Sugar versus artificial sweeteners

I have a question for you, my very knowledgeable friends.  I don’t like the taste of artificial sweeteners, nor do I even like the taste of corn syrup.  I like good old-fashioned cane sugar.  I’m old enough to live with that decision.

Am I making a mistake, though, when I sweeten my children’s tea or home-made smoothies with cane sugar?  We have sucralose in the house, but I just can’t make myself use it.  Am I consigning my children to a lifetime of obesity?  Am I preventing them from a lifetime of cancer?

What’s the story here?  Incidentally, I’m asking you guys, because there is way too much information out on the internet.  I can find massive amounts of material supporting both points of view, which leaves me no better off than I was when I started.

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  • fche

    Methinks you worry too much.

  • Charles Martel

    Terence said it best, “Moderation in all things.” If you were sugar-izing everything in sight, that would be one thing. But using it to sweeten tea or treats is hardly a giant first step on the road to obesity. (Until the modern era, few Brits, who’ve been sweetening their tea with sugar for centuries, were obese.)
    We are living in a land of puritanism run amok. It has a decidedly Marxist tinge in that it perceives threats from the slightest source. If you consume one teaspoon of sugar, you are condemned to consume 100. If you have the slightest doubts about abortion or homosexual marriage, you most likely will soon be bombing abortuaries and beating up queers. If you are a six year old who recites a naughty pop song lyric to a little girl, you are the Springfield Stalker.
    (That kind of extremist thinking leads to bloated government or the gulag. The intent in either case is to extirpate any apple anywhere that could possibly go bad and spoil the whole utopian barrel.)
    Just tell the junior Bookworms to enjoy sugar as the occasional treat and let it go at that. And quit Michelle-ing yourself.

  • Danny Lemieux

    I don’t trust artificial sweeteners but still have no problem drinking diet soft drinks. As long as it’s done in moderation. My biggest problem is their taste.

    The unfortunately-named “high-fructose corn syrup” is virtually identical chemically to “sugar” or sucrose – one molecule of glucose (dextrose) for every molecule of fructose. In sucrose, the fructose and sucrose are bound together but quickly separate when ingested and are similarly digested. 

    Cane sugar (versus beet sugar) is identical. The difference with pure, highly refined sugar and brown sugar is that the less pure sugars have a lot of extra trace minerals and other compounds that are good for you.  

    Fche’s advice is good.

  • Indigo Red

    Sugar – real sugar – is no more dangerous for the vast majority of people than potatoes, green beans, or any other carbohydrate foods. Artificial sweeteners are just that – artificial, although the base ingredient may be real sugar like sucralose which is made by treating sugar with trityl chloride, acetic anhydride, hydrogen chlorine, thionyl chloride, and methanol in the presence of dimemethylformaldie, 4-methylmorpholine, toluene, methyl isobutyl ketone, acetic acid, benzyltriethyammoniun chloride, and sodium methoxide. Of course, that doesn’t mean much. I often use the example of 1-3-7 trimethyl xanthene to scare people about food additives, especially when they’re having a cup in the morning – it’s coffee.

    In small amounts, artificial sweeteners are probably harmless. Long term ingestion has shown multiple adverse reactions from headaches to cancers and they are included in so many foods they are as hard to avoid as soy. Sugar, on the other hand, has only a connection with obesity and diabetes when consumed without limit. I doubt, BW, that you would allow such to happen in your household and by projection, your kids will not over consume sugar. A good starter source Sugar and Artificial Sugar Facts at everydiet,org.

    As for myself, I use, in moderation, sugar and butter and animal fat and all the other stuff we’ve been told will kill us and I’m the only one in my immediate family without diet related heath problems. 

  • shirleyelizabeth

    In our household we have the mindset that the real thing is going to be better for you than any artificial substitute, regardless of who says it’s healthier (vegetable fats give me the wileys. Yet we’re still healthy, balanced people.). As for sugar, my husband can’t stand the taste of artificial sweeteners in anything so there’s never had to be a question about it. My doctor of bio-chem sister won’t touch artificial sweeteners, though I’ve never asked about her reasoning.

  • Mike Devx

    I’d advise moderation.

    Sweets should be a treat.  As an exercise, form an image of how often you should be giving your children heavy sugar sweets, as a part of their daily intake at meals and between meals, and then just stick to that image.

