Sugar: Watch out! It’s Behind You!
Today, I watched a news story on a man named Damon Gameau who went on a high-sugar diet for 60 days. To be exact, he consumed 40 teaspoons of sugar per day. He turned his journey into a documentary called That Sugar Film.
I bet you can guess how things went for him.
Within 12 days… he was 5 pounds heavier.
Within 18 days… he developed fatty liver disease. We wrote about this before. It’s not good.
Here’s the catch to Gameau’s experiment:
He didn’t literally eat spoonfuls of sugar.
So how did he pack in an extra 40 teaspoons per day?
He must have had something like soda… or candy… or perhaps a heaping bowl of delicious ice cream, right?
No, no, and (unfortunately for him)… no.
Instead, he helped himself to “hidden sugar” in foods most people would consider healthy. For instance, his go-to meals included breakfast bars… low-fat yogurt… and apple juice.
Gameau goes on to say some of the sneakiest sources of sugar are condiments.
In a general sense, he’s correct. Pick up ANY kind of sauce or flavoring in the supermarket and you’re lucky if the first or second ingredient is anything other than high fructose corn syrup. For our purposes, we might as well consider high fructose corn syrup to be sugar, even though the FDA rejected the Corn Refiners Association trying to change its name to “corn sugar.” (You know your product’s awful when your propaganda tries to link it to sugar, rather than distance itself.)
Sometimes, for fun (I have some pretty odd definitions for fun), I’ll go through every condiment I can grab in the aisle… and completely fail to find one lacking in corn syrup.
It’s gotten so bad, even finding actual sucrose (real sugar!) can be a challenge. Last Thanksgiving, while shopping for dessert, I thought to myself, “If I’m going to enjoy an ice cream sundae, at least I want the real deal” and searched for some chocolate syrup made from sucrose and not HFCS.
There wasn’t any. I had to settle for some hot fudge. Which was awful, because the stuff (apparently) has to be heated and mixed first. Otherwise you get hard bits of sugar and some weird gelatinous filler dumped into your bowl.
Anyway, I’m now realizing if I wanted genuine sugar so much, I could have just piled my cart full of foods the government considers healthy. Good thing to keep in mind for this year.
So what happened to Mr. Gameau?
After just 60 days, he was on the verge of being Type 2 diabetic, showed signs of heart disease risk, and had gained 18 pounds. He even collected 4 inches of visceral fat around his organs.
“Well, hold up,” some skeptics might say. “Of course eating more sugar led to all this! After all, more sugar means more calories!”
Nope. All the while, he ate the same amount of calories.
“Well, then it must have been lack of exercise!”
Wrong again. He didn’t change his exercise schedule.
When interviewed, Gameau said the point of his film wasn’t to demonize sugar.
Why not? You’d be better off drinking an equivalent amount of hard liquor.
Watch out for this stuff. It’s lurking everywhere. Check your labels. And just in case you don’t feel like memorizing the different names for sugar that manufacturers use to sneak the stuff into their products, we’re working hard on a shopping guide. Armed with it, you’ll have X-ray vision for all food labels.
Underground Health Researcher
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