SUGAR SUCKS!

April 4th, 2013

“If God hadn’t meant for us to eat sugar, he wouldn’t have invented dentists.’ Ralph Nader

There is a dangerous drug that’s extracted from a plant and then highly refined. Millions of people are addicted to it and it causes intense cravings and physical suffering. Sounds like heroin doesn’t it? Actually it’s white sugar (C12H22O), a harsh chemical that is toxic to our bodies and very addictive.

Sugar is also extremely fattening. I’ve talked before about the difference between good ‘complex’ carbs and bad ‘simple’ carbs, and how bad carbs are basically carbs that convert rapidly into simple sugars and that don’t contain the healthy fibre and minerals found in good carbs. Well, sugar is not only a bad carb, it’s the biggest, baddest carb of them all because it doesn’t contain any useful nutrients. It is pure calories. So stop pretending to yourself that you’re eating when you eat foods that contain a lot of sugar – you’re not – you’re just pumpin’ in those calories and getting fat!

Cocaine (another dangerous, addictive drug) was mixed with sugar to create the original recipe for Coca–Cola back in 1885. The amount of cocaine in Coca–Cola quickly diminished due to bad press, but the amount of sugar steadily increased. A can of Coke today contains 39 grams of sugar (a can of Pepsi has 41 grams). That equals about seven teaspoons or 9.75 teaspoons of sugar per can. That’s approximately 155 calories – the equivalent of eating two thick slices of bread or eight rice cakes. And you don’t need me to tell you which option is better for your health and for your hips.

The other insidious thing about sugar is that manufacturers add a lot of sugar to processed and packaged foods to make them taste good – even those that don’t seem to be sweet when you taste them. They do this because they know that most people really like the taste of sugar. Back when humans still lived in caves, the sweet flavour was very rare, and if our ancestors were lucky enough to come across something sweet (such as a bear’s honey stash) they would consider it an exotic treat and eat in preference to all other foods. The result is that today, even though there’s a dangerous excess of refined sugar in our diets, we still tend to choose sweet foods over more nutritious ones like vegetables.

Another more complicated reason why we’re addicted to sugar is because of the artificially high salt content in our diets. Many thousands of years ago the Chinese developed the concept – yin and yang – a philosophy in which the principle of opposites is used to explain all phenomena. Examples of yin and yang opposites are: hot (yang) and cold (yin), male (yang) and female (yin), light (yang) and dark (yin), and so on.

In the culinary realm, salt and sugar are the extreme opposites of each other. Salt is the most yang substance you can eat and sugar is the most yin. Because yang attracts yin (and yin attracts yang) for most of us it goes like this: the more salt we eat, the more sugar we crave (this explains the dessert phenomenon – a salty ‘yang’ dinner often makes us want something sweet ‘yin’ afterwards). Likewise, the more sugar we eat, the more salt we crave. For example, when we have a few drinks (alcohol is very yin being both sweet ‘yin’ and wet ‘yin’) we automatically feel like munching on salty ‘yang’ peanuts, chips or a hamburger.

Anyway, for the purposes of this book, all you really need to know is that a really smart to reduce your sugar intake is to avoid overly salty food. Most added salt in our diets comes from processed and packaged foods, so once you’re following of my other Slim Rules, which is to avoid anything that comes in a box, or a tin, or a packet then your salt intake will automatically reduce. As your salt intake reduces so will your desire for sugar. As you eat less sugar your desire for salt will decrease, and so on.

More facts about sugar:

• Sugar can cause the pancreas to secrete abnormally large quantities of insulin, which can contribute to the possible onset of diabetes.

• Excessive sugar consumption can lower ‘good’ HDL cholesterol levels and raise the ‘bad’ blood fats called triglycerides – a combination that can lead to heart disease.

• When sugar is heated with protein and fats (as in most commercially produced baked products) it produces harmful compounds called AGEs, which can contribute to blood-vessel damage.

• Refined sugar also contains industrial contaminants, which can trigger unpleasant immune responses.• Sugar is by far the leading cause of teeth cavities, bleeding gums and loss of teeth.

• Sugar is the main cause of hyper-glycemia and hypo-glycemia.

• Sugar can trigger binge eating in those with bulimia.

• Sugar can increase PMS symptoms.

• Sugar increases hyperactivity in about 50 percent of children.

• Sugar can increase symptoms of anxiety and irritability and bring on panic attacks.

Summary

• Sugar is a dangerous and addictive chemical.

• Sugar is empty calories containing no useful nutrients.

• Most processed and packaged foods contain huge amounts of added sugar and should be avoided at all costs.

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