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Title: "Sweet Killer." - Oil on Canvas (24" x 30")

THE MANY PERILS OF SUGAR.

Sugar contributes to the obesity explosion. But instead of addressing that fact, we have made obesity the new normal. Unfortunately, doing so does not solve the problem. 

Not all sugars are created equal. Even though sugar derived from sugarcane is not healthy, it is nevertheless natural. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), on the other hand, is the chemically enzymatically processed form of sugar. It is very unhealthy and is found in most foods. HFCS is manufactured almost entirely from genetically-modified corn (GM). 

It contains more fructose than table sugar, which makes it much more harmful to your health. Fruits contain fructose but are not unhealthy because they also have fiber and many nutrients. The main reason why HFCS is used by food processors instead of sugar is because it is sweeter and cheaper. 

All sugars provide empty calories and are void of any nutrients. They actually rob your body of them in order to provide energy. HFCS causes more weight gain than refined sugar, especially in the abdominal area. It is the main cause of the obesity explosion and many health problems, including: 

• Increased triglyceride levels increase the risk of coronary heart disease.

• Hypertension (high blood pressure), which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, and leaky gut syndrome.

• Premature aging.

• Decreased HDL (good cholesterol) and increased LDL (bad cholesterol). 

• An increased risk of developing cancer (particularly pancreatic cancer).

• Liver damage as a result of fat accumulation.

HFCS converts to fat much faster than other sugars because it is metabolized in the liver as a fructose, whereas sucrose must first be broken down to glucose.This is the reason for weight gain, abdominal fat, a non-alcoholic fatty liver, and higher uric acid levels—which lead to many chronic diseases due to inflammation.

Even baby formulas contain high amounts of HFCS. Childhood obesity has become a problem and many children now have high blood pressure and elevated levels of uric acid. 

HFCS has been found to contain toxic mercury which affects the liver, kidneys, and brain. Glucose suppresses hunger, but through HFCS, fructose doesn’t, and results in overeating and over-drinking. This increases our consumption of processed foods and beverages like sodas, which kids as well as adults end up consuming in large amounts. 

HFCS is found in a broad range of foods like candy, sweetened yogurt, salad dressings, frozen foods, junk and snack foods, breads, canned fruits, boxed dinners, granola bars, and cereals. 

It is also hidden in most processed foods, store-bought baked goods, sauces and condiments, nutrition bars, coffee creamers, energy and sports drinks, jam and jelly, ice cream, juices, and even in baby formulas. It is found especially in large amounts in sodas (up to 15 teaspoons per drink).

 

SWEET ALTERNATIVES THAT ARE HEALTHY.

Raw honey is a great natural sweetener. Even though it contains fructose, it also contains many nutrients like enzymes, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, vitamin B6, riboflavin, and niacin. 

Stevia is another natural, plant-derived sweetener that is a great alternative. It is hundreds of times sweeter than table sugar but has no carbohydrates or calories. 

Agave syrup is being promoted as a healthier natural alternative, but that is not true. First of all, it is not made from the sap of the agave plant but from the root bulb, which requires heavy processing. It also contains a high level of fructose.

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