In my last blog I wrote about the ill effects of white floor. I was really happy to have received the kind of response that I did. Many of my readers have asked me to elaborate on the 5 whites, while many others wrote to me asking for dietary guidelines and some even requested me to advice on diets for specific medical conditions.
Today I am sharing the ill effects about another culprit ….the refined white sugar!!!
At the outset, it is very important to make the distinction between added sugars and sugars that occur naturally in foods like fruits and vegetables. Here I am talking about the added sugar or refined sugar.
The white sugar is nothing but a chemical substance, which undergoes several chemical processes which is derived from extracts of plants such as sugar cane, beet or corn. The whole chemical process, almost completely removes all fiber forming protein and 90 % of the healthy nutrients. The process further kills all vitamins and finally it undergoes a chemical treatment with calcium sulphate and sulphuric acid bleaching, to give a sugar white shining look.
Naturally then the refined sugar has no proteins, vitamins, minerals, it has no enzymes, no micro elements, it has no fibre, no fat. Before sugar enters the bloodstream from the digestive tract, it is broken down into two simple sugars: glucose and fructose. For people who are inactive, large amounts of fructose from added sugars get turned into fat in the liver. Because of the harmful effects of sugar on the function of insulin, it leads to type II diabetes. Needless to say, It can have harmful effects on metabolism and contribute to all sorts of diseases like Cancer, type 2 diabetes, Overweight/Obesity, Liver diseases. Ayurved has described in detail a wide spectrum of sugars and their individual properties. Vagbhata has summarized the properties common to all varieties of sugar and further elaborated that all types of sugars treat burning sensation, thirst, vomiting, fainting spells and bleeding disorders. So according to Ayurved, a certain amount of sugar intake on daily basis is essential for the human body. Ayurved also at the same time, warns against excess use for it leads to diseases like diabetes, obesity, increase in kapha. But it’s important to note that there is no need for added sugars in the diet.
Ayurved also mentions about the other sweetener than sugar. They have recommended the use of jiggery, honey and roots of some herbs as substitute to the sugar. What is important here is to understand that while sugar is absolutely vital for the human body however the required amounts of sugar can be obtained through fruits and certain roots or vegetables if you are consciously following a balanced diet. While for many people cutting sugar so drastically may not be easy, I suggest that you do that gradually or at least avoid the following foods totally:
Soft drinks: Sugar-sweetened beverages known culprits
Fruit juices: This may surprise you, but fruit juices actually contain the same amount of sugar as soft drinks!
Candies and sweets
Baked goods: Cookies, cakes, etc. These tend to be very high in sugar and refined carbohydrates.
Fruits canned in syrup: loaded with added sugars so best to choose fresh fruits instead.
Low-fat or diet foods: Foods with fat removed from them are high in sugar
So conclusively, what I would recommend is that you all begin consciously controlling your extra sugar intake to possibly bring it to zero. But if that sounds like climbing mount Everest without help, then at least bring it to moderation and of course based on the advice of your physician who will recommend the optimum amount of sugar intake and the kind of foods to have to obtain that required sugar you need, based on your physical condition and other parameters.
Dr. Manjiri joshi