Over the last few years new studies have revealed some very unpleasant truths about sugar that we ingest every single day. Previously, it was thought that sugar was not exactly healthy for us, but in moderation it couldn’t do much harm. Now a 2017 study has revealed a more startling truth: sugar is toxic, addictive and it is killing us all slowly.
How did sugar end up in almost everything we eat?
In order to understand how sugar ended up in foods that are not even sweet, we need to look back a couple of decades to the 1950s and the grand era of mass manufacturing. Sugar had been around previously of course, but during the commercial boom of the 50s and the revolutionary changes of the 1960s – that saw many women leaving the home and going to work – packaged convenience food won out against home cooked meals. For the first time ever, people would be getting all of their nutritional needs from boxes and cans. Fresh home cooking gradually became more of a “luxury” and meals made “from scratch” were only occasional, with most things on the table originating from a box or from the back of the freezer.
In the home it was about convenience. In the economy it was about capitalism – how much money could be made by creating hundreds of packaged food options, all primarily made with added sugar and starches. Well, the consequence of having a diet primarily composed of sugary foods is something we are only finally starting to fully understand. And, with all new health research on the long-term impact of eating sugary products day in and day out, we are finally starting to understand why so many people now are much sicker than the previous generations.
It isn’t just about weight gain either – although, people do tend to weigh more and obesity has become a very real epidemic. Healthwise, in general adults and children are not getting enough of their nutritional needs and therefore are more susceptible to illness and serious diseases like cancer.
What resent research has revealed so far
We’ve been told for years to watch our diets and consume sugar in moderation or reap the consequences. However, what most people think of sugar – candies, cakes and sweets – seems to be only part of the issue. It is the preservative sugars in most of the packaged foods that fill our cupboards and fridges with nowadays that pose a big hidden danger.
And what about the argument that it is our own fault and that we need to exercise more and be diligent in avoiding these foods? Well, that seems out the window as a recently released, shocking study found evidence that the addictive potential of sugar can be as high as nicotine.
What can and should be done
With strong health science backing up these new findings governments should crack down a little bit harder on regulating how sugar is added to hundreds of foods that could perfectly do without it.
Also, there should be additional taxes imposed on high sugar products to help deter people from buying them, and manufacturers from adding sugar to products where it doesn’t necessarily have to be.
Unfortunately, big food manufactures and the lobbyists of these companies are already working hard to make sure that the new findings are hushed up and no sugar-restriction regulations are decreed.