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November 1, 2010

Negative Effects of Sugar

by Stephanie Carnes
OHN Contributor

Did you know that just one teaspoon of refined sugar paralyzes 50 percent of your white blood cells for five hours (Journal of Natural Medicine Vol 1, No 9, pg.5)? And that’s if you’ve had no more than a teaspoon of sugar. Sugar reduces the ability of white blood cells to destroy foreign particles and microorganisms, and this negative effect starts within less than 30 minutes. It lasts for over five hours, and typically your white blood cells show a 50 percent reduction in their ability to destroy and engulf foreign particles.

If you are preparing for or engaging upon a detoxification plan, you especially need those valuable white blood cells to help you cleanse, heal, and strengthen your body. Also, when blood sugar levels rise too rapidly, a message is sent to the intestinal tract to slow down because glucose is absorbed mostly in the first part of the small intestines. When you eat sugar week in and week out, it causes the digestive tract to stop moving.

Sugar causes the body to become overly acidic. The body cannot function soundly in this pH range. The small intestines and the stomach cannot protect themselves well against the hazards of acid. The small intestines were designed to function in a slightly alkaline environment. In order to regain a healthy balance, our body will use up important alkaline minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. A common sign of excess acidity due to the consumption of sugar is heartburn. Over time, all bodily systems become worn out.

Whenever you are eating a food with sugar, you must create a balance to the sugar with large amounts of minerals. Foods made by nature, like an apple or a banana or maple syrup or raw honey, contain minerals along with the sugars. This gives the body its needed tools to effectively metabolize the sugar. A candy bar hasn’t the nutrients to assist the body in handling the toxicity of sugar.

You must also have an abundance of micro flora living in your digestive tract to both retain minerals in the intestines and to “eat up” those sugars while they are being processed before entering into your blood and your cells. The micro flora are there to process the sugars and still maintain a body in balance.

Sugar Alternatives 

For the sweet flavor in your diet, try Stevia or vegetable glycerin instead of granular sugars. Stevia is an herb from South America. It is not toxic like sugar and it works well in tea and in many dessert recipes. Because it does have a bit of an aftertaste, similar to that of artificial sweeteners, it might take some getting used to. The key is to start with a very, very small amount and, if needed, to increase the amount gradually, as Stevia is 200-300 times sweeter than sugar.

Vegetable glycerin is derived from coconut and is another easy substitute for sugar. It is a clear liquid and works like honey. Glycerin has 80 calories per tablespoon.

Raw honey can also be an excellent food for many people. However, raw honey is high in carbohydrates and can easily imbalance your blood sugar levels. Until you know your sen­sitivities to sugars, by following Ten Days to Optimal Health, it is not recommended that you use raw honey. Once you have a greater understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, raw honey may be a nutritious food for you.

SOURCE: Ten Days to Optimal Health (Amelong 2006)

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