Sugar consumption is at epidemic proportions in the Western world. The average person living in a modern Western society will eat more than 130 pounds or 286 kilograms of sugar every year. Sugar is the silent enemy; you can cut out sugar in tea and coffee, use less in cooking and avoid sugar-rich cakes but it will still creep into your diet. Sugar is popularly used as an additive and preservative in processed foods and is hiding in many of the foods we think of as healthy. Sugar comes in different forms and manufacturers are clever in disguising it when they list ingredients. Sucrose, fructose and dextrose are all sugars, so look for them on food labels when you are looking for sugar content in food. Sugar is also added to fast food and take-out.
The effects of excess sugar on the body are well documented. Sugar has a dramatic effect on insulin levels which is where the problems start. Excess levels of insulin in the blood causes numerous problems, including suppression of the immune system, reduction in the body’s ability to burn fat and reduction in liver function. When you eat sugary foods, insulin is quickly released to deal with the extra sugar in the blood; when it has metabolized the sugar, the level of insulin suddenly drops, leaving you feeling hungry. Therefore, a diet high in sugar actually makes you eat more because you feel hungry more often. This is one of the reasons sugar is added to fast food.
While it has no nutritional value, the body uses sugar as a fuel, but when the body cannot burn all the sugar that has been eaten, it is stored as fat. Simple sugars have been linked with mood disorders, gallstones, asthma and heart disease; excess sugar prevents the absorption of vitamin C; causes tooth decay and kidney damage. There are several other problems attributed to sugar consumption that are too numerous to mention in this short article.
The pH miracle diet stresses that for the body to thrive and maintain optimum health, 80% of the food we eat needs to be alkaline in nature. Alkaline foods include all the vegetable group of foods and other plant foods like nuts and pulses. Only 20% of the diet needs to be acidic in order to keep the delicate balance of alkali to acid in our predominantly alkaline bodies. Sugar is an acidic food and upsets this delicate balance.
So eat your way to good health by reducing the amount of sugary food you eat, replace simple sugars with artificial sweeteners or Stevia. Cook and prepare your own food so you know exactly what is in it, and try to eat more vegetables, nuts, pulses and raw food.