    IF your kids really like sodas so much that they’ll have them “too often”, you could consider the Coke Zero and Pepsi One/Pepsi Max varieties.  Those seem closest in taste to the real thing.  Two of those per day shouldn’t be a concern at all.  If your kids are active, two of the regular-sugar variety per day wouldn’t be any concern either.

    I don’t personally trust high-fructose corn syrup and I try to stay away from it.  I’m not *sure* I’m being reasonable in avoiding them.  I personally would rather have table sugar than high-fructose corn syrup.  But I can’t point to the evidence for why; I don’t remember what prompted me to try to avoid it.  Been a couple of years.

    If there is one thing I *would* focus on, it is portion size per meal.  We tend to eat far more at any one sitting than is healthy.  Eating til you’re stuffed at any one meal isn’t a problem; doing that three times a day, every day, for years would definitely be a problem.


    And above all, as Danny and fche said, stop worrying!  Just be reasonably sensible, don’t bother being too rigorous, and let it go at that, and enjoy the food, enjoy the life, enjoy the fun!

  • ami

    I do obesity. Partly sugar, partly a chemical imbalance that we’re working on. But I will not touch an artificial sweetener again. They make me ill. Migraines, intestinal issues, and sludgy thinking for a good eight hours after ingesting them. Yeah. Moderation.

  • Caped Crusader

    I echo the remarks above — your body converts sucrose(sugar) to dextrose for it’s use. It cares not the source or form, for it ends up the same. The taste is a personal matter, and if you limit the sugar calories it will do no harm. It is the excess of sugar and other excessive poor choice carbohydrates that cause the damage and obesity. It is merely total caloric intake versus exercise performed and calories burned. If you burn 4000 calories and take in 4000 calories, no weight gain. However, the better quality the food, the healthier the body. So 4000 calories a day of regular Cokes, while keeping you alive, is a poor choice for good nutrition. And if unable to eat in hospital, remember what you are getting in the IV is dextrose and electrolytes to keep you alive until you can eat. I grew up during the war years and there were NO fat kids (memory checked by old year book pictures), save one, who had a “glandular problem”. But sugar was rationed, along with meat, and many other things; and fast food (limited to Krystal in South, and White Castle in North; McDonald’s, etc. were yet to be thought up) was rare; and snacks did not exist as they do today.
    So enjoy your life and have a fair amount of fun, and not to worry. Be a good Conservative, for we are happier, and more generous, and loving than our adversaries, and it drives them crazy to see others happy and enjoying life, for they are unable to do it, and they are JEALOUS.
    Long ago I attended a stress management seminar and the professor gave a concise, and never to be forgotten recommendation; “Always remember it not not so much what you are eating, as much as it is what’s eating you (stress)”.


    I’ve gone from the pink to the blue to the yellow packets (except for baking when I use sugar and honey for cooking). At this point, there are few foods without additives or stabilizers and short of being able to hermetically seal, control, raise, process and distribute what we consume – avoid what doesn’t agree with you physically or otherwise.
    Eat Right, Exercise Regularly, Die Anyway. 😉

  • Ymarsakar

    Stay away from HFCS. It is neither fruit nor is it “corn syrup”.

     When is the last time you used fruit juice or corn syrup to preserve your food?

     High Fructose Corn Syrup has replaced cane sugar and other varieties of sweetners because HFSC is “sweeter” and lower in calories. However, what that means is that the human body cannot metabolize this “no calorie thing” easily. Cane sugar actually has calories or a chemical structure that the liver and body can metabolize. It’ll turn it into energy, and thus fat, yes, but that’s healthy and normal. Fat is neither evil nor is it part of the Leftist alliance.

    What makes people obese is the fact that their liver, kidneys, other vital organs, and their basic metabolic system starts going haywire. HFCS is a major component of this issue, especially if you drink more than 40 grams of it per day. Kids, given their low body weight, tend to metabolize this stuff way faster than normal. If you have a lot of muscles, you are given some resistance to soda pop and the sugar craze. If your metabolism is low, however, due to depression, sadness, thyroid issues, other health issues, major lack of exercise, and so on and so forth, you are in very real danger of developing obesity and diabetes with these artificial sugars.

    Safe bet is white rice, no pastries that you haven’t cooked, clear carbohydrates simple or complex, spices, milk, and meats.
     Plus vegetables or other stuff of that nature. People in the rest of the world can get chubby eating a lot of food, but not the way Americans have become obese.


