Not So Sweet

August 15, 2019
Robert C. Alley, MD

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The widespread promotion of low-fat diets in the late 1900’s has increased the dietary proportion of carbohydrates.  Unfortunately, since that time, the incidence of obesity and diabetes has continued to rise.  In addition, the current consumption of sugar is out of control-especially considering that the average male should consume the equivalent of 9 teaspoons of sugar daily.    Drinking one 12 ounce can of soda may contain 12 teaspoons of sugar!  Most of the sugar consumed is in the form of high fructose corn syrup, which arguably is worse for you than table sugar.  Fructose is converted into fat by the liver prior to being used as an energy source.  Thus, many feel that the current epidemic of fatty liver disease is directly related to high fructose corn syrup consumption.  Fatty liver is now the number one reason for liver transplantation in the United States.  Moreover, the consumption of sugar contributes to inflammation in the body, which contributes to many diseases such as heart disease, pain and the growth of cancer.  So much of my medical practice concerns one’s diet and the need to limit sugars.   Start reading labels and become familiar with the sugar content of what you put in your body.   Educate yourself about high fructose corn syrup.  The old cliché holds quite true-you are what you eat.