by Jessica Girdwain
Mark LeibowitzAnother day, another headline about all the dangers sugar poses to your health. But here's something you may not have read: Consumption of added sugars (the sweeteners food companies frequently put in their products) actually decreased 23 percent between 1999 and 2008. That's a huge improvement, but some experts wish we'd get the number even lower, given the hazards scientists are uncovering about these additives. "Sugar is not a toxin in the sense you should never eat it," says Richard J. Johnson, M.D., a professor at the University of Colorado Medical Center in Denver and author of The Fat Switch. "We're just eating too much." If you think you've been overindulging, here are four new reasons to cut back--and a simple plan to help you do just that.
It dumbs you down. Diets high in sugar basically put your brain in a food coma: Cells are sapped of the energy they need to communicate