(NaturalNews) Most of us have heard the good advice that we need to eat less sugar - and rightly so. However, despite the numerous warnings by health authorities of the ill effects of sugar, the majority of the population is still consuming sugar on a daily basis in some form or other. "Sugar" is both a broad category and a misleading one. Let's examine it for our health's sake.
We do not have to consume white, refined sugar to be consuming sugar. Sugar includes glucose, fructose (as in fruit sugar), lactose (as in milk), sucrose (as in table sugar), maltose or malts (as in rice malt and honey), jam (contains concentrated juice, which is high in fruit sugar), maple syrup, corn syrup, palm sugar (traditionally used in macrobiotic cooking), and the very deceiving organic brown sugar, which is not all that different from white sugar. Even alcohol is a sugar. All of these sugars are problematic in many different ways.
The sugar industry is not in decline and obesity is on the increase. Sugar is a major culprit in the case against obesity. For obese individuals, consuming even a teaspoon of sugar a day would cause metabolic imbalances that contribute to obesity. Sugar is to be avoided, not only by the obese but by healthy individuals.
Is there rationale behind the statement, 'Sugar is to be avoided'? Definitely!
Nancy Appleton, PhD, clinical nutritionist, has compiled a list of 146 reasons on 'how sugar is ruining your health' in her book Lick the Sugar Habit. Here are some of them:
* Sugar can decrease growth hormone (the key to staying youthful and lean)
* Sugar feeds cancer
* Sugar increases cholesterol
* Sugar can weaken eyesight
* Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children
* Sugar can interfere with the absorption of protein
* Sugar causes food allergies
* Sugar contributes to diabetes
* Sugar can contribute to eczema in children
* Sugar can cause cardiovascular disease
* Sugar can impair the structure of DNA
* Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children
* Sugar contributes to the reduction in defense against bacterial infection (infectious diseases)
* Sugar greatly assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections)
* Sugar contributes to osteoporosis
The body changes sugar into 2 to 5 times more fat in the bloodstream than it does starch. With 146 proven reasons why sugar is bad for us, is there perhaps one single reason as to why we might need it? The only interesting thing about sugar is that it tastes good and makes us temporarily feel good. This is an area worth exploring.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a 5000 year-old wisdom of self-contained knowledge of healing, we all need sweetness in our life. We need six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, astringent, bitter and pungent to stimulate the taste buds on our tongue at main meals, in order to experience satiety.
Satiety and cravings are the result of imbalances in brain chemistry and have nothing to do with fullness of the stomach. When foods hit our tongue, our taste buds relay the bio-chemical information to the brain, stimulating various parts of the hypothalamus – the 'satiety centre'. The tongue is also a mini representation of the body, just like in reflexology, and contains points that stimulate all the organs in the body. Avoiding sweetness would be unnatural and unnecessary, as this will inevitably lead to imbalances and sweet cravings. This is why people have such a hard time giving up sugar; it is almost impossible to get children to stay away from it.
Many people really try hard to avoid sugar, and do not sweeten their tea or coffee, yet they crave sugar in some other form, such as chocolates, cakes, ice cream or even fruit - dates and figs. Dates are 99% sugar, in the form of fructose. When a person is in metabolic balance they do not crave sugar. If they do, it is a sign of a metabolic imbalance and it can be corrected without having to consume sugar.
The wonderful thing is that we do not have to give up the sweetness of sugar in order to be healthy; we just need to replace it with better alternatives. While giving up sugar is very difficult, replacing it is now very easy.