  • Ymarsakar

    The reason why food science isn’t really a science is because they think they can read a molecule’s structure under a microscope and then conclude how the human body uses it. This is called making stuff up as they go along. They have no idea, literally, how the human body metabolizes a variety of issues, because they do not understand the complete DNA genome as of yet, nor how that DNA functions in organs and how hormones function in tandem with the digestive track and so forth. The human body is complex enough that so called social sciences more interested in how food affects human behavior than the science part of it, cannot account for chaos theory or the butterfly effect.
     If you think a national economy is too complicated to manage, the human body is even more complex in terms of its metabolism and what foods do to it.

     I drink about 40-80 grams of HFSC from sweet soda pops every 2-3 days. This is near the limit for me due to my body composition, exercise output, and metabolism. If you have kids, that weigh less than half what I weigh and don’t do 10% the exercise, imagine what their “limit” is.

    Natural sugars are far better overall. There you only have to worry about some few pounds of excess fat, not diabetes or obsesity, and tooth decay. Those few pounds go away with some exercise, and they don’t get “addicted”. Somehow HFCS and what not, makes people more hungry, not less. It’s like the body thinks it’s starving or something and builds up fat infinitely. How else can you explain how these fat people in the US, keep on eating? There’s no way they can, naturally, be that hungry all the time. Especially if they sit around and do nothing. I spend an hour exercising and I’m already famished, but if I don’t do anything, I can carry on for a day without any food or hunger.

  • Earl

    Not a nutritionist or biochemist….and don’t play one on TV or anywhere else.
    I agree with all of the “moderation” comments above.  Plus the “stay active” ones.
    I like my coffee semi-sweet* and I’m not a purist….so my one cup of (instant Folgers) coffee in the a.m. gets a healthy squirt of saccharine.  Then I spread my (whole wheat – Dave’s Killer bread) toast with home-made grapefruit marmalade made with good old cane sugar (lots of it, too). 
    My recommendation for the BEST book on nutrition and health is The McDougall Plan.  Wise, wonderful, and with complete references to the scientific literature.  Absolutely wonderful book.
    *If I’ve got really good coffee, I don’t take sweetener at all, but I’m too lazy and cheap to drink really good coffee regularly.  So sue me!


    Oh Earl, you’re breaking my heart. Grapefruit marmalade (pink or white)? Oh, doesn’t matter, I gave up eating bread about two months ago (even the whole wheat). I’ve settled for a daily ration of Nabisco Wheat Thins. Truth be told, I gave up bread because it was getting too easy to make a sandwich in place of a healthier meal. 


  • JKB

    For your amusement, here is a pamphlet produced in 1915, Sugar and its value as food : Abel, Mary Hinman, b. 1850   They come up with the same advice, too much sugar and sedentary work, is not a good combination.  I like the section on the use of sugar as a fattener for farm animals:  

    A practical illustration of the use of sugar as a fattening food is found in the use of both sugar and molasses in fattening farm animals, the fat so produced being found firm and of good quality. In sugar- producing regions it is a common constituent of the rations of horsea and mules, and it is fed to dairy cattle and to fattening steers. In Louisiana, for example, it is the usual practice to feed ”black strap” molasses to plantation horses and mules at the rate of 8 to 12 pounds per head per day. So common has its use become for farm animals in general that many mixed rations are now on the market which contain molasses as one of their chief constituents. 

    That, of course, doesn’t answer the question about artificial sweeteners.  I for one, use the diet versions of soda, but because I just can’t handle mainlining the liquid sugar anymore.  I do have a theory, but I’ve not looked for supporting research that the sweet taste still activates the insulin response, which leads to fat storage just as with sugar.  

    You might consider Agave Nectar.  Still caloric but it seems not to be as fast a burner as sugar.  

  • Mike Devx

    I ordered The McDougall Plan, and Book’s recommended Luttrell book on the Seals, and another item on my personal wish list, A Distant Eden.  Thanks for the recommendations!

