You can imagine my reaction when I read the most recent headlines about sugar. You know, the ones declaring that drinking one soda per day ups heart disease risk by a whopping 30 percent.
In fact, I’m actually still laughing about this so-called “news.” Not because it’s funny, mind you. But because it’s something I have been saying for, oh, about 20 years now.
Why does it take so long to change the dogma in this country? Why does it take so long for Americans to wake up and realize the “food” they’re eating is killing them?
And most importantly, when are people going to realize that unless we loosen ourselves from the stranglehold of Big Agribusiness and Big Pharma, we are NEVER going to be healthy as a nation?
To paraphrase one of my patients, the pharmaceutical companies have propaganda departments that specialize in misinformation. And it’s very difficult to get out from under that.
But it’s not impossible. As long as the truth is out there. So let me share some of the facts with you…
First, a few timeworn statistics. Roughly 15 percent of the daily calorie intake of the average American adult comes from sugar added to processed food. A whopping 37 percent of it comes from sugar added to sweetened beverages like soda.
Now, let me throw in my newest “fun fact” about sugar. In 1822, the average American took five days to consume the amount of sugar a modern American consumes in just one 12-ounce soda.
Even more shocking? On average, Americans now consume that much sugar every seven hours. And it’s literally destroying our lives.
The results of this recent study are just one example. As I mentioned, these researchers project that drinking a single 12-ounce soda daily, boosts your heart disease risk by almost a third. That’s independent of total calories, obesity, and other risk factors, too.
So to all those “experts” who think “everything is okay in moderation”…
NO, IT’S NOT. Heroin’s not okay in moderation. And neither is sugar.
And let’s be honest, there’s nothing moderate about sugar consumption in this country. Even the authors of the study admitted, “Our findings indicate that most US adults consume more added sugar than is recommended for a healthy diet.” As though this is some kind of groundbreaking discovery.
And just wait, because it gets better. Apparently, this “news” is sparking disagreement among experts over how much added sugar is acceptable in a healthy diet.
The Institute of Medicine thinks it’s acceptable to get 25 percent of your total calories from added sugar. The WHO is sticking with 10 percent. And the American Heart Association has recently dropped their recommendations to 5 percent and 7.5 percent for women and men, respectively.
But I’ve got news for them. They’re all wrong. Because the only safe amount of added sugar in your diet is NONE.
Which makes me wonder… am I the only doctor in this country that routinely counsels their patients of the harmful effects of sugar? Not a visit goes by where I don’t ask each and every one of my patients about how their relationship with sugar has been since our last visit.
I’ve said it over and over again. Sugar kills.How much more proof do we need?
“Added sugar intake and cardiovascular diseases mortality among US adults.” JAMA Intern Med 2014; DOI:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.13563.