Saturday, August 10, 2013

Mmmm.... Sugar

Check out National Geographic's fascinating article on sugar. Along with an analysis of the history of the sugar trade (involving, unfortunately, lots and lots of slaves and subjugated colonies), it's surprising just how many doctors assign blame for Americans' continued poor health on too much of the sweet stuff:
"fat makes up a smaller portion of the American diet than it did 20 years ago. Yet the portion of America that is obese has only grown larger. The primary reason, says Johnson, along with other experts, is sugar, and in particular fructose.
According to [Richard Johnson, a nephrologist at the University of Colorado Denver] and his colleagues... excessive sugar isn’t just empty calories; it’s toxic.
“It has nothing to do with its calories,” says endocrinologist Robert Lustig of the University of California, San Francisco. “Sugar is a poison by itself when consumed at high doses.”
Johnson summed up the conventional wisdom this way: Americans are fat because they eat too much and exercise too little. But they eat too much and exercise too little because they’re addicted to sugar, which not only makes them fatter but, after the initial sugar rush, also saps their energy, beaching them on the couch. “The reason you’re watching TV is not because TV is so good,” he said, “but because you have no energy to exercise, because you’re eating too much sugar.”

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