Pure, white and deadly! Sugar acts like a poison in your system. Sugar is simply empty calories. As a food source it has been stripped of all its proteins, vitamins and minerals leaving a simple, refined carbohydrate.
Of all the molecules capable of inflicting damage in your body, sugar molecules are probably the most damaging.
1. Fructose creates harmful advanced glycation end products (AGEs) that speed up the aging process.
2. Sugar/fructose increases your insulin and leptin levels and decreases the receptor sensitivity for both of these vital hormones. This is a major factor in premature aging and age-related chronic degenerative diseases such as heart disease.
3. Leads to the accumulation of acid in the brain and nervous system. Leading UK nutritionist Patrick Holford has coined the phrase “sugar makes you stupid” due to its effect on brain function. That’s thinking, memory and behavior.
4. Abnormal sugars accumulate in your red blood cells, which interferes with cell respiration. Simply put, the cells cannot get enough oxygen to survive and function properly and in time will die off, this leads to degenerative disease.
5. Regular intake of sugar leads to an acidic state in your body. This leads to calcium being leached from bones and teeth to correct the acid imbalance.
6. Excess sugar is stored in the liver. When its stores are filled the excess sugar is then stored as fatty acids in your most inactive areas ie the stomach, bottom, breast and thighs. When your fat stores in these areas are full, fatty acids are then distributed around your organs, leading to slowing down of organ function and degeneration.
7. Sugar is addictive.
When you eat sugar it triggers production of your brain’s natural opioids — a key ingredient in the addiction process. Your brain essentially becomes addicted to stimulating the release of its own opioids just as it would to morphine or heroin.
Sugar is hidden in your soft drinks, fruit juices, sports drinks, and most processed foods—from savoury cooking sauces to soup to cheese spread. Even most infant formulas contain the sugar equivalent of one can of Coca-Cola! (That’s about 6 teaspoons.)
Some breakfast cereals and so called healthy cereal bars list sugar as their top ingredient, sometimes as much as 40% of the content is sugar!
To put the US sugar consumption into further perspective, based on USDA estimates the average American consumes 12 teaspoons of sugar a day, which equates to a massive two tons of sugar during their lifetime.
Many people turn to artificial sweeteners thinking that they are a healthy alternative to sugar.
Unfortunately, sweeteners such as aspartame have a long and chequered history and are known to be toxic to the nervous system. Although sweeteners are “calorie free” your brain simply does not understand chemicals in food. It thinks in very simplistic terms. So if something tastes sweet it must be sugar.
When your brain detects too much “sugar” in the bloodstream, it releases insulin which takes the surplus “sugar” out of the blood and dumps it into fat stores. So far from helping you to lose weight, artificial sweeteners have the opposite effect!
If you want to be healthier then the first thing you must do is dump sugar from your diet. While your body is fighting to rid itself of the toxic effects of sugar, it is using up valuable resources which should be used to maintain an optimum state of health.
This means cutting out processed foods. Look at the labels on food products that you normally buy and get familiar with how much sugar is hidden in the most unlikely products. Look for sucrose, maltose, lactose, high fructose corn syrup – anything with “ose” on the end is a sugar.
In particular, beware of “low fat” foods. Fat is a natural component of many foods and of itself it is not necessarily bad for you.
The kind of fat that is bad are trans-fats, hydrogenated fats, fried fats. However, we have become so obsessed with “fat” that we have been brainwashed into thinking that all fat is bad.
When a food producer removes the naturally occurring fat from a product it affects the taste. So guess what? They put sugar in, to make it taste good again!
Is this the definition of insanity???
I was in Costco the other day and they were promoting a brand of licorice. Emblazoned on the packet was “low in fat”, suggesting that the product was healthy. But hold on a minute – licorice simply is low in fat. Picking up the bag I saw that the sugar content was 60g per 100g! Not healthy at all.
The moral here is that you can’t believe what the manufacturer has put on the packaging. You have to be your own food detective if you buy any processed, pre-prepared or packaged food.
Your best option is to go back to basics and cook at home. That way you can be sure that you are not poisoning yourself or your family with added sugar that shouldn’t be in your food.
If you feel you must sweeten food and drinks then use Xylitol, which is a natural plant based sweetener with a very low Glycaemic Load. You can cook with xylitol and just to show you how good sugar free cooking can be, I’ve included a recipe for the most yummy-licious chocolate brownies in todays Food For Thought! Xylitol has the added benefit of actually promoting the health of your teeth and gums. It is available under the brand names of Total Sweet and Xylobrit from good health food stores and most supermarkets.