‘The sugar epidemic’ is easily one of the most pressing medical issues in our current generation, causing massive increases in a number of sugar-coated illnesses inlucing diabetes, heart and Alzheimer’s disease and a range of cancers, just to name a few. This simple yet extremely damaging substance has been shown to have the same emotional and chemical response in the brain as a lot of hard drugs, causing similar dopamine responses, cravings and withdrawal effects.
Today, the average American consumes 150 to 170 pounds of refined sugar a year and compared to the measly 4 pounds a year consumed in the 1700s, 18 pounds by the 1800s and even 90 pounds in early 1900s, we’ve come a very long way (down the wrong track).
You may be thinking this has nothing to do with me – I never add sugar in my coffee,I say no to sweets and I avoid chocolate...
when in fact, most of the sugar consumed around the world isn’t actually called sugar…
The food industry has done their research, and found they could keep piling foods with this addictive and cheap ingredient simply by naming it something a little bit nicer. Most of the food you eat will have added sugar in it in one form or another.
Do any of these words look familiar to you?
1. Golden Syrup
Made from refining sugar cane or beet juice into a thick, amber-coloured treacle.
2. Brown sugar
The combination of white sugar and molasses (through the process of leaving the naturally occurring molasses in, or adding additional molasses to highly processed sugar).
3. Agave nectar
No, it’s good for you, it’s agave… Nope – wrong; this syrup is made from the juice of an agave plant (a type of cactus) which is then boiled down to simple sugars.
4. Raw cane sugar
Dehydrated cane juice (compared to cane sugar which is still “raw” until the colour, molasses and all other ingredients are stripped).
5. Date sugar or dates
Because of their high sugar content (over 80%), date sugar is simply the drying and granulating of the fruit.
Found in dairy products, avocados, sugar beets, other gums and mucilages.
A by-product of starch, maltodextrin is an inexpensive and often damaging additive to thicken food products. It is absorbed by the body as glucose.
8. Refiner’s syrup
Another by-product from refining cane sugar.
The ‘natural fruit sugar’ can actually be derived from any plant i.e. cane sugar – so again, a by-product of refined cane sugar.
Although it’s the chemical name for blood sugar in our bodies, glucose is produced commercially through the breakdown of starch, one of the easiest sources being from corn. Corn syrup is often known as glucose syrup.
11. Organic raw sugar
Basically, sugar from sugar cane grown without using pesticides.
12. Organic coconut syrup or coconut nectar
Sugar produced from the nectar of coconut palm flower buds.
13. Organic coconut sugar
Evaporated coconut syrup.
14. Fruit juice concentrate
Fruit juice boiled down to its sugars. Fruit juice concentrate can be added to products and they’re still labeled as 100% natural or ‘all-fruit’ products because of its natural source.
15. Maple syrup
Made from the concentrated sap of red or black maple trees.
17. Carob syrup
A syrup made from the extraction of sugar from the carob plant.
18. Barley malt syrup
A syrup made from sprouted barley, mostly made of maltose (a common form of sugar).
19. High-fructose corn syrup
A sweetener made from corn starch BUT with some of it’s glucose converted into fructose. HFCS is what you’d get if you tried to make corn syrup any worse than it already is.
Don’t be fooled – it’s concentrated fruit nectar with an 85% sugar content.
Another by-product of sugar refinement.
These are just a few of the dozens of different names the food industry has for sugar. It’s no surprise that the global consumption is growing exponentially every year when most people don’t even know they’re consuming it.
Let’s explore the effects of this substance which is consumed more heavily than water in some nations…