WELLNESS

Sugar: Sickly Sweet?

Pierre Stephen Jal

2 July 2017

In order to make the public aware of the dangers that sugar poses to our health, the Diabetes Association of Thailand commissioned Thai designer Nattakong Jaengsem in 2016 for a campaign that encourages people to reduce the amount of sugar they consume. You be the judge!

The word “Sugar” comes from the sanskrit ŚÁRKARĀ and designates a sweet-tasting carbohydrate, mainly the compounds sucrose, glucose, or fructose. Cane sugar, rare and expensive, followed the spice route for centuries, coming mainly out of India. It did not become a Western food ingredient until the 18th century, then reserved for the bourgeoisie. The beet sugar boom began in Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. Today, it represents a quarter of global sugar consumption.

Since then, consumption has been steadily increasing. With a delicious taste and as addictive as a hard drug, its abuse proves to be harmful to health because the body is only capable of digesting 8 g/day, but a European now consumes 80 g/day, a Thai 104 g, while an American consumes 125 g/day.

Glycemic Index: Sugar in All Its Shapes

High GI (> 70): fast sugars
Dates 103, baked potato 95, French baguette 95, rice crackers 85, potatoes or French fries 80, Kellogg’s cereals 80, candy 80…

Medium GI (56–69)
Orange Fanta 68, white sugar 68, melon 67, croissant 67, beer 66, jam 66, ripe banana 65, whole wheat bread 65, raisins 64, white rice 64, Coca-Cola 63, milk chocolate 64…

Low GI (<55): slow sugars
Grapes 53, orange juice 50, brown rice 50, grapefruit juice 48, green lentils 48, sweet potato 46, apple juice 44, spaghetti 44, peas 41, tomato juice 38, Nutella 33, garbanzo beans 28, whole milk 27…

All vegetables (except beets and carrots) have a low or very low GI (<15).

Fast Sugars with High GI

Cane Sugar: Natural brown sugar: evaporated cane juice, rich in vitamins and minerals, slightly acidic

Raw sugar: thickened and then crystallized cane juice, it has around 40 times more mineral elements than refined sugar

Brown sugar : with some residual molasses and turbinado, partially refined
Refined sugar : white in color

Beet sugar: after purifications, it’s naturally white

Maple syrup: rich in minerals

Agave: discrete and enjoyable taste, rich in minerals Honey: concentrated energy and nutrients, it has medicinal properties. It should not be heated.

Slow Sugars with Low or Medium GI

Grain syrups (corn, barley, rice): rich in nutrients but not as sweet as the sugars mentioned above

Stevia: extract of Stevia rebaudiana, a South American plant, 20 to 30 times sweeter than white sugar. Suitable for diabetics due to a low GI, it has an aftertaste similar to licorice. It can tolerate baking up to 200 °C.

Xylitol: natural extract of birch, its taste and appearance are almost identical to those of white sugar, and it’s suitable for diabetics. It kills 99% of the bacteria responsible for cavities and plaque. Caution: It is fatal to dogs!

The Dangers of Sugar

We will only mention the artificial sugars saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, and neotame. Some naturopaths consider aspartame to be the worst food additive

Sugar proves to be a quick and easy but short-lived food. After a breakfast of milk and cereal, bread and jam, pastries, and orange juice (only sugars), the pancreas is forced to produce a large amount of insulin to lower the blood sugar. When it has succeeded, the blood sugar goes down again, causing hypoglycemia in the middle of the morning. If we then eat something like cookies, the diabolic cycle of the pancreas starts all over again, wearing itself out in order to keep us alive, leading to its weakening and then to diabetes. Alzheimer’s disease, nicknamed type 3 diabetes, is a result of glycation (caramelization) of the brain cells.

Fructose, seemingly inoffensive, is turned into fat by the liver. Nature is well made–ripe fruit consumed in summer becomes the fats stored for winter! Obesity is on the rise due to an increasing consumption of industrial foods with added sugars like the terrible glucose-fructose corn syrup.

Finally, sugar acidi es the body, which SHOULD have a pH level of around 7.4. Below 6.5, the blood oxygen level is insu cient for the survival of cells, which then risk becoming cancerous cells. Many researchers consider sugar to be the cause and nourishment of cancers! Making the body more alkaline again would block their development.

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