• Sugar - The toxic truth


    A relatively unknown British professor wrote a book in 1972, which was so controversial in its time that it led to the premature end of his career. This much sought after book has recently been described by some as 'prophetic'.

    John Yudkin's book, Pure, white and Deadly is now one of the most coveted out-of-print books in the world and copies change hands for hundreds of pounds.The recent interest in John Yudkin's work was initiated by the success of Robert Lustig's lecture, Sugar: The bitter truth.

    In the book John Yudkin discusses the causal link between sugar and heart disease, the timing of this revelation could not have been worse. The food industry was in the process of marketing 'healthy' low fat food, which contained large amounts of sugar to make the food tasty, this new low fat taste sensation encouraged consumers to buy into the 'Healthy' lifestyle, and as a result Yudkin's research threatened the food industry's profits.

    Why is sugar so bad?

    Over consumption of sugar is linked to:
    - Obesity
    - Heart disease
    - Cancer
    - Alzheimer's disease
    - Dementia
    - Addiction
    - Fatty liver disease
    - Depression
    - Type two diabetes
    - Impaired cognitive function
    - High cholesterol.

    Sugar is in a multitude of foods from cereals to sauces, sugar gets added to foods during processing; adding flavour, colour or texture. These are widely known as hidden sugars.

    Over consumption of sugar either directly, such as confectionery, cakes and soft drinks, or in hidden sugars, including sauces, spreads and flavoured milks lead to an increase in obesity, but more specifically, abdominal fat.
    This fat deposit is caused by sugar stimulating the pancreas to produce insulin, which in turn affects the metabolism, resulting in calories being turned into abdominal fat.

    Types of sugar

    Glucose - A simple sugar, normally found in fruits and vegetables. It is your cells primary source of energy, when you consume glucose your pancreas is stimulated and your insulin rises. This increase is acknowledged by the brain, which then tells you to stop eating.

    Sucrose and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
    - These types of sugar are very similar in their composition; sucrose is made from 50% fructose and 50% Glucose, whereas HFCS is 55% fructose and 45% glucose.
    Fructose is a sugar which naturally occurs in fruit, this type of sugar is processed by the liver. When consuming either sucrose or HFCS the liver processes three times more calories than when glucose is consumed. This process converts these calories into bad cholesterol, leading to heart disease, high blood pressure and strokes.

    Fructose - Is naturally occurring in fruit. Fructose is only problematic to our health when it is extracted from the whole fruit. When the whole fruit is consumed the fibre is eaten too, the benefit of this is that it negates the effects of fructose, as in its refined state.

    Weight Control

    The brain uses a protein called leptin to help regulate energy intake and expenditure, metabolism and appetite control. Fructose changes the way the brain responds to leptin, as a result over consumption of food occurs, because you simply don't get the message that you're full. Understanding this will help you to make choices of food to maximise the natural sugars found in fruit, which will depress you sugar cravings.

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  • External links

    Holland & Barrett, the good life.

    I Quit Sugar for Life: Your fad-free wholefood wellness code and cookbook.

    Forks Over Knives.

    The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health.

    Healing Beyond Medicine: How self-empowerment, a raw vegan diet, and change of lifestyle can free us from sickness and disease.

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