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CBS's "60 Minutes" Examines

Toxicity of Sugar in Typical US Diet



You hear more and more about the health problems associated with sugar, especially with the quantities we consume in the typical American diet. Sugar is strongly implicated in the epidemics of Obesity and Type II Diabetes. It is also clearly associated with Cardiovascular Disease and Hypertension. It has even been shown to play a role in the development of cancerous tumors.

At the same time, you are surrounded by a huge number of products containing added sugar in supermarkets, convenience stores and fast food restaurants. It's hard not to feel overwhelmed – who has time to figure it all out?

You do. Seriously, if you even suspect it may be true that added sugar in your diet is endangering your health, let alone believe that the typical American diet constitutes a Public Health Crisis, you owe it to yourself to take the time and do the following:

1. Take Responsibility. Accept the fact that no one can look out for your best interests better than yourself, and make a commitment to take action.

2. Do Some Research. The internet has a great deal of information on the subject. Be aware of the primary sources for the data you find, and look for information coming from doctors and scientists. (A few references are listed in this newsletter.)

3. Make A Plan. Plan menus in advance and make sure you have healthy ingredients readily available. Think of healthy snacks you enjoy that you can substitute for junk food, and make sure you have plenty on hand. Go to for help with healthy recipes and meal plans.

4. Get Radical. Throw out all the products in your kitchen that contain added sugar, especially if it's High Fructose Corn Syrup or Corn Sugar. (Remember, it's a toxin!) Prepare yourself to deal with friends and associates who will try to persuade you to eat things you know are bad for you, or even criticize your commitment to a better diet. Decide that it’s more important to do what you know is right.

5. Be Patient With Yourself. You will be establishing a new eating style for yourself that may run contrary to a lifetime of bad habits or erroneous beliefs. This is not a 21-day fix, it's a lifetime commitment. Being consistent is extremely important in forming your new eating style. One way to help yourself keep track of your progress is to keep a journal, which can help reinforce the good choices that you continue to make.

6. Reward Yourself. What you are doing is not easy. Every time you choose not to get a soda, candy bar or donut, put the money you would have spent in a special container. Use that money for your special reward - you'll be amazed how it adds up!

7. Identify Sources of Support and Assistance. Talk to people who understand and encourage you. Keep notes on healthy foods that you particularly enjoy. Pay attention to what your own body tells you about when it is hungry and when it is full; as you detoxify, your body will be able to give you more and more accurate information.

The Dulci Berry Miracle Fruit is also a tremendous tool for successfully avoiding added sugar in your diet. With it you can get the sweet taste you crave without using any added sugar or sugar substitutes, which have their own detrimental side effects. You will be delighted at how delicious many "plain" foods will taste with the help of the berry. The Dulci Berry Website ( is also extremely helpful by offering Dulci Seasonings and Dulci Recipes, both of which assist in creating convenient, easy and fast healthy meals with absolutely no added sugars.

Don't lose sight of the significance of your choice. It will impact your life and the lives of those around you. Believe that you and those you love are worth the effort! There is no magic pill or quick fix: the solution is in your own hands. Make the change! Statistics show that in America each of us now consumes an average of one third pound of sugar EVERY DAY. This seems hard to believe until you look at the ingredient lists for most of the processed foods we buy from supermarkets, convenience stores and fast food restaurants.

You may be amazed to find that virtually all of them, even the items that you don't think of as "sweet," contain added sugar. The problem with added sugar in our American diet was examined recently in a segment of CBS's 60 Minutes which aired on April 1, 2012, entitled "Is Sugar Toxic?" ( In it, Dr. Sanjay Gupta interviews Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist in California who is alarmed by the epidemic of Obesity and Type II Diabetes in children, some as young as six months of age. Dr. Lustig identifies added sugar in the American diet as the culprit, pointing not just to table sugar and syrups we might add to coffee or breakfast foods but to the hidden sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup present in most processed foods and fast food restaurant fare, as well as the sugary soft drinks and juices we consume.

Of particular interest was a five-year study being done by Kimber Stanhope, a nutritional biologist at UC Davis. In it, a group of healthy young adult volunteers are confined and monitored so as to absolutely regulate and control their food consumption for a period of several weeks. At the beginning of the study they are fed a diet low in added sugar and a base line is established for each individual's body chemistry. Then, for some of the subjects, 25% of their daily caloric intake is replaced with a sugary drink. Their body chemistry is monitored closely, and in less than two weeks these subjects showed increased risk factors for cardiovascular disease in the appearance of small dense LDL and increased triglycerides in their blood. The study strongly suggests that after all it is not true that "a calorie is a calorie is a calorie,"as we have heard nutritionists say for years. Rather, although the unit of energy measured by a calorie is always the same, the way that energy is metabolized inside the body is critically different depending on the source, high fructose corn syrup being particularly bad.

Also, neuroscientist Eric Steiss demonstrated the addictive nature of sugar when he showed that just a sip of a sugary soda lit up the pleasure center of the brain in a manner very similar to cocaine. Sugar causes the release of dopamine, which creates the feeling of euphoria just like a drug. Unfortunately we build a tolerance to sugar just like a drug too, so that it takes more and more to get the same euphoric feeling.

Dr. Lustig states "the American lifestyle is killing us." He says these four big killers: Obesity, Heart Disease, Hypertension and Type II Diabetes, are 75% preventable simply with dietary change, specifically the removal of most added sugar from the diet. He recommends no more than 150 calories per day from added sugar for a man and no more than 100 calories per day for a woman, about the equivalent of just one can of soda.

Dr. Lustig strongly believes that sugar should be government regulated just as cigarettes and alcohol are, including sugar in a group of substances that we recognize as toxins. Sugar, he says, in the quantities that we are consuming it, is poisoning us and belongs in the same toxin waste basket.

Evidence showing the disastrous effects of sugar in the American diet is steadily mounting: the challenge is for each of us to take responsibility for our health and the health of those we love, and take action now to make the necessary dietary changes.

Sources of Interest :

Sugar: The Bitter Truth with Robert Lustig, MD    

John Yudkin: Pure, White & Deadly