Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sugar is Not Fit for Human Consumption

Below is a list of health issues that are linked to the consumption of refined sugar.  There are loads more: I just chose the ones that I've experienced or know others to have.  I'm in no way saying that these conditions are strictly caused by sugar, but if you experience any of these things or know anyone who does, it may at least be worth considering sugar as a culprit.  www.angelfire.com/az/sthurston/sugar_addiction.html.

Cancer Obesity Premature Aging
Heart Disease Weight Gain Arthritis
Depression Chrohn's Disease  Learning disorders  
Hemorrhoids    Varicose Veins Diabetes
Osteoporosis Food Allergies Eczema
Alzheimer's Gout Headaches and Migraines
Tooth Decay Bowel Movement Problems

Refined sugar is poison to our bodies.  Our bodies were not designed to processed refined sugar but it struggles to do so, wearing out as it does.  Conditions like the ones above may then develop.  Sugar is toxic.  To get more information on the dangers of sugar, including history and studies done, check out www.ghchealth.com/refined-sugar-the-sweetest-poison-of-all.html

So why aren't we all jumping on the bandwagon and doing something about this horrible thing called sugar?  I've thought long and hard about it and this is what I've come up with. We all fall into one of three categories. 
Category 1 - Ignorance is Bliss
Category 2 - If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It
Category 3 - You Are What Your Eat

Most of us progress between all three categories at some time in our lives.  But many of us don't.  We continue blindly, never making the connection between what we feed our bodies and how we feel and look.

My mother is a prime example of being stuck. She remains forever in category 1.  Although she is quite broken, diet is never considered as a culprit.  She believes in her doctor's advice that a magic pill will fix what ails her.  Her medicine cabinet is filled with prescriptions for this and that, and then more prescriptions to fix the side effects created from the first prescriptions.  

I question what is normal, age related aches and pains and what is nutrition-deprivation induced. Maybe Arthritis is something many of us will face when we get older, but do we really have to?  And to what degree?  Could the severe degeneration of bone in Mom's neck and lower back be a result of her body's struggle to process refined sugar, pulling vital minerals from her bones in an attempt to do so?  I believe, deep in my soul, that if she were to make changes in her diet, particularly reducing her sugar intake, she would not have to live in so much pain and discomfort.  I am not a doctor, so my sugar ideas are not taken seriously by Mom.  She shows polite interest when I share my findings and feelings on sugar with her and how it may be contributing to her poor health but until her doctors stop talking "prescription" and start talking "nutrition", Mom will continue to pop the pills prescribed her.  On a side note, her health continues to deteriorate.  
I would like to identify one doctor in every major U.S. city that considers nutrition when evaluating a patient.  I am hopeful they are out there, they must be, and I would like to compile a list of them for all to see and hopefully turn to.  Send me their name and number if you know one!
Doctors ask me if I drink alcohol and how much, they ask me if I smoke, and some even ask if I wear my seat belt when in a car, but I have yet to be asked how many sodas I drink each day.  As much as I'd like to lose 10 pounds, I still fall in a normal weight range so my diet is never considered when I discuss my chronic constipation.  It could be Irritable Bowl Syndrome, so I'm given a pill.  If the constipation persists, I get a barium enema.  The only nutritional advice I get is to eat more fiber but when I do my constipation is compounded with horrible bloating, discomfort, and awful, stinky, loud, highly embarrassing gas.  Funny thing though, I went on a sugar fast (which meant much of what I ate was highly fibrous) because I had read that reducing my sugar intake could possibly reduce my under-eye puffiness.  Guess what?  It does... and it also helps to relieve constipation.  Problem solved.  My doctor was half right anyway.
Sugar is addictive.  I read (and believe) that it is as difficult to break a sugar addiction as it is to break a nicotine addiction.  Sugar manifests itself in each of us in a variety of ways.  For me it's constipation, under-eye bags, sluggishness, insomnia, and an increasing waistline, to name a few.  I'm hopeful that due to my attempt to control my sugar consumption I won't be subject in the future to the same pain and suffering as my Mother.  And hopefully I'll never be faced with larger issues like cancer and heart disease.  Fingers crossed.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, in 1973 the average annual consumption of sugar, per person was 125 pounds.  I've seen reports that claim it to be up to 160 pounds per year per person now.  In 1821 it was 10 pounds.  But for some reason, we can't seem to believe that little ole' wonderful sugar is to blame for the rise in obesity, childhood behavioral problems, and the plethora of other medical issues we experience.  It's too sweet to cause such bitter problems!

Our food and drink have been laced with a very addictive, toxic, but legal ingredient.  We wanted convenience and we wanted it to taste good; hence processed foods with lots of sugar in them.  Lets be honest, sugar makes things taste so good, so we've added lots of it to everything.  Admit it, you're a sugar addict and hopefully you will do something about it before your body gives up it's fight to process the poison inside it.  For me it was vanity that helped me to see the light.  I have to admit, I've only made it two weeks without sugar before falling off the wagon, but I remember the feeling and effects fondly.  I keep trying though.  I'm not off sugar yet and don't know if I will ever be completely free of it's grips, but I am aware of how it affects me and I strive to make good, healthy food choices in the hope that one day I can control the beast instead of it controlling me.  It's going to be a long, hard process, but as we all know, nothing worthwhile is ever easy.  Try going without refined sugar for 24 hours (make sure you eat something every two to three hours to help your body avoid a big sugar withdrawal).  If you can make it, try to go another 24 hours, then another -  and please let me know how you fare.  I saw results (reduction of under eye bags) in 24 hours but the real benefits began kicking in after about three days.  I would love to know how you feel.  Did you have a terrible time of it and fall into a deep sugar withdrawal?  Or did you find that you zoomed  through the day without your usual 3 p.m. slump?  Let me know!  Keep the sugar fast going and I'd bet you are amazed at how good you can feel!

It's the beginning of 2009 and maybe your resolution to lose weight, get more done, or live a healthier lifestyle will prompt you to consider how much sugar you consume (read labels!  It's everywhere!).  I think the first steps in breaking the sugar addiction is to be aware of what you eat and how it makes you feel.  Then admit you are an addict.  If you don't believe me, try going without refined sugar for two weeks.  I dare you.  No, I double dog dare you.

1 comment:

sugar is the devil said...

Apart from weight gain i have become sugar free because of of my health issues I am on day six along with Elizabeth and apart from the first 24 hours where i had really bad headaches so far i am doing well i'm not hungry and enjoying making up new recipies soes to not get bored but the one thing that as increased a better quality of life is the pain not as bad through the night and i am sleeping a lot better i now get more than four hours sleep a day and for last three days have not woke up feeling like i have just gone ten rounds with mike tyson i don't know the reason for it i'm just hoping it stays like this and i am so hoping that when i have my blood works done at end of the month that they is some change for the better i will keep you in formed.. keep on blogging E