Sugar Consumption In US: Why Sugar Might Be The Biggest Silent Killer

July 5, 2017

Sugar Consumption

Let’s get right to the biggest elephant-in-the-room kind of question – IS SUGAR A DRUG? This question has been around for ages and if we take a look at the rates of sugar consumption in US, we are bound to accept this idea as a true possibility.

We all know how well sugar can tickle our dopamine receptors, much like alcohol, nicotine, and other notorious narcotics, which is why consuming too much sugar is the culprit behind a range of life-threatening illnesses.

According to the famous science writer, Gary Taubes, sugar MUST be considered a drug.

The Root Of The Sugar Consumption Problem

As Taubes notices, the huge part of the problem might be hidden in the fact that we don’t really know how much sugar is too much.

He writes:

“Once we have observed the symptoms of consuming too much sugar, the assumption is that we can dial it back a little and be fine – drink one or two sugary beverages a day instead of three; or, if we’re parenting, allow our children ice cream on weekends only, say, rather than as a daily treat,” says Taubes, and adds:

“But if it takes years or decades, or even generations, for us to get to the point where we display symptoms of metabolic syndrome, it’s quite possible that even these apparently moderate amounts of sugar will turn out to be too much for us to be able to reverse the situation and return us to health. And if the symptom that manifests first is something other than getting fatter – cancer, for instance – we’re truly out of luck.”

As we can see here, he relates the sugar addiction problem to nicotine addiction, and the question here is – is a few cigarettes a day truly better than a whole pack?

What we tend to neglect is that sugar is present and prevalent in almost all foods, while carbohydrates also turn everything we eat into sugar in our bodies. So, moderation, although necessary, ends up being indefinable.

But What CAN We Do?

According to Blue Hill chef, Dan Barber, even though we may never know EXACTLY how much sugar is too much sugar, we simply MUST dial it back a lot.

“Our job here — and not only here, but with everything from tobacco to global warming — is to override the imperfect, long haul to scientific certainty and instead follow the precautionary principle, which means recognizing what’s staring us in the face and acting on it as if our health hangs in the balance. Because it does.”

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