Sugar has absolutely no nutritional benefit and is extremely damaging, addictive and bad for our health, despite being so deliciously moreish! Almost all the processed foods we eat contain sugar, from peanut butter to canned vegetables! Reading the label will identify sugar levels in the product but did you know sugar can be hidden under many names? Glucose, sucrose, lactose,fructose and maltose are all sugars, the secret is identifying them with the suffix”-ose” There are so many health conditions associated with over consumption of sugar, diabetes being the first one people usually think of.Tooth decay, heart disease,kidney disease, Obesity of course is another.
The immune system is severely depressed with an overload of sugar which compromises the whole body and weakens our natural state of balance and healing abilities Whether white or brown, sugar is a highly refined end product of sugar cane or sugarbeets.In the process of manufacturing all the healthy important fibre is removed and vitamins and minerals disappear to give way to pure sucrose as an energy source. Unfortunately this highly refined product contains empty calories which means there is no life giving sustenance available for your body to draw on for its everyday needs.
Sugar, the anti- nutrient.
Sugar can be considered an anti-nutrient because it actually needs vitamins and minerals from another source to be metabolised by your body. I find this really interesting because people who consume large amounts of sugar, whilst having enough calories to survive, will be malnourished as the sugar slowly depletes their body of nutrients.
I am sure you have heard of the terms simple sugars and complex carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are made from sugar molecules stuck together in a straight line and in order for the body to use this sugar for energy, these bonds must be broken. Simple sugars only contain a couple of bonds which are easily broken , makings energy readily available. This causes a problem as the sugar is too easy to break down, causing blood sugar levels to rise very quickly. The body must produce insulin quickly to remove the sugar from the blood as high levels are damaging to the body. In the hurry to remove the sugar, there is often a small overshoot of insulin, which makes the blood sugar levels dip below normal. This sudden rise and fall of sugar can cause problems, especially of the brain that relies solely on sugar for energy.
We have all seen people and especially children who eat simple sugars, lollies, cakes, chocolate or sugary soft drinks, getting a sudden rush of energy and buzzing around for a short time. Remember those birthday parties and cordials and then watching over hyped children charging around? Such fun!! And then the post energy slump of feeling drained, head achy and moody.
Complex carbohydrates on the other hand are broken down much more slowly and so are absorbed slowly, providing a long lasting energy source as well as hugely beneficial nutrients. Fiber, minerals, vitamins and much more are all part of whole foods.
Complex carbohydrates come from whole grains, brown rice, legumes such as chickpeas, red beans, fresh organic fruit and vegetables. Food in its unprocessed state, is so beneficial in helping your body to a state of balance and good health. Removing sugar which is a bad thing for you, from your diet and simply being aware in your shopping habits is a great way to start cutting down on your sugar intake. I have discovered when I make cakes and biscuits, I can very easily cut the sugar down by half ,without this affecting the recipe in any way. Try it next time and see what you think.