A spoonful of sugar might help the medicine go down but what Mary Poppins forgot to tell you is that it also helps the cholesterol go up, along with your risk for cancer, liver failure, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

On May 26, 2009, Robert Lustig gave a lecture called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” which is a 90-minute discussion of the nuances of fructose biochemistry and human physiology. It has become a highly discussed topic in both the medical and health community.

Throughout Lustig’s lecture, you will hear sugar referred to as a “toxin” or “poison” numerous times. Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup have become known as the worst additive to our diets. The two sweeteners are effectively identical in their biological effects. (For more info, see paper on High-Fructose Corn Syrup coming soon). Our excessive consumption of sugar is attributed as the primary reason that obesity and diabetes have skyrocketed over the past 30 years. More and more research shows that sugar is also a likely dietary cause of several other chronic ailments widely considered to be diseases of Western lifestyles – heart disease, hypertension and as well as many common cancers. The link between diets high in sugar and the symptoms of pain and inflammation have been widely researched showing a direct correlation between diets high in sugar/high fructose corn syrup and increased pain/inflammation throughout the body. Many patients have seen dramatic changes in their health just by cutting out sugars. A better substitute to satisfy your sweet-tooth would be using Stevia or even Honey (not for infants).

While more research is always needed, we have accumulated and synthesized a mass of evidence, which may be compelling enough to convict sugar. I always recommend my patients create a food journal if they are unsure of the amount of sugar they are consuming and I will take time to replace that with more nutritional substitutes. It is recommend that we should all work to be lean and more physically active, and that in turn will help us prevent many of these health risks. Looking at our diet is important, still, there are many factors that need to be considered when trying to achieve Total Health & Wellness.

– Paul O’Leary, D.C.

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