Health and Diet - Suspect SweetenersKnowing about what we put into our bodies is just as important as knowing about the chemicals we don't want to put onto our bodies through our personal care products.
"Sugar and spice and all things nice." "Sweetheart", "Sugar-plum" - the white stuff is always painted in a cuddly light. Let's take a hard look at our diet in terms of sugar.
There are a number of sugars' around:
- Glucose - occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables. Glucose is alsways present in our bloodstream and is a key material in the metabolic functions of all plants and animals.
- Dextrose - known as corn sugar, is manufactured from starches.
- Fructose - natural sugar found in fruits.
- Lactose - milk sugar.
- Maltose - malt sugar.
- Sucrose - refined sugar manufactured from sugar cane and beet.
Refined sugar has had its salts, fibres, proteins, vitamins and minerals removed to leave a white, crystalline substance devoid of any nutritional content, only offering empty calories. Sucrose is labelled as 'a carbohydrate', that most generic of terms which describes a compound comprising of carbon coupled with hydrogen and oxygen.
Sugars contained in nature, whole foods are easily metabolised by the body. Sucrose on the other hand, devoid of vital minerals, becomes a greedy starch which cannot metabolise completely in our bodies, resulting in the formation of metabolites, such as pyruvic acid and unstable sugars containing five carbon atoms. These toxic by-products interfere with the respiration of cells, preventing them from acquiring sufficient oxygen to function correctly. These poisonous metabolites, in their free radical or oxidation format, are constantly seeking to stabilise themselves by robbing our healthy cells of available electrons. This action in turn degrades the cell and the cell dies.
Another reason to avoid sugar is to slow down the aging process. If you want to stay looking young, it is very important to limit sugar to the smallest amount possible. It is the most significant factor that accelerates aging. It does this by attaching itself to proteins in the body forming new sugar-protein substances called advanced glycation end-products (AGE). The higher the AGE levels, the faster you are aging. (1)
Advanced Glycation End-Products are readily seen as hard yellow-brown compounds that are the result of blood sugar bonding with proteins in the body's tissue. This process is the precursor to degenerative disease, and may manifest itself initially as premature wrinkles and grey hair. (2)
All refined sugars are parasitic. They have no accompanying vitamins and minerals of their own and no nutritional value. They leach valuable minerals from the body. Sugar can cause copper deficiency, which reduces the elasticity of veins and arteries, leading to aneurism and stroke. (3) The body must digest, detoxify and then eliminate sucrose because it cannot make cell structure from it. Typically the body combats sucrose by mobilising elements such as sodium, potassium and magnesium and calcium to form compounds with the invading sucrose in an attempt to transmute it chemically into a form the body can either store or eliminate.
Excess sugar is initially stored in the liver in the form of glycogen. When the liver can no longer cope with the load, it pours the accumulated sucrose toxins back into the bloodstream in the form of fatty acids, which are then taken to storage areas of the body, namely the belly, thighs, hips, breasts and the back of our upper arms. Once the storage areas are filled, the body begins to distribute the metabolite acids into the active organs, such as the heart and kidneys. (4) This in turn causes hormonal imbalances, abnormal blood pressure as the circulatory and lymphatic systems are invaded, depleting vital vitamin C reserves and threatening the cardiovascular system.
How about the cellulite, varicose veins and the rotten teeth. (5) How about the kids bouncing off the walls with simple mineral depletion, resulting in ADD and ADHD, impaired brain function, resulting in increased emotional instability, hyperactivity and violence in the classroom.(6)
As the sugar bombardment continues, pancreatic function may become inhibited resulting in the impairment of enzymes such as trypsin and chymotrysin, vital for arrecting the healing processes and preventing cancer growths. Excess sugar consumption has also been linked to Parkinson's and Alzheimer's Diseases. Complete removal of sugar from the diet has seen stunning recoveries from cancer, diabetes and heart illnesses.
Avoiding Refined Sugar: Giving up the White Stuff
Chromium supplementation has been established as beneficial when giving up sugar. It may be found in broccoli, cheese, dried beans and chicken. Chromium is a trace element, which is essential for the metabolism of insulin in the body. It can also help to minimise the mood swings that can be caused by sugar cravings. When exercising, chromium increases muscle bulk and lean body mass, while decreasing body fat, giving an overall effect of a leaner and firmer physique.
There are several forms of Chromium available in supplements. Chromium found in brewers yeast is highly bioavailable but is not suitable for many people. Yeast free Chromium and Chromium picolinate are also available and usable by all. The dosage will differ from person to person depending on the condition of their body. Contact your local Naturopath for further advice.
The information contained in this article was printed with the permission of Phillip Day, author of the book 'Health Wars' and 'The ABC's of Disease', printed by Credence Publications.
References:1. a) Mercola, Joseph, Sugar Creates Free Radicals and Reduces Vitamin E Levels, 27th August 2000
b) Lee and Cerami Annals of the New York Academy of Science, The Role of Glycation in Aging, #663, 1993, pp.6370
2. M Fields et al Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Effect of Copper Deficiency on Metabolism and Mortality in Rats Fed Sucrose or Starch Diets, #113, 1983, pp.1335-1345
3. Yudkin, Kang and Bruckdorfer, British Journal of Medicine, Effects of High Dietary Sugar, #281, 1980, p.1396
4. Glinsman, Irausquin and Youngmee, Evaluation of Health Aspects of Sugars Contained in Carbohydrate Sweeteners, Report from FDA's Sugar Task Force, Centre for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Washington DC: 1986, p.39
5. Goldman, J et al, Behavioral Effects of Sucrose on Preschool Children, Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, #14, 1986, p. 565-577