Hey, I used to be younger. I didn’t know any higher!

And the cash was good. So, how might I flip it down? As a highschool child, you earn cash any manner you’ll be able to, even when it’s one thing you’re not thrilled about.

And that’s how I ended up spending two summers with my older brother Jack working for Coca-Cola, which I talked about on Steve’s Instagram:

17 year old Stevie-boy here on Instagram

That’s proper, your boy Steve – a man who as soon as wrote an article explaining why Sugar is Worse than Jar Jar Binks – used to work for the enemy!

For 2 summers, my brother and I’d get up at 5AM, placed on the candy Coke polo shirts pictured above, hop into our Coca-Cola automobiles (outdated station wagons with Coca-Cola logos on the aspect), and inventory cabinets stuffed with Coke merchandise for 50-60+ hours every week on Cape Cod.

Now, hopefully you recognize that the above “enemy” remark is in jest.

When you occur to be at present employed by Coca-Cola or an organization that sells services or products which can be unhealthy, I don’t imply to select on you or your employer…form of. In spite of everything, Coca-Cola is an organization that goals to make a revenue by promoting merchandise which can be scrumptious. I get it. Give me an ice-cold Mexican Coke made with actual sugar in a glass bottle on a sizzling day, and it’s heaven. I additionally know they donate plenty of cash to charity, make use of 1000’s, and do loads of good issues, and blah blah blah.

Okay! Now that that’s out of the way in which…

Twelve years after working not directly for Massive Sugar and 7 years after beginning Nerd Health, I now know simply how detrimental sugar may be to our well being, and it brings me to the purpose of right this moment’s article!

We all know sugar is dangerous for us (proper? I hope?), however I wasn’t conscious simply how insidious these things has turn into in society and till I discovered the historical past behind sugar’s rise in our day-to-day lives – and the rise in our weight problems charges.

The Historical past of Sugar

The historical past of sugar is each fascinating and fairly tousled. For starters, within the 1960’s the sugar industry actually paid scientists to downplay the connection between sugar and coronary heart illness and as an alternative promote saturated fats because the offender.

Screw information and knowledge; there’s cash to be made!

That is how we ended up with hilariously miserable adverts just like the one beneath from the 1970’s, touting sugar as an excellent path to weight reduction and wholesome dwelling:

If you recognize something about sugar, you’ll be able to’t assist however take a look at that advert and begin laughing. “Use sugar that can assist you BUILD willpower? And NOT overeat.” Severely!?

Luckily, lately we’re MUCH higher off and manner smarter, and foolish tips like that may’t work anymore.


Incorrect! As identified in “The Case Against Sugar” by Gary Taubes: “Educational researchers in 2015 have been doing the bidding of Coca-Cola by taking its cash to fund a International Vitality Steadiness Community and ‘shift blame for weight problems away from dangerous diets, and as an alternative solely give attention to not sufficient train.’”

We all know right here at NF you could’t outrun your fork (it’s one in every of our Rules of the Rebellion), and you’ll’t out-train a foul weight loss program, so telling folks to ONLY give attention to exercising extra with out worrying about what you set in your our bodies is horrible recommendation.

Fortunately, this group was shut down amidst widespread scrutiny and strain by the general public!

Additionally, pesky issues like “information” and “experimentation” stored getting in the way in which.

With all the data popping out about how unhealthy soda may be in recent times, soda sales have steadily dropped to 30 12 months lows. That is AWESOME information, however don’t count on Coke and Pepsi to go quietly into the evening.

Like all animal or firm that’s been cornered or attacked, they’re adapting and combating to remain related.

Thus, the technique they’ve adopted is advertising “wholesome” soda alternate options to seek out one other pathway to attach their sugar water with our bloodstreams.

When you’ve picked up a Vitamin Water, a Bare Juice: Inexperienced Machine, or a Smoothie King fruit smoothie currently, and patted your self on the again for making the wholesome alternative, your head is in the best place…however your blood sugar degree will say in any other case!

