How Sugar Savvy Are You?
Rachel Albert, The Healthy Cooking Coach, shared this article with SWIHA, which was originally written in Burn magazine, October 2000. It was so much fun that we could not resist this sweet temptation!
Do you think you know a lot about sugar? To discover the not so sweet truth about this uncontrolled substance, take this Sugar Quiz! Write down your guesses–and no peeking!!!
1. It takes 40 gallons of maple sap to make one gallon of syrup. T or F?
2. Honey, rice syrup, maple syrup, barley malt, dried cane juice, and Sucanat® are healthy forms of sugar because they are rich in minerals and absorbed slowly by your body. T or F?
3. Roughly 20% of the average person’s carbohydrate calories come from simple sugars. T or F?
4. The rise in meat, egg and butter consumption since 1910 is at the root of our modern epidemic of degenerative diseases. T or F?
5. Sugar consumption has remained fairly constant over the past 100 years. T or F?
6. Sugar is harmless; it’s just another carbohydrate and we need sugar to survive. T or F?
7. The average person eats about 80 pounds of sugar per year. T or F?
8. Eating sugar can cause you to lose calcium from your bones. T or F?
10. Eating a high sugar diet puts you at greater risk for cancer. T or F?
11. Eating sugary foods causes adrenal exhaustion, depletes vital nutrient reserves (especially essential minerals) and B vitamins, and crowds out healthier foods. T or F?
12. Most of the sugar people eat is added to foods at the table. T or F?
13. It’s easy to spot sugar on food labels. T or F?
14. Fresh and dried fruits contain a lot of fructose, so they’re harmful to your health. T or F?
15. Fructose is absorbed into the blood stream more slowly than other types of sugar. T or F?
16. A high sugar intake can put you at greater risk for developing gout, peptic ulcers, gallstones, a fatty liver, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, impaired protein synthesis, retinal degeneration, near sightedness and farsightedness. T or F?
HOW’D YOU DO?
2. False. The effects of all of the concentrated sugars differ very little from table sugar. Advertisers may tell you that these sugars are important sources of vitamins and minerals but the truth is that they have absolutely no nutritional value (other than providing calories!).
3. False. Half of all carbohydrate calories consumed by the average American come from simple sugars. Compare this to 200 years ago, when per capita sugar consumption was less than 10 pounds per year.
4. False. USDA figures show that per capita total meat consumption has increased by only 30 pounds per year, or about 20%, amounting to only a few extra ounces per day. Butter and egg consumption have also shown a steady decline in the past century.
5. False. Since 1910 consumption of caloric sweeteners (free sugars) has increased more than 100%; soft drink consumption has risen by more than 500%, and consumption of processed fruit products (juices, jams, jellies, canned fruits) has risen by more than 700%. The average American eats his or her weight in sugar every year!
6. False. There is absolutely no physiological requirement for sugar. All human nutritional needs can be met in full without having to take a single spoon of white, brown, raw, or powdered sugar or corn syrup, on its own or in any food or drink.
7. False. According to T.L. Cleave, author of THE SACCHARINE DISEASE (Keats publishing), sugar intake has risen to 152 pounds per person, in the years since 1990. If you’re not eating that much, rest assured, someone is doing it for you!
8. True. Researchers have found that ingesting sugar increases the rate at which we excrete calcium; it also upsets your body’s calcium to phosphorus ratio. (Nancy Appleton, Ph.D, LICK THE SUGAR HABIT.)
9. True. Sugar disarms the phagocytes, or Pac-Man®-like white blood cells of the immune system, decreasing their ability to engulf bacteria and fight off invaders. (Nancy Appleton, Ph.D, LICK THE SUGAR HABIT.)
10. True. Cancer cells (and tumors) are sugar feeders. They are fueled by blood glucose, so the more sugar you eat the more fuel you have to feed the growth of cancer (as wall as pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and microbes). A high sugar diet also increase insulin output, which triggers the production of a series of prostaglandins (pro-hormones) which incite the growth of cancer cells. Tumors do not and cannot feed on fats and proteins.
11. True. (See The Diet Cure by Julia Ross.)
12. False. A large portion of the sugar people eat is hidden sugar. Most canned, bottled, frozen, packaged and processed foods contain sugar as the third most plentiful ingredient and a single product often contains two, three or even four different kinds of sugar.
13. False. Most people are unaware of all the names that sugar masquerades behind. Examples include sucrose, dextrose, fructose, maltose, lactose, glucose, and levulose; corn, rice, and barley malt, wheat, rye, corn and maple syrups; high fructose corn syrup; fruit juice concentrate; molasses, honey, sorghum, and cane “juice.”
14. False. All available research indicates that eating fruit provides protection against heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. Whole fruits contain vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, fiber, and other nutrients. Problems associated with fructose consumption are more likely caused by consumption of high fructose corn syrup (which is not made from fruit) or fructose taken out of its whole food context.
15. True. Fructose does not require insulin for transport into your cells, so medical professionals have recommended it for diabetics and people who suffer from hypoglycemia. However, most commercial fructose is not derived from fruit, but is artificially produced in laboratories. (Crystalline fructose has a different molecular structure from naturally occurring fructose).
16. True. Medical researcher, Dr. John Yudkin, MD, author of Pure, White, and Deadly, found strong links between sugar consumption and nearly all degenerative diseases.
If you missed more than 3 questions, read at least one of the books mentioned above!
For alternatives to refined sugars, check out Rachel’s books, The Ice Dream Cookbook: Dairy-Free Ice Cream Alternatives with Gluten-Free Cookies, Compotes & Sauces (Planetary Press, 2008) and co-wrote the award-winning book, The Garden of Eating: A Produce-Dominated Diet & Cookbook (Planetary Press, 2004) at www.TheHealthyCookingCoach.com
Rachel Albert is a Phoenix, Arizona-based freelance food and health writer, cooking instructor, healthy cooking coach, natural foods chef, blogger, co-author of the award winning book, The Garden of Eating: A Produce-Dominated Diet & Cookbook (Planetary Press, 2004) and author of The Ice Dream Cookbook: Dairy Free Ice Cream Alternatives with Gluten Free Cookies, Compotes & Sauces (Planetary Press, 2008). She’s on the faculty in the nutrition department at SWIHA (Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Tempe where she leads live and online whole foods cooking classes).
For more information about her books, classes, phone coaching, and other services, visit her blog: www.TheHealthyCookingCoach.com
p.s. If you can, please consider attending Rachel’s Breast Cancer Fundraising Benefit, as she is going through treatment at present, without health insurance.