Is Sugar As Bad For You As Tobacco?

Sugar is evil. You’ve all heard me sat that many, many times. So, we know how I feel about the substance.

Now researchers at the University of California at San Francisco have jumped on the Chill Out and Get Healthy train and are urging the government to regulate sugar just like they do tobacco.

Why?

Well, here are the main points the UCSF scientists drive home in their article published in the journal Nature (keep in mind, sugar is defined as, “any sweetener containing the molecule fructose that is added to food in processing.”)

*Sugar can induce hypertension, insulin resistance, high triglycerides, diabetes, and potentially liver problems that mimic the the effects of alcohol.

*Like tobacco and alcohol, sugar has a negative impact on society. The U.S. shells out $150 billion on healthcare and $65 billion in lost productivity each year because of health issues associated with metabolic syndrome, a group of diseases including diabetes, hypertension, lipid problems, and cardiovascular disease. A striking 25% of military applicants are now rejected because of obesity.

*Sugar has become unavoidable. Added sugar consumption has tripled worldwide over the past 50 years. This is not a good thing–in many areas of the world, people consume 500 calories a day from added sugars alone.

*Sugar can be abused. It dampens the suppression of ghrelin (a hormone that signals hunger to the brain), and scrambles signals and transport of leptin, a hormone that produces a feeling of fullness. Sugar also cuts down on dopamine signaling, leading to a decrease in pleasure from food consumption,. That compels people to eat even more.

So, what do you think?

Personally, I’m all for it the regulation of this harmful substance. Of course the American Sugar Association is claiming that added sugars are not the reason for obesity and other illnesses in America but that over-eating on foods combined with a lack of exercise is the reason.

Valid point.

However, we all know that sugar is in everything–even foods claiming to be “healthy”. We also see how sugar is addictive–it’s hard to walk away from those jelly beans once you start eating them.

Although the addictive nature of sugar lacks strong scientific support, we know how we feel when we eat it. We know how children act when they eat too much of it. We know sugar is addictive.

The idea of it being illegal to serve soda, especially to children, makes me giddy. The fact that we now have scientists from one of the nations best universities on the sugar is evil kick is dreamy. Now we just have sit and wait and hope that this issue doesn’t get buried somewhere by pro-sugar lobbyists. Sadly, I think it will. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t make sugar illegal for you and your family.

My recommendation–strictly limit your added sugar intake (and your children’s intake!) as I say in my book stay under 10 grams of added sugar/day. Better yet, skip any packaged food or beverage that has any sugar added to it. Your health will thank you. Sugar is evil–there’s no doubt about it.

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