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The Secrets of Sugar Revealed

We have all heard about the dangers of eating too much salt and sugar. Although many researches show that sugar can make us sick and obese, there aren’t any recommended limits for sugar on the food labels. Is the sugar industry hiding an awful truth from the consumers? Gillian Findlay dug into the surprising science and the reactions from the food industry and she’s revealing us the Secrets of Sugars in the Fifth Estate’s season premiere.

The Secrets of Sugar

The Secrets of Sugar

An influential group of medical researchers is leading a huge health debate and they claim that sugar is rising obesity rates and causes many diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and heart diseases.

The Research

A family of four was put on a healthy diet that will help them beat their sugar habit. The end results were shocking. The family was consuming 95 tbs. sugar per day. The devastating part was that they weren’t eating cookies or cupcakes during the research, they had a typical, healthy North American diet.

Most people don’t have any idea how much sugar they’re consuming. The reason is because most of the sugar we consume isn’t added by a teaspoon in our coffee cup but it’s hidden inside the processed foods.

A can of tomato soup contains more than 7 tbsp. sugar.

A cup of Vanilla flavored Activia yogurt has more than 14 tbsp. sugar.

An average person consumes 25 tbsp. of sugar per day. That is around 40 kilos of sugar per year.

Science is linking high consumption of sugar in North American diets with the rapid spread of cancer, Alzheimer’s and heart diseases.

Is Sugar Toxic?

A lot of health problems in the 80s and 90s were blamed on fat intake. When the “low-fat” and “low calorie” products started appearing in the markets, they didn’t reduce the number of sick people. Unfortunately, the rates kept climbing.

A lot of nutritionists and doctors started asking why this was happening and the answer was pretty simple- sugar.

“Which was worse: the sugar or the fat? The sugar is a 1000 times over. The fat’s going down, the sugar’s going up and we’re all getting sick. This is not a hyperbole, this is the real deal. Everyone thinks that the bad effects of sugar are because sugar has empty calories. What I’m saying is no, actually there are lots of things that do have empty calories that are not necessarily poisonous” says Dr. Robert Lustig.

Dr. Robert Lustig is a pediatrician, a medical professor and leader of the anti-sugar campaign.

“Sugar is made up of two molecules-one called glucose and the other fructose. They separate in our gut. The glucose circulates throughout our body, feeding our muscles and our brain. But the fructose goes right to our liver. It’s in that organ where all kinds of problems begin. When you metabolize fructose in excess, your liver has no choice but to turn that energy into liver fat and that liver fat, then causes all of the metabolic diseases such as cancer and heart disease” explains Dr. Lustig.

Can Sugar Make You Sick?

A new scientific research is linking the increased sugar consumption to many diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and heart diseases. Dr. Lustig has studied cases of diabetes in 175 countries.

“When you adjust for all the factors we know are relevant, what about the food supply predicts diabetes rates worldwide? Answer: sugar and only sugar,” says Lustig.

Dr. John Sievenpiper, a nutrition researcher, claims that Lustg’s believes are wrong.

“A lot of other things have happened at the same time. Over the same time as sugar has gone up, so has bottled water, but there’s no real biological plausibility in the link between bottled water and overweight and obesity, so it’s not a, I don’t think, a sound finding… we have to be careful in putting too much of the biological plausibility in wanting to believe patterns that we see,” says Dr. Sievenpiper.

Many other scientists are raising the alarm about sugar and Dr. Lewis Cantley is one of them. He’s the head of the Cancer Center at New York’s Weill Cornell Medical College and a firm believer that sugar is the reason behind many diseases. He even abandoned sugar consumption.

“I think that eating too much sugar can definitely increase probability of cancer, and also make the outcome of people who have cancer worse”, says Dr. Cantley.

Watch the documentary for The Secrets of Sugar: