SUGAR

You might wonder why a book about drugs would include mention of an everyday food such as sugar. Since we are writing about substances often abused in our society, we would be remiss if we omitted sugar, which has to be near the top of the list. In addition, because some drugs create a desire for sweets, one should have basic knowledge about the dangers of sugar before heading for the candy store to satisfy those cravings.

Refined sucrose, C12 H22 011 comes to us courtesy of the chemical laboratory, which processes almost all the fiber and protein out of sugar cane or beets to leave us with a product that is nutritionally valueless.

In the United States today, we. find sugar not. only in Coffee and candy but in virtually every manufactured food; we cat. Manufacturers start our habits early by putting sugar taw baby food and cereals. Even bacon and tobacco are sugar cured to satisfy the sweet tooth. The average American today consumes roughly 135. pounds of refined sugar each year -- enough to make more than six hundred cherry pies! Sugar has become a national addiction, a definite threat to health, and the habit seems to be growing.

When Marco Polo first brought sugar back from India in the thirteenth century, he had no way of knowing he was introducing the Western World to a substance that, when ultimately abused, would be a cause of problems such as pimples, diabetes, tooth decay, migraine, overweight, and heart disease. These facts have now been thoroughly documented by the scientific community, and it is time for us to recognize this killer, a major part of our national diet, for what it is.   

We are not only talking about the white stuff either. "Raw" sugar is just as worthless in terms of nutritional value, d brown sugar is white sugar with a bit of molasses thrown in for coloring.

We will not go into a long discourse about sugar in this volume. Many other books are available that discuss this subject in depth. One current interesting and informative work is Sugar Blues by William Dufty.

Read food labels so you can be fully aware of those products containing sugar. If you cannot completely kick the sugar habit, try to keep if under control. The best method is to substitute natural sugar for the refined variety whenever possible. And, when the yen for a sweet hits, have a piece of fruit instead of a candy bar or cola.