Thanks for the links. I'd encourage anyone to research both sides of this debate.

    Jenna - Thanks for the idea of including sources. I'll have to mention it to Regina.



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