There is always controversy going on in the health world. Something is brought up and all of a sudden everyone is talking about it and there are a million different opinions, facts and figures on the subject flying left, right and centre. You’ve read one article and think “Right, that makes sense. I’m going to go with that theory.” But then you go and read another article which says the exact opposite thing and you think “Well… crap, that makes sense too!” Boy, does it get confusing! I know how you feel because I’ve been there, and still experience that from time to time.
As you probably know there is an ongoing ‘sugar debate’ at the moment. Questions you might be asking are:
- what exactly is sugar?
- are all sugars the same?
- is sugar THAT bad for you?
- doesn’t fruit cause candida and blood sugar problems?
Now… I don’t want to make things even more confusing, but I am passionate about this topic and believe this information needs to get out there. If you are feeling a little overwhelmed by the diverse opinions, what I’ve found helps is to take a deep breath, relax and take it all with a grain of salt. Use your common sense and go with what aligns with your values and beliefs.
I admit that for a long time I thought all sugars were the same. Whether they came from chocolate or fruit and vegetables, I believed that they reacted the same way in the body. Boy, was I wrong! I want to share with you what I now know to be true.
Simply put, sugar in all forms is a simple carbohydrate that the body converts into glucose and uses as energy. Depending on what type of sugar you’re eating (natural or processed), it has different effects on the body and your overall health.
Let’s break it down
Processed sugar is made from the sugar found in the stems of sugar cane and the roots of sugar beets. The sugar is then processed in a refinery to an extent that it is unidentifiable to the body and without any vitamins or minerals. This sugar is found in things like candy bars, fizzy drinks, baked goods etc. Refined sugar is empty calories and is highly acidic, therefore forcing the body to leech minerals and calcium from the bones to neutralise these acids and bring the body back to a normal acid/alkaline balance. Over a period of time the body becomes deficient in minerals and this contributes to all types of health problems.
Natural sugar is found in things like fruit, vegetables and other plants. The breakdown of natural sugar is a whole other story as it’s full of antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals and because there has been no refinement, the body is able to recognise it and utilise it properly.
The issue I find is that people put processed sugar and natural sugar in the same basket. Then they gravitate towards reducing and/or cutting natural sugar from whole foods out of their diet, which is a shame because they miss out on Mother Nature’s perfect blend of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals which help keep you healthy and fight disease.
Even though both types of sugar are used as energy by the body, one is detrimental to your health and the other is essential for great health. You want to fuel your body with the highest quality, natural and untainted source of food for energy to ensure a clean system and optimum health. Before the body’s cells can utilise food for fuel, the food must first be converted into sugar, whether the food is carbohydrate, protein, or fat. So it’s not a question of whether to consume sugar or not, but which sugar provides the best, cleanest burning fuel for the human body.
I can hear you saying, “but what about natural sugar and blood sugar levels, and doesn’t it causes candida and make you fat?” I have addressed these myths in my next post “Debunking Myths About Fruit“.