Sugar has been described as “white death”, a substance so poisonous to humans that it has been linked to death from Type 2 diabetes and its complications, heart disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and more.
The average American consumes around 300 grams of carbohydrates per day. The Atkins low carb induction phase allows only 20. The other phases never permit more than 80. Millions have lost weight and kept it off thanks to Atkins. Could it be sugar, rather than fat, that is causing so many health problems in the US?
Sugar, sugar, everywhere
Dr. Atkins was swimming against the tide in the 1970s when he proposed his diet. Most ‘experts’ weighing in on health and successful weight loss were convinced that dietary fat was the culprit and advocated a low fat diet.
The result? Fast forward to 2017, and we now have more overweight and obese people than ever before=68% of the population in total, with 33% of children overweight or obese.
The explanation may lie in the food industry’s desire for profits. If you take fat out of a food such as a cookie, what can you do to make it taste good? Add more sugar. What do you do with all the by-products of the corn industry? Don’t let them go to waste-turn them into High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), which is even sweeter than sugar itself.
Sugar in all its forms is in a wide range of convenience foods, some of which you would never even imagine, such as salad dressing. The backlash against sugar has highlighted this fact, but the convenience food manufacturers have just become cleverer as they take advantage of food labeling loopholes. Dextrose, maltose and glucose are just other names for sugar. “Natural” sweetener like malt and brown rice syrup sound harmless enough, but can be full of pollutants. With more than 56 different names for sugar, what is a parent to do?
The easiest way to avoid sugar is to start a clean eating program in which you cook from scratch using only fresh ingredients, and skip anything that comes from the store shelves.
It also means avoiding artificial sweeteners like aspartame and eating limited quantities of carbohydrates. Complex carbs like bread, pasta and starchy vegetables like potatoes take longer to digest, but they break down into simple carbs, such as sugar.
An eating adventure
Eating less sugar and carbs can take a bit of getting used to, but there are many blogs and recipes online that can help. Best of all, once you and your family give up on sugar, you should see a big change in the way you look and feel, and in your child’s behavior.