Did you know that sugar contains miraculous “healing powers”? YEP!
Of all the God-given natural creations that we have been bestowed with on this here planet Earth, there is one that stands out above all others as the greatest and most spectacular of them all. No, it’s not human beings, animals, or even TiVo! Believe it or not, I’m referring to SUGAR.
That’s right, folks, you heard it here first! Everybody’s favorite little white granular substance has been given such high prominence in the world of science and medicine now that it has been discovered to have great “healing powers” according to a press release I received from the Vice President of Public Relations for the Washington, DC-based Sugar Association Melanie Miller this week. She boasts of these amazing “healing” properties as a reason why people should not be shunning sugar so quickly.
“We all know that sugar makes good foods taste better, helps breads rise, creates cookie’s crunchiness or chewiness, and protects the safety of jams and jellies,” Miller writes in the release. “But, did you know the same preserving power sugar brings to jams and jellies can also help heal wounds?”
You read that right–Miller believes that sugar has the power to “heal wounds,” make the lame to walk and the blind see again, enable ordinary people to leap tall buildings in a single bound…okay, maybe not all that, but there is great hyperbole being used for what is described by The Sugar Association as “one of Mother Nature’s most miraculous creations.” Oh brother! Are these people REALLY this desperate to reshape the negative image that sugar has been getting thanks in part to those of us who have realized the health benefits of low-carb living that they’d pull a stunt like this? Obviously!
In the press release, Miller states that the properties that make sugar a great food preservative give it “healing powers” to treat serious wounds and burn victims. According to Miller, sugar “absorbs the wound’s moisture necessary for the growth of infectious bacteria” and it also “supplies the very nourishment damaged tissues require for healing and re-growth.” Several old and obscure scientific journal citations (all over a decade old or more) are provided to attempt to prove this point, including:
From the Microbiology Infectious Diseases Journal, Vol. 7, 1998, p. 524-25: “Sugar is thought to exert an antibacterial effect by lowering water activity; the desloughing and debridement that is achieved with the paste is in part related to an osmotic effect on necrotic tissue and in part to mechanical cleaning.”
From the Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, Vol. 78, 1996, p. 82-85: “Granulated sugar has been used with success in treatment of open mediastanitis after cardiac surgery with the bacterial contamination of the wounds being eliminated in a few days. This study also suggested that sugar treatment leads to faster healing of infected wounds than conventional packing methods.”
From the Southern Medical Journal, November 1981: “Over a 56-month period we treated 605 patients for wounds, burns, and ulcers with granulated sugar and povidone-iodine. Rapid healing ensued… The requirements for skin grafting and antibiotics were greatly reduced, as were hospital costs for wound, burn and ulcer care.”
Okay, all of this is well and good if we are talking about using sugar for topical medicinal purposes. But what is The Sugar Association’s MO for sending out a press release to this effect in 2008–over ten years since the last shred of scientific research provided was even published on this subject? Is it to try to qualm recent concerns that sugar is indeed as unhealthy as it has been so accurately pegged? That is PRECISELY what they are trying to do since people are now realizing the incredibly DAMAGING effects of consuming sugar to their health and weight.
They tried to fool people over the past few years by first calling sugar natural and “healthy” and then conducting silly taste test comparisons to convince people they should keep eating more sugar, but the consumer wasn’t buying it. It has become common knowledge in this day and age of increasing diabetes and obesity rates that sugar is a causative factor in both because of the negative impact it has on both blood sugar and insulin levels. This used to be an issue that only diabetics worried about–but now it’s relevant to ANYONE and EVERYONE!
And yet The Sugar Association’s Miller so flippantly throws out there the notion that sugar has these great “healing powers” that will save the world and describes it as the great cure-all for societal ills.
“Maybe Mary Poppins wasn’t wrong when she said a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down,” she concludes in the release. “Science is showing that it helps wounds heal, as well as preserve the safety of our foods.”
This is so shameless I cannot believe The Sugar Association would dare make such a ridiculous and outrageous claim as this. In fact, one of the up-and-coming sugar alternatives is oligofructose–aka chickory root–and it too has been shown in studies to heal wounds. So there’s no real monopoly by sugar on these supposed miraculous powers they are claiming and it looks as if they are grasping at straws for any reason for people to start buying their product again. Pretty please with LOTS of sugar on top?!
But as egregious as this act of desperation by The Sugar Association was, it pales in comparison to what The Corn Refiner’s Association is trying to pull with their latest marketing campaign about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Have you seen this miserable campaign with your very own eyes yet? If not, then check out how they are attempting to silence their critics with these two new video spots:
They say you’re in for a “sweet surprise” about HFCS and encourage you to visit SweetSurprise.com to “get the facts.” Claiming that HFCS has “no artificial ingredients,” is “nutritionally…the same as table sugar,” and has “the same number of calories as table sugar,” the Corn Refiner’s Association thinks they have hit a home run with their ads. But is this supposed to make me feel BETTER about using HFCS? Stating that it is virtually equal to sugar does not make it sound any healthier to any of us who are livin’ la vida low-carb! Check out what my highly-knowledgeable blogging buddy Mark Sisson from his “Daily Apple” blog wrote about HFCS just a couple of months back. This stuff is even WORSE than sugar–if that’s even possible!
About a year ago, I blogged about how the sudden switch to fructose from sucrose in the 1970s brought on some rather devastating effects to the weight and health of modern-day life. Pick up just about any product–even NON-food products like cough syrup and toothpaste–and you’ll likely see “high fructose corn syrup” or some corn derivative included in the ingredients listing somewhere. It’s amazing how accepted this practice has become and most people are completely oblivious to it. There’s even a new book called Sugar Fix that talks about how HFCS has virtually taken over the food manufacturing industry these days and people are literally eating themselves sick!
To take on the current vernacular of the 2008 presidential campaign, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig! No matter how you try to dress up sugar or high fructose corn syrup in slick packaging, it’s still gonna be harmful to your health and weight. Even when the the president of the Corn Refiner’s Association Audrae Erickson tries to convince you otherwise. That’s why HFCS should be avoided for people attempting to live a healthy lifestyle and treated like the rat poison that it is.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that sugar is some miracle “healing” substance and that HFCS is “just like sugar.” It’s a desperate ruse by The Sugar Association and The Corn Refiner’s Association to save their own interests. What these two organizations fail to realize is their gig is up and we’re on to them. They will do anything and everything within their power to prop up sugar and HFCS, but at the end of the day even THEY know their best days are behind them and it’s time to start looking for something else to push on the public. Hopefully the next product they’ll choose to promote will be something truly healthy and good for them instead!