Sweet Betrayal Part 2

Sugar was first introduced to this country in 1751 by the Jesuits who brought sugar cane to New Orleans from Haiti. By 1791 commercial production was in full swing. Today, sugar is obtained from sugar cane or sugar beets and those beets are almost predominantly GMO.

(Ensminger et al. 1983: 2061)

Over the last 225 years, the refined white granules of pure sucrose known to us as sugar have become a staple of the human diet in developed countries. If you eat like most Americans, you almost can’t avoid it. In fact, you would have to make a concerted effort to eliminate it from your diet and the ensuing withdrawal can seem brutal to some people. Sugar is the leading food additive in the U.S. today. With the exception of tobacco, I believe the sugar industry has perpetrated one of the largest assaults on our health in history. Refined white sugar damages your health from head to toe in a negative way. It affects your brain, your digestive system, endocrine, cardiovascular, and immune systems.

Equally problematic is that due to the processing of sugar it has essentially no nutrients left, therefore it contributes nothing to the diet except calories.

“Refining of raw cane sugar into white sugar removes most (93%) of the ash, and with it go the trace elements necessary for metabolism of the sugar; 93% of the chromium, 89% of the manganese, 98% of the cobalt, 83% of the copper, 98% of the zinc and 98% of the magnesium. These essential elements are in the residue molasses, which is fed to cattle.”

(Schroeder 1973b: 152).

Sugar is a thief

Empty calories create negative nutrients. Since the organism must consume its own nutrients to metabolize, the only way for the calories from sugar to metabolize is to steal enzymes provided by vitamins that your body stores. Not only is it void of nutrients, it is nutrient depleting. Nutrient deficient foods crowd out nutrient dense foods leaving people in caloric excess, increasingly fat, yet still hungry and malnourished. Not your ideal environment for a healthy body.

How it makes you fat

When sucrose is consumed, an enzyme separates sucrose into its individual sugar units of glucose and fructose. Both sugars are then taken up by their specific transport mechanisms. Uptake of both occurs at the same time. The body will use glucose as its main energy source and if the excess energy from fructose is not needed, will be put into fat synthesis. Controlling sugar intake can help control hunger and allow fat stores to more readily release fat.



In the 1930’s Cleveland dentist Weston Price became alarmed by what he considered rampant tooth decay in his adult clients. This was often accompanied by other health concerns such as arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes and others issues. However, it was the younger patients that caused him the greatest concern. Crowded, crooked teeth were becoming more and more common, along with what he called “facial deformities” such as overbite and narrowed faces. The children invariably suffered from other serious ailments that ranged from frequent infections to asthma to behavioral problems and more.

This is what prompted Dr. Price to embark on a 10 year adventure and led him to some of the most remote and isolated regions of the World. It was in these remote areas that had no “civilian” contact that Dr. Price found the smoking gun. What he observed were people with uniformly broad dental arches, all 32 teeth present, little or no decay and no crowded teeth.

Researchers at the time attributed the general good health of the primitive people he studied to racial purity. I heard that statement earlier today and like Dr. Price, I don’t buy it. Upon further investigation, he found that very often the groups living close by, of the same race, had come in contact with traders or missionaries. It was at that time they had abandoned their traditional diet for the foods available in newly established stores; sugar, refined grains, canned foods, pasteurized milk and devitalized fats and oils. In these groups, he again found rampant tooth decay, infectious illness and degenerative conditions.

One need look no further than diet and lifestyle to understand the vast differences in health from the so-called primitive peoples to those exposed to civilized populations.

I have a cookbook that was published in 1935. To date I’ve found one single recipe in the book that doesn’t include sugar; and lots of it. Books were probably the best way to distribute information in those days. Not everyone had televisions and companies like Imperial Sugar, the self-proclaimed “mother of all sugars”, produced their own cookbooks with their corporate profits in mind. Imperial even produced a cookbook for kids in the ‘70’s.

Bones, dem bones.

The health of our bones isn’t something we typically have in the forefront of our minds. Probably because as long as they aren’t complaining or we aren’t chilled to the bone, they are hidden from sight and we actually prefer it that way.  The truth is, your bones can tell your secrets long after you are gone.

