Ingesting simple sugar rapidly raises blood glucose levels which in turn causes the pancreas to release insulin. Insulin is anabolic and is the master storage hormone. Prolonged, excessive insulin contributes to obesity, type 2 diabetes and other negative metabolic conditions.
There is a current trend in America to reduce unhealthy sugar consumption.
BUT……Did you know you that to much sugar is poison and you are eating way more sugar than you think you are?
Yep, food manufacturers are putting it in everything. Sugar is poison and it’s in things that we don’t usually expect to find it in like:
- peanut butter
- barbecue sauce
- fruit cups
- apple sauce
- salad dressing
- chocolate milk
- instant oatmeal
- dried fruit
- beef jerky
- tomato sauce
- protein/energy bars
The US population on average is consuming approximately 15 teaspoons (60 grams) of added unhealthy sugar per day.
Alarmingly, we are consuming between 10 and 25% or more of our total daily calories from added hidden sugar.
Children are even getting fatty liver disease now. This recent study showed children drastically lowered the amount of fat and inflammation in their livers by cutting soda pop, fruit juices and other foods with added sugars from their diets.
If they know its is bad for you, why does the food industry put so much sugar in everything?
Because they want to make money by selling their products and they know that sugar is addictive. The food industry hires hundreds of chemists, physicists, and neuroscientists to make sure you grab that granola bar or extra cookie. For this article, I will call them “sugar scientists.”
They even have their own language when they are evaluating their sugary concoctions. They talk about “mouth feel” and “maximum bite force,” “sensory-specific satiety,” (which is how fast a snack loses its appeal as it’s being consumed).
The “Bliss Point?”
The food industry uses a phrase called the bliss point. Every sugary snack has to meet the “bliss point” criteria to make it from the laboratory to the grocery store.
The sugar scientists’ experiment with their formulas until they hit the perfect ratio of just enough of it to make people want more, but not too much to make people think it’s too sweet. That is called the bliss point.
I think it’s important to understand that it is not helpful for good, long term health. Sugar in any form will raise blood glucose and cause a massive spike in insulin. It’s an understatement to say that sugar is bad for you.
Sugar is converted to glucose in the blood.
The human body can only handle about a teaspoon of glucose in the blood before it becomes toxic. The pancrease secretes insulin to utilize the glucose.
What the body can’t use is stored as fat or sent to the kidneys to be excreted in the urine. When the cells are constantly exposed to insulin over time the cells get resistant to it’s toxic effect. That is called being insulin resistant.
Too much sugar causes insulin resistance which leads to a whole host of dietary diseases like metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
This study titled “Insulin resistance as the underlying cause for the metabolic syndrome.” confirms the reality that sugar is poison.
Sugar has many names
However, you name it. Lactose (milk) and fructose (fruit) are just as dangerous as table sugar (sucrose).
They all raise your insulin. Food manufacturers try to sneak sugar into everything they can. They call it different things to confuse the consumer. There are about 56 different names for sugar and 68% of all barcoded food sold in the US has added sweeteners.
Don’t fall for the labeling on the package that says “natural” or “healthy” or “low fat”. Anyway you slice it, sugar is poison. Here are some examples of other names for sugar:
- juice or crystals
- maple syrup
- barley malt
- ethyl maltol
- agave nectar
What about artificial sweeteners?
Alternatives sweeteners, while they might not raise your blood sugars, will still cause an insulin spike. It’s like your body tastes sweetness so it releases insulin in preparation for the sugar it thinks it’s getting. In this study on artificial sweeteners, participants that took sucralose (Splenda) showed a 20% increase in insulin secretion.
Even though they are calorie free, artificial sweeteners react with receptors on the tongue that make people think they are consuming something sweet.
Research has even shown that the gastrointestinal tract and the pancreas are capable of detecting sweet foods and drinks and respond by releasing hormones, such as insulin. Artificial sweeteners can adversely affect metabolism even in small amounts.
Also, Xylitol’s sweetness level is about equal to real sugar, so in recipes, you can swap it out in an equal 1:1 ratio. Xylitol contains just 3 calories per gram and 4 grams of carbs per teaspoon. But, all the carbohydrates from sugar alcohols aren’t fully digested.
As a comparison, glucose has a glycemic and insulin index of 100 each.
Here is a list of sugar alcohols and their glycemic and insulin index values:
- Erythritol: Glycemic index 0, insulin index 2
- Isomalt: Glycemic index 9, insulin index 6
- Maltitol: Glycemic index 35, insulin index 27
- Sorbitol: Glycemic index 9, insulin index 11
- Xylitol: Glycemic index 13, insulin index 11
Are you ready to beat the sugar addiction and get started on the ketogenic diet? here is a good resource to help you get started: Beginners Guide to the Ketogenic Diet.