Have a Coke and a smile! It's Miller time! Did you realize that your body treats the sugars in these two drinks almost identically? Yep! Fructose and ethanol are both sugars. One is an acute toxin that it is taxed, regulated by the ATF, and kept out of the hands of minors until they can choose to 'toxify' their own system. The other, is a chronic toxin (which is why the FDA doesn't intervene) that is not only legal, but is given to infants in the form of juice from WIC! There is a very scientific reason why we are getting six month old babies that are 'obese', and hundreds of thousands more that are dying around the world due to obesity related issues … specifically, 1 in 5 of all deaths!
I introduce you to Fructose! It's most common form is 'high fructose corn syrup', and it has made its way into almost everything we eat! We as a society have gone from having an average of 15 grams of sugar a day, to 72.8 grams! Statistics say we on average now consume 141 pounds of sugar each year!
Why? Well for many reasons but two specifics ones are that fructose is 1/2 the cost of real sugar, and 'low fat' processed foods tastes like cardboard!
Are you skeptical that those in power would do this 'on purpose'? Let's take a soft drink for an easy example. They have caffeine, which is a natural diuretic, meaning you will lose pure water (so you will stay thirsty). They are loaded with salt, which makes you thirstier (so you will drink more). And they are loaded with sugar. Why? A bit of a dual purpose. One is to cover up the taste of all the salt, the other is to shut down your "I'm full" response from your brain. Which is why your 8 year old can eat as much as you do at the fast food restaurant, when they are enjoying their favorite soft drink with their meal!
Everyone has most likely heard about the negative impact of ethanol on the human system. Ethanol, for those that do not know, is the active ingredient in alcohol that gives you that 'buzzed' feeling. However, I'm betting that you didn't know that fructose has 8 out of the 12 negative chronic issues that ethanol has! Yep, hypertension, cardiomyopathy, dyslipidemia, pancreatitis, obesity, hepatic dysfunction, fetal alcohol syndrome, and addiction! In addition, we have all seen the 'beer bellies' from avid beer drinkers. Fructose can create the same thing, as 30% of the totally calories from fructose goes directly to fat stores!
When you look at what's driving the whys, it's really no surprise that obesity is an epidemic in our country! According to the Journal of American Medicine, more than 1/3 (78.6 million) adults in the U.S. are now obese and growing at a rate of over 350%. The National Institutes of Health reports that over 97 million Americans are overweight or obese.
Some of the major medical issues associated with obesity are: hypertension, dyslipidemia, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, stroke, congestive heart failure, coronary heart disease, gallbladder disease, respiratory problems, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, and endometrial, breast, prostate, and colon cancers. Eight of the obesity-related diseases account for a stagger 75% of healthcare costs in the U.S., creating over a $100 billion dollar tab annually! If you want to know the 'why' behind things, it's often easiest to just follow the money.
Here is the rub. I find it strangely ironic that over 300,000 die from obesity each year (read food addiction), compared to 26,000 to drug addiction, yet we only have a 'war' on drugs. The media (therefore the populace) tend to just focus on those 'evil drugs'. And sadly, like warm maple syrup dripping off the edge of your plate, and running into the cracks on the dining room table, the idea that 'drugs' are the only pure evil out there has even seeped into our mentality … and sugar isn't on it! We are actually told on sites like "SweetSuprise.com" the 'facts' about high fructose corn syrup, and that it’s "basically the same as sugar," and that there is “no scientific evidence that high fructose corn syrup is to blame for obesity and diabetes.” Which proves that you can put any information you want on any website, truth or otherwise; are there are a multitude of independent and non-government funded studies that prove otherwise.
So what's the initial fix? First understand that the old idea that a calorie is a calorie, is totally false! Second you need to get rid of the idea that if calories in are balanced with calories out you won't gain weight. There are a multitude of beneficial effects from exercise, direct calories burned is the least of them. Let’s be realistic, I would literally have to run a marathon to burn off the calories in one 'blizzard'! Everything is more specifically based on how your body uses those calories!
What can you do to directly help? Don't drink any liquids with sugar in them, stick to water, unsweetened tea, or coffee. Wait 20 min before you have a second portion. Make sure you eat carbs with some fiber. Paleo man used to get 100-300 grams of fiber a day, and on average we now only get 12! Think about the 'packaging' of natural sugars: sugar cane is basically a stick! All fruits has lots of fiber in them.
Who am I?
I have been called "Sirthinkalot" and "The mender of souls." I am an addiction specialist and a full-time psychology student on the way to Dr. Davis in clinical psychology. I am currently crusading for the expedited paradigm shift in addiction recovery!