Fitness and Health

2012 August 2012 Health Karen Trom

By Karen Trom from the August 2012 Edition

Sugar, Sugar!

I ran across some very disturbing trivia while researching this article about sugar. The Archie’s song “Sugar Sugar” was the Number One song of the year in 1969 in both the United States and Canada. I like that song but with all the great music in 1969, this is a bit of a shocker!

Another shocker? The amount of sugar we consume in 2012 compared to 1969. These statistics are from the typical Western diet which includes Canada and the US as I could not find any reliable data for Mexico.

However, I am not a fan of most Mexican desserts so they must not use as much sugar as I am used to!

In 1969, the average person ate 125 lbs. (55 kilos) of added sugar per year. In 2012, that amount has jumped to 152 lb. (69 kilo) per year. This equates to 50 teaspoons of added sugar every day. In the 1800’s the average sugar consumption was 20 teaspoons per year!

What does this mean? It means we eat way too much sugar and it is affecting how we live and how we die. More of us die from heart disease and cancer than almost all other causes of death combined and excess sugar, among other lifestyle choices, is a big part of this.

Do you know WHY sugar is bad for you?

Let’s start with the basics.

Most of us have used white granulated sugar all of our lives. It is made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, sugar (or sucrose) is a carbohydrate. Sucrose is made up of two simpler sugars, fructose and glucose.

Sucrose is also naturally in plants, including fruit. There IS a difference between naturally occurring sucrose in plants and the sucrose found in granulated sugar or the high fructose corn syrup often used to sweeten processed foods.

The Corn Growers Association spent $30 million last year reassuring young mothers that high fructose corn syrup is perfectly ok for their children. Those same children have an 80% chance of growing up obese and a 1 in 3 chance of developing diabetes. The food lobby is a big one and very powerful with lots of money to spend. Do your research and check your sources.

Both granulated sugar and high fructose corn syrup go through a refining process…they are called “empty calories” because they offer no nutritional value. In addition, they are addictive and rob your body of energy and health. The current advertising for Sprite touts that it has “real sugar” as though that is a good thing. It’s still added sugar and we don’t need it in our diet.


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