“Like heroin, cocaine and caffeine, sugar is an addictive, destructive drug, yet we consume it daily in everything from cigarettes to bread.”
-William Dufty, author of Sugar Blues.
That sounds harsh, huh? And yet, recently Yahoo published an article that noted research suggestions to regulate sugar the same way as alcohol and tobacco because of it’s toxicity to the body and addictive qualities. They cited concerns that included contributing to cholesterol and heart disease–long regarded as disorders caused by too much fat in the diet, not sugar. But times change and research progresses. We have removed fat in our diets only to find us getting fatter (obesity is now at epidemic proportions) with record rates of diabetes and heart disease. The problem? We replaced all of that fat with refined carbohydrates that break down into sugar. Oh–and yeah, this skyrockets your triglyceride levels.
Think your wheat bread is the answer? Because it’s not. It’s all of about a hair better. Sorry…
Humans love sweet things. Even before we started refining sugar, we sought out foods with sweet tastes. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that occurs naturally in foods such as grains, beans, vegetables and fruit. When unprocessed, sugar contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and proteins. When brown rice or other whole grains are cooked, chewed and digested, the natural carbohydrates break down uniformly into separate glucose molecules. These molecules enter the bloodstream, where they are burned smoothly and evenly, allowing your body to absorb all the good stuff.
Refined table sugar, also called sucrose, is very different. Extracted from either sugar cane or beets, it lacks vitamins, minerals and fiber, and thus requires extra effort from the body to digest. The body must deplete its own store of minerals and enzymes to absorb sucrose properly. Therefore, instead of providing the body with nutrition, it creates deficiency. It enters swiftly into the bloodstream and wreaks havoc on the blood sugar level, first pushing it sky-high—causing excitability, nervous tension and hyperactivity—and then dropping it extremely low—causing fatigue, depression, weariness and exhaustion. Enter coffee… and the potential now for adrenal fatigue.