Is sugar toxic? In a recent New York Times article entitled “Is Sugar Toxic,” author Gary Taubes suggests that sugar is not only the primary ingredient behind the obesity epidemic, but also that it independently contributes to risks of high blood pressure, heart disease, and many cancers. Fructose, he says, is the big problem because of how it is handled by the liver relative to other sugars. Many people get their fructose primarily from the high fructose corn syrup in sweetened beverages and other junk food, but it also occurs naturally in most fruits. The article has ignited plenty of controversy, and Gary Taubes has responded to many readers’ comments about his article on a New York Times blog post. In an LA Times post, Dr. Gerard Mullin, a nutrition expert at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, provides some independent analysis of Taubes’ article.
According to Dr. Mullin and most nutritionists, the fructose in fruit is not usually a problem. Fiber in the fruit slows the digestion of the sugar, reducing its potential for harm in the liver and blood stream. Sugar added to drinks, on the other hand, can be consumed quickly and in large quantities. This sudden burst of sugar can not only lead to fatty liver, but can also quickly exceed your daily calorie requirements, making weight loss goals extremely difficult to achieve. Most other sweets don’t produce quite the burst of calories that sugary drinks do, but they can be eaten and digested quite quickly, and are often eaten in large quantities (compared to fruit and other natural foods), so they also tend to provide more than their share of calories.
Relevance to Natural Weight Loss:
Weight Loss Tip: If you drink anything with added sugar, consider replacing it with something a little more natural. Perhaps water? It is completely natural and no calories. But you like the sweetness? Try fruit. Changing an eating happen can be difficult, especially for the first few days, so here’s another tip. Make a goal to give up sugary drinks for two weeks, and then see how you feel. It could be the start of something good.