Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Feb.3 ~ Toxin of the Day: Sugar

In 1937, American anthropologist Edward Hooten published his book, Apes, Men and Morons. In it he said, "Let us go to the ignorant savage, consider his way of eating and be wise....Let us cease pretending that toothbrushes and toothpaste are any more important than shoe brushes and shoe polish. It is store food that has given us store teeth." Also in the 1930s, Dr. Weston Price traveled the world to review the health of aboriginal peoples. He noted that they consumed natural foods from their own habitats, and they all had excellent general health and teeth. It wasn't until "civilization" began to supply them with processed and refined foods that their health began to take an immediate decline.

White sugar has been called"white poison","legal heroin" and "as addictive as cocaine" by a wide variety of experts. Indeed, the addictive properties of sugar is easily demonstrated. Who among us hasn't found the candy dish irresistible, calling to you to eat more and more?

North American table sugar comes from sugar beets or sugar cane. It undergoes an 8 step process to become the fine, uniform sparkling powder that is familiar to us. That process includes the addition of lime and/or carbon dioxide to bleach it, followed by filtration through beef bone char. (This rules out standard sugar for a vegan diet - that was news to me!) Lime (calcium oxide) can cause severe stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.When mixed with water it can become combustible.

In 1793, a group of sailors were shipwrecked and had only rum and sugar to consume until they were rescued. Five survivors were marooned for 9 days until rescued. All five were nearly dead of starvation. A French scientist named F.Magiende was inspired to experiment on animals and discovered that without variation, a living creature could survive far longer on simply water than on water and sugar.

Consumption of refined sugar is linked to weight problems, diabetes, psychiatric problems, heart problems, kidney problems, and clogged arteries in the extremities.

Sugar is also addictive. Studies on addicted rats show the same type of brain activity when deprived of the substance as seen in rats addicted to nicotine, alcohol, and hard drugs. That means your 3:00 o'clock sugar craving has a scientific reason.

I used to eat 2 large bags of peppermint candy per day. I'm talking about the big bags from the dollar store you might get to fill a candy dish two or three times. I broke myself of the sugar habit cold turkey, and now avoid it religiously.

Many substitutes are available, and some are better than others. I DO NOT RECOMMEND artificial sweeteners. They are possibly even more harmful than sugar itself. I use sucanat, which comes from sugar cane but is far less refined. I use about a teaspoon per day in my morning coffee. Other options are stevia, agave nectar, honey or maple syrup.

Sugar definitely lives up to the name "Toxin of the Day!"

1 comment: