SUGAR - HARMFUL TO YOUR HEALTH*
‘Sugar’ in this newsletter refers to sucrose. It is the common table sugar. Sucrose is a fine, white, odourless, crystalline powder. It is a disaccharide, consisting of two monosaccharides, glucose and fructose, and has a glycaemic index of 65. Sucrose melts and decomposes at 186°C to form caramel, and when combusted produces carbon, carbon dioxide and water.
Human taste buds interpret sugar’s flavour as sweet. As a basic food carbohydrate, sugar is commercially produced mainly from sugar cane in Australia, but also from sugar beet. It is present in fruit and honey and in many other sources.
Sucrose is the sugar of choice for altering the flavour and properties (such as ‘mouth-feel’, preservation and texture) of beverages and food.
Excessive Sugar Intake
Excessive intake of sugar may result in a number of significant adverse consequences.
Dr Nancy Appleton is the author of the book Lick the Sugar Habit. An article written by her was recently published, entitled Counting the Many Ways Sugar Harms Your Health. 76 ways are listed, setting out some of sugar’s metabolic consequences. All are extracted from a variety of medical journals and other scientific publications. There are 111 references in support of the listed adverse effects of sugar cited in the article.
The following are 24 of these 76. This selection is reproduced here as a reminder that excessive sugar intake is undesirable and should be avoided. The full article can be accessed at www.mercola.com/articles.
How Sugar can Harm Your Health
· Sugar can suppress your immune system and impair your defenses against infectious disease.
· Sugar can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline, hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating and crankiness in children.
· Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose and can cause reactive hypoglycaemia.
· Sugar contributes to obesity.
· The rapid absorption of sugar promotes excessive food intake in obese subjects.
· Sugar greatly assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections).
· Sugar can elevate glucose and insulin responses in oral contraceptive users.
· Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.
· Sugar feeds cancer cells and has been connected with the development of cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate, rectum, pancreas, biliary tract, lung, gall bladder and stomach.
· Sugar can cause premature aging.
· Sugar can lead to alcoholism.
· Sugar can cause your saliva to become acidic leading to tooth decay and periodontal disease.
· Sugar lowers the ability of enzymes to function.
· Sugar can increase the size of your liver by making your liver cells to divide and it can increase the amount of liver fat.
· Sugar can cause headaches, including migraine.
· Sugar can reduce the learning capacity and adversely affect children’s grades and cause learning disorders.
· Sugar can cause an increase in delta, alpha and theta brain waves which can alter your mind’s ability to think clearly.
· Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney such as the formation of kidney stones.
· Sugar can cause depression.
· Sugar can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
· Diets high in sugar will increase free radicals and oxidative stress.
· Sugar is an addictive substance.
· Decrease in sugar intake can increase emotional stability.
· Sugar can worsen the symptoms of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Sugar and Soft Drinks (Soda Pop)
Soft drinks (soda pop in USA) are one of the highest sugar-laden products available. Few people drink soft drinks such as lemonade, sprite, colas etc because they believe they are healthy drinks. They are consumed in large amounts because they are very tasty, convenient and relatively inexpensive. Soda beverages account for more than 25% of all drinks consumed in the USA. On average, the sugar content of soft drinks/sodas (non-diet, ie artificially sweetened) is in the region of 10-11%. There are, of course, many other chemicals in these beverages as well, especially high phosphoric acid content. These drinks are highly acid forming (pH of Coca Cola is 2.8), which causes adverse effects in the body (refer to my September 2005 newsletter Acid Alkali Balance - The Ideal Diet).
In Australia, the No.1 selling soft drink is Coca Cola. Just what is in a 375ml can of Coca Cola? According to the label, the contents of Coca Cola, which is said to be “lovingly crafted” and “totally irresistible”, are:
Carbonated purified water
Cane sugar [40g, or 10.5%]
Colour (caramel, 150)
Food acid (338) [phosphoric acid]
Caffeine [no amount indicated]
The energy content (entirely from sugar) is 675kj or 161 cal. Coca-Cola Classic (375ml) contains 48.75mg caffeine (Foods Standards, Australia and NZ).
The website www.squidoo.com (search on ‘How added sugar leads to health hazards’), lists the following 10 ‘diseases’ which are “Health Risks of Added Sugar to the Body”. The author of the above website article says “As for me, the following information will surely keep me away from opening the can [of soft drink]”.
1. Extra pounds
2. Liver damage
3. Tooth decay
4. Kidney stones and chronic kidney disease
6. Heart burn & acid reflux
7. Soft drinks = Soft Bones = Osteoporosis
8. Hypertension (high blood pressure)
9. Heart disease
10. Impaired digestion (gastrointestinal distress).
Excessive sugar is bad for you. Sugar has been called “White Death”. A little sugar, when sweetening is needed, is not a problem. It is the excessive intake that leads to the metabolic problems, some of which have been set out above.
Artificial sweeteners are also to be avoided and are never an alternative to sugar (see my July 2007 newsletter Aspartame – Safe or Toxic?).
Water is the best drink. The body needs water.
The body does not need excessive amounts of the processed, refined product extracted from sugar cane, called sugar. Sugar is indeed “empty calories”. For sugar to be metabolised, converted to energy, carbon dioxide and water, other things such as enzymes have to be available - and as they are not present in sugar, they have to be obtained from other sources in the body.
*Copyright 2009: The Huntly Centre.
Disclaimer: All material in the Huntlycentre.com.au website is provided for informational or educational purposes only. Consult a health professional regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations expressed herein, with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.
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