Sugar Highs Create Health Lows!

sodaAs a dentist, I am constantly warning my young patients about the effects of sugar consumption on the teeth. The bacteria in your mouth love to feed on sugar, and after they have gorged themselves, they excrete acid all over the teeth which causes decalcification of the enamel, which in turn can lead to cavities. But oral health is not the only thing that is affected by sugar consumption. In his new book, Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity and Disease, pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Robert Lustig explains how sugar is actually toxic to the whole body.

In a nutshell, table sugar, or sucrose, is broken down by the liver into two smaller sugar molecules: fructose and glucose. Turns out, the liver metabolizes fructose the same way it processes alcohol, which is to say as something that is toxic to the body. Except instead of making us tipsy, sugar makes us fat. And the much-maligned “high fructose corn syrup”? It’s like sugar on steroids! The biochemistry is fascinating, and the implications for our personal health and public policy are far reaching. It used to be that we were constantly counseling patients to quit smoking. Now I find myself repeatedly telling patients – especially my young ones – to QUIT SODA!