The Sweet Road to Disease

There’s mounting evidence that sugar is toxic… no matter how much you consume.

Sugar suppresses the immune system. It can lead to diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses.

Not only that. Sugar is a major ingredient in processed foods. It’s in the juice you drink… The bread you eat… The ketchup you pour on your food… Even pretzels.

It’s making Americans fatter and sicker. Yet the Food and Drug Administration claims sugar is benign. In 1986, it reviewed sugar consumption and concluded, “Other than the contribution to dental [decay], there is no conclusive evidence on sugar that demonstrates a hazard to the general public when sugars are consumed at the levels that are now current and in the manner now practiced.”

That was 25 years ago. And the agency still hasn’t changed its position.

But it’s a lie. Plenty of evidence shows that sugar is toxic. The FDA just doesn’t want you to know about it. That because the agency is cozy with the food industry, which pours tons of sugar into the processed foods you eat every day.

In fact, the average American consumes 141 pounds of sugar per year. That’s almost the weight of the average female adult. And it’s making food manufacturers rich at the expense of your health.

Dr. Robert Lustig is Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. He’s considered a leading authority in the field of neuroendocrinology. His specialty is the regulation of energy by the central nervous system.

In 2009, he gave a lecture titled “Sugar: the Bitter Truth.” It was posted on YouTube and went viral, with over 1,000,000 views.

Lustig says sugar is a poison. He says the public has been misinformed for the past 30 years. The focus has been on reducing fat in the diet, not sugar. As a result, “The fats are going down, the sugar is going up and we’re all getting sick,” says Lustig. “It’s a disaster.”

So how can something that tastes so good be so bad for you?

The Facts

First, let’s define sugar. It is a carbohydrate that comes in many forms: lactose, glucose, fructose, and sucrose. Lactose is the sugar in milk. Glucose is the sugar made when your body breaks down starches like potatoes. Fructose is found naturally in fruits. And sucrose is refined table sugar. It’s extracted from sugar cane and sugar beets.

All sugars are empty calories. They’re void of proteins, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.

Surprisingly, sugar consumption has also been linked to cancer. At least 10 studies have made the connection.

One study was conducted by the Harvard Medical School. Scientists found that women who ate foods with a high glycemic load had higher rates of colorectal cancer.

Another Harvard study looked at 50,000 middle-aged men with high blood sugar levels. Those who ate more sugary foods had a 32% chance of getting colorectal cancer over a 20-year period.

Studies have also linked sugar to breast, endometrial, prostate, and pancreatic cancers. In fact, cancer cells have a sweet tooth of their own. They thrive when it’s around.

Jeffrey Rathmell is an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke University School of Medicine. In 2008, he led a team of researchers who looked at why cancer cells love sugar. It was presented at the American Association of Cancer Research Annual Meeting in San Diego.

The team found that cancerous cells use glucose to resist apoptosis or “programmed cell death.” They do it by activating the AKT protein, which promotes glucose metabolism.

Some of the research is new. But the controversy isn’t. Health officials have known about the risks associated with sugar for decades. They’ve just refused to act.

Dr. John Yudkin was a renowned British nutritionist. He was a professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of London from 1954 to 1971. In the 1960s, he did some experiments with sugar and starch. He found that when subjects (animal and human) consumed sugar, triglycerides (fat) increased in the blood.

Yudkin wrote a groundbreaking book, Pure, White, and Deadly: The Problem of Sugar. It was published in 1972. But his findings were discredited and ridiculed because he also argued that dietary and saturated fat were harmless.

But now it looks like Yudkin was right.

Dr. Lustig tells us that American consumption of fat has dropped significantly over the past few decades. But sugar intake has increased. The average American now eats 92 grams of sugar per day, while the body only needs 8 grams per day for energy. At the same time, the incidence of diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are growing.

So the problem in our diet does, indeed, seem to be sugar, not fat.

Life after Sugar

So it’s clear. You need to drastically reduce sugar from your diet. But how do you start? First, you need to know that some sugars are worse than others. It depends on how they are converted to glucose in the body. The Glycemic Index (GI) ranks carbohydrates based on that rate of conversion. And it helps you determine which foods cause the most rapid rise in blood sugar. High GI foods put you in the danger zone. They lead to insulin resistance, diabetes, and heart disease.

It’s clear you should keep your sugar intake to a minimum. The best way is to get your sugar from natural sources like fruits and vegetables. But make sure you keep an eye on the Glycemic Index even when eating fruits and vegetables. Dates and watermelon, for example, score high on the GI. Cherries, grapes, and prunes are low. You’re better off eating broccoli or cabbage than carrots or fresh corn, which rank much higher.

