Refined Sugar Is Unhealthy
Avoid all sugar? No. Only refined sugar.

Refinery separates materials at molecular level. Output from refining is single type of material. Nearly 100% of the refined sugar weight, either crystal or powder is glucose, sucrose, fructose etc. Sugar that exists naturally together with other nutrients in food is of course not bad and essential to the body. Refined sugar is a rather new thing to human diet. Humans have been living without refined sugar for thousands of years. Readers must already know that refined sugar is bad. This article is just a reminder. It is a reminder for the writer too.

It is easier to avoid tobacco than sugar. People know those few products that contain tobacco. There is also government regulation on tobacco, for example age limit. On the contrary there are countless products that contain refined sugar. There is high chance that refined sugar sneaks into what a person consumes.

Junk food causes hyperactivity in children in the long term. It is not known which additive exactly in the junk food causes that. Anyway, junk food often has high content of refined sugar.

Sometimes there is sugar price spike that also affects other commodity. Once addicted, more money will be spent for it, even though it is not a necessity of life. People are making sugar companies rich at the cost of people's finance and health. Ethical business earning does not pose damage to society.

Bad things about refined sugar

Although this is not a complete list, it should be sufficient to show that refined sugar is bad.

Insulin spike from refined sugar intake triggers androgen spike. Androgen is a hormone that tells oil glands in skin to secrete oil. Hair follicles are connected to oil glands. The oil lubricates the hair and the skin. Acne happens when the pore for hair follicles is clogged by too much oil.

sugar poison

After consuming refined sugar, the sudden spike of sugar in blood gives temporary energy. But after that, there will be more tiredness than before. Then more sugar is taken to get the boost. The vicious cycle begins. The symptom resembles drug intake. This is how sugar is addictive. Once addicted, consumption will continue despite of being consciously aware that it is bad.

Bad environment (to live in)
The destruction of USA's Everglades and Australia's Great Barrier Reef are just two of the many examples. Sugar industry is one of the industries with activities that use up earth resources and pollute the earth.

Cancer growth
All cells feed on sugar. But cancer cells feed more. Cancer cells will be more than happy to take the excessive sugar that cannot fit into normal cells. Boosting sugar content in blood with refined sugar intake encourages the growth of cancer cells.

Cardiovascular disease
High insulin level from high sugar consumption causes artherosclerosis, in which fat clings to the innner wall of arteries.

This applies to humans and domesticated animals. Digestion of refined sugar strips off calcium from bones and teeth. Subsequently there will be bad breath. Civilized men have terrible teeth but native men have terrific teeth. Dental industry depends much on refined sugar. Eating sugarcane does not have this problem because sugarcane also contains nutrients that can be used in sugar digestion.

Chronic fatigue syndrome
Digestion of refined sugar needs nutrients. Loss of nutrients means loss of vitality.

Limited growth of food production
Fertile land and water source should be used to grow more food instead of sugarcane. In factory with highly efficient processing equipment, 10 kg of sugarcane yields only about 1 kg or less of refined sugar. It is ironic that on one hand a person concerns about the hunger of some children but on the other hand the person funds industries that compete in resources with food production.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
NAFLD patients experience malaise. Sugar that is not used up is converted into fat. Some fat is deposited at the liver and abdomen. When liver cells store too much fat, they becomes inflamed. Since there is not much expansion space, inflammation causes pressure on liver cells. The pressure damages the liver cells.

Refined sugar is pure calorie. The body cannot use up that much calorie so the excessive calorie is stored in the body. Insulin spike from intake of refined sugar causes leptin resistance so the person will not stop eating. Leptin is a hormone that reduces appetite when stomach is full. Obese folks who wonder why the extra weight cannot be lost no matter what they do should avoid refined sugar and see the result. Fat easily accumulates in abdomen (e.g. love handles, muffin top, beer belly), disappointing people who want six packs or slim waist.

Nutrients have been lost in refined sugar. To digest the refined sugar, calcium in the body are used. It has similar cause with cavity.

Reduced vision
High blood sugar affects blood circulation and lens in eyes. In the case of diabetes, retina can be damaged (diabetic retinopathy).

Reduction of tasting sensitivity
If refined sugar is avoided, water and food will start to taste sweet on its own.

Sagging and wrinkled skin
Collagen ensures the elasticity of skin. Blood sugar bonds with collagen to create new molecules so collagen decreases. The bonding is called glycation. Thus the skin becomes sagging and wrinkled. Nice complexion comes from inside out, not outside in.

How to do it

Avoid refined sugar as if being diabetic. Do not add white or brown sugar into food or drink. Do not give excuse such as "a bit will not hurt".

Avoid any processed food that has refined sugar. Just look at the ingredient label. Other names are glucose, fructose, sucrose, dextrose, maltose.

Use honey, sweet leaf or fresh sugarcane instead. Traditional 100% unrefined sweeteners like jaggery are not that bad.

Also avoid sugar substitutes, such as Aspartame and Saccharin. Those can be worse than refined sugar.
Posted: 2013-12-24; updated: 2015-03-15 by Ong Seng Aun.
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