By James Templeton
Nothing will take you down the path to disease and weight gain faster than this highly addictive substance that most Americans consume daily in their diets.
- It hides in processed foods like ketchup, salad dressing, peanut butter, French fries and breads.
- It’s been linked to hair loss, high blood pressure, allergies, cardiovascular disease, insomnia, colon and pancreatic cancer, obesity, skin breakouts, bipolar disorder, dizziness, ADHD, tooth decay, hypoglycemia, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
- It changes digestion into a fermentation process and leads to fungal infections like candida overgrowth.
- It depletes the body of magnesium and B vitamins.
- It releases an opiate-like substance that causes addiction.
I’m talking about refined sugar. People crave it but it’s so harmful. The average person eats over 150 pounds of sugar per year because it’s so addictive.
Doing the math, this much sugar causes a weight gain of 1 pound per week. This is a cumulative weight gain – you don’t go back to zero at the end of the week, you add this pound to the one you gained last week, and so on for at least 52 pounds per year just from sugar.
Refined sugars are empty calories; there are no vitamins or minerals left in there because they’ve been taken out during the refining process. And some refined sugars, like high fructose corn syrup, confuse your body’s metabolic pathways and go immediately to be stored as fat because the body can’t figure out how to burn them for energy.
Paleo Sweeteners Are Refined Sugars
If you think your Paleo diet plan is exempt, think again– maple syrup is a refined sugar. Maple syrup is sap that has been boiled for many hours and reduced to syrup, then skimmed and filtered to remove minerals and sediment. It takes 25 minutes of brisk walking for the average-sized person to burn off just 2 Tablespoons of pure maple syrup.
Sugar Feeds Cancer
According to the National Cancer Institute, 1 out of every 2 men and 1 out of every 3 women will get cancer in their lifetime. Research shows a direct link between sugar and both colon and pancreatic cancer. But the fact is, any cancer needs sugar to live. And in this case it isn’t just refined sugar that’s your problem – alcohol and carbs also convert to sugar and can be used as fuel for cancer.
Use the Glycemic Index to Guide Your Food Choices
The glycemic index of foods measures how much a carbohydrate food raises blood sugar. The higher the glycemic index, the higher that food raises your blood sugar. This is important to know even if you aren’t diabetic, for a few reasons.
First, we’re all going to enjoy carbs in our diets. If you don’t, you can’t make enough of the hormones your body needs for metabolism and your core body temperature will drop which causes a whole host of problems. We need to wisely choose the carbs that will cause the least amount of increase in blood sugar.
Second, your body works best when blood sugars stay level without dramatic highs and lows. When your blood sugar goes up and down like a rollercoaster, inflammation levels rise, insulin levels rise, and stress hormone levels rise. This all leads to weight gain, fatigue, insomnia and more. If you want to feel your best, keep your blood sugar on an even keel.
Finally, if you are dealing with cancer or any other chronic illness, sugar plays a role. It might not seem obvious, like the connection between diabetes and dietary sugar, but it’s there. And the truth is, we all want an occasional treat, even when we are on the healthiest diet. The glycemic index can guide you to the best choice to keep blood sugars down when you do indulge.
Supplements You Need When Sugar Is In Your Diet
For every molecule of sugar you eat, it takes 54 molecules of Magnesium to break it down. This quickly depletes Magnesium and leads to a deficiency. A good quality Magnesium supplement like Mag-Key can be taken in doses as high as 2000mg (or bowel tolerance) to bring levels back up to the optimal range.
Your body burns through B vitamins during times of stress or high sugar consumption. Methylated B Vitamins are an important part of your supplement regimen, especially if MTHFR methylation gene issues run in your family. Our Female Multiple and Male Multiple contain the methylated B vitamins your body needs to recharge after sugar consumption.
I recommend our Time-C, Vitamin C with lysine to help keep collagen structures of the tissues and cells healthy and strong. High sugar consumption causes inflammation, which weakens the collagen, and cancer is a collagen disease which spreads by breaking down weak collagen. Weak collagen also makes us look older than we are, contributing to wrinkles and sagging skin.
Beer, wine, vodka and more all turn to sugar in the body and should be avoided in the presence of a chronic disease. If you are healthy these drinks can be enjoyed in moderation, just make sure to take the supplements listed above, and add Y-C Cleanse to keep your health on track. Y-C Cleanse is our yeast and candida cleansing supplement. I take this whenever I’ve indulged in sugary foods or a little alcohol and want to make sure I don’t encourage any candida overgrowth.
Replacements For Refined Sugars
I enjoy carob and raw cacao-based treats sweetened with monk fruit or stevia. These sweeteners taste sweet without the sugar. Here’s a recipe shared from our personal chef Teresa that makes a good occasional treat:
- 1 cup thick almond butter
- 1 egg, whisked, or 1 flaxseed "egg" (see instructions)
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa or carob powder
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Pinch of sea salt
- 2 teaspoons stevia, or to taste
- ¼ cup unsweetened vegan carob chips or unsweetened chocolate chips
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
- Add all ingredients to a large bowl.
- Now you gotta get down and dirty - get your hands in there and mix and blend all the ingredients until fully incorporated into a dough. (You could use a stand mixer with a dough hook if you have one, but it's more fun this way! There's no way you can mix this puppy with a spoon.)
- Scoop out about a tablespoon of dough for each cookie, form into a ball and place on cookie sheet. Press down lightly on each cookie to lightly flatten them a little bit.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before touching them or they will crumble apart.
- You can substitute other nut butters. You just want it to be room temp and thick.
- You can substitute for the almond extract.
- Flaxseed Egg Substitute: Mix 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed with 3 Tablespoons water and let sit in fridge for 10 minutes.