Researchers (aka Robert Lustig) have been pointing to sugar as the root of many modern diseases in recent years. The CBC recently wrote this article about the toxicity of sugar as well as devoting an episode of the Fifth Estate to the subject.
While I do think that there may be some merit to the research, particularly in regard to fructose, I am reluctant to wholeheartedly support the stance that sugar is toxic. I’m not convinced that, in and of itself, it is in fact a poison. Think about all of the nutritious fruits and vegetables that contain sugar. Should we purge them from our diets because we’re eating too many cookies? It’s a bit like throwing the baby out with the bath water, I think.
Any time that one specific nutrient is vilified (or exalted) it always tends to lead to us making things even worse. We decided that butter was bad for us so we replaced it with block margarine. We decided that fat was bad for us so we loaded our foods with sugar and salt instead. We decided that salt was bad for us and are only just now starting to learn that, in some cases, restricting our sodium intake may actually be more damaging than not. And then look at antioxidants like vitamin E which we thought were so wonderful and then turned out to increase the risk of prostate cancer in men when taken as a synthetic supplement.
Yes, it’s quite likely that the majority of us are consuming excessive amounts of sugar. Too much of anything is bad for you. Instead of cutting out all sources of sugar, try to consume fewer packaged and highly processed foods. Eat fewer baked goods, don’t drink pop or juice, and avoid adding sugar to your coffee, tea, and cereal. No need to toss that juicy honeycrisp.