What is Refined Sugar?
We all hear and know that refined sugar is not healthy.
Empty calories come to mind, but what is refined sugar exactly and what are some of the dangers that are not so obvious?
Let me start by stating what you may already know… refined sugar is pure sugar, which is processed from plants such as sugar canes and sugar beets.
Now, you may have heard that brown sugar is healthier than white, this is simply a myth.
Yup, I was a bit surprised as well.
I always thought I was doing myself a favor using a bit of brown sugar in my coffee rather than white, even my grandmother and my mom believed that brown sugar was healthier, wait till I tell them that there really is no difference!
The only difference between white sugar and brown sugar is that brown sugar contains molasses which gives it the brown color.
Light brown sugar contains less molasses than dark brown sugar.
Though molasses does contain some nutrients, their percentage is so small that it really makes no difference nutritionally and is simply up to our preference.
Brown sugar is most commonly used for baking in order to give a richer color and flavor.
Refined Sugar: Some Not So Obvious Dangers?
We all know that refined sugar equals empty calories and therefore unwanted fat but what are some not so obvious, dangers of refined sugar and why is it so unhealthy?
The answer is that refined sugar has no nutritional value whatsoever to the human body.
In fact not only does it lack nutritional value, it also drains the body of important vitamins and minerals: Vitamins which are necessary to digest this sugar within our bodies after ingestion.
One of these major nutrients needed to digest sugar is calcium which is pulled out from our bones and teeth, leaving them to decay, and overall weakening begins to take place.
Refined sugar is so unnecessary to the body that eventually with regular consumption; each of our organs is negatively affected. Initially, we see the effects in the liver as this is where sugar is stored and is referred to as glycogen.
But our liver can only take on so much, until it can no longer process this useless ingredient and it begins to express the extra sugar that it is unable to process into our blood in the form of fatty acids.
This extra fat is then taken to every part of our bodies and stored in the most inactive areas such as our bellies, buttocks, breasts and thighs.
In addition to the liver, sugar also affects the heart and kidneys and forces them to function less and less as their tissues turn into fat.
Due to the inability of heart and kidneys to functions at full capacity, high blood pressure follows.
This in turn, causes further complications in the nervous system and the organs governed by it.
Furthermore the circulatory and lymphatic system are impacted and the quality of red blood cells (which help to carry oxygen thought-out the body) starts to change, creating an overabundance of white blood cells (which help to fight infections).
Our bodies immunization is weakened and cannot respond properly to colds, heat and so on.
Lastly sugar negatively affects the production of vitamin B which is necessary for alert and proper brain function.
Too much sugar makes one sleepy, unable to think clearly as well as retain information.
Ever wonder why you get so sluggish after a lunch full of carbs?
That’s because our bodies can not process all the sugar ingested in the form of carbohydrates though this is not refined sugar it still has the same affect when this extra sugar is released into the blood as I’ve touched on above, creating a sleep-like state.
Replace refined sugar with natural sugars.
Avoid products made with white sugar, and all artificial sweeteners.
Instead use natural sweeteners such as pure maple syrup, or raw unfiltered honey.
Eat healthy and maintain a balance diet for your body’s optimal performance.
Eat fruits instead of candies, fruits have natural sugars that along with minerals help the body process and digest such sugars easily and affectively.
1.REFINED SUGAR The Sweetest Poison of All , http://www.whale.to/a/dufty.html
2.Replacing Refined Sugars with Natural Sugars One Step At a Time, Sunday 11 August 2002, http://www.westonaprice.org/making-it-practical/replacing-refined-sugars
3. What is Refine Sugar? Decemeber 30, 2002, http://www.becomehealthynow.com/article/carbs/1082/