I’ve written many times about the dangers of sugar and I know I’m probably preaching to the choir with many of you.
However a new animal study from the University of Utah is truly frightening: It shows that female mice that consumed the equivalent of a human drinking three cans of soft drinks a day doubled their death rate.
That means that drinking three 12-ounce cans of Coke or Sprite or Mountain Dew or eating a couple of Bavarian cream donuts could double your risk of dying from any cause.
The study also showed fertility rates dropped dramatically in male mice and their ability to defend their territory was diminished.
What’s more, the same study showed that sugar consumption made mice dumber. By creating a “free” community living situation, researchers found the sugar-laden mice were only about as smart as the offspring of first cousins, which means they weren’t very smart.
Yes, true, this is “just” an animal study, you might say. It is, but the lab mice got a diet that contained 25% sugar. That’s an amount that is commonly consumed in the Standard American Diet. Considering the omnipresence of Big Gulps and Super Size soft drinks, it’s actually easy to consume that amount of sugar in one sitting.
“Our results provide evidence that added sugar consumed at concentrations currently considered safe exerts dramatic adverse impacts on mammalian health,” the researchers explained.
Hey folks, we are mammals, too. This is a wake up call. And please, please, please don’t listen to those offensive Coke ads that try to tell you, “Everything is all right, not to worry, just drink a Coke.” I have a few choice words every time I see one of those ads.
Here’s what else we know about the health risks of consuming refined sugar (fructose and glucose) just like what was used in the mouse study:
- It is addictive
- It causes obesity
- It leads to insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes
- It has also been linked to high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s, liver and heart disease.
It’s also worth noting that this study included only glucose and fructose, which are refined sugars. It did not include high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, maltodextrin and the sugar alcohols, all of which have their own additional health risks.
I think it’s fair to surmise that the health risks would be substantially higher if those toxic sugars were added to the University of Utah study.
So, yes, sugar tastes good. It tastes really good. It tastes so good we want more and more. There are a variety of reasons behind the need for more, but in the simplest of terms, sugar is addictive.
The food industry has become very sneaky by adding sugar and high fructose corn syrup in places you wouldn’t expect it: spaghetti sauce, salad dressing, peanut butter and even bread. That means we have to be serious label readers. Better yet: Don’t buy processed foods.
It’s time to break that sugar habit now. Who’s with me?