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「週末縱情吃吧?小心食物中的隱形殺手:糖」- Sugar Is Killing Us


There's been a lot of talk lately about sugar being bad for you, which is a bummer because sugar is the best, right? I mean, who doesn't like sweetness? You can hate on any other taste, and it's totally understandable: bitterness, sourness, saltiness, umami. Yeah, that's right—umami. Apparently it's a taste. And you know what? Not everyone loves it. But sugar? Pretty much everyone likes the sweet, sweet taste of sugar. But now some scientists are saying sugar is toxic. Really, scientists? Couldn't you have just looked the other way on this one? We all know that sugar isn't the healthiest thing, but it's not dangerous, right? Well, it turns out that it totally can be.

Here's a sad statistic: For the first time in history, U.S. children are not expected to live longer than their parents. Why? A lot of it has to do with the fact that cases of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease are through the roof. Here's another sad statistic: Today, one out of every three U.S. adults is obese—not overweight, obese. One in three. But what does this have to do with sugar? Sugar's been around forever, so why is it suddenly making us so sick? What changed? What changed is we've dramatically increased the amount of fructose we consume.

Fructose is the sweet stuff that's in sugar and high fructose corn syrup, sugar's newer and cheaper twin. Fructose can do damage to your body in ways we are just beginning to understand. What kind of damage? Let's start with the nerdiest part of the body: the brain.

Just recently, scientists discovered a hormone called leptin. Leptin's job is to tell your brain that your body's had enough to eat. Guess what gets in the way of that job? Sugar. When you indulge in soft drinks and junk food, your brain has a hard time recognizing leptin, so you stay hungry longer and eat more than you should. This causes problems with your pancreas. Your pancreas produces insulin, which helps regulate your blood sugar. The more sugar you have in your bloodstream, the harder your pancreas has to work. And an overworked pancreas can lead to bad things: obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. And when you consider heart disease and liver disease, both of which can be caused by sugar, then, yeah, sugar is bad.

Okay. Cut down on the sweets, right? Not as easy as it sounds. High fructose corn syrup is now added to foods that never had sugar before, foods you wouldn't expect. In fact, a recent study found that 80 percent of the food items in America now contain added sugar—80 percent! But, like a good raincoat, this trend is reversible. Educated consumers can change the way food is manufactured, simply by making better choices. Food companies only make what we buy, right? So avoiding food and drinks with added sugar will force the food industry to produce healthier food and stop adding sugar. But we have to start now, because sugar is killing us.




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