Many of us like the sweet taste of sugar, but it could be one of the unhealthiest ingredients in our diet. Sugar may be a key factor in several major illnesses, including heart disease and diabetes. Most of us are aware of the harmful effect sugar can have, but it is always good to be reminded. Most sugars are hidden within processed foods, so sometimes we don't even realise we are eating it. There are also the obvious things like cakes, biscuits, sweet, sugary drinks and deserts.
You will notice the recipes here do not contain refined sugar expect where it is needed for the fermentation process. Even then during the fermentation process the sugar is mostly used up and therefore little sugar remains.
It is worth mentioning that refined sugar contains no fibre, no minerals, no proteins, no fats, no enzymes, only empty calories.
Why then do manufacturers use sugar in foods? It is used as a preservative, to enhance flavour, to add texture and bulk and it’s cheap.
There are so many names for sugar it is quite bewildering. Here is a quick why to recognise some sugars on labels.
Look for words ending in ose:- Dextrose, Lactose, Glucose, Maltose, Fructose and Sucrose to name but a few.
Other names for sugar to look out for are:- Barley malt, Brown rice syrup, Corn syrup, Dextrin, Ethyl maltol, Malt syrup, Maltodextrin, Rice syrup, Beet sugar, Blackstrap molasses, Cane juice crystals, Cane sugar, Caramel, Carob syrup, Coconut sugar, Confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar), Evaporated cane juice, Fruit juice concentrate, Golden syrup, Grape sugar, Honey, Invert sugar, Maple syrup, Molasses, Panela sugar, Sorghum syrup, and sucanat.
Here are some of the reasons we should, at the very least, cut down sugar consumption.
1 Sugar kills the bacteria which manufacture the B vitamin complex
When sugar is consumed, the bacteria in the intestines, which manufacture B vitamin complexes, begin to die. These bacteria normally thrive in a symbiotic relationship with the human body. When the B vitamin complex level declines, glutamic acid is not processed and sleepiness occurs, as well as a decreased ability for short-term memory function and numerical calculative abilities. The removal of B vitamins when foods are "processed" makes the situation even more tenuous.
2 Sugar depletes essential nutrients from the body
When sugar is consumed your body must borrow vital nutrients from healthy cells to metabolize the incomplete food. Calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium are taken from various parts of the body to make use of the sugar. Many times, so much calcium is used to neutralize the effects of sugar that the bones become osteoporotic due to the withdrawn calcium. Likewise, the teeth are affected and they lose their components until decay occurs and hastens their loss.
3 Sugar can cause insulin resistance causing diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes
When people eat a lot of sugar, it can cause resistance to the hormone insulin, which can contribute to many diseases. One feature of the metabolic dysfunction that is caused by the Western diet, is that insulin stops working as it should. The cells become "resistant" to it. This is also known as insulin resistance, which is believed to be a leading driver of many diseases including, obesity, cardiovascular disease and especially type II diabetes.
4 Sugar may be linked to cancer
There is considerable evidence that sugar, due to its harmful effects on metabolism, can contribute to cancer. The metabolic problems associated with sugar consumption are a known driver of inflammation, a potential cause of cancer. Multiple studies show that people who eat a lot of sugar are at a much higher risk of getting various cancers.
5 Sugar may be linked to Gallstones
It has been reported that refined sugar may be one of the major dietary risk factors in gallstone disease. Gallstones are composed of fats and calcium. Sugar can upset all of the minerals, and one of the minerals, calcium, can become toxic or non functioning, depositing itself anywhere in the body, including the gallbladder.
Refined sugar v natural sugars in fruit and vegetables
Ironically, our entire body relies on sugar (carbohydrates). Carbohydrates supply the much-needed energy for our body’s vital functions. However, we need to consume this from natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables as opposed to refined sugar. Fruit and vegetables contain the natural sugar fructose, and along with the fibre, vitamins and mineral they contain, the body can assimilate the fructose and convert it into energy without the harmful effects of refined sugar.
Unfortunately, sugar substitutes such as saccharine and aspartame can be as harmful as sugar. One substitute that is ok to use is Stevia. This is a plant base product and is recommended by many health professionals.
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