Sugar, it is not your friend. In fact, it is your worst nightmare. I know you like it, but stop. Now. Before you get in too deep. I know you crave it, but stop. No more. And not just for now, FOREVER! I know its hard, but I did it. Its been 2 years completely sucrose free. And yes I know, sugar comes in many forms, but the stuff I am talking about is SUCROSE. The additive form to almost anything you eat. Look close at what you eat, 9 times out of 10 it contains processed sugar. This sugar did not naturally come with your food, it was added! Sugar is bad, very bad. It is known as the anti-nutrient. Just what I want to eat, something that strips the nutrients from my body. Sugar is known to cause cancer! Yikes! Sugar disrupts hormones! Ahh! Sugar causes diabetes! Run! Sugar suppresses the immune system! What? Sugar causes tooth decay! Ouch! Sugar causes mineral deficiencies! Great! The list goes on and on…You get the point. Let’s analyze sugar and it’s effects on your body.
Sugar or sucrose is made up of fructose and glucose. Glucose is simple sugar that most of our cells in our body use for energy. Glucose can be found in several carbohydrates from rice to bread and even table sugar. When enough glucose is absorbed by the body your brain sends the “I’ m full” signal so you stop eating. This means that your blood glucose levels are optimum for now. When you see diabetics measuring their blood sugar they are in turn measuring blood glucose levels. This lets them know if their blood sugar is high or low. Most chronic fatigue sufferers can tell if their blood sugar is too high or low. Low blood sugar symptoms can be; cranky or aggressive feeling, nervous, headache, hunger, shaking or trembling, sleeping trouble, sweating, tingling or numbness of the skin, tiredness or weakness, and unclear thinking. High blood sugar symptoms can be; frequent hunger, especially pronounced hunger, frequent thirst, especially excessive thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, fatigue (sleepiness), weight loss, poor wound healing (cuts, scrapes, etc.), dry mouth, dry or itchy skin, tingling in feet or heels, erectile dysfunction, recurrent infections.
Fructose, or sugar from fruit, is the other half of sucrose and is metabolized by the liver to create glucose. The more fructose you consume the more work your liver must do. Sucrose is about half fructose and half glucose. High fructose corn syrup is a little more than half fructose and the rest glucose. Now you might be thinking “Sucrose doesn’t seem so bad if it is made up of two natural sugars that ultimately break down in to energy for our cells to use (glucose)”. Well, there are some overlooked factors in that statement. Fruit, which contains fructose, is made up of fiber. These fibers, also, are used to trigger your brain to send the “I’m full” signal. The problem is that sucrose is processed from a naturally fibrous stalk and plant, sugar cane and sugar beets, respectively. Once stripped of these fibers, the sucrose looses its “turn off signal”, thus creating a false feed back system to your brain. That is why you can drink an almost endless amount of soda. There is nothing sending the “I have had enough sugar, please stop consuming it!” signal. So lets do a little comparison here of sugars in general (fructose, sucrose, and glucose):
A liter of cola has roughly 108 grams of sugar (34 fl. oz. = 1 liter; this is about normal daily consumption of an average American). A 12 fl. oz can has about 39 grams of sugar. A banana has about 17 grams of sugar.
Say you drink 1 liter a day. Simple math shows you must eat a little more than 6 bananas a day! Ha. When’s the last time you ate 6 bananas in one day. Most likely never. Ok. So you don’t drink that much soda, but maybe a 12 fluid oz. here or there. That is still a little over 2 bananas in a sitting. Most of us would never eat 2 bananas in a row. This is only the comparison of a high sugar content fruit. Lets try a vegetable for fun.
3.5oz. of broccoli has 1.7 grams of sugar.
1 liter cola has 108 grams.
108/1.7 = 63.5
63.5*3.5 oz = 222.35 oz.
16oz. = 1lb.
