The Health Hazards Of Sugar
Sugar was once called “white death”. It deserves 100% of this title. It is a key factor in most degenerative disease, and in order for us as a society to get control over our health, we must stop consuming it.
On some level most of us know that sugar is not healthy, but the majority of us truly have no idea how devastating sugar really is to our health. The world’s consumption of sugar or processed carbohydrate that converts to sugar has grown to enormous proportions in the last century. It is estimated that the average Western person consumes about 10 –200lb of this highly processed substance each year and is estimated that sugar constitutes about 25 to 35 per cent of the western diet
The human body is designed to breakdown complex carbohydrates found in whole grains and fresh fruit and vegetables into glucose. This glucose then slowly releases into the bloodstream while absorbing the vital nutrients from them. Glucose the sugar that fuels the body, needs insulin which is released from the pancreas, to do its job. Feeding the body with the correct foods will allow the gradual release of glucose with small amounts of insulin, into the bloodstream. This process keeps the body running smoothly, with energy levels stable and mind and body feeling balanced and nourished. When we eat the wrong foods, processed foods and sugar, it sends the body into overdrive. Glucose instantly floods the bloodstream, sending the pancreas into a panic to produce enough insulin to handle the excess. This momentarily creates a blood sugar “high” glucose that is eventually moped up by the insulin, leaving the body worn out, tired and depleted. The sugar “low” then sets in, and it's time to eat again. Eventually with this ongoing consumption of sugar the body becomes sluggish unable to cope, the brain becomes less efficient memory is impaired and the inevitable slide of ill health begins.
Nature has given us sugar in the form of sugar cane and sugar beet. When sugar cane and sugar beet are analysed it is found that every piece is equipped with every nutrient our bodies need to metabolise every molecule of sugar, in that piece properly. But we don’t eat sugar cane or sugar beet in its natural form. We extract the sugar out of them and throw everything else away. That processed sugar comes into our bodies like a villain, robbing and pulling nutrients out of our bones, muscles, brain and other tissues in order to be metabolised. For example, for the body to metabolise just one molecule of sugar, the body requires around 56 molecules of magnesium. The over consumption of processed carbohydrates and sugar is a major reason for the widespread magnesium deficiency in our modern society, eventually leading to high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes and neurological problems. Sugar is also implicated in causing type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, kidney disease, liver disease, obesity and depression. Every tablespoon of sugar depresses the immune system for up to 6 hours. If you get sick often, this could be in a large part due to your sugar consumption. Sugar has a detrimental effect on the gut flora, it promotes the growth of parasites, worms and fungi, encouraging the growth of Candida Albicans. Fungi attack living tissue and survive by producing toxins and enzymes to defeat the host’s immune system. Sugar also increases the growth of cancerous tumours, as cancer cells love sugar.
Refined sugars are everywhere, and it is hard to find any processed food without it. Crackers, biscuits, crisps, breads, pastries, pastas, chocolates, sweets, jams, breakfast cereals are highly processed carbohydrate, and full of sugar. A bowl of breakfast cereal will start your day with the first round of the blood sugar roller coaster. The manufacturers of these cereals claim that with a bowl of their product you will get all the fibre that you need. Unfortunately it is the wrong kind of fibre for most people. Fibre in breakfast cereals are full of phytates - substances that bind essential minerals and take them out of the body, thus further depleting you of minerals. Soft drinks (pops, cordials, lemonades, etc.) are a major source of sugar. A can, can contain 5 to 10 teaspoons of sugar. Tinned soups, baked beans, tinned peas, ready made dinners, basically everything that has been processed is laced with processed sugar.
Refined sugar is in almost everything and can be very difficult to avoid unless you are preparing your own foods from scratch. Start reading product labels and avoid, as best as you can this deadly concoction of sugars. Avoiding these processed foods and sugar is a huge start in our longevity of health. Try naturally sweetening foods, with organic fresh fruits or try a natural alterative like:
Xylitol: A low calorie natural sweetener made from birch bark. Xylitol is not only safe, natural sweetener without the bad side-effects of sugar and artificial substitutes, it's also good for your teeth, stabilises insulin and hormone levels and promotes good health. Xylitol is widely distributed throughout nature in small amounts. Some of the best sources are fruits, berries, mushrooms, lettuce, and corn cobs. One cup of raspberries contain less than one gram of xylitol.
Stevia: Used worldwide as a no-calorie herbal sweetener, Stevia is a South American herb that is 30 times sweeter than sugar. With hundreds of studies showing Stevia is a safe alternative,
Avoid artificial sweeteners especially:
Saccharin: Saccharin is carcinogenic. It was banned in the US in 1911, but this ban was lifted during the sugar rationing of World War I. In the 70s the Canadians proved conclusively that saccharin caused cancer. As a result, the FDA required that any saccharin products carry a warning label. The warning labels read: "Use of this product may be hazardous to your health. This product contains saccharin, which has been determined to cause cancer in laboratory animals." But this warning was removed in 2000 by the US Congress (not by the FDA) after heavy lobbying by the saccharin industry. Further research was then done on saccharin, because the FDA wished to ban saccharin outright but the food companies fought this (successfully). The National Cancer Institute ran studies in the next 2 years and found that saccharin was indeed connected with bladder cancer. Saccharin is an artificial sweetener known as Sweet N Low. Saccharin is found in many children's soft drinks, medicines and some toothpastes. Saccharin is used frequently in products that are sugar free.
Aspartame: Found in many foods as an artificial sweetener, found in the NutraSweet sweetener. Aspartame when heated above 86 degrees (remember the body is 96.4 degrees) it turns into Formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a suspected carcinogen and neurotoxin and banned in some countries.