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Why Is Sugar Bad for You?

According to Chinese wisdom, sweetness is one of the flavors necessary for maintaining balance in the body. But regularly eating large amounts of sugar will cause serious harm. What we are talking about here is sucrose, the white crystalline sugar refined from cane or beet juice by stripping away all its vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, water, and other synergists.

White sugar is the final result of processing and is 99.9 percent pure sucrose. Brown sugar and molasses are equally unhealthy. Just like white sugar, they come from sugar cane or sugar beet.

High-fructose corn syrup is a cheaply made form of sweetness that has replaced normal sugar in many packaged goods. It does indeed save food companies money, as it preserves shelf life longer and is sweeter than sugar, so less is needed to get the same degree of sweetness. To many companies, using high-fructose corn syrup seems like a great idea, because it lowers their expenditures so profit margins get higher. Unfortunately, health takes a back seat when there is money to be made.

Sugar can cause hypoglycemia and weight gain, leading to diabetes and obesity in both children and adults. In the early 1800s, the average American consumed about 12 pounds of sugar per year. According to USDA statistics, the average consumption of sugar, including corn sweeteners such as high-fructose corn syrup, increased to more than 150 pounds per person by the year 2000. As such, sugar represents a considerable portion of the calories that many people consume.

Sugar leaches the body of vital minerals and vitamins. It raises blood pressure, triglycerides and the bad cholesterol (LDL), increasing the risk of heart disease. It causes tooth decay and periodontal disease, which leads to tooth loss and systemic infections. It makes it difficult for a child's brain to learn, resulting in a lack of concentration. Both children and adults exhibit disruptive behavior, learning disorders and forgetfulness from sugar consumption. It initiates auto-immune and immune deficiency disorders such as arthritis, allergies and asthma. It also upsets hormonal imbalance and supports the growth of cancer cells.

It’s good to remember that sugar isn’t just contained in the foods you’ve added it to. Many foods and drinks contain sugar — in quite high proportions —which you may not have realized. Here are a few to look out for: Breakfast cereals and muesli, granola bars, bread, special coffees such as mocha, bottled iced tea, ketchup, salad dressing and other condiments, peanut butter, canned foods such as baked beans and alcohol.

Sugar is often “hiding” in your food, so check labels for terms such as: white sugar, brown sugar, icing sugar, demerara sugar, invert sugar, honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, brown rice syrup, molasses, high-fructose corn syrup, cane juice, fruit juice concentrates, and names ending in “ose” such as dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose and sucrose.

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