Sugar is toxic for mice in dosages that in humans would equal a “safe” diet that includes three cans of soda per day, scientists said Tuesday.
Mice fed a diet in which sugar contributed a quarter of their daily calories did not become obese or ill, yet died younger and had fewer babies than animals on a healthy diet, said the team — raising red flags about “added sugar” levels some consider safe for humans.
“Added sugar” is a term used for the refined stuff that is added to sweet drinks, baked goods and candy rather than the natural sugars found in fruit, vegetables and milk products.
I like to think of myself as healthy, in general, but I consume refined sugar in a decidedly unhealthy way. I don't brush my teeth so much as I frost them. I routinely eat cookies for breakfast, or lunch, or as an after-milkshake snack. And I'm leisurely working my way through Salt Sugar Fat concurrently with a Costco flat of Mexican coke, because reading about sugar makes me thirsty for sugar (in fact, I'm drinking one while typing this).
I mean, why not? The FDA doesn't make recommendations about our daily sugar intake like it does with salt and fat. And until last month, neither did the American Heart Association. I also diligently subject my body to bruising workouts, so warnings about weight gain pretty much fall on ears plugged tight with Airheads.
But these emerging theories that seem to indicate that sugar is a form of candy-flavored poison that will hasten my death—or at least kill my body weight in mice—turn my stomach, and my mind, in a way that threats of bad skin and sugar crashes and weight gain never could.
Perhaps it's time I embrace a less dangerous love, like motorcycling or chainsaw juggling.