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Sunday, 14 April 2013

Sweet poison: why sugar is ruining our health !

Each week the average Briton consumes 238 teaspoonfuls of a potentially toxic substance linked to long-term health problems – often without knowing it. But just how hard is it to go sugar-free? 

Like it or lump it, few of us get through the day without adding sugar to our daily diet. We are a Pavlovian population made up of sugar, treacle and toffee addicts, drawn to the taste of sweetness like bees to honey. So ingrained is our desire that even writing about sugar now is sending my salivary glands into overdrive as my brain reacts to the very thought of it, whizzing neurotransmitters around to prepare my body for some serious glucose action. Perhaps you, while reading this, are reaching – almost unwittingly – for a chocolate Hobnob?

But that’s not a problem, is it? We could stop and eat a piece of cheese instead – any time we wanted. Or could we?

Maybe not. It seems that our desire to load up with sugar regularly may not be the cheeky reward-cum-energy boost we think it is. Increasingly, experts believe we can be truly addicted to sugar. French scientists in Bordeaux reported that in animal trials, rats chose sugar over cocaine (even when they were addicted to cocaine), and speculated that no mammals’ sweet receptors are naturally adapted to the high concentrations of sweet tastes on offer in modern times. They worried, in a paper published in 2007, that the intense stimulation of these receptors by our typical 21st-century sugar-rich diets must generate a supra-normal reward signal in the brain, with the potential to override self-control mechanisms and thus to lead to addiction.

So if you feel like you are craving a chocolatey treat, that craving is more than just a figure of speech. You may be one of the world’s most common dependants: a sugar addict.

But take heart. Around the world, a growing body of expert opinion – the 'No Sugar’ movement – is leading a global fightback and warning that our sweet habit is completely out of control, leaving a nasty taste in the mouth of the body public. Sugar, whether added to food by you or the manufacturer, is the greatest threat to human health, bar none, they say. And unless we wise up and quit en masse, we don’t just risk personal obesity and disease, but national bankruptcy and collapse as the toll our ill health takes on our countries’ economies threatens to destabilise the modern world.

More on this story here.


Anonymous said...

238 teaspoons a week without realising, the hidden bomb which is doing our health no good. Sugar ia addictive just look at the number of chocaholics there are. Reduction must occur within the food industry but somehow I don't think it will.


Anonymous said...

Goodness,238 teaspoons a week without realising. I copied the next from a comment I remember Clive making a short while ago which I thought was quite apt with the title of this post " Many many years ago we did not consume this white evil known as sugar or the hidden 'ose's that you see if you read what the contents of the boxed food you may have just bought contains. If a word ends in ose it means it is some sort of sugar. Best to avoid folks."
The big trouble with sugar is it is addictive and it is having a detrimental effect on all aspects of our health but I'm with Clive here it is best to avoid or at least cut down.