The Bitter Truth: Sugar and Inflammation


For the last four decades, Americans have avoided fats and gorged on sugar. Sugar is a leading contributor to type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, MS,  metabolic syndrome, and excessive weight gain.  It also increases the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis; actually nearly every disease has a link to sugar.

Sugar in the amount that the typical Americans eat (about 64 pounds a year) continually upsets our body chemistry and causes the inflammatory process that leads to disease. The less sugar you eat, the less inflammation, and the stronger your immune system, which defends us against infectious and degenerative diseases.

Excess sugar in the blood causes glycation, a process where a sugar molecule binds to a protein or a fat, and leads to the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs are inflammatory; they are associated with type 2 diabetes, aging, and many diseases.

Don’t be fooled. Sugar is hidden in packaging in many different forms: high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup solids, sucrose, maltose, dextrose,  fructose, glucose, galactose, lactose. When a manufacturer wants to sweeten up a certain brand of cereal, for example, it can either do this using 15 grams of sugar, or,5 grams of malt syrup, 5 grams of invert sugar, and 5 grams of glucose. Some manufacturers seem to be choosing this divide and masquerade method, placing these ingredients lower down on their products’ lists, making the public believe that the amount of sugar in the product is smaller than it is.

It’s all still sugar:  Cane juice, dehydrated cane juice, cane juice solids, cane juice crystals, dextrin, maltodextrin, dextran, barley malt, beet sugar, caramel, buttered syrup, carob syrup, brown sugar, date sugar, malt syrup, diatastic malt (enzymes that breakdown starch into sugar), fruit juice concentrate, dehydrated fruit juice, fruit juice crystals, golden syrup, turbinado,  sorghum syrup, molasses, refiner’s syrup, ethyl malitol, maple syrup, yellow rock sugar, and sugar alcohols such as sorbitol and mannitol.

Healthy Alternative Sweeteners

  • Stevia (recommend Sweet Leaf Vanilla Creme)
  • Coconut sugar and coconut nectar
  • Small amounts of pure maple syrup
  • Small amounts of local raw honey

I will be a speaker at the How We Heal Conference April 9 in Nashua, NH.  My topic is “The Lifestyle to Heal Inflammation and the Diet for Vibrant Health.”  Early Registration ends today so be sure to sign up if you plan to attend and get your discount. Go to http://www.eventsforhealing.com/Register/