There is a vast sea of research suggesting that sugar is a sweet old friend that is secretly plotting the demise billions of people across the globe.
Indeed, science has now shown beyond any shadow of doubt that sugar in every food, in all its myriad of forms, is taking a devastating toll on our health. Sugar is loaded into almost every soft drinks, fruit juices, sports drinks, and hidden in almost all processed foods from bologna to pretzels to Worcestershire sauce to cheese spread.
And now most infant formula has the sugar equivalent of one can of Coca-Cola, so babies are being metabolically poisoned from day one of taking formula. Most often, when we talk about sugar, we are referring to a mixture of glucose and fructose, both simple sugars that are contained in various amounts in different foods.
Dr. David Reuben, author of Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Nutrition says, “White refined sugar-is not a food. It is a pure chemical extracted from plant sources, purer in fact than cocaine, which it resembles in many ways. Its true name is sucrose and its chemical formula is C12H22O11. It has 12 carbon atoms, 22 hydrogen atoms, 11 oxygen atoms, and absolutely nothing else to offer.” …The chemical formula for cocaine is C17H21NO4. Sugar’s formula again is C12H22O11. For all practical purposes, the difference is that sugar is missing the “N”, or nitrogen atom.”
Since sugar is in just about every kind of processed food, many people don’t even realize how much they are eating. But this interactive tool could be the eye-opener that gets folks to start reading labels. The tool comes from the Benenden Healthcare Society in York, England where users can chose to look at the effects of sugar on a man, woman or five-year-old child.
However, dextrose, fructose, and glucose are all monosaccharides, known as simple sugars. The primary difference between them is how your body metabolizes them. Glucose and dextrose are essentially the same sugar. However, food manufacturers usually use the term “dextrose” in their ingredient list.
The simple sugars can combine to form more complex sugars, like the disaccharide sucrose (table sugar), which is half glucose and half fructose. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose.
Right away, you might guess that too much sugar can cause weight gain and also tooth decay. But sugar affects at least 11 different major systems in your body. The tool lets you peruse those various systems, such as the brain (anxiety, depression, memory loss); skin (wrinkles); circulatory (high blood pressure); and digestive (cramps and bloating); to name a few.
Ethanol (drinking alcohol) is not a sugar, although beer and wine contain residual sugars and starches, in addition to alcohol.
Sugar alcohols like xylitol, glycerol, sorbitol, maltitol, mannitol, and erythritol are neither sugars nor alcohols but are becoming increasingly popular as sweeteners. They are incompletely absorbed from your small intestine, for the most part, so they provide fewer calories than sugar but often cause problems with bloating, diarrhoea, and flatulence.
Sucralose (Splenda) is NOT a sugar, despite its sugar-like name and deceptive marketing slogan, “made from sugar.” It’s a chlorinated artificial sweetener in line with aspartame and saccharin, with detrimental health effects to match. Sugar exists in many forms besides just the white powdered (usually GMO) beet sugar we can pick up at the grocery store. There are effects of sugar in all of its forms (including corn syrup, honey, and maple syrup) and we are consuming more of it now than ever before.
Weight gain and abdominal obesity experienced by so many Westerners. Today, 32 percent of Americans are obese and an additional one-third is overweight. Compare that to 1890, when a survey of white males in their fifties revealed obesity rate of just 3.4 percent. In 1975, the obesity rate in America had reached 15 percent, and since then it has doubled.
In 1893, there were fewer than three cases of diabetes per 100,000 people in the United States. Today, diabetes strikes almost 8,000 out of every 100,000 people.
One of the primary sources of calories for Americans is sugar—specifically high fructose corn syrup in soda and processed foods. Because of advances in food processing technology in the 1970s, fructose derived from corn has become very cheap and is widely used in the majority of processed foods for increased sales….
By Bismark Adika/MJA-Ghana