Naturopaths, eastern medicine doctors and nutritionists have been saying for decades that sugar is much more than calories. Sugar is considered an anti-nutrient as opposed to a food (which should nourish) because in the refining process all vitamins, minerals and proteins are removed from the plant’s original state as sugar cane or sugar beets. Just as drinking salt water further dehydrates the body, sugar seriously depletes the nutrients that are in your body. A person is in fact better off eating nothing at all than to consume sugar.
What I found most disturbing when I was researching sugar is that fifty six magnesium molecules are needed to metabolize one molecule of sugar. Magnesium deficiency is epidemic in our culture. The body struggles greatly to metabolize or ‘process’ sugar. Sugar leeches sodium, potassium, chromium, magnesium, calcium as well as the B vitamins from the bones, teeth and tissue; the body requires these nutrients in order to re-establish a healthy equilibrium—which does not only mean a stable blood sugar level, but an ideal alkaline-acid environment. Many of us are already too acidic as a result of our lifestyle and an acidic body creates inflammation which is the basis for all illnesses and disease. Inflammation (caused by stress and poor diet) can to lead to or aggravate everything from arthritis to fibromyalgia to heart disease to cancer. Check out Registered Holistic Nutritionist Julie, Daniluk’s book “Meals that Heal Inflammation” to learn more.
As most of us know, one can survive on water alone for quite awhile. However, add only sugar and one will die within days. William Duffy describes in his book Sugar Blues that in 1793, sailors transporting sugar had been shipwrecked and were found in a state of starvation even though they had only been without food for a few days. They had consumed large quantities of sugar during this time. This incident piqued French physiologist’s F. Magendie interest. Magendie conducted several experiments on dogs. The dogs who were fed only sugar as opposed to olive oil and water died. Even more interesting is that Duffy tells us that “Professor Magendie’s laboratory alerted the sugar industry to the hazards of free scientific inquiry. From that day to this, the sugar industry has invested millions of dollars in behind-the-scenes, subsidized science. The best scientific names that money could buy have been hired, in the hope that they could one day come up with something at least pseudoscientific in the way of glad tidings about sugar.”
While some will insist that sugar is natural and people have always consumed it—this is in fact a very skewed version of the facts. Some argue that we need sugar, especially for people with low blood sugar problems. We do need glucose which is a sugar that can be derived from vegetables, fruits and complex carbohydrates. Sucrose on the other hand is from refined sugar. It is needed to stabilize blood sugar about as much as alcohol is needed to clean our liver. When you consider not only how refined sugar is made (similar to the refining of heroin—though obviously with less immediately devastating effects!) and the numbers below, it is easy to see that the idea that we have always consumed sugar is a gross misunderstanding of the facts.
- In 1700, the average person consumed about 4 pounds of sugar per year.
- In 1800, the average person consumed about 18 pounds of sugar per year.
- In 1900, individual consumption had risen to 90 pounds of sugar per year.
- In 2009, more than 50 percent of all Americans consume one-half pound of sugar PER DAY—translating to a whopping 180 pounds of sugar per year!
Stats from: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/04/20/sugar-dangers.aspx
Furthermore, while right up to the mid 1900’s people’s sugar intake increased, people were not consuming high-fructose corn syrup which is where a large portion of sugar consumption is derived from today. High-fructose corn syrup is present in just about anything that is processed today. You would be amazed where it is hiding. Much research is now linking high-fructose corn syrup (a man-made substance) to not only diabetes and hypertension but liver disease and even high rates of cancer. Essentially, we are eating something that is even more lethal and toxic than the nutrient depleting sugar that killed Magendie’s dogs.