2. Refined Sweeteners
Refining means to make “pure” by a process of extraction or separation. Sugars are refined by taking a natural food which contains a high percentage of sugar, and then removing all elements of that food until only the sugar remains.
White sugar is commonly made from sugar cane or sugar beets. Through heating and mechanical and chemical processing, all vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, enzymes and, indeed, every nutrient is removed until only the sugar remains.
Sugar cane and sugar beets are first harvested and then chopped into small pieces, squeezing out the juice which is then mixed with water.
This liquid is then heated and lime is added. Moisture is boiled away, and the remaining fluid is pumped into vacuum pans to concentrate the juice. By this time, the liquid is starting to crystallize and is ready to be placed into a centrifuge machine- where any remaining residues (like molasses) are spun away.
The crystals are then heated to the boiling point and are passed through charcoal filters. After the crystals condense, they are bleached snow-white, usually by the use of cattle bones.
During these refining processes, 64 food elements are destroyed. All the potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, phosphate, and sulfate are removed. The A, D, and B vitamins are eliminated. Amino acids, vital enzymes, unsaturated fats, and all fiber are gone.
To a lesser or greater degree, all refined sweeteners such as corn syrup, maple syrup, etc. undergo similar destructive processes. Molasses are the chemicals and deranged nutrients that are a byproduct of sugar manufacture.
2.1 What Happens When You Eat Refined Sugars
When you eat a refined carbohydrate like sugar, the body must take vital nutrients from healthy cells to metabolize incomplete food. Sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium are drawn from various parts of the body to make use of the sugar. Often so much calcium is used to neutralize the effects of sugar that the bones, which are the body’s storehouse of this mineral, become osteoporatic due to the withdrawn calcium. The teeth, too, are likewise affected and they lose their components until decay occurs and hastens their loss.
When sugar enters the stomach, glutamic acid and other B vitamins are denied to the body. The loss of these specific vitamins results in a confused mental state and a tendency to become sleepy during the day.
Since refined sugars are removed from their natural sources (which contain the necessary nutrients for their metabolism), sugar-eating causes the body to deplete its own stores of various vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Not only does sugar provide no needed nutrients, it causes the body to rob itself of already present vital elements. Sugar is both an imposter and a thief.
If the body is lacking the vital nutrients used to metabolize sugar, the result is failure to properly handle and expel poisonous residues such as lactic acid. These wastes accumulate through the brain and nervous system, which in turn accelerates cellular death. The bloodstream becomes overloaded with waste products, including incompletely metabolized sugar, and symptoms of carbonic poisoning result.
All of the untoward effects of refined sugar metabolism play havoc with the mind and emotions as well as the body. Research studies have demonstrated a link between juvenile criminal behavior and sugar consumption. A majority of the nation’s prisoners are “sugarholics” and erratic emotional outbreaks often follow a sugar binge. As early as the 1940’s, Dr. John Tintera discovered a relationship between sugar-eating and schizophrenic behavior, as well as other mental illnesses. The effects of sugar-induced depression are well documented in William Dufty’s book Sugar Blues.
The endocrinologist John W. Tintera was very emphatic in describing the relationship between sugar and the whole person. He said: “It is quite possible to improve your disposition, increase your efficiency, and change your personality for the better. The way to do this is to avoid refined sugar in all forms and guises.”
2.2 The Sugar Diseases
Sugar usage has been associated with so many different diseases and metabolic disturbances that it would be difficult to discuss them all in this lesson. However, four of the more common ailments related to sugar consumption can be briefly covered in this lesson. The reader interested in finding out more about the relationship between sugar and disease should consult the book Sweet and Dangerous by Dr. John Yudkin.
2.2.1 Tooth Decay
The connection between sugar and tooth decay is probably better known than any other hazard of sugar consumption. Sugar eating contributes to tooth decay because its metabolism by the body requires extra calcium to be drawn from the bones and teeth, thereby weakening the teeth and making them susceptible to decay. Not only white sugar, but all refined carbohydrates have been implicated as a cause of tooth decay.
Sugar makes you fat because it supplies only calories, thus causing the body to overeat to obtain its needed nutrients. When you fill up on foods high in sugar, the body must have additional foods (and consequently calories) to get the nutrients it needs.
One pound of apples contains 263 calories, whereas one pound of candy typically has about 1800 calories. A chocolate bar has eight times as many calories as does a banana, ounce for ounce.
Fruit also supplies fiber and bulk to help make you feel “full.” Sugar is fiber-free; you’ll never experience a sense of physical fullness even after eating two cups of sugar. Consequently, you can overeat on sugar very easily.
If Americans would just eliminate sugar and all refined sweeteners from their diets, they would experience dramatic weight loss.
