Sugar: Public Health Enemy No. 1

Dietary fat was blamed for decades as the primary driver of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. That common wisdom has rapidly changed in the face of new research showing that sugar is the real danger and should be eliminated wherever possible.

“Sugar is poison,” says Richard Jacoby, M.D., a peripheral nerve surgeon based in Scottsdale, Ariz. “We’re eating too much, and it’s changing the biochemistry of our nerves.”

In his new book — “Sugar Crush: How to Reduce Inflammation, Reverse Nerve Damage, and Reclaim Good Health” — Dr. Jacoby says sugar causes a surprising range of illnesses, including ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Alzheimer’s, autism, Bell’s palsy, cancer, carpal tunnel syndrome, diabetes, gallbladder disease, heart disease, migraines, and multiple sclerosis.

The solution to such problems, he says, is to decrease consumption of sugar, wheat, and processed carbohydrates, and eat more good fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids.

After treating thousands of patients with peripheral neuropathy, Dr. Jacoby says that he has found that sugar is the common denominator behind all neurodegenerative diseases. That’s because sugar compresses and damages nerves that carry electrical impulses from the brain to the muscles and internal organs.