These drinks, regardless of every little thing you’re informed on their labels and what they promote, are as dangerous for you (or worse) than ingesting a soda:

  • 20 ozVitaminwater Energy-C: 120 energy and 31 grams of sugar
  • 20 ozSmoothie King “Pure Recharge” Mango Strawberry: 210 energy and 50g of sugar
  • 20 ozNaked Juice Inexperienced Machine (100% actual juice, no sugar added): 270 energy and 53 grams of sugar

No less than if you drink a soda you recognize you’re making an unhealthy alternative!

Disgrace on these different firms for convincing you their merchandise are pure and wholesome once they typically have as a lot or extra sugar as a can of Coke.

When you’re at present pissed off that you simply’ve been dutifully chugging Vitaminwater for the previous few months as an alternative of soda, assuming it’s more healthy, I don’t blame you! The advertising and packaging go away you no alternative BUT to imagine it’s wholesome and good for you.

What’s as humorous as it’s miserable is that even Coca-Cola executives themselves know their “wholesome” advertising of those drinks is horseshit.

In 2015, when taken to court docket over the unsubstantiated well being claims of Vitaminwater, Coca-Cola actually used the following defense (critically): “No client might moderately be misled into considering Vitaminwater was a wholesome beverage.”

I learn that quote and my eyeballs virtually fell out of my head. Are you livid but? I’m. Let’s repair it.

How one can Not Let Sugar Run Your Life

I get it. Sugar is superior. It’s scrumptious and makes us blissful…quickly.

It additionally makes us fats.

And holy **** is it addicting. It targets the pleasure facilities in our brains, and is extra out there now than it has ever been within the historical past of our species. Sadly, our lizard brains haven’t tailored to its widespread availability as an alternative of shortage, which suggests our our bodies can’t say “no” or “just a bit.” This implies we will ACTUALLY get hooked on the stuff. There are even research that declare sugar may be as addicting as cocaine.

So the answer is straightforward: do extra cocaine, much less sugar!

Hahahaha, kidding. I’m not a physician, and I don’t at present have pants on as I kind this, however my recommendation could be to most likely keep away from each sugar and cocaine as a lot as doable.

Sadly, avoiding sugar is extra than simply giving up soda (although that’s a DAMN good begin!). Different issues come up as a result of sugar is in EVERYTHING and infrequently hidden.

Why can’t we simply inform the reality, folks?

We speak loads a couple of nefarious shadow group making us fatter and lazier in our month-to-month story-driven journey, Rising Heroes.

I assumed it will be enjoyable to create a dragon to slay. Nonetheless, if you learn that stuff above about:

  • scientists being paid off
  • calorie sugar bombs being marketed as wholesome
  • firms claiming “there’s no manner anyone might take into account these drinks wholesome,”

It’s like there actually is a conglomeration of dangerous guys aiming to make us unhealthy.

Right here’s how one can battle again. Comply with these four fast guidelines to maintain sugar from ruining your life:

1) Each time doable, reduce liquid energy. This contains frappucinos and sodas, but additionally “actual fruit smoothies” and “wholesome” Bare Juice drinks, Gatorade, and even issues like apple juice, orange juice, grape juice, cranberry juice, and so on. Each every now and then? Positive. Simply make it a uncommon deal with (“deal with yo’ self!”) – you’ll really get pleasure from it extra and be more healthy!

I personally prescribe to the “out of sight, out of thoughts” philosophy as a result of I’ve the willpower and restraint of a 5-year child in a sweet retailer. I don’t hold sugary drinks in my home so I’m not tempted and need to waste willpower attempting to not drink them.

I’ve discovered that ingesting glowing water like LaCroix can actually assist me THINK I’m ingesting soda, and supply me with the identical degree of happiness and fizzy satisfaction – with out the sugar.

To reply your subsequent query: right here’s an entire article on “Is Diet Soda bad for me?” Excessive 5!

Nonetheless right here? Good. Right here’s an image of a pet:

Okay, again to enterprise.

2) Don’t belief the entrance of the label, and study to acknowledge sugar’s aliases. A label is required to listing elements by quantity, so by including a number of varieties of sugar with bizarre names, an organization can get away with shifting sugar down the listing.

Search for the next names: Agave nectar, Brown sugar, Cane crystals, Cane sugar, Corn sweetener, Corn syrup, Crystalline fructose, Dextrose, Evaporated cane juice, Natural evaporated cane juice, Fructose, Fruit juice focus, Glucose, Excessive-fructose corn syrup, Honey, Invert sugar, Lactose, Maltose, Malt syrup, Molasses, Uncooked sugar, Sucrose, Sugar Syrup.