2.2.3 Diabetes and Hypoglycemia
Diabetes is the failure of the pancreas to produce adequate insulin when the blood sugar rises. Concentrated amounts of sugar cause a rapid rise in blood sugar. Eventually the pancreas can be worked to exhaustion trying to compensate for the unnaturally large amounts of sugar introduced into the body by way of white sugar and other concentrated sweeteners.
In a study of 16,000 people in the Mideast, Dr. Aharon Cohen discovered that among a population who had no past history of diabetes in themselves or in their immediate families, a significant percentage of them developed the disease after they introduced white sugar into their traditional diets.
Sugar-eating has also been associated with another metabolic disease, hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia occurs when the body overreacts to the amount of sugar in the blood, and too much insulin is released. This condition often results when people have eaten concentrated amounts of sugar on a regular basis, and have “fooled” the pancreas into over-responding too often to the sugar level in the blood. Refined sugars are a no-no for hypo-glycemics and diabetics.
2.2.4 Heart Disease
In countries where there is a high amount of sugar consumption, there is also a high incidence of heart disease. The theory behind this is that high amounts of sugar cause the insulin in a body to convert blood glucose (sugar) into fatty acids and triglycerides (a kind of blood fat). People on a high-sugar diet develop a significantly higher level of fats in their blood than those who eat no sugar. This high fat content in the blood is believed to be related to the development of atherosclerosis. Sugar may also contribute to heart disease by increasing the blood pressure-raising effects of a high-salt diet.
2.3 Sweet Lies: The Sugar Defenders
Since sugar is a totally useless, destructive, addictive drug that is directly responsible for many debilitating diseases, why is its use tolerated or allowed? Our government shows little sympathy for the pushers of cocaine, heroin, amphetamines and other white powder drugs. Why then are food manufacturers allowed to dose their products with a sweet white poison that kills more people than all the illegal drugs combined?
Sugar is a cheap additive and food filler. As prices of raw food materials have increased, manufacturers of convenience and packaged foods add more and more sugar as an inexpensive extender. During the 1960’s, for instance, the amount of sugar used in processed foods doubled.
Clearly there is a strong economic basis for putting so much sugar in packaged foods. The food processors and sugar industry have sought to justify this practice by hiring various spokesmen who defend sugar as an acceptable food. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent each year in a propaganda effort by the food and sugar industry to defend and promote the use of this refined sweetener. Advertising alone can sometimes convince the public that a harmful substance, like sugar, might have some legitimate use in foods.
Even twenty-five years ago, I remember seeing an ad for Baby Ruth candy bars that stated, “For QUICK ENERGY eat Baby Ruth candy! It’s full of dextrose!” Dextrose is simply another refined sugar made from corn starch, no better than white sugar. Sugar has always been defended as a food on one basis alone: it is a “fast fuel”; it gives you a “surge of energy” and “needed calories.”
Sugared cereals were promoted for breakfast a few years ago because they were “full of instant energy to start your day.” Finally the government cracked down on the manufacturers for so unashamedly pushing their sugar products as something that might be beneficial. Sugar has always been defended and promoted on the fact that it has calories. That it does, and absolutely nothing else.
Consuming these nutrient-empty calories is dangerous—it’s like racing a car on high-octane gas without any oil or water in the vehicle. You’ll go fast for sure (ever notice a person who is jumped-up on sugar?), but you’ll burn out in a very short time.
Still, sugar-cereal manufacturers, fast-food operators, and the processed food industry have to show a profit, and if it’s by deceiving the public, well they can always find a person with credentials eager to sell their services.
Consider these amazing statements by Dr. Frederick Stare of the Harvard School of Nutrition:
“Calories are energy, and I would recommend that most people could easily double their sugar intake daily. Sugar is the cheapest source of food energy, and I predict it will become much more prevalent in the diets of the world. People say that all you get out of sugar is calories, no nutrients. Like many foods, I expect it to be fortified in the future. There is no perfect food anyway, not even mother’s milk.”
Can you picture this someday? “NEW! Fortified sugar, with vitamins A, B and C added! Better than Mother’s Milk!”
Readers should be aware that the Sugar Foundation regularly contributes large amounts of money to Dr. Stare’s department of nutrition at Harvard University.
There will always be sweet lies about sugar and refined sweeteners. There will always be defenders who can be had for a price. But the truth remains: sugar will kill you just as surely as anything you can eat.
Out of all this sugar, 20% of it is consumed in soft drinks alone: Many breakfast cereals are 40% to 50% sugar. The following table can give you a general idea of how much sugar is “hidden” in food.
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Refined Sweeteners
- 3. Sugar: Where Does It All Come From?
- 4. The Cousins of Sugar
- 5. Some Final Thoughts about Sugars
- 6. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: Why Honey Is A Harmful Food By T.C. Fry
- Article #2: More About Honey By T.C. Fry
- Article #3: Blackstrap Molasses: Super Junk Food By T.C. Fry