This Article is About
fructose corn syrup
natural food store
high fructose corn syrup
pediatric endocrinologist
cbs 60 minutes
high fructose corn
ingredient label
april fool
Sugar Is Toxic: What Does That Mean?
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Sugar Is Toxic: What Does That Mean?

Is Sugar Toxic? This question was covered on CBS' "60 Minutes," last Sunday April 1st. Not an April Fool's joke, the report was about a study done by Dr. Robert Lustig who is a pediatric endocrinologist in San Francisco.

Let's define some terms to make this easier to understand: "Pediatric" refers to a medical doctor who treats children. An endocrinologist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions of the endocrine system. The endocrine system is the system of glands, each of which secretes a type of hormone directly into the bloodstream to regulate the body. Hormones regulate various human functions, including metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, and mood.

That means hormones can affect all kinds of bodily systems. That makes them important and that is why knowing about the toxicity of sugar is important. Dr. Lustig studied how added sugar affects the body.

Dr. Lustig's research focused specifically on added sugars, such as high fructose corn syrup, which are used as sweeteners and which are hidden in many, many processed food products. High-fructose corn syrup is a manmade sweetener used in foods and is about 50% fructose. Chemically, it is not much different from sucrose (table sugar) and your body breaks it down and uses it the same way it uses sugar.

When I say "hidden" what I mean is that you wouldn't guess they are in a food product unless you took the time to read the ingredient label and find out some kind of sugar has been added. For example you might expect sugar to be in cake mix or soda, but you might not expect it is in peanut butter (yes, EVEN some that are in your natural food store!), yogurt, soup, gravy mix, just about every frozen food dinner, and many canned goods. Sugar is even added to salt to keep it from clumping together. (Remember the old Morton salt slogan, "When it rains it pours"?

You may think, "Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know there's sugar in a lot of things, but it isn't that much really. People have been eating sugar for years and they didn't die." Or did they?

Dr. Lustig's research led him to conclusions that are not necessarily new, but the data he discovered hugely backs up the idea that sugar is, in fact, toxic and can make you very ill and contribute to your unnatural and early death.

So when he says sugar is toxic, what does he mean by toxic? I found two simple definitions that apply to what we're talking about here. Toxic is an adjective (describes something) that means 1.) of, pertaining to, affected with, or caused by a toxin or poison: a toxic condition; 2.) acting as or having the effect of a poison; poisonous: a toxic drug.

Poison? Isn't that a little dramatic to call sugar "poison?" Let's look at that. The average person eats about 1/3 pound of added sugars daily. Eating too much sugar can overload your liver so your liver turns the sugar to fat which goes into your bloodstream. There your body turns it into small, dense particle called "LDL" (the bad kind of cholesterol) which then forms plague in your arteries and voila! You have increased your risk for heart disease and heart attack.

Eating added sugars in food can also increase your chances of getting obese, developing Type II Diabetes and Hypertension (high blood pressure). There is also data linking added sugar to cancer, especially breast cancer and colon cancer.

Maybe this isn't poisoning as in drink it and die immediately, but it is looking more and more like the slow-kill kind of poison. The kind that sneaks up on you and then when you realize you've been poisoned, you wonder if it's too late to save your life. This is the kind of poison that, once you are sick, you have to make really tough decisions about gruesome and expensive medical treatments, quality of life, etc.

Dr. Lustig joins others who have said sugar is very similar to a drug and people can get addicted to sugar. All you sugar addicts out there know exactly what I mean. It can be really difficult to stop the cravings for sugar unless you are extremely strong-willed and you have some kind of method for changing your body chemistry enough to stop the constant urge to eat the stuff.

The recent research shows that consumption of added sugar such as high-fructose corn syrup evokes a physical reaction in the body similar to taking cocaine in that sugar releases dopamine-a chemical found in your brain that regulates emotion, among other things) and gives you a euphoric feeling. The research also shows that people can build up a tolerance to sugar--just like they can build up a tolerance to drugs--which causes them to eat more and more of it.

