Dangers of Sugar

Would you be surprised if we told you that the effects of eating a lot of sugar are similar to drinking excessive amounts of alcohol? That’s right, if you consume high sugar beverages and foods (think fructose and sucrose) as a regular daily habit, you may as well be drinking a six-pack of beer a day. Does this startle you? If you’re like most people, it does. And, it probably makes you wonder how this can be. Well, let us explain. The Similarities Between Sugar and Alcohol In a YouTube video titled “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Dr. Robert H. Lustig, M.D. explains that your body processes sugar in the same way that it processes ethanol.  This is due to the fact that ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol and one of the ingredient’s found in alcoholic beverages, is derived from fermented sugar. Maybe you’ve heard of prisoners who save the fruit they are given at mealtime in airtight bags or containers as they want to let it ferment? In doing so, it forms alcohol-like qualities via the ethanol that is produced, and in drinking it they get the same “buzzed” feeling that traditionally manufactured alcohol creates. All of this can happen because ethanol is sugar. This of course means that when it is ingested in higher quantities, the effects on the body are similar as well. What are just a few of these effects? “Chronic fructose exposure,” as Dr. Lustig refers to it, can result in a number of negative medical consequences that often appear in those that consume large quantities of alcohol. Therefore, not only do individuals who typically eat a lot of sugar struggle with obesity and all of the health conditions associated with that, but they also may experience the following: ·         High blood pressure (hypertension) ·         Heart attack (myocardial infarction) ·         High cholesterol or fat in the blood (dyslipidemia) ·         Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), and ·         Improper liver function (hepatic dysfunction) So, you see, sugar isn’t just something that makes you gain weight, it also causes some very severe and often life-threatening medical conditions – the same ones that you find at higher rates in people who abuse alcohol! Look at it this way: Your liver is designed to effectively and efficiently remove toxins from your body. Two of those toxins are ethanol and fructose. As we just mentioned, ethanol is found in alcohol and fructose is found in almost every food on the market. It is in breads, sodas, desserts, candies, pre-packaged meals and a multitude of other processed foods that are available today. Take in a lot of ethanol and/or fructose over time and your liver cannot function as well. It may become inflamed which likely leads into a whole will host of medical issues, some of which we mentioned above. Sugar is a Poison You’ve probably heard sugar referred to as a “poison” and wonder how that can be. After all, usually something that is poisonous to your body tastes bitter, not so sweet that you can’t get enough of it. Well, the definition of poisoning is “when any substance interferes with normal body functions after it is swallowed, inhaled, injected, or absorbed.” Well, isn’t that exactly what sugar does? Doesn’t it interfere with your body’s ability to perform as it was created to? The answer is definitely yes! Sugar alters your body’s internal status to the point where inflammation and disease are not only more likely to show up, but actually encouraged to grow. That is why so many eating plans focus on eliminating sugar from the equation. The key to achieving optimum health is in making it as hard as possible for any diseased cell to survive or thrive in your body.