I used to think Toxicity was just a cool name for a SOAD album…

Not-so-breaking news—it’s not new, but it’s never really recognized. It needs rehab like drugs and alcohol. It’s probably more addictive than crack. But of course, no one’s gonna tell you that. They’re too busy sucking at the teets of high-fructose corn syrup themselves.

The number one thing I learned from my cleanse? I’m addicted to sugar, too. I crave it constantly, especially with certain triggers, like after meals, or when I’m nearing the end of a long shift at work. And no wonder. It’s rewired my body to need more and more of it.

Refined sugar and [high fructose corn syrup] don’t come with any protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants or fiber, and so they either displace other more nutritious elements of our diet or are eaten over and above what we need to sustain our weight..

The fructose component of sugar and H.F.C.S. is metabolized primarily by the liver, while the glucose from sugar and starches is metabolized by every cell in the body. Consuming sugar (fructose and glucose) means more work for the liver than if you consumed the same number of calories of starch (glucose). And if you take that sugar in liquid form — soda or fruit juices — the fructose and glucose will hit the liver more quickly than if you consume them, say, in an apple (or several apples, to get what researchers would call the equivalent dose of sugar).

In animals, or at least in laboratory rats and mice, it’s clear that if the fructose hits the liver in sufficient quantity and with sufficient speed, the liver will convert much of it to fat. This apparently induces a condition known as insulin resistance, which is now considered the fundamental problem in obesity, and the underlying defect in heart disease and in the type of diabetes, type 2, that is common to obese and overweight individuals. It might also be the underlying defect in many cancers.

Sugar’s more than just empty calories—it’s worse. In short, sugar is one of the most toxic things you can put in your body—but avoiding it isn’t just a chore, it’s an entire lifestyle overhaul. At 90+ pounds per person per year of sugar according to the US FDA? That’s a problem. This isn’t made to send you into a panic and pantry dump—but perhaps, to help with more conscious decisions. I used to skip dinners because I’d rather eat a bowl of ice cream or a bag of candy—I thought, at least, it balances everything out calorie-wise. That’s true, but in doing so, not only do I rob myself of nutrients that I could be eating, it now appears that I was replacing them with some real toxic stuff. Scary.

In the New York Times: Is Sugar Toxic?

**Disclaimer: Do NOT expect me to turn down, nor stop offering me cake at your birthday post-this-post. Special occasions are a-okay.

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