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The Facts on Sugar

First, let's define sugar. It is a carbohydrate that comes in many forms: lactose, glucose, fructose, and sucrose. Lactose is the sugar in milk. Glucose is the sugar made when your body breaks down starches like potatoes. Fructose is found naturally in fruits. And sucrose is refined table sugar. It's extracted from sugar cane and sugar beets.

All sugars are empty calories. They're void of proteins, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.

Surprisingly, sugar consumption has also been linked to cancer. At least 10 studies have made the connection.

One study was conducted by the Harvard Medical School. Scientists found that women who ate foods with a high glycemic load had higher rates of colorectal cancer.

Another Harvard study looked at 50,000 middle-aged men with high blood sugar levels. Those who ate more sugary foods had a 32% chance of getting colorectal cancer over a 20-year period.

Studies have also linked sugar to breast, endometrial, prostate, and pancreatic cancers. In fact, cancer cells have a sweet tooth of their own. They thrive when it's around.

Jeffrey Rathmell is an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke University School of Medicine. In 2008, he led a team of researchers who looked at why cancer cells love sugar. It was presented at the American Association of Cancer Research Annual Meeting in San Diego.

The team found that cancerous cells use glucose to resist apoptosis or "programmed cell death." They do it by activating the AKT protein, which promotes glucose metabolism.

Some of the research is new. But the controversy isn't. Health officials have known about the risks associated with sugar for decades. They've just refused to act.

Dr. John Yudkin was a renowned British nutritionist. He was a professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of London from 1954 to 1971. In the 1960s, he did some experiments with sugar and starch. He found that when subjects (animal and human) consumed sugar, triglycerides (fat) increased in the blood.

Yudkin wrote a groundbreaking book, Pure, White, and Deadly: The Problem of Sugar. It was published in 1972. But his findings were discredited and ridiculed because he also argued that dietary and saturated fat were harmless.

But now it looks like Yudkin was right.

Dr. Lustig tells us that American consumption of fat has dropped significantly over the past few decades. But sugar intake has increased. The average American now eats 92 grams of sugar per day, while the body only needs 8 grams per day for energy. At the same time, the incidence of diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are growing.

So the problem in our diet does, indeed, seem to be sugar, not fat.

Life After Sugar

So it's clear. You need to drastically reduce sugar from your diet. But how do you start? First, you need to know that some sugars are worse than others. It depends on how they are converted to glucose in the body. The Glycemic Index (GI) ranks carbohydrates based on that rate of conversion. And it helps you determine which foods cause the most rapid rise in blood sugar. High GI foods put you in the danger zone. They lead to insulin resistance, diabetes, and heart disease.

It's clear you should keep your sugar intake to a minimum. The best way is to get your sugar from natural sources like fruits and vegetables. But make sure you keep an eye on the Glycemic Index even when eating fruits and vegetables. Dates and watermelon, for example, score high on the GI. Cherries, grapes, and prunes are low. You're better off eating broccoli or cabbage than carrots or fresh corn, which rank much higher.

Added sugar is found heavily in processed foods, drinks, alcohol, and desserts. So make sure you steer clear of boxed and bagged foods.

Stay away from artificial sweeteners, too. They are made of toxic chemicals, and can lead to weight gain. That defeats the purpose for why people use them in the first place. So what's the point? It's best to avoid them entirely.

So how do you satisfy your sweet tooth? There are plenty of natural, healthy alternatives. Here are just a few:

·      Stevia is non-caloric herb extracted from a plant native to Paraguay and other parts of South America. It is 200-300 times sweeter than table sugar, but has a Glycemic Index rating of less than 1. So it doesn't lead to sugar-related health issues.

·         Coconut palm sugar is made from the sap of the Palmyra palm, date palms, or coconut palms. It has a relatively low GI score.

·         Barley malt syrup is a very healthy alternative to sugar. The barley is soaked and sprouted to make a malt. It's mixed with more barley and cooked until the starch is converted to sugar. Then the syrup is dried into powder.

If you're diabetic, make sure to check with your doctor before using any sugar in your diet, whether natural or manufactured.

Nature’s Sweet Life Xylitol Gum freshens breath, cleans teeth and promotes dental health with all of the flavour and none of the harmful effects of sugar-laden gum. Chewing gum after a meal stimulates the production of saliva, which washes the teeth and neutralizes harmful acid produced by bacteria. 

Regular use of xylitol has been shown to help reduce dental plaque—the first stage of cavity development, tartar formation and tooth staining—and promote better oral health. Nature’s Sweet Life Xylitol Gum contains xylitol, gum base, natural flavour from either spearmint oil or cinnamon oil, vegetable glycerin, gum arabic, soy lecithin and beeswax. 

Chew after or between meals to freshen breath and promote oral health.


Xylitol Gum Spearmint 



Xylitol Gum Cinnamon


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