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This just in: White Death is the new Black Plague. With more than 60 different names it goes by, sugar has been cleverly hidden throughout our lives, but what it’s doing to you isn’t so sweet. In fact, it’s being called “white death” by the people who know of its danger and spearhead its growing awareness in our (ironically) know-it-all world.
Studies show people are taking in three to four times the maximum amount of sugar they should in a day as we learn more about just how linked it is to certain cancers and lowering survival rates. So maybe you don’t know as much as you should about sugar and what it’s doing to us, but you’re about to know a lot more with these not-so-sweet startling facts.
The Not-So-Sweet Facts About Sugar and What It’s Doing to You
Sugar kills more people than cigarettes
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Nearly three-quarters of diseases are linked to bad diets, which shouldn’t surprise us. But most people don’t know sugar (aka “White Death”) activates cancer cells, as does smoking. Not everyone smokes, though, but like cigarettes, sugar is hard to quit. With both, the further you get from having them in your life, the easier it gets, but sugar is such a hardly regulated thing, especially compared to cigarettes today.
There’s sugar in cigarettes, the chief source of lung cancer
About 17 million people die from obesity alone each year, whereas smoking records less than half a million annually (Harvard Health). Heart disease kills as many, along with diabetes with another 4 million deaths. That’s nearly 40 million each year, all of which could be linked to poor diets where sugar is at the center. The funny thing is there’s sugar in cigarettes.
The average American consumes roughly 20 teaspoons each day
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That’s more than 75 pounds per year, yet it’s also recorded Americans consume upwards of 130 pounds per year. Either way, that’s disgusting, considering men are supposed to get no more than nine teaspoons per day and women no more than six.
In 1900, people averaged 5 pounds year, now it’s closer to 130 pounds
That’s a considerable growth, but what’s powerful is that sugar consumption is up more than 20 percent in the past decade alone.
Kids are taking down even more than we are
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A reported 32 teaspoons on average (via mindbodygreen.com), kids are taking in more sugar than adults, yet have a fraction of the body weight. While their bodies process things a little differently, it’s a huge part of what causes childhood obesity, which leads to diabetes and heart problems down the road.
Sugar is pretty good at Hide-and-Seek
Of all the childhood summer games, sugar seems to be the best at hiding, especially in a lot of foods we aren’t aware of, like peanut butter, yogurt, tomato sauce, granola bars, dried fruit and many other every-day foods. Yet it accounts for close to 500 calories each day right under our nose (where our mouth is).
Soft drinks are the single largest source (36%) of sugar in people’s diets
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Americans drink, on average, more than 50 gallons of their favorite soft drinks, many of which are now linked to dementia. but did you know soda, sports drinks, coffee, other high fructose (liquid sugar) drinks account for more than a third of people’s sugar intake?
Chugging a can of soda every day increases your risk of heart disease by a third. According to Women’s Health Magazine, casually drinking one or two a day can also increase your risk of diabetes by more than 25 percent.
Sugar is linked to man’s greatest aging struggles
It may be called White Death, but it could also be called the white man struggle, knowing now that it causes food allergies, hair loss through a decrease in hormone levels, weakens eyesight, increases cholesterol, causes cancer, leads to liver disease, resists insulin treatment, ruins your teeth and contributes to osteoporosis. But you already knew that. Put down the candy bar.
Sugar works like a Class 1 drug yet no one is stopping you
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This dopamine-induced euphoria we call the “sugar rush” is the same rush a genuine junkie gets, except at a legalized dosage. The effects are similar, albeit less intense, to the use of cocaine. The trick is that it’s addictive, resulting in cravings, headaches and various ailments when removing it from your diet, bringing you quickly back to it.
The worst part: It’s cheap and no one is restricting your sugar intake. Companies can stick it in cheap and refined then keep you coming back for more.
Sugar is only getting stronger
Despite these facts, sugar is increasing in production, getting cheaper and being consumed faster every year by about one percent. Not only that, but health professionals aren’t talking about it nearly as much as they should. Now it’s your civic duty, thanks to us.