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Sweet And Dangerous

Refined sugar is probably the single most important food to avoid, especially for children. It is harmful for everyone, addictive and probably the single greatest cause of ill health in America and the world today.

 

WHY ARE SUGARS A PROBLEM FOOD?

 

A fight-or-flight response. Sugars pass easily from the digestive tract into the blood.  There they quickly release their energy, raising the blood sugar level.  The body must respond by secreting more insulin from the pancreas, and more cortisol from the adrenal glands.  This is a classic fight-or-flight stress response.  It is as if every time you eat sugar in any form, the body responds as though attacked.  Eventually, the body’s stress response mechanism wears out and you are likely to end up exhausted and ill.

 

Acidifying the body. Sugar has a powerful acidifying effect because most of it does not contain the alkaline-forming minerals.  Also, triggering the stress response is acidifying.

 

Depleting your minerals and vitamins. Most sugars are highly processed.  This means most of the minerals and vitamins found in the food from which the sugar is extracted have been removed.  The nutrients, however, are required to metabolize the sugar.  As a result, the more refined sugar that is eaten, the more nutritionally deficient a person becomes.  Among the most important nutrients lost are calcium, zinc, chromium, copper, manganese, selenium and B-complex vitamins.

 

Damaging your DNA. Eating sugar has been shown to alter the most basic levels of cell functioning and can induce defects in cellular DNA.  This can lead to many serious health conditions.

 

Aging the body.  All of the above contribute to premature aging.

 

Addicting you to stimulants. The rush caused by a higher blood sugar and higher cortisol output is quite stimulating. This feels good to many people.  However, the high is followed by a low.  This is the basic setup for an addiction to sugar, and later to all other addictive substances.

 

THE NEW YORK CITY SCHOOL STUDY

 

From 1979 to 1983, the New York City Public School District, the nation’s largest with over 800,000 children,  removed al refined sugars and some other food additives from the school lunch program.  Standardized test scores rose from below national average to above national average.  No other changes were made in the curriculum or other aspects of schooling.  The study was controlled because some children did not participate in the school lunch program, and their test scores did not change.  In fact, a second study was conducted in a failed attempt to disprove the original study.  Sadly, and typically in government and union-run schools, the school administrators did not extend the dietary improvements after the study ended.

 

Many smaller studies have shown the same kinds of improvements in school grades, behavior, freedom from infections and other behavioral and health criteria.  A host of other studies connect sugar-eating with most of the major illnesses of our time.

 

HOW IS SUGAR LABELED?

 

Sugar is labeled in any of at least 50 different ways, so it can be quite confusing.  Among them are barley malt, beet sugar, brown sugar, butter syrup, cane juice crystals, cane sugar, caramel, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, confectioner’s sugar, carob syrup, castor sugar, date sugar, dextran, dextrose, diastatic malt, diatase, fructose, fruit juice, fruit juice concentrate, galactose, glucose, glucose solids, golden sugar, golden syrup, grape sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, icing sugar, invert sugar, lactose, maltodextrin, maltose, malt syrup, maple syrup, miel, molasses, muscovado sugar, panocha, piloncillo, raw sugar, refiner’s syrup, rice syrup, sorghum syrup, sucrose, sugar, treacle, turbinado sugar, or yellow sugar.

 

What about using artificial sweeteners instead of sugar?  The very best idea is to wean yourself from the sweet habit.  Some artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame, Equal or Nutrasweet, are much worse than plain sugar.  It is slowly being phased out for this reason.  Splenda, saccharine and others may not be quite as bad, but are still toxic chemicals.  The best substitutes are stevia and, for some people, sorbitol, mannitol or xylitol.  These are sugars that are not well absorbed so they may cause less problems.  Many people handle them better than the others.

 

THE ROLLERCOASTER

 

Most people are on a sugar rollercoaster all day long.  It often begins in the morning with sweetened cold or hot cereal, a small glass of orange or grapefruit juice, a sweet roll, or sweetened coffee or tea.

 

The sugar high wears off in a few hours, and it is time for a mid-morning sugary snack such as cookies, raisins, a food bar, or perhaps a glass of juice, sweetened tea or coffee.  This usually lasts until lunch, when it is time for more sweetened tea, juice, fruit, bread with sweetener, or worse - a fast food milk shake, ice cream or other sweet foods.

 

The next low comes in mid-afternoon.  Many people then want a sweetened soda drink, juice, a piece of fruit, a protein or food bar, or more sweetened tea or coffee.  This carries most people up to happy hour or dinner, at which time most people want something either alcoholic or sugary once again to remain on the rollercoaster.

