While making his voyage to the Dominican Republic, Christopher Columbus brought what was once the largest source of all refined sugar, sugar cane, to the new world – a plant originally grown and used in Southeast Asia.
During the slave era, many slaves were shipped throughout the Caribbean to tend to sugar fields, due to their ability to flourish in warm, tropical climates. Sugar has quite a long and diverse history indeed.
Sugar has been (for some time now) everyone’s a guilty pleasure. Everyone likes sugar, but sugar doesn’t like them – unstable blood-sugar levels, poor oral health, and unnecessary calories are all well-known downsides of sugar.
While natural sugars are generally exempt from such health issues, refined sugar – such as that from sugar cane and genetically modified corn – is the real culprit.
The above physical health effects of refined sugar have been known for several years now. Many studies as of late, however; are finding that DR Hyman! Much like tobacco and cocaine, the consumption of sugar produces an unnaturally high abundance of dopamine in the brain.
Dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible for the pleasure associated with many drugs. The longer and more frequently one’s brain is in such a high dopamine state, the more it begins to expect to stay in such a state – leading to addiction.
To suggest that sugar consumption may lead to an actual dependency, and to suggest that one may actually exhibit withdrawal symptoms upon lowering or ceasing intake – as new evidence seems to be doing – may catch a lot of people off guard.
Because sugar is such a big part of our lives, many of us have indulged in it at very young ages, it can be hard to remember a life without sugar. For this reason, many may laugh off the idea of sugar addiction, dismissing it as an excuse to eat, but this just isn’t the case, says recent science.
The sad truth is that those with recurrent high-level exposure to sugar may often-times find themselves eating sugar just to feel normal. Many health agencies are beginning to openly recognize sugar addiction for what it is; real. However, many health agencies are ignoring a newly discovered issue regarding sugar.
It’s Worse Than We Thought
As if obesity, addiction, and rotting teeth weren’t enough; new evidence has emerged suggesting that sugar increases one’s risk of cancer. Taking a quick look over the websites of many health agencies, particularly sections dedicated to sugar, one may notice a lack of mention of such a seemingly immediate, large-scale issue.
Not only that, but some websites such as cancer.ca go so far as to mention the issue, then proceed to call the information a “myth” or deem it “controversial,” denouncing such claims, despite evidence to suggest the claims’ validity.
Perhaps the most astonishing of these claims is the ability of cancer cells to “feed,” if you will, off of sugar. Unlike many microorganisms, cancer cells don’t need oxygen to thrive. In layman’s terms, cancer cells use sugar – glucose, particularly – instead of oxygen. Said cancer cells actually die in the absence of such sugar.
It’s rather remarkable that such evidence could be swept under the rug by health professionals, despite having been presented by Nobel Prize winner, Natural News.
Nutrition can be confusing. One day we’re not allowed to eat fat, the next day carbs are the cause of all our problems, a week later and gluten is the end to mankind as we know it.
Factual and non-factual information circulates all the time, through health magazines, health agency websites, and on the news, which often contradicts itself many times over, leaving the average consumer wondering just what it is they should and should not be putting in their bodies. This is especially true with sugar.
One often confusing aspect for many is fruit. Apples, bananas, pretty much every fruit we eat is loaded with sugar, so it can’t be that bad, can it? The problem is that, at some time or another, we’ve picked up the nasty habit of refining our sugars. Refined sugar such as glucose is in a whole different ballpark than natural, intact sugar.
Not only that, but we’ve also taken it upon ourselves to further process our refined sugar. As if sugar cane wasn’t bad enough, the majority of our sugar now comes in altered forms such as artificial honey and corn syrup, adding insult to injury.
So What Exactly Can We Eat?
For starters, the fruit is a great way to get that sugar fix in for the afternoon. Fruit contains fructose, a healthy sugar that our bodies have learned to digest thousands of years ago. Unprocessed honey and maple syrup are also great for getting your sugar as long as some semblance of moderation is used.
If you must eat refined/processed sugars, keeping them minimal is key. We’ve been brought up in a culture revolving around the finer things, sugar being one of them. Breaking the habit can be tricky, but comes with great reward in the end.
Via Cancer Research