The last several decades have seen the rise in incidence of diseases related to, what is now termed, "metabolic syndrome."
The cause of metabolic syndrome has always been attributed to dietary fat - in public. However, the real cause of this constellation of diseases, including diabetes, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, stroke, and fatty liver disease, has been misrepresented by the sugar industry. The real culprit is, and has always been, sugar, or more accurately refined sugar.
Refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup are processed by the liver, similar to poisons. These products are converted to small-particle LDL 1 and deposited in arteries (causing atherosclerosis), and the liver itself (causing fatty liver disease). The pancreas tries to compensate for the rapid increase in sugar intake after sugary meals by secreting more insulin. 2 Eventually, the pancreas burns out causing diabetes. The long term effect of this process results in heart attack, stroke, diabetes and liver failure.
Fruit based sugar, on the other hand, does not have any of these effects. The fiber content in fruit dampens the rise in blood sugar after consumption. 3 This results in a more gradual insulin secretion by the pancreas, which is normal pancreatic function, and hence does not predispose one to diabetes. This is also the reason why eating whole fruit is better than drinking fruit juice.
Refined sugar is poison, and it is killing us slowly.
- NY Times: Are Sugary Drinks Fattening? Depends Who You Ask
- PLOS Medicine: Financial Conflicts of Interest and Reporting Bias Regarding the Association between Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Weight Gain: A Systematic Review of Systematic Reviews
- Mother Jones: Big Sugar's Sweet Little Lies
- Robert Lustig: Sugar - The Bitter Truth (YouTube Video)