  • Earl

    I LOVE fizzy drinks!  Any time, really, but especially when it’s hot.  On the other hand, I don’t want to be drinking 1/4 Cup of sugar per 12 ounce can (I read somewhere that that’s what you get) and I DETEST every artificially sweetened drink I’ve tried.
    So, I reserve the Pepsi (or [cheaper] equivalent) for when I’m driving long distances.  I fill a 40-ounce Bubba Mug with ice, then pour in a 12-ounce can.  I usually drink one can per 2 hours while I chew on my home-made beef jerky, sunflower seeds (in the shell), and an occasional licorice jelly bean.  It keeps me awake and alert, and that’s becoming more and more important as I age.
    At home, I make Cranberry Shrub (syrup) and mix it with fizzy water from my seltzer bottle.  I can drink it pretty thin and enjoy it immensely, and I get MUCH less sugar (and all of it pure cane) than in commercial soda.
    Sadie:  It’s white grapefruit from the tree my wife’s uncle (now deceased) planted by his house here in town.  I knocked on the door and told the new owners who I was and asked permission to pick.  They were VERY nice, and I got about 40 pounds. 
    On another subject, what’s wrong with a sandwich?  If you put the right sort of stuff between the slices of bread, it makes a nourishing meal with good nutritional balance.  Kind of like potatoes — wonderful nutritional food that mostly we wreck by slathering them in stuff that’s not particularly good for us.


    Kind of like potatoes — wonderful nutritional food that mostly we wreck by slathering them in stuff that’s not particularly good for us.

    Earl, I hope you’re not suggesting that sour cream is a bad thing. 😉  Several years back, I got hooked on the Daisy brand of sour cream – I rate it as the Rolls Royce in the Kingdom of Sour Creams. Got so addicted to the stuff, that a thick slab of it over a slice of bread or two ‘was’ my idea of an open-faced sandwich – it also was center stage on a baked potato, after the butter was added. For me, it was just easier to say no to bread and a tearful goodbye to Daisy. On the liquid side of life…never drank any sodas, don’t like fizz. Water straight up or with some lime is sublime.


  • Beth

    Ever notice all of ‘red’ products?  The red in the packaging basically says ‘processed’ and most contain hfcs.  I’ve no book knowledge of the whole sugar debate but I tend to follow the same path as ShirleyElizabeth–if it’s ‘real’ it’s better in the long run.  Moderation in everything.  I am blown away by the amount of soda people drink.  It’s still a treat around here; not only for the health implications but the cost. 
    To Mike @ #15–A Distant Eden certainly put a different perspective on my thoughts of major unrest/disaster scenerios. IF that is what we should expect to happen, I’d say 99% of us are woefully unprepared to deal with any of it.  I’d be interested in other thoughts on this book.  Did we hear of this book here or at a different site?  I can’t remember–only know that when I heard about it, I got it right away.  It’s been passed along to friends.

  • notomarx

    Well I guess I’m the only NO TO SUGAR person to respond.  The American Diet is full of sugar and lack of nutrients.  I just ran into using Coconut Oil to cook with and Dr. Bruce Fife makes a lot of sense about our American Diet and the use of coconut Oil.  I know this is about sugar but his book “The Coconut Oil Miracle” is a must read, if your concerned for your health.
    Concerning sugar, the artificial sweeteners are worst then the real thing.  The real problem is we are getting too much sugar.  The only safe sugar replacement I have found is Stevia and only Green Leaf Stevia. 
    We are a nation of diabetes and it is just getting worse,
    So much for my two cents.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Funny that you should mention coconut oil, notomarx.

    It wasn’t all that long ago (1980s) that “Tropical Oils” were touted as the scourge of mankind in a massive PR campaign by Phil Sokolof. It was all nonsense, of course, as were most of the “shock” claims about saturated fats and dietary cholesterol. 

    There are no magic bullets in nutrition.

    I really should post a rant on how to spot scientific fraud and nonsense. 

  • Caped Crusader

    Danny — It was only a few years ago since the Science for the Public Welfare, or some similar left wing organization with 2 members and a fax machine, was trying to stop popcorn being cooked with coconut oil in movies or we would all soon die, even before global worming kills us.

  • Danny Lemieux

    To play on SADIE’s words of wisdom (#9) – 

    If you eat [fill in the blank], I guarantee you that you will die! 

  • Ymarsakar

    I’m surprised nobody has mentioned taking science into their own hands and doing their own experimentation and data collection. If science is such a big deal and is so “Good”, why doesn’t anyone here generate their own experimental procedures and acquire their own data and analyse it? Book has two kids she can experiment with and tally their daily consumption vs exercise and hunger levels.

    Does the idea just not ever come up for Americans because AMericans have been conditioned to believe Real Science is done with government grants and a big laboratory at some University funded by federal taxes? 

