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Excerpt from Monte Kline newsletter…I want to focus on one of the most basic health ingredients diet-wise — avoiding refined sugar. By “refined sugar” I am referring to white sugar, brown sugar, so-called “raw sugar,” turbinado sugar, dextrose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, corn sweeteners, maltose, and lactose. In the 1800′s Americans consumed less than 10 pounds of refined sugar per year per person. Today it’s over 150 pounds per capita.
By definition, what makes a sugar refined is that is was isolated from the natural food it was originally found in. Usually that “parent” food crop is rich in the nutrients necessary to properly metabolize the sugar content. For example, whole sugar cane has B-vitamins and minerals necessary to properly metabolize the sugar, but when you refine it into white sugar, no beneficial nutrients remain. The sugar still needs those nutrients to be metabolized, so it “steals” them from elsewhere in the body, making refined sugar an anti-nutrient — that is, something that not only adds no nutrition to the body, but that actually depletes the body of the nutrients it has. Not good!
SUGAR-CAUSED HEALTH PROBLEMS
Nancy Appleton, Ph.D. in her book, Lick the Sugar Habit, lists “59 Reasons Why Sugar Ruins Your Health.” Here are some of them:
Suppresses immune system
Causes hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating in children
Can raise triglycerides and cholesterol
Can cause kidney damage
Reduces HDL and raises LDL liporoteins
Causes mineral deficiencies (magnesium, chromium, etc.)
Can produce acid stomach
Causes premature aging
Can lead to alcoholism
Contributes to obesity
Can cause or aggravate Crohn’s Disease, ulcers, gastritis
Can cause asthma
Linked to Candida albicans yeast problems
Can cause gallstones, heart disease, MS, appendicitis, hemorrhoids
Contributes to osteoporosis
Can increase blood pressure
Can cause cataracts
Can cause migraines
Can cause food allergies
“Healthy sugars,” though not an oxymoron in my view, is nevertheless a relative term. There are no sugars you should just go “hog wild” on — even the “healthy” sugars should be used sparingly. Almost 40 years after writing my first book on nutrition and over 30 years since writing.
The Junk Food Withdrawal Manual, my favorite healthy sugars are still raw, unfiltered honey and blackstrap molasses. But if you have a “problem” with sugars, such as low blood sugar, diabetes, candidiasis, etc., the honey or molasses will still aggravate your problem, so beware.
Raw, unfiltered honey has been praised for thousands of years for its health properties. Pythagorus lived exclusively on a diet of honey and wholegrain bread, to which he accredited living to age 90. Apollonium, one of Pythagoras’ disciples lived to be 130 on the same diet. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, prescribed honey to those who wished to live long. He did — he died at age 109!. Solomon balanced the use and overuse of honey this way in Proverbs:
My son, eat honey for it is good . . .(Prov. 24:13a)
If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it. (Prov. 25:16)
It is not good to eat much honey . . . (Prov. 25:27a)
Honey has enzymes and trace amounts of various nutrients that somehow have special properties observed but not totally explained.
Blackstrap molasses is where the nutrients go in refined sugar cane into refined sugars. It is a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron and other nutrients, though its usages are much more limited than honey.
Again, a lot of people for various health reasons, will not be able to use either unrefined honey or blackstrap molasses. In these cases I recommend sweeteners like Xylitol and Stevia. Xylitol is found in the fibers of fruits and vegetables, though it is commercially derived from hardwood trees. It has a third less calories than refined sugar, actually fights dental decay, and is also used for ear infections.
Stevia rebaudiana, commonly known as Sweetleaf, is an herb grown in subtropical areas of North and South America. It has virtually no effect on blood sugar and is up to 300 times sweeter than refined sugar.
Generally the ideal way to get your “sugars” is the way God made it, as part of a whole food, such as the natural sweetness in fruits and vegetables. But, where you do need an actual sweetener, use it very sparingly and use one of the healthier sweeteners described. Your health will thank