Sugar, Sugar

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Wow, I could analyze that song from a feminist point of view (but that is for my other blog).

I confess that I love sweet stuff. I must admit that sweet stuff doesn’t like me.

The other day, I watched The Widowmaker, a documentary about the suppression of a life-saving heart disease screening test by men who made millions on the recently debunked use of stents. While millions of people died from heart attacks, one man (stent inventor and business man who is a cardiologist) and heart surgeons around the country worked hard to keep the inexpensive screening test from being approved and being used. It would have cut into their profits (oh, hospital profits, too).

In the meantime, over the last 2-3 decades, much misinformation about how saturated fat causes heart disease by clogging arteries with cholesterol was spread through the media. I remember seeing a study in the 90s that claimed that fat causes a person to become fat, not sugar. People began buying low- and nonfat products while eating lots of sugar.

Lo and behold, recent studies are questioning the saturated fat connection, finally. What I am NOT seeing in the media are the studies that tie sugar consumption to heart disease.
sugar infographic
A CBS News article published online in 2012 brings up this concern by citing a meta-analysis conducted by CDC scientists.

“[Sugar] has been shown to increase blood pressure and levels of unhealthy cholesterol and triglycerides; and also may increase signs of inflammation linked with heart disease,” said Rachel Johnson of the American Heart Association.

The most surprising result was that it didn’t strengthen the belief in a connection between sugar –> obesity –> heart disease.

It suggested that it worked like this: sugar –> heart disease.

Normal-weight individuals who ate high sugar diets presented with higher incidents of heart disease.

Here are some very disturbing facts:

  • Adults who got at least 25 percent of their calories from added sugar were almost three times more likely to die of heart problems than those who consumed the least – less than 10 percent.
  • For those who got more than 15 percent – or the equivalent of about two cans of sugary soda out of 2,000 calories daily – the risk was almost 20 percent higher than the safest level.

Sugar is found in most processed foods. It has many names, but it is sugar nonetheless:

  • dextrose
  • fructose
  • corn syrup
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • corn syrup solids
  • sucralose
  • sugar (this is usually GMO beet sugar)
  • cane sugar (non-GMO but still sugar)
  • honey
  • brown rice syrup
  • and more…

Sugar is bad for you. Sugar is bad for your heart. Sugar causes systemic inflammation and bad cholesterol that clogs arteries.

Over the last few decades, patient mortality from sudden heart attack has not dropped. The medical community (and CDC and FDA) have been complicit in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans. What you don’t know can kill you.

I think we need to step away from the sugar bowl, people. Sugar is killing us.

Sugar, sugar … honey, honey. I don’t think so.

 

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