Sugar

Is it good for you? In most of the conditions I have written about, I nearly always advise against excess sugar consumption. Of all the foods consumed today, refined sugar is considered one of the most harmful.

The white sugar we eat is produced by an industrial process (mostly from sugar cane or sugar beets) by refining it down to pure sucrose, after stripping away all the vitamins, minerals, proteins, enzymes and other beneficial nutrients. Your body must borrow vital nutrients from healthy cells to break down or metabolize the incomplete food.

Today we are addicted to sugar. In 1915, the average sugar consumption (for a year) was round 15 – 20 pounds for person. Today the average person consumes his/her weight in sugar, which is around 110 – 120 pounds of sugar per year for each man, women and child. The human body was not designed for that amount of sugar – that is why it has become a poison for many of the vital organs of the body.

As we said, refined sugar contains no fibre, no minerals, no protein, no fats, no enzymes; its only empty calories. What happens when you eat a refined carbohydrate like sugar? Your body must borrow vital nutrients from healthy cells to break down or metabolise the incomplete food.

Calcium, Sodium, Potassium and Magnesium are taken from various parts of the body to make use the sugar for energy production. So much Calcium is used to neutralize the effects of sugar that the bones can become weak and the process of osteoporosis begins due to the withdrawal of Calcium. Likewise, teeth will become weak and dental decay begins to set in.

To make energy in our body’s refined sugar will deplete the bodies’ stores of various vitamins, minerals and enzymes, making our immune system weak and prone to dysfunction and low grade function, leading to many autoimmune diseases and causing low immune function eventually.

The consumption of 100 grams of refined sugar will reduce the ability of the immune system (neutrophilic activity) by at least 50% two hours after ingestion.

Since neutrophilis constitute 60 – 70% of the total circulating white blood cells in our body, impairment of their activity leads to depressed immunity. In contrast, the consumption of 100 grams of starch had no such effect. Since the average person consumes 150 grams of refined sugar each day, you can say that the average persons immune function is chronically depressed.

The next biggest effect of refined sugar is on our pancreas.
High sugar consumption eventually wears out the pancreas through overwork – this may result in Diabetes.

But before the body reaches the stage of Diabetes, it is very common to find people suffering from Hypoglycaemia. Hypoglycaemia occurs when the pancreas overreacts to the large amount of sugar in the blood and releases too much insulin leaving one with the “tired” feeling as the blood sugar level becomes lower than it should be.

Weight gain and the inability to lose weight is also a common problem with high sugar consumption. It becomes very difficult to loss weight with high insulin levels, produced by high sugar levels in the blood stream. Since insulin will shunt sugar into fat cells, to become fat.

Sugar also has a very harmful effect on the blood and circulation. Sugar makes the blood thick and sticky inhibiting blood flow. 

Sugar also has effect on our brains; you can see this with young children, when they eat too much sugar. Sugar can lead to a confused mental state due to the depletion of B-vitamins which are destroyed by sugar.

So as you can see, sugar is best avoided.

David Foley
MNIMH, MRCHM
Medical Herbalist