  • Ymarsakar

    One health fitness instructor decided he was going to eat unhealthy foods and get fat like the people he is advising on diet and health, in order to determine just what exactly is going on with people who can’t lose weight. He drank water and other liquids before when exercising, so went on an all soda pop diet plus some other things. He noted that he has started to crave the HFCS in soda, if he doesn’t drink enough of it. I’ve noticed the same, although it is a very “weak” draw. I’ve been known to sit out and wait until my hunger pangs have gone away, if I was too busy reading a book I liked. “Sweetness addiction” is a pretty weak sauce draw for me. But imagine how it is with other people. Why is it that they keep eating junk food as if they are addicted? A person can get addicted to coffee and chocolate and you won’t get as fat, yet you’re eating the same grams of sugar per day as the other guys.

     Until americans figure out that they need to search out the truth for themselves, rather than sit around waiting for some “scientific study” to show them “Enlightenment”, America the nation will be continued to be led around by its nose.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Caped Crusader – don’t knock it!

    Those two people with a fax machine probably received a multi-million Obama Stimulus grant and a personal shout-out from Lady Michelle Macbeth.


    Book has two kids she can experiment with and tally their daily consumption vs exercise and hunger levels.

    Ymar, why bother Bookworm. Didn’t “we” the taxpayers fund “shrimp on a treadmill”  to determine that.

         HERE’s THE MONEY QUOTE from the NSF, all $559,681 dollars of it….     

     “sick shrimp did not perform as well and did not recover as well from exercise as healthy shrimp.”    

  • notomarx

    I don’t advocate only using coconut oil but what it has shown me is the Big Phama, Big Ag, and Big business is nor interested in the bottom line then in your health.  Most of what we eat is processed foods and contain no nutrition.  FAT DOES NOT MAKE YOU FAT BUT CARBS DO.  The amount of sugar we take in has increased by a huge factor since big bus and big Ag. push their fructose heavy foods.
    I agree people should do their own research and find that many food they eat are indeed toxins.  The battle against tropical oil was done by the soy bean people the same people who are promoting generic GMO foods and who knows what these food do to the body.
    I think the FDA is out to promote anything that makes money to the devil for health.  Sugar substitutes are indeed poisons look it up.  Start eating salads and add fat to it.  The low fat high carb diet has caused more illness and has anyone ever lost weight with it. 
    Do your own research and don’t let anyone tell you what to eat.  Just stop eating all this sugar and carbs.

  • Danny Lemieux

    The food industry is trying to poison its customers. Interesting business model, that. 

  • Mike Devx

    notomarx, you’ve got a bit of hatred going on for ‘the bottom line’, there!  Plus a little hatred for the ‘Biggies’, I see.

    EVERY company is in business to make money. And they don’t need to have ‘Big’ in front them to be doing so.  In the end they give us what we want to buy, because… that’s what we’re buying!  There’s nothing nefarious going on. They’re just meeting marketplace demand.  If it says anything, it says the vast majority of us are making bad health decisions about what and how we eat.

    I agree with almost everything else you’ve said though.  I think you go a little overboard on table and cane sugar.  In moderation (as always), there’s nothing wrong with it.  But the evidence does seem to be emerging that TOO much regular sugar definitely has nasty effects.  That doesn’t make it poison, though.

    Book wasn’t discussing losing weight, but I agree, fat doesn’t make you fat (except if it’s a part of regular excessive daily calorie intake).  My thoughts on losing weight are: Balanced meals in moderate portion size, and exercise.  The exercise is important NOT because of the calories you burn during exercise – those don’t matter a whole lot.  But exercise raises your base metabolic rate, which means 24-7 all of your body’s muscles are burning additional calories, and THAT is where the main weight loss benefit occurs from exercise.

    I’m part of that ‘diabetic nation’ you mention.  I do think there is a genetic susceptibility to diabetes, but it was my terrible eating habits, I am fairly sure, that was the trigger, and I pulled that trigger.  So yes, I know all about that salad-with-fat, low-carb idea that you mentioned, and all I can say is, some days I am so sick of salad that I don’t want to be within a county of a leaf of lettuce.

    But maybe you should give the Biggies (Bus, Ag, Pharma) a break.  They’re not forcing all that processed, chemical’ed food down anyone’s throats.