Hopefully this information will pique your interest to at least look into the truth about sugar a bit further. There is a lot of great information available. What I propose is that you don't wait any longer to make a decision about your own sugar consumption. Whether you are in good health right now or you have already been diagnosed with high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes or cancer or some other condition, realize that you are standing at a fork in the road. No matter what is going on with you, something can be done about it!

You can choose to continue as you are-eating sugary foods and maintaining the ostrich routine (keeping your head buried in the sand) or, not. You can wait until it becomes "really necessary" to make a change in your sugar consumption, i.e. wait until you are forced to have medical treatment or are diagnosed with "sugar addiction disorder" and prescribed all manner of pills and/or treatments. Or, you can start now to learn how to recognize added sugar in food and take the path of more a more natural, balanced whole food diet that will help you improve your health and address this situation by understanding how to take better care of yourself holistically and effectively.

Next article, I will define "sugar" and we'll talk about all the forms of added sugar out there so you can identify what actually has sugar in it and what doesn't.

Street Talk

Wow, that's a great success story and thanks for sharing it! You set a great example and congratulations on your persistence, too.

  about 1 decade ago

Patty, this article is so very important. This information needs to be 'out there'. Last year I cut my sugar under the direction of a naturopath hoping to avoid surgery. I can attest to the 'come down' and addictive quality of the substance. It was a very rough few days but in the long run my health has benefited in ways that can't be quantified and my enjoyment of many foods now has a greater appreciation. I did have the surgery after urging from my specialist to 'be sensible' and yet when I asked him how big the cyst had been he looked at me blankly and told me there wasn't one. Either three ultra sounds were wrong or through removing sugar from my diet, and other natural modalities, I was able to achieve incredible healing for myself. Keep up the great articles!

  about 1 decade ago
You May Also Like
7up Faces A Lawsuit for Potentially False Anti - oxidant Claims
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has filed a lawsuit against the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group on behalf of a Sherman Oaks, California man as well as others across the country who they say were misled by Cherry 7Up, Mixed Berry 7Up and a pomegranate blend of…
By: amie nogrady in  Health and Fitness   Nov 10, 2012  
  Likes: 3

How to Effectively Lose Belly Fat
Welcome to this short article on how to lose your belly fat. If you’re someone who is trying or has been struggling to burn fat around the stomach area, you will find simplistic ideas and tips on how to effectively get rid of that belly fat, which will in return,…
By: Sergio in  Health and Fitness  >  Weight Loss   Jan 10, 2012  
  Likes: 2

What Is In My Food?
Have you asked this question lately? What is in my food? There are times when paranoia can save your life, and the lives of your loved ones. This is one of them. Food purveyors have gone slightly mad, producing non-foods that now fill the supermarket shelves. Chronic diseases are on…
By: Joan S in  Food and Drink   Sep 01, 2012  
  Likes: 9

What Sugars Are Safe To Eat?
If you are a health conscious individual, you probably know that sugar has been identified as one of the worse dietary substances there is around today. When we eat the body converts the food into glucose for use by the cells and muscles. Glucose is a form of energy that…
By: Des Forbes in  Health and Fitness  >  Hypertension   Jul 13, 2013  
  Likes: 0

Is Wheat, Corn And Soy Making You Fat & Unhealthy?
Many people in developed countries eat wheat, corn, and soy in their diets. Theses 3 foods are consumed in massive amounts daily and are thought to be healthy for us; but are they really healthy? Let’s start with wheat. The biggest problem with wheat and other grains is the gluten.…
By: Pamela Briggs in  Health and Fitness  >  Weight Loss   Dec 16, 2011  
  Likes: 0

