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Excess Sugar - A Common Addiction

Sickly Sweet

Too much Sugar

-           A common addiction adversely affecting health

 

Sugar consumption has escalated over the decades

 

In 2009, more than 50% of Americans consumed ½ a pound of sugar PER DAY

— i.e. 180 pounds of sugar per year

 

       In 2011, the USDA estimated the average American consumes:

 

          12 teaspoons sugar /day

         Over 1 ½ tons of sugar in a lifetime!

 

Do you think we have a problem?

 

      Consider the copious amounts of sugar consumed -  in soft and sports drinks, fruit juices, almost all processed foods. Even most infant formulas have the sugar equivalent of one can of Coca-Cola! Realize too that sugar is not only in the foods typically acknowledged as sweetened, but its presence also permeates  in  many other processed foods. E.g. Prego spaghetti sauce lists sugar as its second highest ingredient content after tomatoes (containing ~ 2 ½ tsps. / half cup)

 

      An estimated almost  1/3 of Americans aged 20–74 are now obese, an additional 1/3 are overweight – obesity rate has doubled since 1975.

 Ogden CL, Carroll MD, McDowell MA, Flegal KM. Obesity among adults in the United States—No statistically significant change since 2003–2004. NCHS Data Brief No. 1. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics; 2007. p. 1–8

 

 

      An estimated 1 out of 3 U.S. children are obese! – this author finds it irritating that the U.S. Department of Family and Children will diligently investigate a claim brought by such as a teacher that a child looks too thin and underfed, but it’s not considered a possible abuse problem when a child is seen to be significantly overweight

 

      Obesity is the number one reason why applicants fail to qualify for military service – a report by retired admirals and generals found that 27% potential young recruits (~15000 /year) fail their entrance physicals due to being overweight and a whopping 75% of young people would not qualify to join the military for the same reason.

Report by Mission: Readiness, an organization made up of retired admirals and generals

 

      Average global body weight is 137 pounds compared to 178 pounds in North America – calculated by scientists using 2005 WHO data

 

      Compare less than 3 cases of diabetes per 100,000 people in the U.S. in 1893 to today, with diabetes striking almost 8,000 out of every 100,000 people - that is 8.3% of the population!

 “2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet,” January 26, 2011, American Diabetes Association

 

 

Excess sugar has detrimental effects on hormones

 

      Sugar decreases the receptor sensitivity for both INSULIN and LEPTIN.  

 

As a consequence of high blood sugar / INSULIN resistance, this can lead to:

 

      High blood pressure and high cholesterol

      Heart disease

      Diabetes

      Weight gain

      Premature aging

 

-       Sugar increases INSULIN for the purpose of removing sugar from the blood into cells where it can be metabolized.    

       

     INSULIN works mainly at the level of most individual cells - telling them whether to burn or store fat or sugar and whether to utilize produced energy for:

 

(i)      Maintenance and repair – equates to increased longevity;

 

      Or (ii)   Reproduction

 

     Chronically high INSULIN levels reduce sensitivity of INSULIN receptors – referred to as INSULIN resistance, with consequential high blood glucose levels and so called metabolic syndrome, increasing risk of such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity and premature aging

 

-       Sugar increases LEPTIN (the “satiety” hormone, produced by fat cells) –  at first sight, this may seem like a good thing, but read on . . .

 

    LEPTIN works at the level of the whole body of cells - controls energy storage and utilization of the entire republic of cells, communicating with the brain as to whether the body has stored or burned enough energy, whether to be hungry and make more fat, whether it is a good time (nutritionally speaking) to reproduce or not, and whether to maintain/repair yourself.

 

    LEPTIN sends signals that:

 

(i)      Reduce↓ hunger,

(ii)    Increase↑ fat burning

 and  (iii) Reduce↓ fat storage

 

     However, due to chronically high levels of LEPTIN,  in almost all overweight and obese people their LEPTIN receptors have become resistant (even though they have excess LEPTIN) and the LEPTIN signal is not being “heard” - i .e. the body can no longer “hear” the messages telling it to stop eating and burning fat - and so it remains hungry and stores more fat.

