Sunday, February 26, 2012
IS SUGAR REALLY THAT BAD?
I came across an excellent article on what sugar does to our bodies and I really feel like sharing some of what the article is about (in italic). As you might have noticed yesterday, I was about to loose it there for a second, but by googling some information on the dangers of sugar I am right back on track.
You can always count on Jimmy Moore's Living la vida Low-Carb show - he has had lengthy interviews with both Nancy Appleton and David Gillespie - excellent pieces.
Well, this article that I found is a summary, written by nutritionist Jen Allbritton, and can be found on the Weston Price Foundation web-pages (another excellent source of very balanced information).
So here are the extracts from the Allbritton's article (my comments in red).
A comment I often hear is, “A little won’t hurt!” Sure, a little sugar is a minor challenge for healthy individuals. Unfortunately, dysfunctional blood sugar balance, immune issues, and adrenal fatigue are common, and even a small amount of sugar can send someone with these disturbances into sugar shock. Moreover, most of us already get a little here, a little there, and then a little more over here, and bam! That sugar really adds up. What do I mean by “a lot”? Our ancestors likely indulged in around one tablespoon (60 calories) of honey per day (when available), which is stunningly low compared to today’s average sugar intake of one cup (774 calories) per day!1 YOWZERS!
This is something I even fool myself with from times to times...or in order to have a social life outside the home, it is more than necessary to follow this "little won't hurt" instinct. However, the more I read up on the issue, the stronger I feel that yes, a little can hurt, and it can hurt a lot. Question is, how to do with just a little as per our own definitions without upsetting all the dear ones around us?!? PArticularly our own kids, they crave sugar just like any kid would do....
About twenty years ago, Nancy Appleton, PhD, began an eye-opening, research-supported list of the ways sugar can ruin your health... Here is a small, yet powerful sampling of reasons to avoid sugar:
• Sugar feeds cancer cells and has been connected with the development of cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate, rectum, pancreas, lung, gallbladder and stomach.2-6
• Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose and can cause reactive hypoglycemia.7
• Sugar can cause many problems with the gastrointestinal tract, including an acidic digestive tract, indigestion, malabsorption in patients with functional bowel disease, increased risk of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.8-12
• Sugar can interfere with your absorption of protein.13
• Sugar can cause food allergies.14
• Sugar contributes to obesity.15
Got the picture already? Sugar is not sweet at all - it is dangerous! And sadly enough, it is everywhere you turn these days.
As a mother, I regard sugar’s impact on my children as a top priority; for the kiddos themselves of course, but also for more selfish reasons—my sanity. The more well-mannered and happy my children are, the more smooth is the daily flow. Sugar’s impact on children is more dramatic than it is on adults due to their smaller size and still-developing systems. The connection between sugar consumption and rowdy behavior and weakened immunity is strong.
Yes, I know. I have noticed this myself. Why is it so hard to have others buy into this? Sugar addicted zombies, denial, authorities/media reluctance to admit sugar is a major problem?'
I frequently hear testimonials from other moms who see improvements in their children’s behavior after reducing sugar in their family’s diet. Envision the impact the reduction of sugar consumption could have on an entire school! One such success story is set in a Georgia elementary school, where the principal, Dr. Yvonne Sanders-Butler, recognized the need for dietary changes with her students suffering many modern illnesses— obesity, diabetes and hypertension. In 2005, Browns Mill School became the first sugar-free school in the country, and the results speak for themselves with a 30 percent decrease in nurse visits, a 28 percent drop in teacher referrals for bad behavior, and improved test scores.20 Dr. Sanders-Butler continues to see the difference in the children’s health through weight loss and fewer absences, as well as more frequent everyday positive interactions with happier children.
Where was this place again? We're moving!
At Browns Mill, every parent and child is asked to sign an “Achieving Academic Excellence through Nutrition” commitment contract, outlining the parameters and expectations of the program. Sugary foods are prohibited (even for birthdays) and confiscated if brought to school. School lunch menus were revamped and exercise, breakfast, and good sleep are expected. It goes to show, bold action can lead to sweet rewards!
Oh yes, even birthdays. Definatelly moving!
