Stuff you need to know about sugar

YogurtStrawberry yoghurt, bran muffins, granola bars, tomato sauce and fat-free salad dressing. These are just a few examples of foods that many people consume in the name of a following a “healthy diet”. Would you believe it if I told you that all the foods listed above contain more sugar than a Twinkie, according to Dr. Mercola.

The sad reality is that sugar is hidden in almost all processed foods,and most often it is the worst kind – high fructose corn syrup. In America, food and beverage manufacturers began switching their sweeteners from sucrose to corn syrup in the 1970s when they discovered that HFCS was not only far cheaper to make, it’s about 20 percent sweeter than conventional table sugar.

High-Fructose-Corn-Syrup-graphicWhy is fructose bad for you?

HFCS  is metabolized to fat by your body (liver),  far more rapidly than any other sugar. It has been linked to diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.  It increases your triglycerides (not a good thing) as well as raises your  LDL (bad) cholesterol.

It also increases your levels of uric acid. Raised uric acid levels leads to chronic, low-level inflammation, for example, chronically inflamed blood vessels lead to heart attacks and strokes; also, a good deal of evidence exists that some cancers are caused by chronic inflammation.

The corn that the high fructose corn syrup is made from nearly all comes from genetically modified corn which has its own health concerns. So to avoid this very damaging toxin – stay away from processed foods and concentrate on real, fresh, whole foods. If it comes in a box,  tin or plastic wrapper and stays fresh for months on end, the chances are it is processed and is best avoided. Remember, cornflakes and rusks don’t occur naturaly in nature. You won’t find them growing on the branches of a tree.

But isn’t there fructose in fruit?

Whole fruits contain vitamins and other antioxidants that reduce the hazardous effects of fructose. Juices, on the other hand, are nearly as bad for you as soda, because they too are loaded with fructose and a lot of the antioxidants and fibre are lost.

Fruits in moderation are certainly beneficial. But when you consume high levels of fructose the effects can be devastating to your health.  If you are trying to lose weight, then limit your fruit intake to avoid consuming too much fructose, which turns straight to fat.

What should I use instead of sugar?

Switching to honey, brown rice syrup,  fruit juice, molasses, maple syrup or agave syrup will NOT reduce any of the risks as they all contain HIGH amounts of fructose. Agave is probably the worst of the lot as it can be as high as 90% fructose. Also, do not make the mistake of switching to artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, as they can damage your health even more quickly than fructose.

Xylitol (a sugar alcohol) is a natural sweetener which is not as sweet as sugar, but it does contain fewer calories. One reason that sugar alcohols provide fewer calories than sugar is because they are not completely absorbed into your body. Because of this, eating many foods containing sugar alcohols can lead to abdominal gas and diarrhea. Of the various sugar alcohols, xylitol is one of the best and it actually comes with some benefits such as fighting tooth decay.

Stevia is another natural sweetener , although some people complain of a bitter after taste. It is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar and has virtually no calories.

BUT, if you struggle with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or extra weight, then you have insulin sensitivity issues and would benefit from avoiding ALL sweeteners.

Watch this very entertaining video titled, “Sugar is killing us”.


About Nicky Perks

Passionately sharing information about the paleo/primal, high fat/low carb lifestyle that will rock your world! I am on my own journey to good health and a slim body. My goal? To enjoy the ride as life on this beautiful planet is just too short to do it any other way.

Posted on March 5, 2013, in Primal 101 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Luckily for us in SA very few companies use HFCS. It’s in the majority of products in the USA. Most food companies here use sugar/sucrose in almost everything though!

    • Thank goodness for that. We can consider ourselves in SA quite lucky that HFCS is not that widely used. We should keep our eyes open to ensure that it doesn’t start creeping in more and more. I would love to hear from my Australian readers on this subject. What sweeteners do food manufacturers use over there in food and beverages?

  2. thanks for the great video clip and article! We have switched to Xylatol and honey , and removed all sugar from our cupboards ! Intresting that Honey has high fructose and not the best option ! Xylatol will have to become our new best friend !

  3. Oh no – but I love my jelly tots!!!!

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