The White Devil that hidden in your food

The White Devil that hidden in your food

Today, an average American consumes about 17.4 teaspoons of sugar per day, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. While this is down by about a fourth since 1999, when Americans' sugar consumption was at its peak, it is still significantly higher than the 12 teaspoons that the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015-2020, has set.

This is definitely alarming, considering the average Englishman in the 1700s consumed only 4 pounds of sugar per year — and that was mostly from healthful natural sources like fruits, quite unlike the processed foods you see in supermarket shelves today.

What's even more disturbing is that people are consuming excessive sugar in the form of fructose or high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). This highly processed form of sugar is cheaper to produce, yet 20 percent sweeter than regular table sugar, which is why many food and beverage manufacturers decided to use it in their products.

HFCS is found in almost all types of processed foods and drinks today. Just take a look at this infographic to see just how much fructose is hiding in some of the most common foods you eat.

The bad news is that the human body is not made to consume excessive amounts of sugar, especially in the form of fructose. In fact, your body metabolizes fructose differently than sugar. As explained in the next section, it is actually a hepatotoxin and is metabolized directly into fat — factors that can cause a whole host of problems that can have far-reaching effects on your health.

What Sugar did to your body?

Dr. Robert Lustig, a professor of clinical paediatrics in the division of endocrinology in the University of California and a pioneer in decoding sugar metabolism, says that your body can safely metabolize at least 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day.

But since most Americans are consuming about three times that amount, a majority of the excess sugar becomes metabolized into body fat — leading to all the debilitating chronic metabolic diseases that many people are struggling with. Here are some of the effects that excessive sugar intake has on your health:

• It overloads and damages your liver — The effects of too much sugar or fructose can be likened to the effects of alcohol. All the fructose you eat gets shuttled to the only organ that has the transporter for it: your liver. This severely taxes and overloads the organ, leading to potential liver damage.

• It tricks your body into gaining weight and affects your insulin and leptin signalling — Fructose fools your metabolism by turning off your body's appetite-control system. It fails to stimulate insulin, which in turn fails to suppress ghrelin, or "the hunger hormone," which then fails to stimulate leptin or "the satiety hormone." This causes you to eat more and develop insulin resistance.

• It causes metabolic dysfunction — Eating too much sugar causes a barrage of symptoms known as classic metabolic syndrome. These include weight gain, abdominal obesity, decreased HDL and increased LDL cholesterol levels, elevated blood sugar, elevated triglycerides and high blood pressure.

• It increases your uric acid levels — High uric acid levels are a risk factor for heart and kidney disease. In fact, the connection between fructose, metabolic syndrome and your uric acid is now so clear that your uric acid level can now be used as a marker for fructose toxicity.