Then about the chemical balances in the body and the detrimental effect sugar has on this balance:
Minerals work synergistically with one another and have a vast number of functions within the body, including maintaining pH balance, aiding in digestion, and transmitting nerve impulses. Suffice it to say that the consequences of mineral imbalance can lead to many problems, including anxiety, asthma, tooth decay, brittle bones, and poor sleep quality. Here is the kicker: if one mineral is out of balance, so go the others. This is particularly true of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous.
This is where it becomes INTERESTING!!!
Years ago the dentist Melvin E. Page uncovered the significance of calcium’s ratio to phosphorous in regards to bone absorption and tooth decay. Sugar was found to be the driving force behind calcium-phosphorous imbalance; the elimination of this refined food allowed the ratio to recover and glucose levels in the blood to normalize. It was then that factors leading to bone loss and tooth decay (along with a number of other symptoms) vanished.
Hahaha!!! I knew it, its not about consuming half a liter of milk every day!!! It's about eating a balanced diet, free from sugar!!! :-))))))
Sugar taken every day produces a continuously over-acid condition, and more and more minerals are required from deep in the body in the attempt to rectify the imbalance. Finally, in order to protect the blood, so much calcium is taken from the bones and teeth that decay and general weakening begin.
Then the article goes in to the connection with infections.
White blood cells, called neutrophils, are a primary player in the immune system, fending off infection from foreign bacteria and viruses, anything from colds and strep throat to ear and sinus infections. Research shows these “germdestroyers” become much less effective at their job when sugar is consumed (table sugar, fructose and even orange juice), and this immune malfunction can last up to six hours after consumption....Whatever the mechanics, removing excess sugar is a must if you want to reduce the number of illnesses your family suffers.
Yep, yep - isn't this something of interest in this family after having the kids sick at home for the ten past days (by the way, could it be so that this time I did NOT fall ill because of the lack of sugar in my body? Just a hypothesis, I might fall ill tomorrow).
And then we come to the addictive aspects of the substance...
Although socially acceptable, sugar addiction is real.
Can I underline this enough?!?!
As with any addictive substance, more and more sugar is consumed over time, withdrawal symptoms are experienced when it is removed (headaches, low energy, mood swings), and finally strong cravings often lead to relapse. Regardless of the fact that it has been referred to as the “white plague” and rivals cocaine in its addictive strength,sugar remains a socially sanctioned commodity to sell, eat, or use to celebrate and lavish on children.
Yes, cocaine my dear friends. Cocaine. And we voluntarily feed this stuff to our kids. What kind of parents are we?!?! Maybe we should reconsider that it is first joint being the gate into a destructive lifetime addiction... (and yes, I know I sound freaky now, but continue reading please...).
Sugar’s addictive power is three-fold.
First, we have a natural affinity to sugar. It tastes yummy and gives our body fuel. While stumbling upon a beehive or bush of ripe wild berries was quite useful to our foraging ancestors in their endeavors to obtain enough calories, our situation is quite different today. In our developed world of easy access, this added fuel has become overavailable, over-processed and over-consumed, all of which lead to trouble with a capital T.
Second, sugar has the ability to increase pleasure-yielding opioids in the brain, similar to morphine and heroin, making one’s sugar cravings often too strong to ignore. Julia Ross tells us in The Diet Cure, “For some of us, certain foods, particularly ones that are sweet and starchy, can have a drug-like effect, altering our brains’ mood chemistry and fooling us into a false calm, or a temporary energy surge. We can eventually become dependent on these drug-like foods for continued mood lifts.
Third, sugar begets more sugar. Eating sugar clearly throws one’s body chemistry into a tailspin. Tag on poor sleep habits, adrenal fatigue, and an overload of distress, intense cravings for sugar (or other substance like alcohol or drugs) can easily develop. Insulin imbalances and a lack of the happy-brain chemical called serotonin are often the underlying culprits. Essentially, the sugar being consumed perpetuates the vicious cycle of more intense sugar cravings.
The article is longer. But I think I stated the basics here already. For those that are interested in the scientific proof of the claims, please turn to the origininal. I have no intentions to start referring scientifically on this blog....
But my final message is: People be aware!!! Get a hold of your own sweet tooth and turn then to see how you can cure the sweet tooth of your children. You will be thanking yourself in retrospect. Promise!