In 1972, Dr. John Yudkin, a professor at Queen Elizabeth College in London, published a book entitled “Pure White and Deadly”. Yudkin’s research led him to the conclusion that sugar, not fat, was the major cause of cardiovascular disease. Was he right?
Studies completed since the release of Yudkin’s book show that fructose, one of the main carbohydrates in refined sugar, is converted into fat when consumed in excessive amounts.
Sugar contains calories, unlike apples and fruits which also contain fibre, that has a filling effect. One does not generally desire a second apple, but a can of cola loaded with sugar does not satisfy our hunger reflex.
Sugar in of itself, is not a killer. But excessive consumption of it can certainly be linked to a myriad of health problems. The challenge for most of us is that we are unaware of how much sugar we actually consume. In North America, the average person consumes 19.5 teaspoons of sugar daily or 66 pounds a year. It is estimated that 68 percent of packaged foods contain added sugar. Sugar is also known to have addictive properties, like alcohol and tobacco.
What do we do? For many of us, eliminating sugar from our diets is not desirable nor is it practical. But it is likely that we can significantly reduce its consumption without making dramatic lifestyle changes. Here are some suggestions. Try to avoid foods and beverages with high amounts of added sugar. If you need to add sweetener, try natural sugar substitutes such as Xylitol, Erythrol, Stevia and Monk Fruit. If you are concerned about sugar consumption, consult a health care practitioner or registered dietician.