Our bodies run on Glucose, which is burned in the cells. Fructose, however, is burned in the liver and stored — and that is what is causing the twin pandemics of obesity and Diabetes. Table Sugar — the stuff we buy from the store — is half glucose, half fructose.
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), which is used as a sweetener just about everywhere, is two-thirds Fructose and one-third Glucose. This is the stuff that is vilified by everyone except the Corn Farmers and their Trade associations. They insist that HFCS is “natural” — so are strychnine, cyanide and Deadly Nightshade, says I. But I digress…
Dr. Robert Lustig tells us that it is not Fat or Sugar that is the problem — Fructose is. This, he postulates, explains why HFCS is dangerous… but so is sugar. He calls it “Poison”.
I don’t know whether what he says has any scientific validity; it makes sense — but then so do the pronouncements of other Doctors who all seem to blame different things. However, there are a few factors in his favor:
- A century ago, the average American consumed two pounds of sugar a year. Now, the figure is more like a hundred.
- HFCS has been popular in the US for about thirty years. During that time people here have been getting fatter and fatter.
- People in other countries where HFCS is not used are thinner.
I am not going to make any authoritative comments on the merits or evils of sugar. Instead, I am going to do something expected.
I’m giving up sugar.
Of course, since it is ubiquitous in our sugar-laden culture, it is impossible to avoid sugar entirely — a website like sugarstacks certainly brings that into perspective — but I will avoid gratuitous sugar whenever possible. I will not be looking for substitutes; it is my opinion that those substitutes are an unacceptable trade-off.
Those who know me know that my sweet tooth is the subject of legend; as a boy I routinely had three teaspoons of sugar in a cup of tea, and even though I have reduced that to one, all those teas and coffees add up to 5-10 teaspoons of sugar a day.
I don’t know how long this will continue; I’ll keep you posted.