  • Ron19

    Danny Lemieux #28:
    The food industry is trying to poison its customers. Interesting business model, that.

    Even more interesting is all the businesses in so many industries that support organizations and agendas that seek to reduce the number of customers that business might have in the future.

  • notomarx

    I can not present my facts enough to convince anyone about anything.  I have written a 30 page article which goes into detail but I don’t have a website and can not put it on the web yet but I do have an article from someone else who tells the story of Crisco.
    You have to be around before the 1960’s to know what the product name Crisco means but to translate it for the youngsters they now call it Trans Fat.  Companies don’t start by wanting their customers sick but sometime facing facts and the truth are hard so you just make the lye believable.  I am on no one side right now.  I am getting over being very sick and have found out things that made me sick and why and how to get well again.  I have found some interesting things none of them make me feel closer to medical science so called and the accepted processed food I find in the Grocery Store.  I am just doing research and the question of sugar made me go nuts.  Sorry…… Joan.
    The Rise and Fall of Crisco  © Mother Linda’s
                               Crisco Update
    The story of how Procter & Gamble successfully demonized lard.


  • Mike Devx

    Sorry to hear the bad stuff got you to the point of being very sick, notomarx.

    Now you have me wondering, just exactly what *is* that stuff I’m putting on my popcorn in theaters?

    Which brings to mind the old joke where the moviegoer is purchasing popcorn.

    Girl behind the counter, smiling brightly, “Would you like butter with that?”
    Movie-goer: “Heck no, just give me that artificial yellow chemical crap that you give everyone else!”

    They say if you open a tub of margarine and leave it out in your garage for weeks, the flies will never touch it.
    Never tried that, though; might be an old wives’ tale.  (They say it apparently won’t spoil or smell, either?)

  • Danny Lemieux

    Ron19 – and they all contain the word “sustainability” somewhere in their mission statement?

  • notomarx

    From my research:
    The unsaturated fats of hydrogenated oils and margarine  introduce a free hydrogen molacule(sp) which create disease causing free-radicals.
    Remember Coconut Oil Popcorn?
    In the 1980s and early 1990s the Soybean Industry raged a battle against Coconut oil in movie house popcorn.  They denied the growing literature about Trans fatty acids promoted heart disease by, diverting attention and raging a war on Tropical oils.  They claimed tropical oils caused heart disease.  They argued to replace coconut oil with vegetable oils.
     Studies in the early 1990s, renewed scrutiny and confirmation of trans-fats. It is the artery clogging, highly damaged omega-6 polyunsaturated fat that has been linked to heart disease, clogging of arteries, and type 2 diabetes, and other serious health problems.  Trans-fat was the most consumed type of fat in the U.S., it is in potato chips, pre-made cookies, or microwave dinners. It has caused at least 20,000 deaths a year in heart disease.
    Using old research journals for facts, questions started being asked. Pressure by several health groups, nutritionist, lipid researchers, and the public, Trans-fat has been forced off the market. The U.S Institute of Medicine did studies and issued the statement: “There is no save level of trans fat consumption.”  In January 2007, the FDA, short of forbidding the product, has announced a final rule requiring food manufacturers to list trans-fat on Nutrition Facts labels.
    We now live with diseases our grandparents had never heard of. People living on coconut growing islands never heard of our current diseases until they started to eat the western diet.  Heart diseases and heart attack was virtually unknown in the 1950’s let alone Alzheimer’s and the rest of the neurological aliments and what about mental illnesses.  I found a really neat chart bringing a lot of words to my mind. The chart shows the decrease consumption of saturated fats over the years but cholesterol counts are still a medical problem needing special drugs – At least according to  BigPharma and the AMA.
     It took Crisco’s Trans-fat twenty years to give us a dictionary full of  new medical disease terminology.

  • Ymarsakar

    Mike Devx, I would suggest a combination of Taiji Chuan and Chi gong to see if that helps with your diabetes. Not as good as prevention 30 years ago, but as damage control, people have found it has amazing effects. One of the reasons I decided to start studying the sword (Japanese katana) was to exercise my upper body in a fun fashion. Lifting weights wasn’t exactly interesting nor all that safe as time went on. If you were looking into some kind of exercise regimen, external martial arts don’t tend to go along with the health debilitating effects of diabetes.

