Is Sugar a Toxin?



Bad news has come out for anyone running a sweets shop. A lecture which has been made available on YouTube and which was recently written in the New York Times makes the shocking claim that sugar isn’t just something that will make you fat, but it could also very well be a toxic substance.

Robert Lustig, a specialist in pediatric disorders and a researcher at the University of California – San Francisco gave the lecture and it has, as of this writing, attracted nearly a million views. He refers to sugar as a toxic substance and as a poison throughout the lecture. Interestingly, Lustig doesn’t just take aim at standard table sugar either. He also places things like high fructose corn syrup, which is often used as a replacement for standard table sugar since it’s cheaper and sweeter, in the same boat as standard sugar. He refers to both substances as “the most demonized additive known to man.”

Lustin asserts that the prevalence of sugar in our general diets is the primary reason that childhood obesity is on the rise in the United States today. He asserts however that the problem isn’t just the empty calories that sugar offers, but the substance itself, which he says is actually a form of poison.

The debate is certainly not a new one – high fructose corn syrup was considered a modern day miracle to replace standard sugar when the original substance was vilified as being a noxious substance back in the 1970s. Today of course, things have come full circle and sugar is considered to be the safe substance while high fructose corn syrup is “processed junk food.” The reality by the way is that white table sugar is actually also heavily processed, though no one ever said the American consumer was concerned with facts. Sound bites, which this speech, vilifying sugar and high fructose corn syrup, offers in abundance, will do just fine, thank-you-very-much. For now, it’s a mild protest movement; however, those running restaurants devoted to sweet foods may want to consider offering healthier alternatives just in case the public begins to turn against both of their favorite sweet substances.

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