Added sugar is found heavily in processed foods, drinks, alcohol, and desserts. So make sure you steer clear of boxed and bagged foods.

Stay away from artificial sweeteners, too. They are made of toxic chemicals, and can lead to weight gain. That defeats the purpose for why people use them in the first place. So what’s the point? It’s best to avoid them entirely. Our independent research team is working on a full report on artificial sweeteners. Keep reading for more details.

So how do you satisfy your sweet tooth? There are plenty of natural, healthy alternatives. Here are just a few:

  • Stevia is non-caloric herb extracted from a plant native to Paraguay and other parts of South America. It is 200-300 times sweeter than table sugar, but has a Glycemic Index rating of less than 1. So it doesn’t lead to sugar-related health issues.

  • Coconut palm sugar is made from the sap of the Palmyra palm, date palms, or coconut palms. It has a relatively low GI score.

  • Barley malt syrup is a very healthy alternative to sugar. The barley is soaked and sprouted to make a malt. It’s mixed with more barley and cooked until the starch is converted to sugar. Then the syrup is dried into powder.

If you’re diabetic, make sure to check with your doctor before using any sugar in your diet, whether natural or manufactured.

NHD will keep you informed as news develops around this issue. In fact, we think this topic is so vital to your health, our health research team is putting together an in-depth report called 30 Days to Sugar Independence. It will reveal a protocol for getting freeing yourself from sugar addiction and enjoying life without it.

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Health Topic: General Health


  1. tony says:

    Another sugar substitute is Xylitol.
    This is a natural product derived from birch tree sap.
    It has the almost miraculous property of reversing early dental decay.

  2. Sue says:

    Just a thought. The FDA stands for ‘Food and Drug Administration’ Why are you so surprised that as ‘Food and Drugs’ are the main sources of producing dollars they might not always be as beneficial as they claim. Good old George Orwell. By the way, I am not American.

  3. Arlene Strebig says:

    I was just told again, not to worry about the sugars in my diet, from a nurse at our cancer center. She said that the Dr. just came back from a seminar and learned that sugar is not a problem in the diet of someone recovering from cancer. I am dealing with breast cancer and fNHL (follicular non-hodgkins lymphoma). I am reassured by the information in your article, and look forward to more research data. My question is: Why are some Doctors so misinformed when it comes to nutrition. I have to fight this battle doing my own research for information. I came to this conclusion about fats on my own as I was not eating hardly any fats, bad or good ones, and I had a weight problem, cholesterol problem, and bad health. I cut out white flour, processed foods, and started exercizing. I am 69 years old, fighting two cancers, and still looking for Dr. who I feel will help me in this battle. Thank for listening.

    • Michael Jelinek says:

      Hi Arlene,

      I wish you the best in your fight and I commend you for doing your own research on nutrition. Mainstream media and medicine are often behind the curve on what’s actually good for us. You experienced that first-hand with the nurse and doctor. It’s always best to be informed of all options out there.

      Several studies we’ve outlined in the article prove the connection between sugar and cancer. Studies also show that cancer cells feed on sugar. Many cancer diets recommend little or no carbohydrates and sugars only come from antioxidant-rich fruits.

      As for your question… Some doctors simply go with what they are told by the establishment as opposed to coming to conclusions on their own. Big drug companies, insurance companies, hospitals, and the threat of lawsuits keep many doctors from thinking outside the box. Often, they have no incentive to be informed themselves, or inform a patient about proper nutrition. Patients have a history of wanting a quick fix to their ailments as well. So doctors will often recommend prescription drugs to treat the symptoms and make the patient happy instead of addressing the real causes.

      Thank you for your post, Arlene. Best of luck and we’ll be pulling for you.

  4. alfredoe says:

    Very good and important article.

    Sugars are the main inflammation agent in our diets, causing a host of degenerative diseases.

  5. Another good sweetener with a glycemic index of 27 is agave nectar. I buy mine at Whole Foods.

  6. linda vij says:

    One of the easiest ways to eat too much sugar without particularluy noticing it (or even enjoying it consciously as a dessert) is to have cereal with sugar (and it usually has sugar in it already) and a fruit yogurt, and fruit juice
    for breakfast. So, I eat a breakfast which is more like a lunch (salad and cheese, fish or meat typically). If you MUST have sugar, at least ensure it’s in a form you particularly enjoy and that you have made a conscious decision about it.

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