Prohibition was the time when the government controlled (actually blocked!) consumers’ access to a substance (in this case, alcohol) known to be – when used in excess – destructive to human health and society. We all know what happened next, the mafia with Al Capone at the helm took control over the market of illegally manufactured spirits. In other words, the official blockade didn’t stop either the supply or use of alcohol.
Why this lesson in history? To draw a parallel between alcohol and other substances which just like alcohol are known to be harmful and yet are perfectly legal and legally available to consumers. Prohibition didn’t work in the 1920s and 1930s and it wouldn’t work now. That’s why even though certain products are available it is up to us to discern whether we should be buying and consuming them or not.
Let’s focus on just two products: sugar and flour.
Chances are, you already know that neither one is good for you. But do you REALLY know why? Once consumed both create within human body an environment that nurtures disease and speeds up degeneration (aging). That’s the short story, the details are even more scary.
The body converts sugar into fat which is why those with a “sweet tooth” gain weight. (It also increases the level of “bad” cholesterol and decreases the “good” which is why sugar consumption is a contributing factor in cardiovascular disease.)
Apart from the obvious, sugar contributes to the development of diabetes, it makes us more susceptible to bacterial infections and food allergies. It can also interfere with the digestion of proteins.
The wide-ranging effects of sugar consumption on children should be considered as well. (It may cause hyperactivity, eczema, mood swings and short attention span in children.) Of course, sugar causes tooth decay in the young and old.
Sugar plays a significant role in stimulating premature degeneration (aging). It not only contributes to osteoporosis but can lower levels of growth hormone which keeps us lean and young.
I saved, the scariest for last, sugar supports the development and growth of cancer! Put it this way, there is NOTHING sweet about sugar!
Flour (either bleached or not) is nearly as bad for us as sugar. It is known to contain Alloxan which causes diabetes. But you don’t have to develop diabetes to suffer the many ill effects of flour. It adversely affects the sinuses, may contribute to eczema, food sensitivities, slows down digestion, contributes to weight gain, the list goes on. (In case you’re wondering: flour – in any form! – does contribute to higher cholesterol levels and increases the risk of heart disease as well.)
Overwhelming, isn’t it? As people with gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease sufferers will tell you there are many options (like rice, buckwheat, or quinoa) to replace flour with. Sugar? Well, there isn’t really a substitute that’s quite as satisfying without the negative impact of sugar. (The rumor you may have heard about honey or molasses being good for you, isn’t quite true.)
The healthiest form of sugar is fructose, the sugar most fruit contains naturally. Since it isn’t pure sugar but a part of fruit, it gets digested along with the fruit’s flesh and therefore slower. With that said, even if you conscientiously abstain from sugar, there is an overload of sugar hidden from us in processed meats, canned goods, etc. We can’t entirely avoid it. The smartest thing we can do is to eat fruit instead of sugary snacks, pastry, candy and desserts. Give it a try! Shop like a health-conscious consumer and eat like one!
If you knew that rats are invading your home, you wouldn’t feed them. Now YOU KNOW that cancer thrives on sugar and flour (both rapidly raise blood sugar levels!), why deliberately create a cancer-friendly environment within your own body? (The “best” for last: a recently released scientific study announced that sugar may have more impact on raising blood pressure than salt….)