Heart disease, diabetes, aging of body cells and brain, depressed immune system, cancer, loss of body tissue elasticity and function, increased fat storage in the body, tooth decay, obesity, slowing of brain function, poor digestion, kidney diseases, liver diseases, depression, demineralization of teeth and bones, body mineral depletion and the list goes on. These and many others are just some of the harmful effects of sugar – rightly dubbed as white poison!
Sugar is not a nutritive substance. It is not even food. It is a chemical substance that has prevailed in households for decades as a harmless food ingredient. Because of frequent use in every household, not much thought has ever been given to its harmful effects by the average person. On some level, we do know that sugar is unhealthy, but most of us truly have no idea how absolutely devastating sugar really is to our health. In reality, we are all slowly poisoning ourselves and our next generation with this “sweet death”!
It is not just refined sugar which is harmful but also processed carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, cakes etc that converts in the body into sugar. It is estimated that the average Westerner consumes about 10–200lb of sugar each year. Sugar constitutes about 25-35 percent of the western diet. The average American consumes 130 lbs of sugar a year. Sugar has a detrimental effect on the gut flora. It promotes the growth of parasites, worms, and fungi. The fungi harm body tissue and release toxins inside our bodies. Cancer cells thrive in a sugar rich environment!
What is truly alarming is children mindlessly being fed high sugar and highly processed substances by the parents with absolutely no thought of its consequences. Young children having crisps, chocolates, biscuits, candies, juices and fizzy drinks is a common sight, no eyebrows raised. The exponential rise in diseases directly caused by or closely associated with sugar consumption should serve as an eye-opener for us. Only recently, a New Zealand dentist Dr. Rob Beaglehole reported removing all of an 18-month-old’s teeth because of sugary drinks!
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According to Dr. Beaglehole, “This child is going to have to wait another four years before his permanent teeth come through. He’ll have problems socializing, he’ll have problems eating, and he’ll have problems speaking.”
Sure sugars are found in nature in the form of sugar canes, sugar beet, and fruit which makes us question whether sugar is actually a villain. What most people do not know is the form in which it comes in nature holds great importance. Inside the human body, complex carbohydrates found in whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables are broken down into glucose. This glucose then slowly releases into the bloodstream.
Glucose needs insulin, which is released from the pancreas, to do its job. When the body gets the correct foods, a gradual release of glucose with small amounts of insulin into the bloodstream occurs. This process keeps the body running smoothly, maintaining stable energy levels. When we eat 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 mopped up by the insulin, leaving the body tired and depleted. The sugar “low” then sets in, and our body urges us to go for another sugar binge. Eventually, the body becomes sluggish, unable to cope, and the brain becomes less efficient. The inevitable slide of ill health begins.
Sugar consumption rids our bodies of essential minerals. For just one molecule of sugar to be metabolized, the body requires around 56 molecules of magnesium. The over consumption of processed carbohydrates and sugar thus causes severe magnesium deficiency in the body, eventually leading to high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and neurological problems.
Sugar consumption is a public health crisis! Sugary drinks are a major source of sugar consumed. Refined sugars are everywhere and it is hard to find any processed food without it. Crackers, biscuits, crisps, bread, pastries, pasta, chocolates, jams, breakfast cereals are highly processed carbohydrate and full of sugar. Tinned soups, baked beans, tinned peas, ready-made dinners, basically everything that has been processed, is laced with processed sugar.
A gradual lifestyle shift can come in handy in the war against sugar. All sugary drinks should be replaced by water. Processed items should be completely replaced by natural foods. Don’t fall for “sugar-free” alternatives. They are laced with more harmful chemicals than sugar.
A lifestyle shift towards clean eating and healthy living is a choice we all have to make for our well-being and well-being of the future generations.