A moment on the lips; – a lifetime on the hips…
Most of us love a sweet taste. Be it ice cream, chocolate, biscuits or a simple hard boiled sweetie; – we seem to find it hard to resist the common denominator in these treats… SUGAR!
In recent years, sugar has had a hard time in the media. They say that ‘the love of sugar is the root of all evil’. Well no, actually that’s money, – my bad lol. Sugar is blamed for a host of health issues though; from obesity and hyperactivity in children; to diabetes, osteoporosis and even cancer. So what is the actual problem with these white, sweet-tasting, magic crystals? Let’s go back to science class for a moment…
Sugar is a type of carbohydrate. Your body needs carbohydrates in order to create energy. When digested properly, it’s either used to immediate effect – or converted into fat and stored around the body and (organs) for safe keeping until needed. Straightforward so far? Stick a pin right there……
What’s the big deal about ‘WHOLEFOODS’?
Wholefoods are literally that; – a whole food opposed to a partial food. ‘Processed’ or ‘refined’ foods have undergone a process to get them to the state which you receive them in. It would seem that the food industry was being a bit sneaky when they decided to call this processed food ‘refined’. The word ‘refine’ implies that the food has been enhanced in some way. We refine gold, silver and other metals in fire to make them purer… We refine alcohol, making it stronger by distillation… When we strain anything of its impurities or ‘bits’ (like water or freshly squeezed juice) – this is refining also. So what about food then?
Well actually – the food refining process does not enhance the food nutritionally as much as it enhances the logistics of the business. You see, what it does is removes key elements from the food, extending its shelf-life. This allows the food to be transported along greater distances without going bad; – also, the food can sit on the shelf for longer, until they’re sold (see here).
Take white flour for example… White flour is refined whereas ‘wholewheat’ flour is not. Wheat is made up of three key components: bran, germ and endosperm. It is harvested and then sent through a process called ‘milling’. White flour is the finely ground, endosperm portion of the wheat kernel. Removing the bran removes the fibre content from the flour, leaving it white. Removing the ‘germ’ takes away the nutrition of the wheat. The germ is the nucleus. It’s the reproductive part of the grain that ‘germinates’ and grows into the full plant. Wheatgerm is a concentrated source of several essential nutrients including Vitamin E, folate (folic acid), phosphorus, thiamin, zinc, and magnesium, as well as essential fatty acids and fatty alcohols. It’s the wheatgerm that causes rapid breakdown once the wheat has been harvested.
BACK TO SUGAR…
Refined white or brown sugar is not a wholefood. Sugar is removed from the juice of sugar cane (or sugar beets) by crushing the cane first, before heating it to the point that the crystalised residue is left behind; – this is what we call sugar. So why is it a problem? Well – what’s in sugar cane juice?
Nutritionally, sugar cane juice contains potassium, sodium and calcium. Unfortunately, these vitamins and minerals are completely lost during the ‘refinement’ process. That packet of sugar has absolutely ZERO nutritional value other than carbohydrate (see here). Interestingly enough potassium, sodium and calcium all play a major role in digestion.
Now here’s the wonderful thing about Creation (or nature) – everything seems to be perfect, by design. That piece of sugar cane you ate has the exact nutritional components needed within itself for your body to digest it. Your body is even more awesome. It recognises food types and creates the optimum environment for digestion and total absorption; releasing various enzymes and hormones – exactly what it needs to make it happen. Your body, the most efficient machine on the face of the earth will always do what it must.
You eat a delicious, original glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut. As you take that first bite; your mouth springs water as your teeth connect and the gorgeous, soft, sweet pastry hits the roof of your mouth – and swirls around like an amazing, taste-tumble-dryer. The sugar in the glaze and in the highly refined white flour begins to be digested in the mouth by alkaline enzymes and then hits the stomach where little to no digestion occurs, due to the acidic environment. As it touches your small intestine, the alkaline environment activates digestion again as it travels along the length of it and moves through to your large intestine. (See carbohydrate digestion)
In all of this – where are the vitamins & minerals that are needed? Your delicious doughnut does not contain the potassium, sodium or calcium needed to break down the sugar in it. So what happens? Does your body not bother with it then? Does the sugar magically digest itself? Make no mistake; – your body is a beast at making light work of hard tasks. It still knows how much minerals it needs to digest the amount of sugar you have ingested and does provide them; but from where? YOUR BODY – that’s where!!!
Do you believe that osteoporosis, brittle bone syndrome and other calcium deficient illnesses are caused by not drinking enough milk? Really?? I offer you this theory…
You spend your life indulging in candies, sweet desserts and pastries, as well as gorging on sugary drinks. You don’t look after your teeth that well either. At 75yrs old you find yourself hunch-backed, on a bus with a walking stick and a mouth full of fillings/false teeth. Now you could argue that it is normal to grow old – and bone-thinning and muscle atrophy is just part of the ageing process. While it is normal to grow old (obviously), are we not products of what we eat?
I challenge the notion that we must get bone disease and other chronic illnesses as part of our ageing process. As of 2 weeks ago, I have been eating just 1 meal a day – in the evenings. I have consumed NO JUNK FOODS, and no sugary drinks.
I have lost 7.1kgs in 16 days with no exercise. I want this to be a lifestyle change and not just a fad diet. It’s so easy to pendulum-swing from diet to diet and go up and down in weight. At this stage I honestly feel as if I can sustain my 1 meal a day; – guess why??? NO SUGAR!!! Apparently sugar is responsible for those hardcore hunger pangs and cravings we all feel from time to time. Whether that’s true – I don’t know but I’ll tell you what; I go through the whole day eating nothing until the evening time. I drink around 4 litres of water throughout the day and have a GOOD meal in the evening. I HONESTLY DON’T FEEL BAD! I thought it would be way too difficult but once you get through 2 days; it gets easier and easier until it becomes normal life. You start off depending on willpower and then your body takes over because you feel no urge for food until the sun goes down…
My advice to you, (my beautiful readership) is this – consider cutting out all added sugar for just 7 strict days and see what effects you can feel in your mind & body. (see my blog, FOOD, FOOD, FOOD!)
If you are gonna give it a shot with me – leave me a comment below and we can trade secrets and techniques… All the best!
ONLY. ONE. MIIKZ.