Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sugar is Poison

You have heard me say this over and over and over again.  Sorry about that.  No…I’m actually not.  You need to hear this.  You need to understand this.  You need to believe this.  You need to stop eating it.  Here’s why:

  1. Sugar makes you fat.  
  2. Sugar can cause Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease. 
  3. Sugar is addicting.

 Let’s deep a little deeper into my statements above. 

1. Sugar makes you fat.  Really a no brainer here, right?  Doesn’t everyone believe that eating a lot of sugar will make you fat?  Sugar is empty calories the "experts" all say.  Your body does not have a need to take in extra sugar – it does a fine job of converting fruits, vegetables and other unrefined carbohydrates into blood sugar (or glucose).  This glucose is then used as your body’s primary energy source.  The problems begin when you take in more than you need – the excess is stored as fat.

2.  Sugar can cause Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.  Again, a no brainer with regards to diabetes.  We all can agree that diabetics shouldn’t eat too much sugar.  Processed or refined sugar (the kind you buy at the supermarket, in bags of five pounds at a time) enters your blood stream immediately.  Your body starts producing insulin to work on this overload.  This is also the “sugar high” you get after eating sweets.  Once the insulin has does its job, you get your energy “crash”.  What do you do then?  Oh yeah…eat more sugar.  The sugar from fruits, veggies, and other unrefined carbs, however, is eaten along with the fiber that is in those foods.  The fiber slows down the entry of glucose into your blood stream and you don’t experience the high or the crash.  So by continually giving your body more sugar than it needs, your insulin response is working overtime.  Eventually, it won’t work like it used to.  You will experience greater highs and lows.  You may become weak or dizzy or even shaky between meals due to your blood sugar being too low.  Your body is now working so hard to process the extra sugar that it can’t do much else for you…like fight off infections…. so you catch everything that comes around the office.  This is referred to as insulin resistance and it is thought to be the main link to Type 2 Diabetes as well as the underlying factor in heart disease and possibly many cancers.

3.   Sugar is addicting.  I can hear you tell me, “It tastes so good.  I love eating sweet things.  I just can’t stop eating them.”  Wanna know why you can’t stop?  Sugar is addicting – just like a drug or alcohol.  The more you eat, the more you want.  What happens when you stop eating sugar?  You crave it….you lust after it….you seek it out and give into temptation.  That’s if you’re lucky.  You may suffer withdrawal symptoms….headaches, depression, weakness, sleepiness or even fatigue.  Sounds like drug withdrawal doesn’t it?

Now the scary stuff….yes, it does get worse.  SUGAR IS EVERYWHERE.  It's not just in cakes, cookies, candy bars, ice cream, etc.  It’s in breads, tomato sauce, mayonnaise, peanut butter, canned crab meat, bacon…..the list goes on and on.  So, while you think you may not eat a lot of sugar, if you eat anything that comes out of a box, a jar, or a can, you might be eating additional sugar.  Here are a couple of labels of common foods – notice the ingredient list:

The bread shown here has THREE different types of sugar added!  And speaking of different types of sugar……with a little investigating, I have found 70 different names for sugar.  SEVENTY!!  I know you wanna know, so here they are: 

1.      Free flowing brown sugar
2.      Agave nectar
3.      Barbados Sugar
4.      Barley malt
5.      Beet sugar
6.      Blackstrap molasses
7.      Brown sugar
8.      Buttered syrup
9.      Cane crystals
10.   Cane juice crystals
11.   Cane sugar
12.   Caramel
13.   Carob syrup
14.   Castor sugar
15.   Confectioner’s sugar
16.   Corn syrup
17.   Corn sweetener
18.   Corn syrup solids
19.   Crystalline fructose
20.   Date sugar
21.   Demerara Sugar
22.   Dextrin
23.   Dextran
24.   Dextrose
25.   Diastatic malt
26.   Diatase
27.   D-mannose
28.   Evaporated cane juice
29.   Ethyl maltol
30.   Florida chrystals
31.   Free flowing
32.   Fructose
33.   Fruit juice
34.   Fruit juice concentrate
35.   Galactose
36.   Glucose
37.   Glucose solids
38.   Golden sugar
39.   Golden syrup
40.   Granulated sugar
41.   Grape sugar
42.   Grape juice concentrate
43.   HFCS
44.   High-fructose corn syrup
45.   Honey
46.   Icing sugar
47.   Invert sugar
48.   Lactose
49.   Malt syrup
50.   Maltodextrin
51.   Maltose
52.   Mannitol
53.   Maple syrup
54.   Molasses
55.   Muscovado sugar
56.   Organic raw sugar
57.   Panocha
58.   Powdered sugar
59.   Raw sugar
60.   Refiner’s syrup
61.   Rice Syrup
62.   Sorbitol
63.   Sorghum syrup
64.   Sucrose
65.   Sugar
66.   Syrup syrup
67.   Table sugar
68.   Treacle
69.   Turbinado sugar
70.   Yellow sugar

But, you cry out, sugar is all natural!!  It has to be better than artificial sweeteners!  Ah….but is your sugar really natural??  Compare today’s sugar to the all-natural sugar cane or sugar beet, and you’ll find it has been refined and processed to virtually eliminate any vitamins, enzymes and other beneficial nutrients.  See this Wikipedia page for all the gory details: particularly like how sugar dust can cause explosions!!

I will agree, however, that even with all the refining, white sugar is marginally better than ingesting artificial sweeteners – but that is another story for another day.

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