 

LEPTIN - Weight Control Hormone

 

Sugar consumption triggers addiction process

 

      Eating sugar triggers the brain to produce opioids initiating the addiction process –  i.e. the brain becomes addicted to stimulating release of its own opioids in just the same way as partaking of morphine, heroin, cocaine, alcohol, cannabis and nicotine

 

      Long-term stimulation of the brain’s pleasure center (nucleus accumbus) drives the addiction process – on consumption of an addictive substance (E.g. sugar)  the pleasure centure receives a DOPAMINE signal and you sense pleasure. Receiving pleasure is in fact essential to your will to live, but you can overdo  this need, by chronically supplying the addictive substance. . . such that the  prolonged DOPAMINE exposure causes the signal to  weaken and you need more of the addictive substance to get the same effect. This is called TOLERANCE. If you stop providing the addictive substance you go into WITHDRAWAL .

 

TOLERANCE + WITHDRAWAL = ADDICTION

 

This biochemical force is not likely to be overcome with cognitive willpower, according to Dr. Robert Lustig, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, who has been a pioneer in understanding sugar metabolism.

 

-       It is speculated that high sugar diets also overstimulate the two sweet receptors on the tongue - which in turn may be over-stimulating the brain’s reward signals

 

 

      For tips on how to reduce sugar intake and tactics to overcome a sugar addiction:

 

How to reduce sugar intake

 

How to overcome sweet cravings

 

 

 

 

Sugar makes you fat

 

-       Over-consumption of sugar causes obesity - Today’s exponential increase in sugar consumption is undoubtedly a major factor in the growing numbers of those who are obese.

 

-        Chronic overconsumption of sugar contributes to receptors become insensitive to the messages of INSULIN and LEPTIN - promoting weight gain

 

-       Body stores excess sugar (and other carbs) as fat - The body converts different forms of sugar into glucose, which it uses to provide energy, especially if you are active. If you consume more sugar than you are using, a limited amount is stored for later use in the liver and muscles, but when those small “storage bins” are full, sugar is converted to fat and stored where we can all see it! 

 

June 2012.

-       Carrying excess weight around will increase your risk for deadly conditions - such as heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes.

 

 

Sugar makes you dumb

 

To be written

 

Today’s obesity problem may be more  a result of fructose replacing  glucose consumption in mega amounts

 

      Fructose consumption has increased significantly in the last 4 decades

 

         HFCS has replaced 50% of U.S. sucrose consumption since the early 70’s – during which time it should also be noted that caloric intakes of sugar, fats and carbohydrates have also increased

 

         Fructose is metabolized differently to glucose and places  a significant burden on the liver – which can cause related health problems

 

         ~ 1/3 of fructose calories are stored as fat – compared to ~1/100 of glucose calories

 

         Reduces postprandial INSULIN response -  which can lead to INSULIN resistance and then  metabolic syndrome/ T2 diabetes

 

Excess fructose - "Burdens liver / Increases inflammation / Favors fat production"

SICKLY SWEET LINKS

  

SICKLY SWEET RELATED LINKS

HIGHLY PROCESSED SWEETENERS

About

- HFCS

- Aspartame  –  “Neurotoxin”  

- Sucralose – “Organochlorine"

- Non-Nutritive Sweeteners (NNS) 

- "Maybe not such a sweet deal"

 

HEALTH EFFECTS OF TOO MUCH SUGAR

- Too Much Sugar

– “Common addiction adversely affecting health”

 

- Too Much Fructose

     - Burdens Liver / Increases Inflammation

          /  Favors  fat production

 

HOW TO REDUCE SUGAR INTAKE

  - How to reduce sugar intake

  - How to overcome sweet cravings

 

 

SWEETENERS LINKS

  

SWEETENERS RELATED LINKS

NATURAL SWEETENERS

Building Blocks of Sugar
 
Natural / Minimally Processed Sugars
-   Dehydrated/Evaporated  sugar cane juice
- Raw Honey – “Natural Antibiotic”
- Maple Syrup
- Date sugar
- Blackstrap Molasses
- Malt Sugar
 
Natural Source Sweeteners:
(not necessarily healthy)
- Stevia
- Luo Han Guo
- Xylitol
- Erythritol
- Agave Nectar - "High Fructose Syrup"

 

DISCLAIMER - The information given at this website is for research purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or cure any mental or physical condition. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a licensed professional. In the event that you use this information for your own health, you are prescribing for yourself, which is your constitutional right as a U.S. citizen under Amendment IX of the U.S. Constitution, and for which the author of this information assumes no responsibility. The author of this information is neither a legal counselor nor a health practitioner and makes no claim in this regard. Any references to health benefits of specifically named products on this site are given as this website author's sole opinion and are not approved or supported in any manner by their manufacturers or distributors. COPYRIGHT 2009-2017