by Dr. Scott Saunders
My objective in this article is to convince each of you that the sweets in your diet are toxic. As the late Jack LaLanne, who was fit and active into his late 90s and hadn’t eaten processed sugar in over 80 years said, “If it tastes good, spit it out!”
We are told about “moderation in all things…”
- But what if something is damaging to your cells and causes aging and disease?
- Then how much cyanide should we take in every day?
- What about arsenic, lead, or mercury? What if they tasted really good, or made us feel good?
- Then what is the moderation limit?
- Would we then consume these toxins until they caused disease or death?
Yet, this is exactly how we view moderation of sweet things.
The convincing reason I take this position is because I deal with the results of toxic effects of sweeteners in the diet every day. People who eat sweets come to me for treatment of preventable diseases. As sugar consumption increases, so does disease. “Addict” is how many of my patients describe themselves. In fact, in one study, rats preferred sugar and saccharine to cocaine! (1) Perhaps the addict description fits!
In 1970, the average person ate around 30 pounds of sugar per year! However, today the average American eats his weight in sugar every year! This is because sugar is now added to everything. There are no longer just sweet foods and salty foods; now even the “salty” foods are filled with sugar. The taste of sweet gets people coming back for more and more. Sugar sells! But, sugar isn’t healthy — even in small amounts.
The toxicity of sugar is similar to alcohol. When a person drinks alcohol it goes to the liver and causes damage — always. Any chemical that causes damage to cells in the body is called a toxin, or poison. There is no lower limit to prevent damage because every drop is toxic. People continue to drink alcohol and don’t notice the toxic effects because the liver regenerates rather quickly. Cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver, only happens when the amount of alcohol consumed exceeds the ability for the liver to detoxify it.
It’s easy for us to understand that alcohol is a toxin because we all know alcoholics and the damage it can cause. What is less understood is that sugar is just as toxic. Every little bit of sugar is addictive and toxic to the body as alcohol. We don’t notice small amounts of sugar poison in our body because the damage is minute; nevertheless, sugar is disruptive and damaging. When the body uses sugar for energy the by-product is inflammation caused by free radicals. As we continue to eat sugar, or eat more of it, we may begin to notice some of the toxic effects:
- Elevated cholesterol
- Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- Neuropathy (nerve damage)
- Metabolic syndrome
- Yeast (Candida)
- Caries (tooth decay)
- Nephropathy (kidney failure)
- Retinopathy (blindness)
If we start thinking about it, then we may know people who have had amputations of feet, have gone blind, or are on dialysis because of eating toxic sugar. These diseases were considered by the ancients to be the diseases of kings. Only royalty could get enough sugar to cause gout or diabetes; peasants didn’t have enough money to buy such things. Now, just the opposite is true. Everyone can afford sweets. In fact, sugary treats are cheaper than real food so those who have less money are more likely to be stricken with disease.
In using the word “sugar,” it should be clear that I mean all natural sweeteners including, but not limited to:
- Sucrose, or white sugar, table sugar, brown sugar, and all cane and beet sugar derivatives
- Maple syrup
- Corn syrup, including high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), or corn sweetener
- Brown rice syrup
- Tapioca syrup
There are so many natural sweeteners I won’t name them all, but you get the idea. In spite of being “natural,” these still cause problems in the body for the reasons I’ll discuss later.
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