Sugar Conspiracy? What Secrets the Sugar Industry Hid About Our Health
7 minute read
Who doesn’t have a sweet tooth? Everyone enjoys a sweet treat every now and then, even the healthiest of people. As good as sugar tastes, it has a bad reputation when it comes to our health.
Back in the 1960s, when the influence of diet on health was a novel idea, the roles of sugar and fat were up for debate. There was a not-so-sweet side to the sugar industry, as they shifted all the blame for bad health onto fats.
Sugar: Not as Innocent as It Seems
The strategies employed by the sugar industry were indeed impressive. They were matched in sophistication by the efforts put forth by tobacco industries when they came under scrutiny.
Back in 1965, a secretly funded scientific review was released that downplayed all evidence linking sugar to unhealthy blood fat levels. Things were not as sweet as they seemed, because the sugar industry was the one who provided the funds. And they also, hid the results.
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The studies found that a high-sugar diet increased the triglyceride levels in rats. Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood that are linked to increased risk for heart attack and stroke.
Animals that were fed sugar instead of healthy supplements, like turmeric, were also found to have elevated levels of an enzyme in their urine that is known to cause bladder cancer. Before any further research could be done, the Sugar Research Foundation pulled the plug.
The reason given for closing the study was “organizational restructuring,” and the public remained unaware of the true damages of sugar consumption. They released statements boasting of their commitment to research and advised that sugar in moderation was part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
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And this was just the beginning. The current controversy over sugar consumption and our health is deeply rooted in over 60 years of manipulated research.
What You Need to Know About Sugar
Recent studies are finding links between sugar intake and heart disease as well as other serious conditions. As it happens, sugar has far-reaching effects and can impact every part of your body.
Sugar Makes Your Organs Get Fat: The intake of sugar causes your liver to store fat more efficiently. This usually means fat gets stored in some unusual places, and over time globules of fat can develop around your liver.
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This can lead to a condition known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. The best way to avoid this is to avoid drinks that contain a lot of sugar including supposedly healthy smoothies.
It Primes You for Diabetes: For every extra 150 calories you consume from sugar, your risk for diabetes increases by 1.1%. Sugar does not directly cause diabetes, but it can increase your risk of developing the condition.
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It is important to remember that sugar is hidden in foods that we do not suspect. Be sure to check labels for frozen meals, sauces, and even bread.
It Damages Heart Health: Too much sugar can raise blood pressure levels as well as increase chronic inflammation, both of which will do a real number on your heart. Sugar also leads to the accumulation of fat, and, when your organs start to get fat, you are at increased risk for diabetes and heart disease.
Diabetes and heart disease are linked, as heart problems are the number one cause of death in individuals with type-2 diabetes.
It Builds Tension in Your Blood Vessels: Excess sugar can increase the amount of insulin released into your blood, and this has a negative impact on your circulatory system. Chronic high insulin levels cause the smooth muscle cells in your blood vessels to grow faster than usual, which creates tense artery walls.
Tension in the artery walls puts you at direct risk for hypertension and a heart attack or stroke.
It Causes Chaotic Cholesterol: Individuals that consume large amounts of sugars regularly also get the highest spikes in cholesterol levels. Triglyceride fats and bad cholesterol levels increase while good cholesterol levels decrease.
Your liver becomes overwhelmed from producing more bad cholesterol than it is able to clear out.
Type 3 Diabetes: You may be aware of type 1 and 2 diabetes, but there is actually a third you may want to hear about. This type is linked to neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.
Essentially this is diabetes of the brain, as Alzheimer’s disease is metabolically based and your brain’s ability to use glucose is damaged.
Sugar Creates Its Own Addiction: Sugar releases chemicals that stimulate your brain’s pleasure center just as effectively as opiate drugs can. Over time and regular exposure, you develop a tolerance to sugar and more sugar is required to reach the pleasure levels.
Animal studies have even shown that sugar addiction causes chattering teeth, tremors, and anxiety when taken away. Too much sugar can essentially make you a junkie.
Sugar Increases Appetite: Sugar interferes with your brain’s ability to detect a full belly. A sugary meal can make you feel un-full so you continue eating. It is likely you will keep eating something sweet because of the addiction factor, and the result will be weight gain and eventually obesity.
It Leads to a Zombie State: A candy bar or sugary energy drink is always the go-to during that afternoon slump, but this will do more harm than good. Yes, the sugar will give you a quick energy burst, but the crash will be devastating once that momentary sugar spike decreases.
Sugar also triggers the release of more serotonin, which is your sleep regulating chemical, leaving you feeling like a zombie.
The Bottom Line
Had the information that was learned decades ago been released, there would be a totally different opinion about sugar today. The sugar industry has a great deal of money and influence, which gives them the ability to sway public opinion and keep us in the dark.
As new findings are released and the health-conscious movement gains momentum, we are learning the truth about sugar. We must be careful with what we choose to believe because sugar may be sweet, but the sugar industry certainly is not.