“The average American eats almost a half of pound of sugar per day.”

By sugar I mean all sweeteners including cane and beet sugar, molasses, honey, maple syrup, and high fructose corn syrup. Sad to say, according to the United States Department of Agriculture this statement is true. This is a huge shift from our Paleolithic ancestors who ate 22 teaspoons of sugar a year and our ancestors in the early 1800’s who ate about 10 pounds of sugar per year.

We are wired to desire the flavor of sweet! Up until the past 50 years this desire for sweet gave us extra calories and was no danger to the body, because we were limited to how much sugar we could obtain. Now sugar is relatively cheap and is found in most processed foods. Just try to find something as simple as commercial salad dressing without sugar in it. Currently, 66% of the sugar the average American consumes is in the form of high fructose corn syrup, mostly in beverages such as soda and tea. Americans are consuming these liquid calories in addition to the calories they take in through their food (which also contains a lot of sugar). These patterns lead to obesity and diabetes among other illnesses in our population.

Consuming sugar, a high glycemic food, causes a sugar high (a rise in blood sugar). This high is followed by a sugar crash which causes the body to crave more food, sweets in particular, creating an unhealthy cycle. To further complicate the problem, sugar is addictive. Once the body is accustomed to sugar, it is not satisfied with foods that do not have it. If you stop consuming sugar abruptly, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. Once the body is clear of sugar it’s amazing how much more energy and vitality you experience.

Like anything, in very small quantities, sugar is not harmful.  But beware how easily it can creep into your diet.

For more information, read Sugar Blues by William Duffy.


 “Using artificial sweeteners will help me avoid the problems with sugar and keep my weight stable.”

You can’t outsmart Mother Nature. The body doesn’t recognize these man-made substances as food. While the body doesn’t take them in as calories, artificial substances do disrupt the hormonal and neurological signals that control hunger and satiety. And like sugar, these sweeteners alter food preferences for more sweet foods and may cause an insulin response which in turn may lead to weight gain.

There is some evidence that these items may slow down your metabolism and even harm your intestinal flora (the good bacteria that is needed for the digestion of food).