Hello. Greetings from my house to yours. I just read the book "Sugar Blues" by William Dufty and it was eye-opening. As a person who was once highly addicted to sugar, I realize now that sugar was a big part of what perpetuated my 7 year struggle with compulsive over-eating. It is found in so many foods (check out the spaghetti sauce labels... not to mention soups and yogurt, etc...). There are so many Americans who are willingly hooked up to an I.V. overload of liquid sugar through a straw and a Big-Gulp of soda or iced tea. My friend Jenn told me that she is weaning off the sugar drinks by making her own blend of 100% juiced with carbonated water (seltzer water). Good idea. Another idea is to sweeten your hot herbal tea with a tiny bit of stevia (a very sweet herb which has no effect on blood sugar). Enjoy this book report of "Sugar Blues." And sorry for this orange background. It's out of control. I can't figure out how to change it. Ha! ~ Amy
Is sugar bad for you?
The white crystalline substance we know of as sugar is an unnatural substance produced by industrial processes (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.
What is left is a concentrated unnatural substance which the human body is not able to handle, at least not in anywhere near the quantities that is now ingested in today's accepted lifestyle. Sugar is addictive. The average American now consumes approximately 115 lbs. of sugar per year. This is per man, woman and child.
The biggest reason sugar does more damage than any other poison, drug or narcotic is twofold:
- (a) It is considered a "food" and ingested in such massive quantities, and
- (b) The damaging effects begin early, from the day a baby is born and is fed sugar in its formula. Even mothers milk is contaminated with it if the mother eats sugar, and
- (c) Practically 95% of people are addicted to it to some degree or other.
Sugar is eaten to excess
It has been said that the criteria as to whether a substance (any substance) is harmful or medically beneficial is the quantity in which it is used in the human body. To point to a dramatic illustration: we all know that the venom of a rattlesnake, a cobra, water moccasin, coral, and other venomous snakes is deadly to the human system. There are some snakes whose bite is so deadly it can cause death within a matter of seconds. Nevertheless, even snake venom, deadly as it is, has been used for therapeutic, medical purposes when used in minute quantities.
History of sugar
Whereas sugar had been around in minute quantities for several thousand years, it was practically unknown and formed an insignificant part of the average diet in the Classical civilizations of Egypt, Greece and Rome. The Greeks (who had a word for nearly everything!) did not even have a word for it. Even in medieval Europe it was practically unknown and then only a rare delicacy in the royal courts.
During the last major Crusade that ended in 1204 some of the Christian Crusaders were introduced to sugar freely used by the Saracens. The Moors when invading and colonizing the southern part of Spain grew sugar cane on Spanish soil and refined sugar. When Spain drove out the Moors, it inherited some of the cane plantations. It was during this time that Christendom took its first big bite of the forbidden fruit and liked it.
Sugar is an unnatural chemical
Why is sugar so devastating to our health? One reason is it is pure chemical and (like heroin) through refining has been stripped of all the natural food nutrition that it originally had in the plant itself.
Heroin and sugar are arrived at by very similar processes of refinement. In producing heroin, the opium is first extracted from the poppy: The opium is then refined into morphine. The chemists then went to work on morphine and further refined it into heroin, proclaiming they had "discovered" a wonderful new pain-killer that was non-addictive. So they said.
Similarly, sugar is first pressed as a juice from the cane (or beet) and refined into molasses. Then it is refined into brown sugar, and finally into strange white crystals C12H22O, that are an alien chemical to the human system.
Sugar is addictive
A second reason that sugar is so harmful is that like heroin it is addictive, and being delectable and seductive to the taste, it is also habit forming. Starting with sugar in the baby's formula, people not only develop a strong taste for sugar but an insatiable craving for it so that they never seem to get enough of this poison.
Slow but insidious
A third reason is that the damage sugar does is slow and insidious. It takes years before it ruins your pancreas, your adrenal glands, throws your whole endocrine system out of kilter and produces a huge list of damage.
Foods are loaded with sugar
A fourth reason is the outrageous amounts of sugar civilized nations consume. Americans in particular are told how they are the best fed and best nourished people on the face of the earth. If we are talking about processed junk food - this is true.
If you examine the "foods" in any supermarket more closely and start reading labels, you will find just about everything contains sugar. Most of the foods are loaded with it - from cereals, to soups, to ketchup, to hotdogs. Even flue-cured tobacco can contain as much as 20% sugar by weight. Some cereals are as much as 50% sugar.
List of Damages
We have stated that sugar is deleterious to your health: that it is more damaging than all other narcotics combined; that it is a long term chemical poison. Just what damage does sugar do to the human body? The list is endless.
When we talk about sugar, we are including bad nutrition as a whole, since anyone who indulges in sugar has bad dietary habits per se.
- Sugar is by far the leading cause of dental deterioration - cavities in teeth, bleeding gums, failure of bone structure, and loss of teeth.
- Sugar is the main cause of diabetes, hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.
- It is either a significant or contributory cause of heart disease, arteriosclerosis, mental illness, depression, senility, hypertension, cancer.
- It has an extremely harmful effect in unbalancing the endocrine system and injuring its component glands such as the adrenal glands, pancreas and liver, causing the blood sugar level to fluctuate widely. It has a number of other extremely damaging effects on the human body.
Some of the other effects of sugar on the body are:
- Increases overgrowth of candida yeast organism
- Increases chronic fatigue
- Can trigger binge eating in those with bulima
- Increases PMS symptoms
- Increases hyperactivity in about 50% of children
- Increases tooth decay
- Increases anxiety and irritability
- Can increase or intensify symptoms of anxiety and panic in susceptible women
- Can make it difficult to lose weight because of constantly high insulin levels, which causes the body to store excess carbs as fat.
There are a number of books available on the subject, but perhaps one of the most interesting ones is "Sugar Blues" by William Dufty. It is available in most Health Food stores.