     Nobody ever talks about regulating the research on campus or taxing Hollywood movie profits. I mean, if they need money for healthcare, why are they cutting defense out of our daily lives and letting Hollywood movie companies make so much profit? Could it be because Hollywood employs politicians like Chris Dodd after they “retire”? Ever check who the chairmen of the MPAA is… If they don’t talk about it, you can bet Congress won’t pass any laws about it.

    I also bought some sword polishing paste from MetaGlo, based in Taiwan. This and the miracle cloths are amazing in terms of their efficiency. Manual polishing and sharpening is both risky and dangerous for the unskilled, but these modern implements saves a lot of time and labor. That miracle cloth that smells like machine oil plus coconut oil is also pretty interesting.

    This stuff would have been deemed gold back in the ancient days. If I’m ever going to go back in time and train a bunch of itinerant peasants on how to use the sword, I’m taking a few truck loads of these back with me.


  • Ron19

    Danny Lemieux:
    “…and they all contain the word “sustainability” somewhere in their mission statement?”

    Good thought, but whether they do or not, they are still reducing the size of their market pie.

    Same for so many government organizations reducing their tax base.

  • Indigo Red

    It was the war against lard, coconut oil, and sugar that killed the Oreo Cookie for me and thousands of others who loved the original recipe.


    “Heart diseases and heart attack was virtually unknown in the 1950’s let alone Alzheimer’s and the rest of the neurological aliments and what about mental illnesses.”

    notomarx, I can’t speak to your research, but I do know a little and a bit more about Alzheimer’s Disease. I also know that long before there were names for the diseases, they still existed. From the little I’ve read, half of all American deaths were caused by cardiovascular disease in the 1950s. Then, doctors regularly ignored the complaints of women and diagnosed many with heartburn or indigestion.  The doctors/scientists remain clueless about what causes AD, although they think the build-up of plaque (beta-amyloids) are a contributing factor. Still, they have no idea what triggers the plague. It’s the same sad story with Parkinsons.

    Anyway, I don’t expect you to watch the entire 9 minutes, so maybe the first two or three.  

  • michal

    sugar is sugar is sugar.  It all breaks down the same once it’s in your gut.
    Diabetics have higher blood fats and cholesterol than non diabetics.  There is a connection between insulin and blood fat/sugar. 
    Less is more with sweet and salt. the more you use the greater your tolerance for sweet and you can inch up the amt. without realizing what is going on.
    Try eating other kinds of stuff.  I find that bitter or sour is sometimes as satisfying as sweet or salty.
    Artificial sweeteners are nasty tasting IMHO. If I have to have something sweet, I eat the sugary stuff.
    I once quit eating sugar completely. I couldn’t go near a bakery: the smell made me nauseous.  I got high off of white rice and white bread, too.  Felt hungover the next day.  I lost 25 lbs without trying.
    Moderation in all things!
    PS. Most red food coloring is derived from beetles.  If it’s red and doesn’t have a Kosher symbol, skip it. Even if you don’t keep kosher, who wants to eat bugs? yeech.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Notomarx – a few thoughts:

    1) The reason that products like Crisco and such were developed is that they were cheaper alternatives to butter.

    2) Butter, not so long ago, was considered “bad” for you. Now (with an obligatory hat tip to Julia Child, of course) we know better.

    3) Cheap food is good. Of course, most people live at income levels where they don’t think about it and can indulge in pricy food trends, but one of the reasons that Americans have so much disposable income (as compared to Europeans and Mexicans, for example) is because we don’t have to pay as much for our food. Americans pay about 10% of their disposable income on food, Europeans about 20% and Mexicans about 26% (on average). That leaves us with a lot of extra money to spend, invest or do whatever with.

    4) Trans-fats were barely know 20 years ago, much less understood to have deleterious effects on circulatory health.

    5) People today are leading longer lives, not shorter lives. Our food supply has a lot to do with that.

    6) A big part of our dietary problems have to do with our personal food choices when confronted with a cornucopia of possibilities, not because anybody or any company has “forced” us to eat what we don’t want to eat.

    And, Mike – red cochineal extract (extracted from insects) isn’t used nearly as much are artificial dyes because it is expensive. However, in many cultures, insects make for tasty dishes. If you think about it, there really isn’t that much structurally different between an insect and a shrimp, crab or lobster (which aren’t kosher, either). It’s a cultural thing.

    People really obsess way to much about food. Just enjoy it.  

