It’s no secret that governments all over the world are starting to crack down on sugar. They are passing taxes on sugary drinks and snacks, banning them from schools, and more treatment programs are becoming open to people who believe they are addicted to sugar. But what is the truth? Is sugar the new enemy?
Coca leaves were used for centuries in their natural state to chew on or to make tea. This was normal and there were no issues. But, then they were highly processed and turned into a dangerous and addictive drug known as cocaine.
The innocent poppy flower suffered the same fate. Formerly a safe and effective tea, often used for relaxation and pain, it got super-processed and became a powerful, dangerous and addictive opiate.
Sugar first starts out as sugar cane – a healthy stalking plant. Used in its natural form you can’t consume enough to make you sick. But super-concentrated and processed it becomes like a drug. In fact, with lab rats, sugar outperformed cocaine as the drug of choice.
It’s important to know that there are various types of sugar, some natural and some very processed – to the point that even if they started natural, they are no longer natural.
- Fructose – Don’t get confused by the word. While fructose is derived from fruit, it’s gone through processing that makes it a highly-concentrated form of sugar. This type of fructose should really be called “industrial fructose”. Eating fructose from natural fruit is not unsafe and should not be avoided. Once processed, though, it becomes something else entirely and causes a lot of health problems.
- Glucose – This is sugar that’s in your blood. You get it from natural plant foods such as carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables, especially starchy ones. It’s one of the most important medications and very readily available in nature. It supplies almost all the energy to the brain. It’s important for metabolic health, respiration and more. If you want to be able to think clearly, you must have the right amount of glucose. Glucose is created industrially by using starchy plants like corn, rice, wheat, and other ingredients.
- Lactose – Found in milk, it’s made from galactose and glucose. Industrially it’s produced as a by-product of the dairy industry. Most humans produce lactase to help digest this type of sugar far into adulthood. But some people, especially from eastern and south-eastern Asia and some parts of Africa cannot properly digest this type of sugar in adulthood.
- Maltose – This sugar is found in the germination process as the seeds break down their starch stores for food to sprout and grow. This type of sugar can cause many intolerances as well as weight gain, kidney stones and more. However, eating it in its natural form such as in sweet potatoes, soybeans, barley and wheat (other than those who suffer from celiac) is healthy.
- Sucrose – This type of sugar comes from cane and beets. Modern processing can make it look just like table sugar. Before it’s been processed it has a lot of health benefits, vitamins, and minerals. Honey is mostly fructose and glucose with trace amounts of sucrose.
As you see, most sugars start in a very natural state and aren’t bad in their natural and most whole form until they undergo super-processing. It’s the super-processing that’s bad for you, because it makes natural sugars into highly addictive drug-like substances.
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