Let’s not let these articles get buried and ignored!
Interesting article published in the Internal Medicine Journal looking at sugar, cardiovascular disease, addiction and evidence for a sugar addiction syndrome.
Sugar restriction: the evidence for a drug-free intervention to reduce cardiovascular disease risk
Check out the entire article here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1445-5994.2012.02902.x/full
Here is the conclusion for those who are busy Although it really is worth the time to read!
What do we conclude from this survey of the evidence? First, sugar intakes have increased substantially against a nutritional backdrop that has focused on reducing fat intake and salt to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease. Second, excess intake of fructose, due to the accumulating, consistent epidemiological evidence of links with risk factors for cardiovascular disease, suggests that substantial health gains will result from limiting intakes. Third, from the parallels among drugs of abuse, overeating and carbohydrate addiction, we speculate that many patients will find it difficult to limit their intake of sugar due to stimulation of reward pathways in the brain, and the experience of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that accompany attempts to restrict intake.
The American Heart Association has published guidelines that suggested limiting intake of sugar to no more than six teaspoons per day for women and nine for men. From food disappearance data, average daily sugar consumption is between 30 and 40 teaspoons per day in English-speaking countries, such as the UK, United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The implications of the advice are enormous: most adults should reduce their intake by between 1/6 and 1/3 of their current consumption. As we have shown, the largest source of added sugar in the United States comes in liquid form, either from soft drinks and fruit juice which may be overlooked by patients.
One of the authors (RT) has considerable experience of advising patients how to cut down their intake of sugar. He suggests making patients aware of their intake by translating weight (grams), which is often reported on the nutrition panels on manufactured foods, into teaspoons. Four grams of sugar is about 1 teaspoon. When patients understand how many teaspoons are in commonly consumed food portions, they are often surprised. Many people are taken aback when the sugar content of soft drink, fruit juice, breakfast cereals and seemingly healthy sweetened yogurts is revealed. For the clinician advising people to cut down their intake of sugar, we recommend first advice about how to reduce intake of added sugar. This includes fruit juice, soft drink, cordials, sweetened yoghurts and breakfast cereals, as well as the better understood sources in chocolate, sweets, desserts, cakes and biscuits.
From the published evidence of a likely sugar withdrawal syndrome, we also suggest warning patients that they are likely to suffer withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to restrict their sugar intake. Such symptoms are likely to include irritability, loss of concentration, hunger, craving for sugar and restlessness. Cues left around the house, such as the presence of available sugary foods, arelikely to prompt consumption especially in the early phases (<1 month) of restriction. We, therefore, suggest removing sugary foods from the house and work environment, reducing the chance that the patient’s resolve to forego sugar will be broken.
This paper suggests a deviation from widely accepted practice for many cardiologists, general physicians and family doctors concerned with reducing the CVD risk of the patient that they have before them. Rather than reaching for the prescription pad, we suggest a brief conversation about the perils of a high-sugar diet and practical advice about how to cut down.”