What Is Refined Sugar And How Does It Damage Your Health?
Could refined sugar be making you sick, sad and stupid?
Lurking beneath the surface of its sweet image is a dark and deceptive underworld of private sugar trading, protected subsidization, and human sickness. The not-so-sweet story of our relationship with sugar includes modern day slavery, consumer deception and immoral industry influence.
Sugar is highly addictive, aggressively marketed to children, and linked to virtually all of our modern lifestyle diseases. Attempts at reforming our sugar-sickness are thwarted by the billion dollar industries profiting from its drug-like effects. Fortunately, sweetness comes in many forms; empowering alternatives are available. Discover how to stay sugar-safe and enjoy some more innocent sweet pleasures.
What is Sugar?
For over 6,000 years humans have been extracting the sweet-tasting and calorie-dense substances produced by plants from sunlight. Sugar cane was one of the first and continues to be the most popular source of this highly prized and tasty substance. Sadly, modern advances in production and refinement processes, combined with all-encompassing marketing, have evolved this enjoyable treat into a highly addictive drug that is literally killing us.
The most worrying issue is our perception and knowledge of the extent to which sugar is causing damage, which is kept very much beneath the public radar of awareness thanks to catchy slogans, distorted science, and extensive lobbying.
"This [sugar] industry seems to be manipulating contemporary scientific processes to create controversy and advance their business interests at the expense of the public's health". - Annals of Internal Medicine (2016)
Unrefined vs Refined Sugar: What's the Difference?
Technically, sugar refers to any sweet-tasting carbohydrate, made by plants, often rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and other beneficial elements like fibre. This is far removed from the processed, bleached, and super-concentrated crack-like white table sugar or high fructose corn syrup routinely added to 70% of the foods available in our supermarkets today, even those that should never be sweet!
Food manufacturers have developed a multitude of different names for these added-sugars, claimed to promote shelf-life, moisture retention and “consumer appreciation”. The Food Science Industry conveniently claims that sugar is added to improve texture and flavour while increasing bulk and preserving food. But, the main reason is pretty obvious when you understand exactly how the human brain reacts to the highly concentrated sweetness added to everything from tomato sauce to baby food.
Sugar directly stimulates pathways in the brain which drive a pseudo-pleasure that we quickly get addicted to. Even subtle-sweetness makes us crave more, yet never feel satisfied. Since we can’t seem to trust food producers, or even the regulators, to limit our exposure to this hidden addiction it’s critical that the public arms itself with the neurological and biochemical knowledge needed to comprehend and steer clear of the epidemics of disease caused by sugar.
Fact: The effects of added sugar intake include: higher blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, diabetes, and fatty liver disease, which are all linked to an increased risk for heart attack and stroke. Harvard Health (2017).
Stay away from the 3 whites. Sugar, salt and refined flour. True evils...
Pain! You break me down, you build me up, believer, believer
Pain! Oh let the bullets fly, oh let them rain
My life, my love, my drive, it came from... Pain!
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