 

SUGAR THROUGH THE LIFE CYCLE

 

The sugar rollercoaster ride often starts very early in life.  By the time a child is in grade school it can be an ingrained habit of eating that is very hard to break.  It leads directly to such problems as ADD and ADHD in children, reduced school performance and, at times, difficulty remembering and thinking clearly.  It also directly affects the emotions and causes emotional instability, anxiety, moodiness, irritability and depression, especially in young girls who tend to have higher copper levels than boys.  It also contributes to many infections and rampant obesity in our children today.  It is a likely contributor to our childhood epidemics of infections, cancers and other health problems of the young.

 

The teenage years. As one approaches adulthood, cravings for sugars usually increase drastically.  This occurs because the oxidation or metabolic rate slows down and one feels more tired.  Sugar and caffeine provide a needed boost.  Teens really need to sleep about 10 or more hours every evening.  Otherwise they will be tired most of the time, and sugar cravings can become intense.

 

The real gateway drug for many people.  Sugar has also become the main gateway drug in modern-day America and Europe.  It is inexpensive, readily available, socially acceptable and seems to work well.  The feeling of the high followed by a low becomes familiar.  Soon a person’s nervous system is quite damaged and the groundwork is laid for the need for more powerful stimulants, depressants, anti-depressants, ADD medication and other medical and recreational drugs.

 

Adulthood on sugar. Upon reaching adulthood, most people are so addicted to sugar they take it completely for granted.  Their bread contains sugar, jams and jellies are filled with it, fruit juice, fruit, soda pop, salad dressings, alcoholic beverages, cakes, cookies, ice cream, all desserts and so much more keeps the addiction going without one understanding it at all.  In fact, it is rare to find anyone today who is not addicted to sugar by the time he or she graduates from college.

 

Some handle it well for a while, providing one eats plenty of nutritious food such as many cooked vegetables daily.  Those who do not eat well, and those whose lifestyles are stressful and unhealthy, are even more prone to “the diseases of civilization” that stem directly or indirectly from the sugar habit.  These include obesity, diabetes, chronic yeast infections, cancer and heart disease.  They also include mental illness such as depression, anxieties and brain fog.

 

GETTING OFF THE SUGAR ROLLERCOASTER

 

For those who are hooked on sugar and other sweets, quitting may take some work and time.  Helpful hints include:

 

Start out with four to six small meals every day.  These are small meals with vegetables and meat, not just snacks.  In fact, snacking all day is not a good idea.

 

Make your diet as sweetener-free as possible.  Eat mainly lightly cooked vegetables, chicken, turkey, lamb and eggs.  You may have a little preferably raw, certified dairy, or organic cheese, milk and yogurt, some almond butter and perhaps a little natural beef if you wish.  At first, most people who love sugars should probably avoid most grains.  As you become healthier, you can have a little brown rice, basmati white rice,  quinoa, millet, oats, buckwheat or rye.

 

Avoid wheat and baked goods.  Wheat is not a healthful food today due to hybridization.  Most baked goods contain wheat and sweeteners, so avoid these as well.

 

Keep meals simple.  Two or three foods per meal are plenty.  Avoid three or four-course meals that just tax your digestive system.

 

Watch out for dried bean dishes as these are starchy and, in restaurants and when bought in cans, sugar is often added to them.  At home, however, split peas, lentils and other dried beans may be eaten twice or three times weekly.

 

Don’t keep sweets and sugars in your home. Make yourself go out if you must have ice cream, a candy bar, fruit smoothies or other sweet treats.

 

Avoid most processed and packaged foods.  This single change in your diet will remove a lot of hidden sugars from your diet.

 

Substitute healthier foods and snacks.  If you must snack, have some soft-cooked eggs, cheese or almond butter on a rice or rye cracker, or leftover vegetables or chicken.  Blue corn chips are another excellent snack that is convenient and tasty as well.

 

Rest more.  Rest when tired, instead of eating something.  Even a 10-minue nap can help restore your energy in most cases.

 

Do not sweeten beverages and watch out for all alcoholic beverages.  Most are sweet.  Less is best.

 

Beware that health food stores may be no better or even worse than supermarkets.  Health stores sell plenty of junky, sugary cookies, sweetened teas and sodas, for example.

 

Eat out less. When eating out, ask that the bread not be served or be taken away.  Also, skip desserts and do not order lemonade, sweetened tea, soda pop or other sweet foods or drinks.  Ethnic Chinese, Thai or East Indian restaurants are often the best to avoid sweets.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

 

The sugar habit is spreading to every corner of the planet, and its damage is incalculable.  We only hope that many people can begin to understand its importance so the problem of refined sugar in the food supply can be addressed adequately.