The truth is that we haven’t had access to the full set of data until recent times. Additionally, we have been lied to and deceived by the food industry. This deception is especially the case regarding the sugar industry and select scientists who have covered up sugar’s ill effects. In essence, these people sold out our health for corporate and personal profit.
Unfortunately, the American (and worldwide) public are experiencing the consequences. As we replaced natural sources of fat for sugar (and excess carbohydrate in general), soaring rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other conditions of the metabolic syndrome soon followed
Remarkably, the 2015-2020 dietary guidelines for Americans suggest that it’s acceptable to eat up to 10 percent of total calories from added sugar. This amount is approximately 12 teaspoons per day based on a 2,000-calorie diet. It’s important to realize that this number is solely related to added sugar, and ignores the possibility of large amounts of dietary sugars coming from fruit juice—which can also be harmful in excess.
Not just weight gain: Sugar’s dark side
There is a dark side to sugar. Some of the recent findings over the past few years include how higher sugar intake increases our risk for cancer through inducing tumor growth pathways, hyperinsulinemia and activating oncogenic pathways.
Things you can do
The very best thing you can do to avoid sugar is to stop buying processed food with large ingredient labels. Rather than this, opt for real single-ingredient foods as much as possible; meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds. These are the nutritious foods that sustained human health for centuries. Only when we became exposed to industrially processed foods did chronic disease rates begin to soar.
I strongly recommend a natural eating regime like the above, but if you’re not ready for this step then at least check labels. While there is no such thing as a healthy amount of sugar, you can make sure you’re keeping consumption as low as possible.
Lastly, be aware that nutrition labels are devious: Manufacturers often try hide sugar by using many different names. Make yourself familiar with these names.
Unfortunately, a “healthy sugar” doesn’t exist. Whether it’s agave, coconut sugar, or any other version, all have a similar effect on blood sugar levels. However, we can safely say high-fructose corn syrup is the worst form of sugar. If you need a sugar substitute, then erythritol may be worth a look.
But if you ever do have a sweet tooth, then it’s probably best to do as our ancestors did. Eat a piece of fruit.