Happy Halloween! It’s always fun to see the kids dressed up in their costumes trick-or-treating . . . until you consider that the candy they’re so joyfully collecting contains a dangerous toxin! A toxin Robert Lustig, MD, professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), says is causing “a public health crisis.” This toxin is sugar.
And Halloween is only the beginning of a season when we’re encouraged to let down our guard and celebrate by overindulging in sugary treats. It can make you feel like an oddball to abstain, and even lead parents to feel guilty about “depriving” their kids.
Fortunately consciousness is beginning to shift. As with cigarette smoking in the past, the public is beginning to realize that consuming sugar is hazardous to our health.
This is good news to Beyond Health and Raymond Francis, who nailed sugar as a “deadly metabolic poison” and major cause of disease twenty years ago. As he explained in 1998:
The human body was simply not designed to handle refined sugars. . . . Refined sugar is new to the human diet, and people are eating an enormous amount of it—almost half a pound per day! Feeding refined sugar to a human body is similar to burning high-octane aircraft fuel in an automobile engine. Impressive amounts of energy, but after a while, you damage the engine. Metabolizing refined sugar is quite a challenge, but if forced to, the body will struggle to cope with it. This struggle causes serious disturbances, and after time, disease is the guaranteed result. If sugar were introduced today as a new product, the FDA would not approve it. FDA approval requires that a product be safe. Evidence that sugar damages health is overwhelming. It has been associated with diabetes, tooth decay, heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. In fact, the rise of chronic disease in modern societies has paralleled the rise in sugar consumption. When these facts are examined, one might consider feeding sugar to children a form of child abuse… Instead, we give children sweets as a “reward” for being good!
Nancy Appleton, PhD, another pioneer in exposing the dark side of sugar, maintains a list of reasons why sugar is hazardous to our health that keeps getting longer—now 146 reasons!
More recently, Dr. Lustig, respected pediatrician at UCSF, has jumped into the limelight as a spokesman against sugar, bringing with him the prestige of a major medical institution. Meanwhile scientific studies proving the incontrovertible link between sugar and obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cancer and other forms of disease seem to be reaching a critical mass. A recent review of 40 such studies on sugar and heart disease found consistent associations between increased sugar consumption and higher total cholesterol, triglycerides and systolic blood pressure.
The more you can cut refined sugar and its cousin, high fructose corn syrup, out of your life and the life of your kids, the healthier and happier you’re all going to be.
- Sanjay Gupta of CBS News. 60 Minutes investigative report: Is sugar toxic? Aired April 1, 2012. Accessed online 10-17-15. See this well-done 14-minute report that interviews Dr. Lustig and several of the scientists doing research linking sugar with disease, and also interviews a rather pained-looking representative from the Board of the Sugar Association.
- Francis R. Sugar—a poor choice. Beyond Health News, 1998.
- Appleton, N. 146 Reasons sugar could be ruining your health. thesugarfreerevolution.com. Accessed online 10-17-15.
- Te Morenga LA, Dietary sugars and cardiometabolic risk: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials of the effects on blood pressure and lipids. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. July 2014;100(1):65-79.