Sugar - The Sweet Thief
My family was sick. I was sick. I had three small children, one diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. I suffered from extreme bouts of depression, fatigue, stress, PMS and a hodge-podge of other conditions. My family constantly battled with any germ that conveniently floated by.
What I discovered on our journey to rebuild our health was that, while in complete ignorance, I was very much responsible for our struggles. Now with over ten years of study, reading and searching I have discovered how that we truly are what we eat. That the food that we ate today, without a doubt, gave us the bodies we had tomorrow.
The flu doesn’t pass our door. My daughter has been Ritalin free for years. Our minds are clear, our energy is back, bodies are strong and sleep is sound. Now I have always heard that sugar is bad for you. My mother and dentist had made that very clear. But, mostly because of my daughter’s ADHD diagnosis, the sugar in my life was the first to go under the microscope. I was shocked at what I found.
I had never realized the immensity of power this pretty little white powder had on every corner of our well-being. First a few facts;
What is sugar?
Well, that question has become more and more difficult in the past few years with the introduction of more refined, and dangerous substances in the food industry. But for this article we will look at the sugar we are most familiar with; that sweet, fine powder we put in our coffee, use in our baking, and sprinkle on our cereal every morning.
The Sugar industry has become a 100 billion dollar a year business. A recent U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) survey it was revealed that the average North American consumes the equivalent of 160 pounds of sugar a year - a 30% increase since the early 1980s. That's the approximate equivalent of 53 heaped teaspoons of sugar per person per day! Most sources estimate that today sugar makes up about 25% of the calories of the average North American diet, with some genres such as teenagers still even higher.
Our common sugar usually starts with the cane or the sugar beet, a delicious creation of nature, a complex carbohydrate, which means it contained all the properties of a whole food: vitamins, minerals, enzymes.
The big problem is that the finished product contains none of the nutrients, vitamins, or minerals of the original plant. White sugar is a simple carbohydrate, which means a fractionated, artificial, devitalized by-product of the original plant.
The refining process takes natural sugar and removes all of the fibre, vitamins, and minerals from it. Some say the process leaves sugar looking closer to a pharmaceutical drug than a food source. Substances such as sulphur dioxide, milk of lime, carbon dioxide, charcoal from charred beef bones, and calcium carbonate can be used in this industrial refining process as purifying agents and then de-colorized with highly toxic dyes Other suspected chemicals can include carbon dioxide, strontium hydroxide and formaldehyde.
Quite simply put; if it is not in its natural form, it is not natural. And if it is not natural, your natural body has an tremendous amount of trouble trying to figure out what to do with it. The minerals needed to digest sugar - chromium, manganese, cobalt, copper, zinc, and magnesium-have been stripped during the refined process. This, in turn, forces the body to deplete its own mineral reserves to process the sugar. Ingestion is far different from digestion: just because you ate it doesn't mean you can use it.
Next time we walk the Natural Path we will take a look at how this sweet thief is stealing from you, the growing list of health risks associate with sugar and how in world this has all gotten so out of control.