From Michael Klaper, MD
"To arm oneself with a sword of knowledge, a little sweet chemistry understanding is called for. Sugars do taste good, and there is no problem in enjoying the naturally occurring fructose in whole, fresh fruits. The problem is in eating sugar as a food! When you are holding a cookie in your hand, a piece of cake, a candy bar, you are holding a chunk of sugar in your hand. You would not consider going over to the sugar bowl and shoveling in tablespoons of the white stuff, but here you are, actually considering eating this large chunk of sugar as a food.
If you do eat it, within minutes, your bloodstream is flooded with sugar and your pancreas is on high alert. Soon, the structural proteins in all your tissues – the elastic fibers of your skin, the hemoglobin in your blood, the filter membranes in your kidneys, the inner lining of your blood vessels, the lenses of your eyes – all get “sticky” with sugar (the chemists say they become “glycosylated.”) In the 98.6 F metabolic “oven” of our body, the sugars and proteins melt together and oxidize, like the browning of bread crust (called the “Maillard reaction.”) These oxidized, damaged, and congealed proteins, officially called “Advanced Glycation End Products” do not function normally – the gummed up, oxidized protein fibers break, skin cracks in the sunlight, eyes become less permeable to light, muscle proteins do not contract as vigorously, brain function dwindles – sound familiar? The aging process perhaps? Besides promoting the generation of cancer cells, EATING SUGAR AGES US!
It is said, “The truth shall set you free” - and the truth is, whether it is mixed with fat, as in ice cream, or baked into pies, candies and cakes, or dissolved in soft drinks, refined sugars are sweet poison. Like the poisoned apple in Sleeping Beauty, sugary treats taste good upon the tongue, but silently and relentlessly, they damage us."
So, as my eyes fall upon the plate of cookies or candy, I actually flash the image in my mind of myself eating it, and simultaneously think, “This is a chunk of sugar in my hand. This stuff ages me. It makes my skin crack, my arteries stiff, is hard on my pancreas, and it leads me towards frailty and Alzheimer’s disease. Do I really want to eat it?
Is it really worth it?”
*Editor's comment: I am reminded of a commercial that's been playing on TV for quite awhile sponsored by a high fructose corn syrup company. The purpose of the commercial is to refute the claim that high fructose corn syrup is unhealthy. The commercial refers to scientific evidence purporting that corn syrup has pretty much the same make-up as processed sugar. The claim is that there's nothing to worry about because corn syrup is the same as sugar. I have to laugh! Then corn syrup is just an unhealthy as processed sugar! Appreciate you pointing that out Mr. Commercial Maker! Ha!
I for one am making every attempt to stay away from all forms of processed sugar, corn syrup, plus the concentrated sweeteners of maple syrup, honey, agave, brown rice syrup, molasses, barley malt, and frozen and bottled juices/in cartons. They all are detrimental to your health. I am making one exception- for occasional baking treats we do use date sugar (a healthier choice/has some nutrients/health benefits), and my wife Bev does make a wonderful ginger cookie with date sugar and a little bit of molasses. (We're not perfect!) We also make a sweet banana bread using no added sugar, only ripe bananas- plenty sweet! Otherwise I get all the sweet tastes in my diet from natural fruits and vegetables. As a consequence my taste buds are extremely healthy- not used to the strong tastes of processed sweeteners. Because of this, natural, healthy sweet tastes especially from fruits are amazing and strong! The only way you will ever experience this is to steer clear from processed sweeteners and maintain a healthy diet. If you can give up your sugar addiction, you will be greatly rewarded. Try it for a month! You may never go back.