is Sugar bad for us?

There is a lot of concern over obesity and diabetes in western civilizations.  It might be a significant reason for increasing health care costs, because of so many people needing treatment for these preventable diseases.

Sugar

Sugar (Photo credit: oskay)

Dr. Robert Lustig has been spreading his views on sugar, making appearances on 60 Minutes, and being interviewed by Alec Baldwin, in advance of his book “Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity and Disease”.

The interesting points from his discussions:

  • We don’t really need sugar for any bodily function, but it releases dopamine in our brains making us feel good.  Which is why our brains get addicted to sugar.
  • He suggests that sugar should be regulated like alcohol.
  • The food industry is making so much money from adding sugar to their products, it will be very difficult to control the industry to reduce or eliminate sugar from foods.
  • We are learning the results from eating too much sugar, without fiber, our liver will turn the sugar into fat.
  • As we overeat sugar, we increase insulin, and we lose the natural bodily regulation of cravings and hunger.

A lot of people are concerned with the amount of high fructose corn syrup in foods, as they notice the energy levels and other health effects.  It looks like we should have a similar concern for regular sugar.

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2 comments on “is Sugar bad for us?

  1. It’s really interesting. I find that I feel like a different person when I stop eating refined sugar. But something like raisins have tons of natural sugar- so when I stop eating anything that has any artificial sugar or flower, I tend to over-eat raisins and fruits, as my body makes up for what it was used to. White sugar does seem like a drug, but it would be hard to control, since so many things do the same thing. Maybe people would start drinking more alcohol, or other things. It would be a cool experiment to see what happened to a few average families who eat sugar if you took it away though! It’s intense how strongly it affects your mind!

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