A few years ago now, William Duffy wrote a book called Sugar Blues. In it he writes about the addictive qualities of white sugar saying, “It is much like a drug and the difference between sugar addiction and narcotic addiction is largely one of degree,” What makes sugar qualify as an addictive substance? By eating one piece or one bite of something containing sugar, it creates a desire for more and more. Also when one decides to quit eating it ‘cold turkey’, withdrawal symptoms appear which encourage one to go back to eating sugar again. Symptoms like depression, fatigue, fuzzy thinking, headaches, blurred vision, strong cravings and mood swings are not pleasant and can be caused by withdrawing sugar from the diet.
Sugar in our world has a long history with records as early as 327 BC, showing raw sugar use in India. The Spaniards actually brought it to America at the turn of the 16th century. A refining process was also invented about 600 years ago. Simple refined table sugar is extracted from crushed sugar cane where all of the skin and fiber are left behind. It is then purified, filtered to remove remaining bits, then concentrated by boiling it down to make a syrup. Substances such as sulfur dioxide, milk of lime, carbon dioxide, charcoal from charred beef bones, and calcium carbonate are used in this industrial refining process as purifying agents. Yummy! Brown sugar is just white sugar with a bit of molasses added back in or a little bit of caramel color added. Raw sugar is processed so that a little molasses remains. It is not all removed.
Sugar is a carbohydrate derived from a plant but sugar also comes in other forms such as fructose in fruit, lactose in milk and maltose in grain. As a carbohydrate it is enjoyable to eat and provides the body with more instant fuel than proteins and fats. Scientific studies on various age groups including newborns suggest that a craving for sweets in an instinctual response rather than a learned one. Newborns who have never been exposed to sweets want more after first tasting it. In children and adults we know that sugar is an acquired taste. Once we taste something sweet, we want more. The taste is pleasant and we love pleasure.
Excessive sugar consumption is believed in some circles to contribute to many common health problems that have become all too common – high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, indigestion, gout, hypoglycemia, lack of concentration, fuzzy thinking, myopia, seborrhea, anxiety, depression, not to mention what it can do to your teeth and bones. This is because sugar causes the body pH to become extremely acidic. The body functions best at a more alkaline pH, around 7.4. This is what your saliva should test at first thing in the morning. You can buy pH test strips at any health food store. The chart is right on the package. Spit into a spoon and dip a piece of the strip into it. You should not put the paper on the tongue. Some of the ingredients could be toxic and over time could have an effect on the body.
Sugar is an empty food. It has no minerals, no vitamins, no protein and no fat or fiber. All it has is calories and that seductive quality that makes your taste buds say, “More, please!”
Aside from being very acidic and causing weight gain, sugar has other dangerous side effects. W.D. Ringsdorf, DMD, MS who co-authored a book called Psychodietetics, says that sugar raises the blood pressure and when sugar is mixed with animal fats leads to clogged arteries and increased risk of blood clots. Sugar actually increases the stickiness of the blood, making it ‘thicker’ and more prone to cause problems with clotting. Another effect the sugar has on the blood is it impairs the immune system. There are cells in the blood called phagocytes. They are a type of white blood cell that destroys bacteria and other foreign material in the blood. Tests show that a couple of teaspoons of sugar can reduce the ability of phagocytes to do their job by approximately 25 percent. A large helping of pie and ice cream will shut down their ability to function completely. That renders your immune system helpless for 4 to 5 hours. If you drink one 683 ml cola beverage your immune system will be depressed by approximately 50 percent approximately 30 minutes after you drink it and the effects will last 4 to 5 hours. Don’t get onto a bus or a crowded elevator! Consider what happens if you consume sugar throughout the day… in the coffee, in the tea, in the donut or muffin, in the yogurt, in the salad dressing, in the orange juice, in the energy bar and so on. Your immune system will not even be able to kill those rogue cells that have the potential to create lumpy things in your body, if you keep eating all that sugar. Get lots of colds and flu? It might just be a good idea to cut your sugar consumption.
Your blood pH should be between 7.35 and 7.42 which is a very narrow tolerance range. Sugar causes the body to struggle to maintain the blood pH. It will do anything to keep the pH between those ranges including drawing mineral from your bones, organs and teeth.
It’s time to start reading product labels or better yet, stop buying processed food. Did you know that of the total food purchased in the USA, 90 percent of it is processed? And most of it contains sugar in one form or another. It’s also time to start paying attention to your body pH. Here is an alkaline foods list if you are interested. Eat as close as you can to the natural product. In other words, eat fresh broccoli rather than frozen. Eat fresh peaches, rather than canned. Become more aware of what you are putting in your mouth. Drinking alkaline ionized water will help to buffer the acidifying effects of sugar and bring your pH into a balanced state.