Written by: Chris Partrat
Have you noticed that sugar is in almost every processed food we consume? Not only is it found in a high majority of processed foods, it’s often within the top 3 in the list of ingredients, and on food labels ingredients are listed highest to lowest by quantity. I’m sure you can do the math on that fact and draw some not so pleasant conclusions. Unfortunately, this is the reality on the grocery store shelves.
Even though sugar has been around since 10,000 BC, only in the 20th century has it begun to cause what can only be classified as a worldwide catastrophe.
How did our diet evolve so drastically in the last century?
For thousands of years before the industrialization of food and the urbanization of society, humans thrived off a healthy, balanced diet. However, during the 20th century, as the world was evolving and adapting to an ever-increasing population, so was sugar; from more natural beet sugar & sugar cane to refined industrially processed sugar and synthesized sweeteners. With a growing population, the demand for food increased, production had to become automated - farms turned to factories, foods became industrialized and sugar became artificial.
All this compromise on the quality of the food being consumed resulted in an increased rate of health problems such as diabetes and obesity. In the 1950s, a scientist named Ancel Keys (published text) that made a less than legitimate link between the consumption of fatty foods and heart disease. With very little information on sugar and the consequences of it, people believed Ancel Keys, and food companies began making “fat free” foods for the masses.
In order to ensure the taste stayed the same, companies replaced the fats with sugar, thus drastically increasing the amount of sugar in our daily diet. Fat free, yet high sugar food products flooded store shelves and people consumed them without a second thought. The dramatically increased demand in sugar from food manufacturers spawned several synthesized versions of sugar to fit different products and different purposes, these include high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, calcium calamite and more.
The convenience of these artificial sweeteners allowed for a quicker production process to meet the demands of the many, however, the consequences of this convenience was astronomical, causing a boom in heart disease, making it now the primary cause of death worldwide for both men and women. The devastation caused by the sugar industry is far from being solved, and the consequences on our health can go beyond just heart disease. It can lead to weight gain, type 2 diabetes, acne, inflammation, it speeds up the aging process, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Tune in to next week's blog to find the full impact of sugar on the body and ways to curve that impact.