This weekend's New York Times Magazine contains an article by Gary Taubes entitled Is Sugar Toxic?
Taubes, author of the best-selling Good Calories, Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat, starts by citing a lecture given by UCSF professor Robert Lustig arguing that sugar is toxic in the amounts that we are consuming today in the United States, and that sugar consumption is implicated in heart disease, diabetes, and cancer—the "diseases of civilization". He goes farther, saying it's not even clear that there's a "safe" level of sugar consumption, per se. Sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup are similarly risky, as far as he's concerned, due to their fructose content, and because of the way the body metabolizes fructose. This also means that fruit juice is no better than soda, from a metabolic point of view at least.
It's not a new argument, but it's one that has been consistently shouted down by folks with a commercial interest in the sugar industry, or with some other sort of bias.
Let's hope the "sugar is toxic" theory gets a fair hearing this time around. Maybe, just maybe, the times are desperate enough that truth might trump profits and entrenched interests.
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