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Friday, August 12, 2016

SUGAR

I must preface this by saying; I'm not a medical professional. My knowledge on this subject comes from my own personal experiences with fatty liver disease and diabetes, and how sugar has impacted my life. I do not advocate for anyone other than myself. I encourage you to research and inform yourself on this topic and draw your own conclusions. These are merely my opinions.

 Sugar, it's part of our everyday lives. We add it to our coffee, its added to our morning juice, often without us evening knowing it. We celebrate with sugar, we use sugar as a reward, and even withhold it as a punishment, 'NO DESSERT FOR YOU TONIGHT". We can't escape its hold on our foods and our society. We consume 700,000 tons annually, that is a staggering amount. It's not always obvious as to where the sugar is hidden in our food. We all know that sugar is in candy, but what about that hidden sugar masking as healthy-type foods? Look in your pantry can you identify the hidden sugar? There are over 61 names for sugar; fructose, sucrose, and barley malt just to name a few. All this sugar consumption has had a huge impact on our health.

What is all this sugar consumption doing to us? Its wrecking havoc on us. Sugar consumption can be linked to metabolic disorders, dementia, heart disease, increased type 2 diabetes in children not to mention fatty liver disease. The increased rates in children have been steadily on the rise, and as research shows a correlation to our increased sugar intake. The average sugar intake for the FDA is now 5 teaspoons per day, on average we consume well over that. The average child is eating approximately 32 teaspoons per day and the average adult is consuming around 22. To to put this into perspective for you in 1822 the average American consumed 45g of sugar per day, that's equivalent to one soda. This sugar consumption is making us sick.

Which prompts the question ''Why is this happening?" Well to understand the full impact sugar has on our bodies we must first understand what sugar is, and how are bodies use it. Sugar or Sucrose is made up of glucose and fructose. Glucose is easily digested by the body and is what is commonly referred to as your blood sugar, and is regulated by insulin produced in the pancreas.  Fructose, however is primarily filtered through your liver and causes the increase in fat which can cause your liver to become fatty, as well as cause an increase in triglycerides. This can lead to liver disease, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. We are also now seeing children with Type 2 Diabetes and fatty liver disease, and even teenagers with heart disease. These conditions were mostly found only in older seniors just a few decades ago.

If this sounds frightening to you, you're  not alone. Dr Robert Lustig a pediatric endocrinologist from Canada has been seeing this steady increase in children, and has been a champion in the fight against sugar. He has even gone as far as to say sugar is toxic perhaps even addictive, which has made him an enemy of the sugar industry. In the documentary Sugar Coated (available on Netflix) Dr Lustig lists several maladies that can be associated with sugar, and how sugar can be linked to most non-communicable diseases. What's even more frightening is how The Sugar Association has gone out of its way to keep this quiet. The sugar industry has manipulated the research process, and produced conflicting information to steer people and the FDA away from the facts about sugar and the harm it can cause.

There was a report published in Newsweek on The Sugar Lobby written by Zoe Schlanger that plainly stated that the Sugar Association as well as other trades stated in a letter to, then  Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson asking him to intervene, or they would persuade US Congress not to fund programs for the World Heath Organization, which apparently worked, because when the WHO published its findings there was no mention of the effects of sugar .The article also stated that  the sugar industry has gone out of its was to downplay scientific data that explains the dangers of sugar. I'm not a conspiratorial individual, but you have to ask yourself, who benefits from withholding these studies?

I must admit I'm a bit overwhelmed by these findings. This information seems very compelling, and deserves further research. I have suffered with a fatty liver as well as diabetes for many years. Perhaps I would have made some different choices if this information was made available to me when I was younger. This however just reinforced what I advocated for myself. Knowledge is power. You need to know exactly what your are putting into your body and what effects it has on you. The information is there we just have to look for it.  I know I will  will be removing some sugar from my diet. I'm making changes daily to make myself better, and it's a ongoing quest to be my absolute best. It all starts from within!!  I will be posting more data including a list of names for hidden sugars. This is a subject that I will be revisiting in the near future. Stay tuned!!

Be Safe. Be well. Be informed!!