The Bitter Truth About Sugar
This month I want to talk to you about sugar. Although this topic can be controversial, it is definitely worth discussing. I’d like to touch on a couple of points in attempt to make some sense of questions you may have about this old spice that we have a “love-hate” relationship with. Sugar was a luxury nicknamed “white gold” by European traders; a desired, costly product. Unfortunately, the sugar that we use in the 21st century is a far cry from sugar in its early years.
As I remember growing up in Mexico, I recall seeing big chunks of molasses in the shape of cones called “piloncillo”, a raw, brown sugar produced by farmers. Sugar in it’s unrefined state has minerals and a robust dense flavor that most of us are not used to. When sugar is highly processed, it is bleached and completely void of any of it’s natural minerals. The sparkly white particles are pleasing to the eye and refined white sugar is the top selling sugar in any of its forms today.
Because of the extensive, chemically altering process that sugar goes through from plant to highly refined, the nutritional value of the sugar we consume is next to nothing. There is a lot of noise surrounding this subject: “Sugar will cause diabetes” and “sugar makes you gain weight!” Some of this information circulating may be true. However, I believe that this kind of publicity leads to further detrimental concerns. When hype circulates regarding the dangers of sugar, alternative sweetener companies have an open door opportunity to push their low-calorie, chemically enhanced artificial “sugars”.
Don’t be mislead. Any product with zero calories gets its sweet flavor from complex chemical enhancement! Sugar substitutes that contain aspartame and sucralose are known to cause brain dysfunctions and are damaging to our nervous system to say the least. Aspartame is reported by the FDA to cause severe damage to the medullary sheathe of the nerve, which leads to nerve degeneration. Is this poison worth consuming for the sake of saved calories? We love to eat sweets but we don’t want the calories that come with them. Putting our nervous system at risk is not the answer.
Broaden Your Taste Buds
If we would pay closer attention to what we are putting in our mouths, it is evident that many sweetened foods are very similar in taste. You may realize that the after taste of a pastry, ice cream, or soda is almost the same, even though the soda pop may have high fructose corn syrup, another chemically refined sweetener. Your taste buds react in the same manner, and your body and mind become accustomed to that “sugar high” experience. I would encourage you to broaden your tastes by incorporating natural sweeteners with more nutritious value, such as stevia.
When we eat something sweetened with a natural sweetener, we canot expect it to have that overly rich sugary flavor that we have become dependent on. Sweeteners that are more beneficial to us may not give the same immediate satisfaction, but we should really consider adding a natural alternative to things you want to sweeten instead! Putting something like honey in your coffee or iced tea is a great alternative to help avoid the damage that white sugar does to your system.
In reality, the foods that we eat should be balanced and contain the correct portion of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. The “no carb” fad pushes a diet that can be void of essential nutrients, depending on your metabolic type. The brain must have a certain amount of glycogen to function properly. Without it, we can become disoriented and foggy. Your system will weaken as your blood sugar drops.
Avoiding this crash comes down to how you prepare your meals. You can keep your blood sugar levels even throughout the day by consuming a combination of foods with proper balance. Eating processed sugars without fats, proteins and good minerals creates a release of insulin into the blood stream, causing blood sugar levels to plummet after the initial spike. People who consume large amounts of sugar without including sufficient nutrients into their diets are the ones who run into serious trouble.
The amount of sugar that you put into your body is what’s most important! For some of us, cutting it out may seem completely impossible. Make wise choices, balance your diet and don’t eat it daily.
If you’re eating sugar all the time, your brain will develop a dependency. This is not healthy. If your diet is nutrient rich, it can handle a cookie every now and again. However, having your body rely on sugar to keep it going rather than eating actual whole foods leads to countless issues and is’s not worth it!
Please let us know if you have any questions regarding this subject or your health goals. If you would like to make any dietary lifestyle changes, we would be happy to help you through the process!
“Keep on moving”
Luis Ponce Sr.