It’s no secret that I’m boycotting sugar. I have been semi-against it for a few years, but have essentially eliminated it since August. It concerns me that almost every client I work with wants to lose weight, and when we examine their food diaries, their carb intakes are through the roof.
I’m not proclaiming any particular “diet” as a best way to eat (i.e. vegan, paleo, raw food, etc.). I believe that different people have different nutritional needs, but I do think that among the foundational best food choices we all have in common, is that everyone needs to moderate their sugar intake. The reason I include discussion about carbs in general is because the US government guidelines for many years urged people to consume around 55% of their calories from carbs. This is a LOT. Having much of those calories come from sugar (which evolved based on technology and cheap convenience foods) causes short and long-term issues (whether you can feel/see them or not).
My standpoint: Sugar is toxic if you consume a lot of it regularly.
It is generally understood now that excessive sugar intake is largely responsible for obesity and other serious health issues. Yet, our sugar consumption in the US has tripled over the last half century.
This article describes an issue with sugar being labeled as “empty calories.” The truth is, these sugar calories are not empty—they are damaging and toxic, just like alcohol and tobacco. When I teach nutrition classes, I talk about how carbs (4 calories per gram), fat (9 calories per gram). and protein (4 calories per gram) are all nutrients, but alcohol (7 calories per gram) is a toxin.
I’d like to move sugar out of the nutrient category and into the toxin category.
The article states: “Sugar, they argue, is far from just ’empty calories’ that make people fat. At the levels consumed by most Americans, sugar changes metabolism, raises blood pressure, critically alters the signaling of hormones and causes significant damage to the liver – the least understood of sugar’s damages. These health hazards largely mirror the effects of drinking too much alcohol, which they point out in their commentary is the distillation of sugar.”
Do you think sugary products should be taxed like alcohol and tobacco?
How’s your sugar intake?
Maybe moderation is the best option for both alcohol and sugar. The problem is that right now, Americans (and probably other countries, but I don’t want to make assumptions) are not being moderate. And neither are their health care costs.