Sugar – The Sweet Poison

Sugar has often been called the Ku Klux Klan of the food industry, because like the Ku Klux Klan it is white and deadly.    Its fair to say that you will not see a sack of sugar riding around town in a pickup truck shouting out “Yee Haw !!!” while lighting burning crosses on peoples front lawns and lynching people, but the sad truth is that sugar has probably killed many times more people than the Ku Klux Klan did in their entire history.

kukluxclan2  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f4/Ku_Klux_Klan_Virgina_1922_Parade By National Photo Company Collection (Library of Congress) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Refined Sugar is actually a very stupid food for humans to eat when you think about it. It provides massive calories without any real nutritional value.   Humans managed to survive for thousands of years with just the small amounts of sugar that occur naturally in fruits.

Just a short list of some of the problems attributed to over consumption of sugar is enough to put you off the stuff:

  • Sugar raises blood glucose levels
  • Sugar is implicated in increases in obesity and diabetes
  • Sugar is a contributing cause of cardiovascular disease
  • Sugar is strongly suspected to contribute to Alzheimer’s disease when consumed in large amounts
  • Sugar is a leading cause of tooth decay
  • Sugar consumption can actually become an addiction.

We don’t need to delve too deeply into the science in this post, but suffice to say that refined white granulated stuff that most Westerners eat is a luxury that we would be better without.

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When sugar (als0 known as sucrose) is consumed by humans it hydrolyses in the body into fructose and glucose.   The glucose is useful as it can be used for energy but the fructrose is a nuisance chemical which causes a lot of trouble in the human body, particularly when consumed in the large quantities that westerners eat it these days.

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The fructose increases your  uric acid levels which decreases your nitric oxide, raises angiotensin, and causes your smooth muscle cells to contract.   You don’t want this happening because it will raise your blood pressure.   You know what comes next – damaged kidneys !!!!

Then thanks to the increased uric acid levels you run the risk of chronic, low-level inflammation.    You really don’t want inflamed blood vessels because that can lead to heart attacks and strokes.   Some pundits have also linked chronic inflammation to cancer.

Fructose is a major culprit leading to weight gain and abdominal obesity    Some people call that beer belly, but it can occur just as easily in a prim and proper lady who doesn’t drink alcohol, but eats industrial amounts of cream buns and cakes with her hot cocoa.

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There are also some sneaky chemical tricks that fructose plays on your body and manages to fool the human metabolism.

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Because it doesn’t stimulate insulin, the ghrelin is not stimulated either.  Grehlin is also known as the hunger hormone.   The final part of the chain is that the satiety hormone, leptin is not stimulated either.  The end result is that over time you eat more and developing insulin resistance which makes the problem become chronic over time. 

This has been a very brief and superficial post about the dangers of eating sugar. Suffice to say that the person on the Ratchet Diet consumes no added sugar, zilch, zero, nada! There are always going to be sugars in just about every food we eat, but the naturally occurring sugars are not the problem. We will want to avoid products that have had sugar added to them and ensure that we never add sugar to any food ourselves. This is a lifelong challenge requiring constant vigilance on the dieters part.

Probably one of the best talks on dangers of sugar in the diet is a lecture titled ” Sugar: The Bitter Truth” presented by Robert Lustig MD, University of California.

This lecture is an excellent overview of the dangers of consuming too much sugar.

This video is highly recommended. Most people who watch the entire lecture, have no trouble being motivated to give up sugar for life.

And another great video about sugar:

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/eating-too-much-added-sugar-increases-the-risk-of-dying-with-heart-disease-201402067021

http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/106/4/523.fullhttp://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/04/20/sugar-dangers.aspx

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Sugar

http://wellnessmama.com/15/harmful-effects-of-sugars/

http://www.fitbie.com/eat-right/tips/6-scary-side-effects-sugar

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