Healthy Recipes for Weight Loss
Finding healthy recipes for weight loss has been a subject growing in popularity, especially in the 21st century. Unfortunately, it seems like everyone and their so-called medically trained brother have their opinion on what "healthy" really means. After reviewing fad diets, not-so-fad diets and common sense, here is a summary…
By: Carole Andrews in  Food and Drink  >  Cooking Tips   Jul 08, 2011  
  Likes: 3

New Study Finds Sugar Makes You Dumb
Do you know how much the average American consumes of high fructose corn syrup a year? In this study I found in recent news, the results were shocking enough I thought I would share this almost scary information… Some 40 pounds of this sugar is consumed by the average American…
By: Air Force Mike in  Health and Fitness  >  Mental Health   May 16, 2012  
  Likes: 5

Define Attention Deficit Disorder
Two dictionaries define attention deficit disorder. Mirriam Webster says: Any of a range of behavioral disorders occurring primarily in children, including such symptoms as poor concentration, hyperactivity, and impulsivity The American Heritage Medical Dictionary says: A syndrome, usually diagnosed in childhood, characterized by a persistent pattern of impulsiveness, a short…
By: Dr Becky Spacke in  Health and Fitness  >  Developmental Disabilities   Jul 03, 2012  
  Likes: 6

How to Eat Healthier Today
When you feel motivated to change your eating habits, you might not want to wait. There are lots of big changes you can make over time, but you can also eat healthier today. There are lots of different opinions about what is the healthiest diet, but there are also a…
By: Laura Gee in  Food and Drink   Mar 02, 2013  
  Likes: 0

Does the Bloomberg Proposal Have A Chance Of Helping With Obesity And Habits?
Mayor Bloomberg's plan for New York City is fairly simple: ban over sized soft drinks. The reasoning is simple: soda, loaded with sugar, high fructose corn syrup and high in calories has no nutritional value and is at least partially to blame for the rampant obesity epidemic in the nation.…
By: amie nogrady in  Health and Fitness  >  Obesity   Jun 18, 2012  
  Likes: 5

Raw Food And Health
In my previous article I explained the dangers of meat and dairy, however in this article I will be going in to how a plant based diet and improve your quality of life. By going from a high processed foods diet to a plant based diet you help your body…
By: RawFoodJohn in  Health and Fitness  >  Nutrition   Jul 22, 2013  
  Likes: 1

Why A Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet is Important In Relieving Joint Pain
Is your arthritis pain getting your down? Are there days when you feel like you just want to stay in bed because your body hurts so much? Discover how a rheumatoid arthritis diet can help to relieve your discomfort so you can enjoy life to the fullest. Obesity and a…
By: Pat Johannes in  Health and Fitness  >  Arthritis   Mar 06, 2011  
  Likes: 0

Vitamins, What Are they Good For? #6
Pushing forward to article #6 in exploration of just what vitamins are good for. Again my sources of information have been The Cornell Encyclopedia of Health and Prevention plus personal knowledge that I have learned over the years from various doctors I have worked with. We have gotten through the…
By: Carolann Sherwood in  Health and Fitness  >  Nutrition   Apr 07, 2011  
  Likes: 0

Avoid Fructose And Weight Gain May Be A Distant Memory
Are you getting too much fructose in your diet? Fructose is found in fruit, vegetables and grains, but also is the sweetener of choice in prepared foods including and perhaps especially in soft drinks where it appears as high fructose corn syrup. The soft drink industry likes it because it…
By: Celeste Smucker, MPH, PhD in  Health and Fitness  >  Weight Loss   Aug 03, 2011  
  Likes: 0

Natural Sugar Substitutes
I have a sweet tooth. There's no getting around it. Even though I eat really healthy and fill my plate full of fruits and vegetables, it never fails. At the end of dinner, I always want a little bite of something sweet. I try to avoid traditional sweets made with…
By: Linda4 in  Health and Fitness  >  Nutrition   May 25, 2011  
  Likes: 2

Article Views: 1854    Report this Article