Bones are no exception in the havoc that sugar wreaks. In a case controlled study of 57 children ranging from 18 months to 14 years in age, a significant association was found between abnormally low blood calcium and intake of at least 1.5 liters per week of soft drinks containing phosphoric acid. Primarily found in cola drinks, there is also evidence that phosphoric acid promotes kidney stones and osteoporosis. Researchers at Tufts University, studying several thousand men and women, found that women who regularly drank cola-based sodas — three or more a day — had almost 4% lower bone mineral density in the hip. Sugar is so acidifying that it causes your body to take calcium from your bones and excrete it through your urine leaving you prone to kidney stones.

Mazariegos-Ramos E, et al. Consumption of soft drinks with phosphoric acid as a risk factor for the development of hypocalcemia in children: a case control study. J Pediatr 1995

Be Still my beating heart

Our brain reacts to sugar in the same way it reacts to falling in love. Don’t be fooled. The only thing sugar has to do with your heart certainly has nothing to do with love. Yet, it’s how we express our love often times for example, a box of chocolates for Valentines day.

By now you’re probably not surprised to hear that hypertension is found almost exclusively in developed countries to which the standard western diet is strongly linked. Hypertension is a condition wherein a patient’s blood pressure measured greater than 140/90 on more than one occasion. Usually, a somewhat higher value is allowed for patients who are older than 60.  This condition is virtually nonexistent in undeveloped areas and in those areas increased blood pressure is not related to advancing age. In general, hypertension has no single cause, however excess sodium and excess sucrose are contributing factors.



According to a newly published article in JAMA Internal Medicine, in the 1960’s more and more research was surfacing suggesting that sugar may be linked to coronary heart disease. In a move that can be considered nothing less than dastardly, the sugar industry secretly funded research to sway people away from this opinion and lead them to believe it was fat and not sugar that was the hazard. A group called the Sugar Research Foundation wanted to refute the fact that sugar was a contributor so they funded research by Harvard scientists who obediently complied with their wishes. They concluded that there were major problems with the research conducted implicating sugar and the best way to address coronary heart disease was to cut fat out of the American diet. They then published the results of their findings in the prominent New England Journal of Medicine in 1967 without disclosing where the funding originated from. One of the researchers was the chairman of Harvard’s Public Health Nutrition Department — and an ad hoc member of the Sugar Research Foundations board. Once again, corporations behaving badly.

In the same issue of the JAMA internal medicine, Marion Nestle PHD writes the following in a commentary regarding the subject:

“Is it really true that food companies deliberately set out to manipulate research in their favor? Yes, it is, and the practice continues. In 2015, the New York Times obtained emails revealing Coca-Colas cozy relationships with sponsored researchers who were conducting studies aimed at minimizing the effects of sugary drinks on obesity. Even more recently, the Associated Press obtained emails showing how a candy trade association funded and influenced studies to show that children who eat sweets have healthier body weights than those who do not.”

I remember as a child collecting bottles & cans for money specifically to buy ice cream or pixy stix straws or both. Those straws were filled with nothing but flavored sugar and we were happy to pour it straight into our mouths. Sugar sells and left unchecked, our kids will go for it every time especially when it is placed at their eye level. Did you ever notice the crazed wild eyed characters portrayed on children’s products?  Children are exposed to multiple forms of marketing as food and beverage companies spend billions of dollars targeting them.

In the 1970’s the US Government started a review on the safety of sugar for the first time. The sugar industry stepped in to muddy the waters. Suddenly a report surfaced called sugar in the diet of man, claiming scientists dispel fear over sugar. Although there is no evidence it was paid for by the sugar industry. The industry distributed the report widely and this was the report the government used to base their findings.

This manipulation of evidence and ensuring there’s no conclusive evidence to link sugar to poor health parallels the techniques used by the tobacco companies back in the day.

Mainstream media is just one of the players doing their part to make sure facts are ambiguous when it comes to food. Knowledge is power especially when it comes to your health and the health of your family. There are plenty of good documentaries that clearly show we are headed down the wrong path with our sad American diet.

It’s time we take our health into our own hands. Do your own test, cut sugar out of your diet and see the results for yourself; or watch the documentary That Sugar Film. The results of this 60 day experiment are eye opening to say the least. This test conclusively proves it isn’t the amount of calories that matter when it comes to weight gain and health, it’s the source of the calories. The damaging effects sugar causes can also be reversed by eliminating it from our diet. Sugar, guilty as charged.

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