SUGAR: FRIEND OR FOE?
Yes, we all love sugar. We know they say it isn’t good for us, but what would life be without it? I almost feel condemned to reveal the bad side of this tasty treat, but since the negative effects of consuming sugar doesn’t just stop at causing obesity, I would like to inform you of the effects this commonly used ingredient has on your family’s health.
5 Things you need to know about sugar
Nancy Appleton, PhD, clinical nutritionist and author of her book Lick the Sugar Habit, has compiled a list of 146 reasons on ‘how sugar is ruining your health’. To summaries, here are the 5 greatest weak spots of sugar:
- Sugar does not only feed cancer but also contributes to osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and increase cholesterol levels.
- Sugar interferes with your hormonal system and therefor creates malabsorption of protein and other important vitamins and minerals.
- Sugar can contribute to eczema in children, causes food allergies and reduce our defences against bacterial infections. It is said that 1 teaspoon of sugar reduces your immunity for up to 6 hours!
- Sugar is a huge contributor of hyperactivity (or decreased activity), anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.
- Sugar greatly assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections).
Now we know that sugar isn’t as innocent as it seems, but you probably aren’t convinced to remove it from your diet yet. Please let me take you through the process that raw sugar cane or sugar beets undergo to show you why this beloved item in your shopping basket might not be you friend any more.
How is sugar produced and what happens in the process?
Take a natural food, such as sugar cane and sugar beets, which contains a high percentage of sugar, and then remove all the elements of that food until only the sugar remains, produces sugar. Without going into too much detail, just know that during this process the sugar cane is heated several times until the sugar crystals condense and they are bleached snow-white with the use of pork or cattle bones (tell this to your children, then they might think twice before eating sugar!) This process removes all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, fats, enzymes and protein from the sugar cane until only empty calories remains. That doesn’t sound so bad, does it? Let me explain.
When we eat fruit in its natural state, for instance, it contains vitamins, minerals and nutrients. What happens when we consume sugar with no nutritional value? In order for your body to metabolise this incomplete food, it needs to borrow vital nutrients from healthy cells. The main minerals being used to make use of the sugar is calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium. This explains why osteoporosis is caused by sugar because the body uses a lot of calcium to neutralise the effects of sugar on your health.
If refined sugar is consumed on a regular basis, the body basically depletes its own stores of vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Over-acid conditions may be a result and even more minerals are needed the restore the balance. If the body is not able to correct the imbalance and get rid of this poisonous residue, it will cause cellular death. (Do we what this to happen to our children as early as age 1 or 2?). This is why sugar may feed cancer.
Of all the foods we consume today, refined sugar is considered to be one of the most harmful.
How can sugar cause Diabetes?
Diabetes is another commonly known disease caused by sugar as well as a high fat diet. Diabetes is caused by the failure of the pancreas to produce adequate insulin when the blood sugar rises. Sugar causes a rapid rise in the blood sugar levels in the body. When our body goes through this roller coaster a couple of times during the day, the pancreas eventually wears out from overwork and diabetes introduce itself in your life.
Is sugar a drug?
Sugar is sometimes even classified as a drug because of the effect it has on the brain. Mental confusion and an unsound mind may be caused by sugar. The reason being that our brain is very sensitive to chemical imbalances in the body. When our cells are robbed of their B vitamin, insulin production is inhibited. Low insulin production means that there is a high level of sugar in the bloodstream, which causes chemical imbalances.
A healthy digestive system can digest between 2 and 4 teaspoons of sugar daily. One can of Cola contains 11 teaspoons of sugar. One medium sized piece of chocolate cake contains 14 teaspoons of sugar.
Please consider twice before you give your family sugar. It is more dangerous than it seems and is hidden in so many foods. Rather avoid it and invest in a great blender and give them smoothies when the sweet tooth sets in!