222.35oz/16oz = 13 lbs. of broccoli
Ahhh! 13 pounds of broccoli has the same sugar content as 1 liter of cola. Yuck! You’d go sick. Our body’s aren’t made to consume that much sugar or vegetables in one day. We are not design for this. Sucrose, table sugar, is a processed food. It has been stripped of it’s limiting factor, therefore we consume copious amounts with no way to limit our intake. The human body has evolved for thousands of years to eat sugar in it natural form; from fruit or vegetables. However, in the last hundred years (after the industrial revolution) the process of converting/stripping fructose and sucrose of its natural fibers has become main stream. We now have machines working day in and day out making processed table sugar. We have made creating and consuming sugar an easy process. A quick Google search shows the average consumption of sugar yearly.
150-170 pounds of sugar a year.
1 pound = 453.59 grams
Let’s do some more math for fun. The yearly intake of processed sugar is equivalent to consuming 8,755 pounds of broccoli!!!! Thats a truckload of broccoli. When’s the last time you ate that much broccoli? Let alone seen that much broccoli? Most likely never. Should I go on?.
Some people and few doctors classify sugar as a drug. As I’m sure you know, by now, sugar is addicting. In fact, there have been several studies showing rats becoming dependent on sugar consumption. If you have ever tried cutting out sugar I’m sure you know just how hard it is. Most people will get intense withdrawal symptoms ranging from headaches to mood swings. Similar withdraw symptoms are seen with removal of intake from stimulants such as coffee and methamphetamine. So is it a drug? Well, lets first define “Drug”. Webster’s definition shows:
Drug- something and often an illegal substance that causes addiction, habituation, or a marked change in consciousness.
Is sugar addicting? Yes. Is sugar habituation? Yes, did you have your daily soda or candy bar? Does sugar cause a change in consciousness? Yes, it makes you happy, right. So technically it could be classified as a drug. It some cases if it was abused you could classify it as a drug, it other cases it is an absolute necessity, so I am still on the fence if it is a drug or not. So, I’ll let you decide, I’m here to give insight. However, I do know this; sugar was not made to be consumed in large quantities without fiber. Once again we have altered a natural occurring substance. We can’t leave our food alone can we. You will see this genre come up quite a bit as we look at different food factors in the future. Stay tuned.
So far in this post we have discovered processed sucrose really has no nutritional value, just pure energy. Our bodies use this energy with nutrients and vitamins for proper functioning and cell restoration. But, thus far, we have failed to look at another negative aspect of sucrose. Cavities.
Sure dentists love sugar! It keeps them in business, without sugar we wouldn’t have cavities and they, a job. Lets examine how sugar is used in the process of creating a cavity. When sucrose is ingested glycoproteins begin to adhere to your teeth. Soon after millions of bacteria (Streptococcus mutans) start to attach to the glycoproteins on your teeth. Then the bacteria begin using the fructose within the sucrose (remember sucrose is about half fructose and half glucose) to obtain energy. Lactic acid is then excreted from glycolysis (the metabolism process including streptococcus mutans and fructose). This increase in acid begins eating away at your tooth enamel, voila, the beginning of a cavity! Sounds fun, huh? Makes you really want to go out and eat a candy bar.
During my battle with chronic fatigue I have managed to eliminate all processed sugars from my diet. I only eat first hand food, food that is one step away from it’s origin; meat, vegetables, and some fruits with low sugar content. I have notice a huge difference in they way I feel. Most notably, my energy is stable and anxiety way down. In fact, I tried adding refined sugar back in my diet after feeling so good, boy was that a bad idea. I started getting fungus infections, bloating and constipation. My anxiety came back along with sleep problems. Refined sugar is not made to be in our diet. Humans have evolved to eat real unprocessed natural foods. Even if you feel like refined sugar has no effect on you, it does. It is a silent killer and will take its toll in one way or another, just give it some time. If you don’t believe me give this a try; stop eating products that contain refined sucrose for an entire month, look at every ingredient label. You will most likely feel horrible for the first 2 weeks (withdrawal symptoms), after that you will being to notice an increase in your health, energy, and immunity. Your fatigue will begin to subside and you will begin to think positive about the future of your journey with chronic fatigue. There is hope and I am here to help guide you through. You must believe in yourself and think positively. Do not dwell on the negative effects of chronic fatigue, it will only bring you down. Stay true. True to yourself, true to others. Don’t let other people force false ideas of depression upon you. Deep down, you know what you have and what you can and can’t do. Limit yourself and your thoughts. Stay true. The results will come.
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