Is Sugar Both Addictive and Toxic?

We grew up with the notion that sugar is a “treat” or a kind of reward that children receive for good behavior. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. New research from some of America’s most respected institutions is finding that sugar is a potent toxin and could be a driving force behind some of this country’s leading diseases, including heart disease. Many physicians now agree that the American lifestyle is killing us. For centuries, Chinese Medicine has recognized “Depletion and Thirst Syndrome,” a condition also known as “Diabetes.”


As excess sugar enters your body, it is in the pancreas that “depletion” occurs and insulin is what we “thirst” for.  The pancreas produces and releases insulin. Insulin is the hormone necessary to carry sugar from the bloodstream into all the body’s cells and tissues for usage. Simple sugars and refined carbohydrates require a quick release of insulin, which leaves your pancreas depleted. This quick release action produces hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. Your body then craves more sugar to produce more insulin. This vicious cycle will eventually exhaust your pancreas, which is the hallmark of diabetes. In the case of diabetes, one can no longer process sugar which then builds up to a toxic level, damaging your healthy tissues.


Since the 1970’s, simple sugar consumption has decreased by about 40%.  At the same time consumption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has skyrocketed well beyond simple sugars and it is equally as harmful. Items like, tomato ketchup, cereals, breads, granola bars, salad dressings and most “fast foods” are all loaded with HFCS.


Step One

How do you prevent Type II diabetes? In Chinese medicine, the obvious first step is to stop eating refined sugar in any form. Reduce natural sugars like fruits, honey and maple syrup. Eat regularly and do not skip meals. Try to incorporate some protein foods at each meal such as eggs, poultry, fish, beans, nuts and seeds. These foods take a longer time to digest and absorb. Slowly releasing sugar and nutrients into the bloodstream is key to avoiding diabetes.

Step Two

Start a program of daily cardiovascular exercises of at least 20 minutes. This is important because exercise “rebalances” glandular functions of the body and stimulates metabolism, thereby using up the excess sugar in the system and reducing excess energy storage (fat), not to mention the benefits to one’s heart.