The White Powder (part one)
The White Powder Part One(a Three Part Expose)
We have all danced with the white devil and have a story to tell. We have started and stopped, binged and neglected, woken up shaking in a sweat and craving more... Like Jason and the Argonauts we have all fallen prey to her sweet siren song and lived to tell about it.
I am obviously speaking about SUGAR!!
One of the most important steps you can take to a healthy lifestyle is to cut down on or cut out the sugar. Possibly there is a health reason you crave sugar.We all face the battle and some of us are more successful than others. Let’s spend some time today looking closely at:
The Health Effects of Sugar
You probably already know that sugar has a negative impact on your body. It can play havoc on blood sugar levels leading to hypoglycemia and diabetes. It will also suppress your immune system. For your body to function optimally it requires just around one teaspoon of sugar within its blood supply at any given time; too little or too much can both cause problems.
If your intake of sugar is lower than it should be you could suffer from Hypoglycaemia. Symptoms may include headaches, insomnia, heart palpitations, shakiness, dizziness, fatigue, light-headedness, lack of energy, depression, mood swings, or cravings. In such a scenario, it is natural that you would crave sugar, since this is the quickest way to get your blood sugar levels up. When you eat sugar in some form, your blood sugar levels will go up and you could feel better for around an hour, but you will soon suffer from low blood sugar levels again, causing you to reach for high sugar foods once again.
High blood sugar levels, on the other hand also have an adverse effect on your entire body. Cells throughout your body, in the presence of too much sugar, end up becoming sticky; this condition is referred to as glycation. What it basically means is that every single process is slowed down, your metabolism becomes sluggish, your brain becomes slow, your arteries plug up, circulation and repair are impaired, there could be a hormonal imbalance, digestion can go to crap, and you can suffer from nerve damage. In really simply words, this means that you are aging at a much faster rate.
· There are both naturally occurring and scientifically manufactured sugars.
· Sugar cravings could be an indication of a deficiency of the mineral chromium, and this could be because refined sugar works in stressing the pancreas and in depleting chromium levels within the body.
· You could crave sugar/sweets simply because of the ‘pleasure’ factor. For instance, chocolate is believed to work in stimulating serotonin production, a chemical commonly referred to as the ‘feel good’ hormone.
· Overgrowth of yeast is something else that can result in sugar cravings, and this condition is commonly referred to as candidaisis (Candida, a kind of yeast, can be found naturally in the human body). Factors like excessive sugar in your diet or exposure to antibiotics can cause this yeast to grow rapidly, resulting in severe fatigue and vaginal yeast infections. When the presence of this yeast grows beyond a certain point, it results in rather strong cravings for starchy and sweet foods.
· In comparison to past generations, our intake of fructose, in various hidden forms, has risen exponentially. This has resulted in high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and scores of other conditions linked to obesity. Fructose must be processed by your liver. This metabolism of fructose is quite complicated, and its over-consumption leads to an increase in the production of fat. As this fat is not used for fuel in sedentary people, liver damage and fat deposits are common. Combine a high sugar diet with a sedentary lifestyle and weight gain results.
Sugar Can Be Part of a Healthy Diet
Eating a little sugar every now and then is completely alright. In previous generations, sugar based treats were actually ‘treats’, and not every day snacks. A large number of people in today’s world don’t just subject themselves to the more obvious forms of sugars, but to sugars in scores of hidden forms as well, and this is happening on a day-to-day basis. A weekly dessert or an occasional one at special occasions is called for, but anything more can be a cause for concern, especially if you aren’t living an active lifestyle.
And What About Fruit…
Fruit is a whole food, the way Mother Nature intended. If she didn't want us to be eating the natural sugar in fruit, she wouldn't have made the fruit with sugar in it. I think it ridiculous to eliminate fruit because of the sugar content. Fruit contains a variety of essential vitamins and minerals and is a great source of fibre. Fruit is also a great source of energy and curbs cravings for crappy sugar found in chocolate bars and candy.
Definitely some food for thought! Please stay tuned for parts two and three of this series where we will take a look at both naturally occurring and scientifically manufactured sugar and how those affect you and your health.