According to a 2012 article in the journal Nature, researchers point to studies that show that sugar (whether natural sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup) is a toxic substance that should be regulated like alcohol and tobacco. Sugar not only makes us fat, messes with our liver and metabolism, and impairs brain function, it also can lead to diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
The impact of sugar over our bodies can be seen when substance-abuse researchers performed brain scans on subjects eating sugar. The brain lights up in the same regions as it would in an alcoholic drinking booze.
Sugar is sugar, so natural or artificial, it’s all the same. Instead of a cupcake, eat oatmeal with fruint with a dash of cinnamon.
Fernanco Lopez-Pinilla, Ph.D., author of the UCLA study also points out that sugar forms free-radicals in the brain’s membrane and impairs nerve cells’ ability to communicate. This could have repercussions in the workplace, how well you process ideas, remember instructions and handle your moods.
So how much sugar is too much? Anything over 10 teaspoons (40 grams) of added sugar. Here’s a measure to go by: a 16-ounze Starbucks vanilla latte and Einstein Bros. bagel contain enough sugar for your day’s allotment.
And, if you’re also worried about premature aging, beware the cross-linking caused when sugar causes amino acids to form cross-links that prevent your skin cells from repairing themselves. Dermatologist William Danby, of Darmouth Medical School in New Hampshire, says that sugar intake needs to be kept as low as possible. Insead of sugar packets, use cinnamon, cloves, oregano, ginger and garlic.
Joanne Chen for Marie Claire, July 2012