Dr. Nancy Appleton wrote a book in 2004 called “Lick the Sugar Habit,” with the ways that medical journals and other scientific publications have documented that sugar wrecks your health. She gives 78 ways, with an impressive references list. But I’ll share 25 with you here, in case you’re looking for some good reasons to stop eating high-fructose corn syrup and refined sugars! So often people wonder why they’re experiencing health problems and don’t connect it to what they’re eating.
Sugar can suppress the immune system.
Sugar can upset the body’s mineral balance.
Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, concentration problems, and crankiness in children.
Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.
Sugar weakens the body’s defense against bacterial infections.
Sugar damages the kidneys.
Sugar increases harmful cholesterol and decreases good cholesterol.
Sugar can cause copper, chromium, calcium, and magnesium deficiencies.
Sugar can lead to cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate, and rectum.
Sugar can cause colon cancer, with especially high risk for women.
Sugar can weaken eyesight.
Sugar can cause hypoglycemia.
Sugar can produce an acidic stomach.
Sugar can increase risk of coronary heart disease.
Sugar can lead to alcoholism.
Sugar can cause fluid retention.
Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.
Sugar increases the risk of Alzheimer Disease.
Sugar stresses the pancreas, causing damage.
Sugar increases the amount of fat in the liver.
Sugar can cause kidney stones.
Sugar makes multiple sclerosis symptoms worse.
Sugar can contribute to diabetes.
Sugar can cause cataracts.
Now you’ve got some great reasons to stop eating refined sugars and stick to whole foods! Whole plant foods taste so much better when you stop eating sugar, too!
SugarScience.org has some great infographics on the effects of sugar for humans eating a processed diet. Here are some of them, hope you can share with your kids and reflect on the benefits of eating greens, vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, instead of processed foods produced by Big Agra!
My friend Andrew wrote to Hershey to complain about the ingredients high-fructose corn syrup, and partially hydrogenated fats, in their high-end Brookside chocolate products. It’s astonishing that, in their response, they don’t address his actual concerns about the effects on the public health. They defend themselves by saying that corn syrup is easy and has a long shelf life, and hydrogenated fats, sure, they’re fake–but they make products last longer.
And finally they state their agenda: to make products people like. This kind of red-herring argument, ignoring what harms our health, is why I advocate for maximizing raw, organic plant foods in the diet, and eliminating processed junk made by big food conglomerates. You’re always better off! Check out what Hershey told Andrew:
Thank you for sharing your comments about our BROOKSIDE Dark Chocolate Crunchy Clusters Berry Medley Flavors. We are pleased to hear how much you enjoy our BROOKSIDE products but are so sorry to learn of your disappointment with the use of some of our ingredients.
As you may know high fructose corn syrup is a liquid sweetener with a sweetness level similar to table sugar. High Fructose Corn Syrup has many functions that help improve qualities of food and beverages. In addition to enhancing the flavor of foods and beverages, high fructose corn syrup also provides shelf stability, promotes browning in baked goods, improves texture, and helps protect and preserve food longer. High fructose corn syrup is commonly used in place of table sugar because of ease of use in product applications and cost effectiveness.
Additionally, partially hydrogenated oil has had some of their double bonds replaced with hydrogen to obtain a more solid fat that is not as susceptible to spoiling.
As always, our goal is to develop products with widespread consumer appeal. While we are sorry to learn of your disappointment, please know that we value your comments. You can be certain we will take them into consideration during future planning.
Check out this cartoon YouTube video, just 4 minutes, showing you how eating processed foods causes you to eat far more sugar than your liver can possibly keep up with. Even your kids will understand this–I highly recommend sharing this with them! Sugar is “hiding in plain sight” and has 55 different names in ingredient lists that many people won’t recognize, therefore obscuring just how much of the white stuff you’re actually eating!
An interesting study you’re not likely to ever hear about came out of my own alma mater, the University of Utah, and THIS article was published in the Tribune:
Many mothers let their children eat loads of sugary food, thinking that it’s okay because their kid is thin, and they’ll make him brush his teeth twice a day. It turns out that sugar is harmful in so many more ways than dental decay and “empty calories.” The researchers at the University of Utah found that, with the amount of added sugar many Americans eat, female mice died at twice the rate, and male mice exhibit abnormal behavior and don’t reproduce.
