The Facts behind a Toxic Sweet Tooth

Lately, a lot of talk has been circulating about recent research claiming that sugar is toxic and addictive. If you are like many Americans, then this claim may cause numerous red flags to go off in your head. While we understand that sugar is not a healthy choice, it is hard to understand how something that is such a large part of our diet could be toxic.

One of the largest problems with sugar in the United States is the amount of it that is consumed regularly. Recent estimates report that the average American diet is comprised of 16% sugar. Much of this sugar comes from soda, energy drinks and sweet treats like cookies, ice cream and candy. Sweeteners like sugar and high fructose corn syrup are using up a high allotment of daily calorie intake, without providing any nutritional benefits.

A recent study out of the University of California, Davis has developed evidence that high fructose corn syrup is actually linked to an increased risk for heart disease and stroke. Another study recently revealed that increased intake of sweeteners like sugar and high fructose corn syrup actually increases blood levels of LDL cholesterol. Likewise, a recent study from Harvard found that certain tumors actually have insulin receptors that feed on glucose. This connects sugar consumption with certain types of cancer, including breast and colon cancer.

In addition to having negative health effects, researchers are also finding that sugar is actually addictive. When introduced into our bloodstream sugar causes a euphoric effect that triggers dopamine, producing a sugar “high” that is marked by increased perception of pleasure in the brain.

As you hear more and more about the negative health effects of sugar, many of them are true. What is important to recognize is that these negative health effects are not limited to white, granulated sugar that you see when you are baking a cake or snacking on a cookie. Sugar is everywhere, which makes it very hard to avoid in your diet if you are not careful. As you are developing your weight loss plan in New York, it is a good idea to pay attention to the research that is circulating about sugar and remember that moderation in crucial when developing a healthy diet.