A Reminder about the
Bitter Truth about Sugar

by Melissa Diane Smith

Any time of year, but especially during the holiday season when we can encounter candies, cookies, and sweet drinks at every turn, it’s important to be reminded that sugar is toxic to our health, whether it’s genetically modified or not. I am continually surprised how many people who are trying to avoid genetically modified foods or gluten to protect their health, regularly choose foods and beverages sweetened with cane sugar or evaporated cane juice, not realizing the long-term damage sugar does to health.

Time for a quick review. First, sugar is an immunosuppressant. We knew that long before genetically modified white sugar was put on the market. As I explained in Going Against the Grain, sugar not only reduces the ability of white blood cells to track and attack bacteria but also reduces the production of antibodies, which protect against viruses and other invaders. That’s critical information to remember in the heart of cold and flu season.

Sugar also is a high-carb, blood-sugar-spiking food that sets us up for weight gain and the degenerative diseases of our time – type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and certain types of cancers.  If we want to reduce our risks for these diseases, we should avoid sweeteners as much as possible, including sugars hidden in countless processed foods. I and my coauthors explained this in Syndrome X: The Complete Nutritional Program to Prevent and Reverse Insulin Resistance way back in 2000, and many clients and readers of that book have avoided (and, yes, even reversed) those diseases by adopting a no-sugar policy.

In 2012, 60 Minutes on CBS ran a segment entitled “Is Sugar Toxic?” updating the sugar connection not only to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease, but also to cancer. As I explained in a previous post, “The Bitter Consequences of Sugar”:

Eating or drinking sugar causes a sudden spike in levels of the hormone insulin. The new information that has become more clear from research done in recent years is that nearly a third of cancers – including breast cancer and colon cancer – have insulin receptors on their surface. Insulin binds to the receptors and signals the tumor to start consuming glucose (the sugar in our bloodstream) for the tumor to grow.  So, how do we protect ourselves from cancer? It’s very simple: Cut off foods that spike blood sugar and insulin levels. Tops on that list is to not eat sugar. In fact, the scientists who are doing that research have been so influenced by what they have found that they have changed their own habits to avoid sugar.

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Sugar also is addictive: It activates the brain in a special way that’s reminiscent of taking certain drugs like cocaine, and we build up a tolerance to it, so we want to eat more of it and do eat more and more of it. Many food addicts, including many clients I have counseled, know this all too well.

In this season when sweetened foods and drinks are offered to you in countless forms over and over again, I’m writing this post to remind you to make the right decisions to keep yourself healthy. You of course have to go against the grain to do that. To give yourself extra motivation, I encourage you to watch the 60 Minutes “Is Sugar Toxic?” segment.

Of course I know that the holidays often are a time to sample a few bites of sweets you may not have any other time of year. But if you have started a downhill spiral of eating and drinking many more sugary foods and beverages than you wanted, getting addicted, having many cravings, eating more and more sweets and carbs, gaining weight, getting sick a lot, or developing other health problems, don’t wait until it gets more out of control: Contact me for my Get Started Combo consultation package or a coaching program to get you back on the right path to health for the new year. (Take advantage of a special offer: Contact me by January 10, 2014, and I’ll give you $10 off my Get Started Combo or $20 off any coaching program. Please know, though, that I won’t be scheduling clients from December 24 to January 3.) With close to twenty years of experience counseling clients, I know the tricks of the trade to help you get off sugar so you can protect yourself from disease and enjoy the amazingly sweet feeling of longstanding good health and steadier moods and energy.

Copyright © 2013 Melissa Diane Smith

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