When you solely take a look at two numbers on the again of a field, take a look at grams of sugar and complete energy. You need minimal sugar and fewer energy. Don’t let good be the enemy of fine. Do the very best you’ll be able to!

Oh, and if a product says “no sugar added” on the entrance of it, you’ll be able to wager your life financial savings on it having a RIDICULOUS quantity of sugar.

Word: please don’t wager your life financial savings on this.

three) Be skeptical, as a result of sugar is in virtually every little thing. When unsure, eat issues with fewer elements. We eat 130 kilos of sugar per 12 months on common (holy crap), which suggests the white stuff in in far more meals than we notice. Not simply sweet and soda, however virtually every little thing.

Nature Valley Granola Bars? Loads of sugar. In truth, most “protein bars” have tons of sugar. And, till outraged prospects complained, “Nature Valley” Granola Bars have been made with excessive fructose corn syrup. Mmmm, nature.

Pasta sauce? Ought to simply be tomatoes proper? Nope. Add in heaping tablespoons of excessive fructose corn syrup too and also you’re getting nearer.

Wheat bread? That’s gotta be wholesome, proper? Examine the elements. I wager one of many prime 5 is “excessive fructose corn syrup” too.

Hell, take a look at what’s marketed as a “balanced breakfast” lately on TV! Cereal and skim milk, fruit, a glass of orange juice, and toast. Or, in different phrases: sugar and sugar water, sugar, sugar water, and pile-o-carbs.

four) Observe your sugar consumption, and reduce it over time. As I cowl in “Star Wars Explains Why We’re Fat,” everyone has a distinct quantity of “gimme gimme gimme” in our brains that craves prompt gratification.

This implies all of us have totally different skills to get hooked on issues, together with sugar. Some folks can eat sugar (or have one drink, or attempt medication) and never get hooked, whereas others battle with habit immediately – as soon as is sufficient to get hooked for all times.

This comic explains human behavior and addiction quite well…with dinosaurs.

If you’re anyone who is definitely hooked on sugar, begin by monitoring your sugar consumption every day (really lookup the sugar content material of every little thing you eat!), and see what number of grams you’re consuming day by day. Don’t fear about complete numbers, simply give attention to consuming much less sugar than the day earlier than. Repeat.

Michael Pollan, writer of the Omnivore’s Dilemma mentioned it succinctly: “Eat meals, not an excessive amount of, principally vegetation.” Eat actual meals (meat, greens, unprocessed stuff), hold your calorie complete down, and follow principally vegetation together with wholesome protein. Performed!

We’ll proceed digging into this battle towards Massive Sugar, shadow organizations, and false promoting in future posts. It’s wonderful how closely the deck is stacked towards us after we attempt to be wholesome, and the way powerful it’s to seek out the precise fact!

I’ve no downside with sugar and other people making decisions that don’t line up with their well being objectives sometimes.

What actually grinds my gears is when sugar is snuck into merchandise and falsely marketed as wholesome. We’re going to battle, and it begins by educating ourselves on how a lot sugar we’re really consuming.

Over the subsequent week, your mission is to learn the labels on the meals and drinks you’re consuming. Particularly regulate what number of grams of sugar you’re consuming. Then over the subsequent few weeks, attempt to drop that quantity down by 10% every week. After which let me know the way you probably did!

I wish to hear from you: did you discover this submit helpful? Hit reply and let me know if this text is definitely gonna show you how to begin to take away extra sugar out of your life!


PS: We’ve just lately overhauled our month-to-month story-driven expertise, Rising Heroes. We’ll be opening doorways for it subsequent Monday, a number of weeks later than regular – in the event you have been ready to get in, sorry for the delay. I promise it’ll be value it – we’ve unrolled some large updates! 🙂

PPS: If you wish to study concerning the historical past of sugar and a contrarian viewpoint to “energy in, energy out it doesn’t matter what they’re,” take a look at Taube’s e book “The Case Against Sugar. It’s thought scary and entertaining.


photograph credit score: Julien.Belli: Always Coca-Cola, wuestenigel: Macro of Decoration Crystals