By Shane “The People’s Chemist” Ellison
Copyright © 2008
If you could make one simple change in your diet to help you melt fat, sleep better, and improve your memory … wouldn’t you do it? What if that same simple dietary change could increase your energy, conquer depression, save your eyesight, restore your mental alertness, get your bedroom energy rockin’, and increase your lifespan?
This may sound too good to be true. But it’s not. And you don’t have to take drugs. Nor do you have to try some newfangled experimental supplements. Or stop eating. Or even give up the foods you love.
It’s as simple as reducing the amount of sugar you eat.
This is not a trick. I said you don’t have to give up the foods you love. And that includes sweets. You can actually give up sugar and keep your sweet tooth happy. This is the greatest health secret of all time. And I’m gonna teach you how to incorporate it into your life.
Before I tell you how, I want you to know just why you should give up sugar.
It’s not just because of all the aforementioned benefits. It’s because sugar can have serious health consequences.
Have you ever been plagued by hard-to-diagnose health problems? You know something is wrong, but your doctor can’t seem to figure out what’s causing them? You …
* can’t lose weight, no matter how hard you exercise or diet
* feel depressed, even though you’re typically a happy person
* can’t get a solid night’s sleep
* feel sluggish at work
* lack mental focus
* have lost your libido
* suffer from rising blood pressure
Well, it’s not all in your head. It could be your sugar addiction.
My six-year-old can recite all the dangers of sucrose (table sugar) in a matter of two minutes. She can also warn you of the risks associated with those artificial sweeteners in pretty packets. And because she still likes to get her “sweet fix,” she can tell you which natural sweeteners are best to use in tea, cookies, and cake. Not bad, considering that the self-appointed custodians of our health – physicians – are totally clueless about the sweetener epidemic that is sabotaging us.
If a first grader can master the problems with sugar and understand how to choose the right alternatives, you can too.
We all have the need to get a sweet fix. It’s part of our biological makeup. When consumed, sweets elicit a chemical cascade of events that lead to the triggering of feel-good receptors within the brain. If this happens repeatedly, an emotional bond between happiness and sugar is formed. We become fully dependent on sweets.
Sugar addiction is best illustrated by children who break down with temper tantrums if not given sugar, women who consume chocolate in times of stress, and men who suck down soda to make it through the “afternoon blues.” In a study comparing the addictive properties of sweeteners, saccharin and sucrose proved more addictive than cocaine!
The irony is that your body doesn’t actually need any sugar. What you do need is glucose for energy. And you can obtain it from fruit and vegetables.
If left unchecked, an addiction to sweets spikes blood sugar and the fat-storing hormone insulin, disrupts satiety (causing users to overeat), and gives rise to age-accelerating molecules known as AGE products (advanced glycation end products). These aging molecules (not cholesterol) are responsible for causing wrinkles and age-related blindness, as well as premature heart attacks and stroke.
Over time, “sweetener addiction” leads to the hard-to-diagnose symptoms listed above, and a host of dreaded diseases like insulin resistance, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. To avoid the sabotage, you must understand how to get your sweet fix without becoming addicted.
Years ago, people didn’t eat much sugar – as little as 10-15 pounds per year. And their health was much better for it. As time passed and sugar production became easier, people gave into their sweet cravings and began to overindulge. Today, the average consumption of sugar is a whopping 160 pounds! It’s suicide in slow motion. Sugar addicts eliminate a 11-20 years from their lifespan.
Few people realize how much sugar they are putting into their body. They are simply giving into an addiction while slowly ruining their health. To judge whether or not you are at risk, read your food labels for one day and count how many grams of sugar you are eating. Insert that number into my People’s Chemist Death by Sugar Calculator found at . Watch as the graph calculates how many pounds of sugar you are stuffing into your mouth annually.
But that doesn’t mean you should replace sucrose with artificial sweeteners to get your sweet fix. Artificial sweeteners are nothing more than drugs in disguise. Splenda is a perfect example.
Splenda contains the drug sucralose. Invented in a pesticide lab, this chemical is 600 times sweeter than sugar. To make sucralose, chlorine is used. Chlorine has a split personality. It can be harmless or it can be life threatening. In combo with sodium, chlorine forms a harmless ionic bond to yield table salt. When used with carbon, the chlorine atom in sucralose forms a covalent bond. The end result is deadly organochlorine, known simply as RNFOC (a Really Nasty Form of Chlorine). Unlike ionic bonds, covalently bound chlorines are a big no-no for the human body. They yield insecticides, pesticides, and herbicides – not something you want in your sports drink or your child’s lunchbox.
Think aspartame (Equal, Nutrasweet) is safe? Think again. Teaching organic chemistry, I taught my students how to identify the active ingredients in soda using a technique known as TLC (Thin Layer Chromatography). The byproducts of sodas containing aspartame are all known poisons (that would slowly kill you): methanol, phenylalanine, and aspartic acid. I never saw my students with a diet soda after that.
Safe alternatives to artificial sweeteners are abundant: erythritol, agave, xylitol and luo han guo.
Choosing which natural sweetener to use depends on which one tastes best to you. Agave nectar usually wins. It stimulates taste buds exactly the same way sucrose does. But unlike common table sugar, very little of its active ingredient – inulin – is absorbed. Therefore, you are protected from the dangers of sugar addiction.
As a “nectar,” agave is a bit harder to bake with. This is where the safe and natural erythritol wins. You can replace it gram for gram with sugar. Even better, I like to use 25% table sugar and 75% erythritol in baking and ice cream. You won’t even notice the healthy difference. That’s the real magic here!
All natural sweeteners are known to help control appetite, keep insulin and blood sugar low, and prevent the formation of age accelerating molecules in our body. None of them are addicting, nor will they diminish your lifespan. They are perfect to use with my Hormone Intelligence Therapy (HIT) program for reversing diabetes, losing fat and feeling great in 90 days.
Getting your sweet fix doesn’t have to be deadly. If you learn to gauge your sugar intake with The People’s Chemist Death by Sugar Calculator and start using natural sweeteners, you won’t be plagued by hard-to-diagnose health problems. And you’ll have more years to enjoy life and those you love.
About the Author
Shane Ellison’s entire career has been dedicated to the study of molecules; how they give life and how they take from it. He was a two-time recipient of the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Grant for his research in biochemistry and physiology. He is a bestselling author, holds a master’s degree in organic chemistry and is the originator of the Hormone Intelligence Therapy (HIT) program for reversing diabetes, losing fat and putting mom’s-in-thongs.