The senior author of the study says that the mortality rate of eating the S.A.D. is the equivalent of having your parents be first cousins.
The average American eats 152 lbs. of sugar annually, compared to 20 lbs. a century ago. That’s 750 calories daily, from refined sugar–which is half an adult woman’s daily calorie requirements! Some doctors have predicted that since Americans are eating 100 times more sugar than the human pancreas can process, in 20 years, every single one of us will be diabetic.
Americans think everything has to be syrupy-sweet. We have to find a way out of the disaster course we are on.
The CEO of Xlear, Blaine Yates, was next to me on the plane as we both returned to Utah from a SoCal speaking tour, and a one-day stop at natural-products Expo West recently. Xlear is a local company and a leading manufacturer of xylitol products, and it turns out he lives just up the road from me.
He went to check out GreenSmoothieGirl.com when he got home, and I have now taken the opportunity to learn more about birch and coconut shell and corncob-derived xylitol, too.
Quite a few readers have written asking my opinion of this alternative sweetener. It’s plant based and non-GMO. It’s not a whole food. As I recommend it here and review the basics of what is known about xylitol, please don’t assume I’m saying it’s a superfood. It isn’t.
But neither is stevia a whole food or a superfood, which I recommend. Both are vastly better than sugar or chemical sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, or Splenda, and it has no aftertaste. You can use it in a baking recipe nearly 1:1. (Blaine recommends using 7/8 of a cup of XyloSweet xylitol for 1 cup of sugar in a recipe.)
Sugar is a six-carbon molecule, and Xylitol, a sugar alcohol, is a five-carbon molecule that is not easily ingested and metabolized by cavity-causing bacteria, like sugar is. So when you eat xylitol, bacteria does not stick to the teeth, and the pH of the mouth does not become acidic, leading to tooth decay.
I knew that xylitol gums and toothpastes are often recommended by dentists because of documented positive effects on the teeth, specifically, that it prevents decay, plaque, and cavities. Regular xylitol gum chewers have up to 80 percent less tooth decay. In Finland, studies show a positive effect on upper respiratory infections in children, using xylitol chewing gum.
So Xlear developed a nasal spray of xylitol mixed with saline, a natural and effective way to clear sinus infections. It not only makes the nasal climate inhospitable to bacteria, but it also hydrates the sinuses and helps the body rinse away infection-causing bacteria. It is preventative for ear and sinus infections. It is preventative of biofilms, as well, a topic I’ve been studying lately. You can read more about the university research on xylitol at xylitol.org. Some doctors even use a xylitol wash in the operating room.
Xylitol as a sweetener is also safe for diabetics and hypoglycemics, with its negligible effect on blood sugar and insulin release, and 40 percent fewer calories.
Again, xylitol is not a raw food or a whole food or a superfood. Don’t get it mixed up with things like greens, vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Those are our STAPLES.
It is, however, a good option for a person with a sweet tooth, and it has a number of benefits. No other sweetener has any health benefits (besides some minerals in coconut sugar and molasses and maple syrup). And most of them cause, rather than prevent, dental decay. I am going to start using the mouth rinse since I come from a big family of soft teeth and lots of cavities! While I’ve had no cavities in the past 10 years, the cavities of my childhood are now haunting me, and I’ve had two oral surgeries in the past year, related to tooth decay from my years of the Standard American Diet.
The giveaway package today is the Xlear Sinus Care System, xylitol gum, xylitol toothpaste, a package of XyloSweet xylitol sweetener, a book on healing respiratory infection with this substance, and much more–see the photo for everything the winners get!
Write email@example.com with your name and address, and the first three to write will be selected as the winners and shipped all the freebies. (We can’t write back to everyone, so we’ll write only the first three.) Watch the blog for the winners and their hometown.
Xylitol is derived from birch trees, and non-GMO corn cobs and stalks. Some companies use some harsh chemicals to process their product, but Xlear does not. Buy Xlear products at your health food store–find a store locator HERE. And if you don’t win, don’t despair–get products HERE using the coupon code: smoothie, for a 20% discount off of all products for the month of April!
Tomorrow I’ll share a banana bread recipe using xylitol!