Sugar is supplied to our bodies from natural sources in our fruits and vegetables. Combining this with additional fiber, vitamins and minerals, natural sugar is processed slightly differently than the refined white sugar, or sugar by other names, to disguise sugar in your food. It’s difficult to avoid those foods that are laced with sugar, unless you have switched to a diet of nearly exclusively whole foods. Processed foods quite often come with the addition of sweeteners to tempt our palates.
Sugar can trigger an addiction that’s hard to break, and is one of the most damaging substances to your body. Sugar addition is unchecked in adults and children and defined as a specific “bliss point” for products by manufacturers, that bring customers back for more. The junk food industry doesn’t want us to know that sugar has significant and deadly effects on your health, therefore the label may not even list sugar as an ingredient.
About 45 grams of sugar was consumed every five days for people in 1812, which would equal the amount of sugar in one can of soda. Americans were consuming sugar in 2012 to the equivalent of 17 cans of soda every five days. That’s a jump that can have disastrous effects on our lives. Hiding sugar under names we aren’t aware of can have devastating effects.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) put out new Dietary Guidelines for Americans along with the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that limit the amount of sugar to 10% of your total daily calories. If you consume a 2,000-calorie diet this amounts to 10 to 12 teaspoons, which is over the amount of sugar in one 12-ounce coke. It is estimated by the National Cancer Institute that the average American consumes 15 teaspoons of added sugar every day. Not only is sugar in candy and sweet treats, but also those condiments, salad dressings, canned goods and drinks in addition to sodas.
You may not know by the labels of what sugar is contained in your foods, as they may be listed as sugar, sucrose, fructose, Dextran, Ethyl Maltol and Panela. Some companies are reducing their sugar content in some foods.
Some of the sugars may be described as syrup or with an “ose” at the end of the word, such as galactose or fructose. Following is a list of some sugars under unknown names: blackstrap molasses, buttered syrup, cane juice crystals, evaporated cane juice, caramel, carob syrup, fruit juice, honey, fruit juice concentrate, brown rice syrup, corn syrup solids, Florida crystals, golden syrup, maple syrup, molasses, refiner’s syrup, sorghum syrup, sucanat, treacle, turbinado, barley malt, corn syrup, dextrin, dextrose, diastatic malt, ethyl maltol, glucose, glucose solids, lactose, malt syrup, maltose, d-ribose, rice syrup, galactose, maltodextrin and castor.
The liquid sugar is even more dangerous to our health than any other form of sugar. Fruit juice contains the same amount of sugar as other sugary drinks, even though they are marketed as healthier choices. They have the same negative effects on your body as other drinks with added sugar.
The other bad news is that cancer has a sweet tooth and thrives on sugar. Researchers have found through a study that sugar developed pancreatic cancer. Other research tells us cells thrive on sugar and don’t burn other fuel as effectively, and cancer cells rely on sugar to maintain cell function. Some strategies can help you to reduce or eliminate your intake of added sugars as: knowledge in power, reduce your net carbs, eat real food, read labels, use safe sweeteners, increase your healthy fat intake at meals, include fermented foods in your nutrition plan and try turbo tapping.
Remember that it’s up to each and every one of us to take control of our health and do everything possible to avoid the risk of cancer. Starting with our diet is an extremely important step.
—Dr Fredda Branyon