In Stoneage times, natural sugars would have only been available for a few months a year during the Autumn, and it would have important in cooler climes for people to eat as much as they could to build up fat reserves for the coming winter. These days we can get sugar whenever we want, and for those of us that have central heating, winter ain’t what it used to be either.
Do you want to see a list of reasons for not consuming sugar?
Try this (quite a list - I bet you don't read it all the way to the end), and also this (pretty much the same list but with some extra technical info. Warning: that second link is for a Dr Mercola, and if you give him your email address he will send you an email every day for the rest of your life!).
What is Sugar?
It is easy to become confused by the various sugars and sweeteners. So here is a basic overview (mostly culled from the above mentioned Dr Mercola):
- Dextrose, fructose and glucose are all monosaccharides, known as simple sugars. The primary difference between them is how your body metabolizes them. Glucose and dextrose are essentially the same sugar.
- The simple sugars can combine to form more complex sugars, like the disaccharide sucrose (table sugar), which is half glucose and half fructose.
- High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose.
- Ethanol (drinking alcohol) is not a sugar, although beer and wine contain residual sugars and starches, in addition to alcohol.
- Sugar alcohols like xylitol, glycerol, sorbitol, maltitol, mannitol, and erythritol are neither sugars nor alcohols but are becoming increasingly popular as sweeteners. They are incompletely absorbed from your small intestine, for the most part, so they provide fewer calories than sugar but often cause problems with bloating, diarrhoea and flatulence.
- Sucralose (Splenda) is NOT a sugar, despite its sugar-like name and deceptive marketing slogan, "made from sugar." It's a chlorinated artificial sweetener like aspartame and saccharin, with detrimental health effects to match.
- Agave syrup, falsely advertised as "natural," is typically HIGHLY processed and is usually 80 percent fructose. The end product does not even remotely resemble the original agave plant.
- Honey is about 53 percent fructose, but is completely natural in its raw form and has many health benefits when used in moderation, including as many antioxidants as spinach.
- Stevia is a highly sweet herb derived from the leaf of the South American stevia plant, which is completely safe (in its natural form). Lo han (or luohanguo) is another natural sweetener, but derived from a fruit.
Back to the stoneage stuff...
Most of the naturally occurring sugars in Autumn would have contained high levels of fructose. Hmmmm....See what Dr Lustig has to say about that.
In animals, or at least in laboratory rats and mice, it’s clear that if the fructose hits the liver in sufficient quantity and with sufficient speed, the liver will convert much of it to fat. This apparently induces a condition known as insulin resistance, which is now considered the fundamental problem in obesity, and the underlying defect in heart disease and in the type of diabetes, type 2, that is common to obese and overweight individuals. It might also be the underlying defect in many cancers.
So, whilst it might be beneficial to pile of a bit of fat in the short term with winter approaching, any more than that can cause insulin resistance, or metabolic syndrome, which is a precursor to many more serious conditions.
Sugar is addictive.
Addiction is a form of slavery.