Sugar is actually a toxin. Scientific studies are starting to back this evidence up of sugar being a poison. On 60 Minutes that aired April 1, 2012, Dr. Sanjay Gupta reported new research is coming out of America’s most respected institutions, which find that sugar is a toxin.
Sugar is toxic, whether it be in the form of crystal or syrup. “They are basically equivalent. The problem is, they’re both bad. They’re both equally toxic,” says Dr. Lustig.
According to reports, the average American consumes over 130 pounds of sugar annually. This lead to increased diabetes and obesity, especially in children. The National Institute of Health states that diabetes affects 25.8 million Americans of all ages, and 215,000 people younger than 20 had diabetes in 2010.
Since the 1970s, sugar consumption has gone down nearly 40 percent, but high fructose corn syrup has more than made up the difference. Dr. Lustig says they are both toxic because they both contain fructose, that’s what makes them sweet and irresistible.
When you eat sugar in the form of fruit, you are getting other stuff with it. You’re getting fiber, micro-nutrients and also a slow absorbtion of sugar which is much more natural. That’s the way human bodies were designed to take in sugar.
When it comes to artificial sweeteners, the body is smart. Dr. Sanjay Gupta gave the example of when a person drinks Diet Coke then goes home at night and has two bowls of ice cream. He says, “It’s almost as if your body says, ‘You tricked me. So you know what, I’m going to make you go out and find real sugar and feed me.’ It’s sort of a punishment.”
Dr. Sanjay Gupta says that eating real food is the best piece of advice. Real foods like, vegetables, meat, and food that doesn’t come out of a box or package. Usually you’ll find real food on the outer perimeter of the grocery store. Food on the inner aisles is usually packaged and processed.
Is sugar bad for people with heart disease? People believe if they eat sugar, they put on weight and if you put on weight, you’re more likely to develop heart disease. People fundamentally get heart disease. Dr. Sanjay Gupta gave the example of a person eating a cheeseburger and thinking this is a fatty food and it will raise their cholesterol in which will put you at risk of heart disease. That’s what sugar is doing, maybe more so than fatty foods.
When a person consumes too much sugar, the liver gets overloaded with fructose and converts some of it into fat. That fat ends up in the bloodstream and generates the bad kind of cholesterol called small dense LDL. These particles are known to lodge in blood vessels, form plaque, in which are associated with heart attacks.
Kimber Stanhope said, “We found that people who consumed high fructose corn syrup had increased blood levels of LDL cholesterol and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.”
Esstenially, we need a balanced diet, but the idea of balance is a drastic reduction in sugar consumption. An American Heart Association report recommends men should consume no more than 150 calories of added sugars a day. And women, just 100 calories. That’s less than the amount in just one can of soda.
Dr. Robert Lustig says, “Ultimately this is a public health crisis. And when it’s a public health crisis, you have to do big things and you have to do them across the board. Tobacco and alcohol are perfect examples. We have made a conscious choice that we’re not going to get rid of them, but we are going to limit their consumption. I think sugar belongs in this exact same wastebasket.”