  • Ymarsakar

    If sugar is sugar, how come HFCS can preserve food but sugar isn’t known to do so? People need to do some fire starting.

     Part of the reason why disease was unknown in 1950s is because nobody cared to tally the statistics. Nor could they investigate and make prognosis of any apparent sickness accurately. Thus this can’t be attributed to some miracle growth or food. Out of sight, is out of mind for human beings.

     The farm subsidies are concurrent with the fact that HFCS has all but replaced cane sugar, corn syrup, and what not on the market today. These numbers only go back to 1980s or so, but that’s exactly the time when obesity started growing. Concurrent with the increasing usage of HFCS. One might even think people “got rid” of natural products like coconut oil because some company wanted their product to sell better, since they had some high powered government lobbyist.

  • notomarx

    Sadie I watched your Video.  Thanks good info I have spent years working with Alzheimer’s patients. I enjoyed the history lesson.
    Thanks all for a great discussion,  at least I got people talking about cutting down on sugar and maybe doing some thinking about it.  I feel this is an argument no one will win but there is a major increase in dementia diseases like Alzheimer’s and Insulin resistant diabetics.
    I would just like to find something in the Grocery store that isn’t loaded with sugar and empty calories.

  • Caped Crusader

    WOW !!!
    Next to religion, sugar really seems to “stir things up” (pun intended). Just happened to remember an old WW2 Johnny Mercer & Pied Pipers song — “My Sugar is so Refined”.
    ENJOY !!

  • Danny Lemieux

    Ymarsaker, the reason that HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup…which has just as much fructose as sucrose) can be used to preserve is that it is a syrup that binds up water molecules so that they can’t be used by bacteria. You can do the same thing by making a syrup of crystalline sucrose, as the candy industry does.

    Regarding obesity, I attribute it to two factors. One is cultural. When I came to this country long ago, I was amazed at how eating food is associated with virtually every social event, from going to church, bowling, playing little league, going to the movies or just having people over to visit. People give kids food to eat in a car to make them shut up and too many people graze on food throughout the day because they are bored.

    The second factor is sedentary lifestyle. I am not atypical in that I spend hours in front of a computer every day. Kids don’t play outside anymore – they, too, spend hours sitting in front of a screen. 

    So, to me, anyway, it is no surprise that we haven’t found a way to balance food intake with our energy requirements.

  • Caped Crusader

    “Heart diseases and heart attack was virtually unknown in the 1950’s let alone Alzheimer’s and the rest of the neurological aliments and what about mental illnesses.”

    TOTALLY FALSE !! Having been grown and in medical school in the 1950’s I can tell you myocardial infarcts were rampant (leading cause of death) and legions of men in their forties keeled over dead in the years prior to interventional cardiology. Everyone ate too much fatty meat and food cooked in lard, etc. It was epidemic. Alzheimer’s was called senile dementia, not Alzheimer’s (in elderly) until later, and was very prevalent also. Remember, (probably you can’t, since I am much older than nearly anyyone else) President Eisenhower was treated with prolonged bed rest after his infarct, the best treatment available at the time. Everyone not old enough to remember, takes today’s cardiac care for granted, not realizing it is only @ 40 years since inception.

    I well remember the first time I heard the name Alzheimer’s used in an older person. We were waiting to make surgery rounds and the staff man walked up and joined the group. A few moments later he walked over, unzipped his pants and urinated on the wall. Some immediately remarked — “Gee WHIZ !!(pun intended), he must have Alzheimer’s” — and he did. There is a moment in time when any disease becomes patently obvious and that was it for him.

  • Earl

    Thanks, Caped Crusader….a little experience of the olden days really helps.  My grandpa died of an MI in 1946 at 58 years old.  My other grandpa practiced medicine for almost 60 years, starting in 1920, and he’d have been happy to tell us exactly what you did.
    As for “sugar is sugar is sugar”, I remember when they said the same thing about calories, and neither of them is true.  The form in which our calories come matters.  So does the type of sugar, as nutritional and biochemical research is discovering.  Exactly what those differences are may not be perfectly clear, yet, but stay tuned.

  • Ymarsakar

    Coincidentally, candy is also harder than average for the body to metabolize.


    Less coincidentally, Bloomberg (yeah, that one from NYC) has another plan for the Big Apple. NYC BAN ON LARGE SUGARED DRINKS!    

  • michal

    a lot of people think they can usher in the messianic age by eating “right”.