Skittles

“Taste the rainbow.”

It would have been perfect nutrition advice: easy to understand, easy to implement, and easy to follow. Then an ad agency hired by Mars hijacked the idea to market Skittles. The irony is that Skittles, like every other colorful candy, is almost entirely white sugar.

And if there’s one thing almost everyone would do well to cut out of their diet, it’s sugar. I wrote about it in an e-mail to my subscribers last month:

“I avoid sugar. 

Habitually eating the same meals over and over again helps me avoid mindless snacking, and most often I want to snack on something with sugar in it. The cancer researcher Lewis Cantley explained why sugar is dangerous in Tim Ferriss’s new book, Tribe of Mentors:

If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would it say and why?
My message would be: “Sugar is toxic.” Sugar and other natural or artificial sweeteners are among the most addictive agents in our environment. When consumed in quantities that exceed the rate of metabolism in muscle or the brain, sugar is converted to fat, resulting in insulin resistance, obesity, and an increased risk of many other diseases, including cancers. While consuming fats and proteins evokes a feeling of satiety, consuming sugars induces a desire for more sugar within an hour or so. We evolved this addiction because, in the not-so-distant past, adding fat to our bodies at the end of a growing season when fruits were ripe was essential for surviving until the next growing season. But today, sugar is available all year round and is one of the cheapest foods available. So we continually add fat to our bodies. We may be approaching a time when sugar is responsible for more early deaths in America than cigarette smoking. I have written and lectured extensively on this subject over the past ten years as our understanding of the biochemical basis for the toxicity of sugar, especially the link to cancer, has become more clear.”

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