Why Is Sugar So Bad For Your Health?
Did you know most people eat their own body weight in sugar every year!
The recommended daily intake in my opinion for sugar should be zero. However the guidelines state 6 teaspoons for women and 9 for men. The average western diet contains 40-47 teaspoons of sugar per day. That is your weekly allowance in one day.
With food and particularly sugar, ingestion is very different from digestion. Just because you can eat something doesn’t mean your body can use it. It doesn’t matter what you eat whether it be bad for your or good for you it only matters what you can digest.
Alcohol is sugar. Not to be misunderstood here, I repeat - alcohol is sugar. It is a refined sugar, and more than that, it is a fermented sugar. Fermented means half-digested. Alcohol is a very refined substance. It enters the body with no vitamins, minerals, or enzymes to aid in its breakdown. At least sugar products must pass through the digestive system before entering the bloodstream. However, alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream immediately, directly through the stomach. Alcohol attacks the body’s stores of enzymes, insulin, vitamins, and minerals, which are working to break it down and maintain the pH balance of the blood.
What Does Sugar Do To The Body
Sugar makes the gut and the blood acidic. It damages the gut leading to poor digestion and malabsorption of minerals and nutrients.
As the body attempts to rid itself of sugar it depletes its mineral supplies such as chromium which is needed for insulin production.
Sugar alters the calcium to phosphorous ratios. For calcium to be used in a cell there must be enough phosphorous in the blood. Without phosphorous the wrong type of calcium appears in the blood, the sort that forms kidney and gallbladder stones and tartar build up.
Sugar uses up the phosphorus stores and which means there is no calcium in the blood available for the body to function. Without the right form of calcium in the blood the body has no choice but to take it from teeth and bones. This demineralises them and makes them weak.
Add to this that sugar creates acidity in the blood and saliva which then attacks the exterior of the enamel. Sugar also causes a reduction in dentinal fluid flow and this leaves you with the perfect combination for tooth decay.
Sugar damages the immune system. Refined sugar blocks digestion, allowing undigested food to get into the bloodstream. This slows down your circulation so the white cells which are the front line of the immune system don't circulate through the body and and are unable to do their job of defending you from foreign invaders and cells that have turned cancerous.
Sugar Impairs The Immune System
The immune system becomes sensitised to refined sugar. At first it goes into overdrive as it attempts to normalise the blood. But after a while, the immune system adapts to the abnormal levels of sugar and then functions at a sub- normal level. The sugar no longer triggers a big response, and as a result, neither do other foreign agents. The immune system gets more tolerant about the level of contamination it allows the blood to maintain and from here your overall health declines.
Sugar also depresses the immune system by sticking to protein in the food you consume. Louis Maillard proved that refined sugar sticks to proteins, like meat, to form a foreign complex called glycenated protein. The body does not have enzymes to break down these abnormal proteins which stay as large chunks in the digestive tract. The immune system has to try and deal with these foreign proteins day after day and eventually becomes exhausted.
Sugar and Tooth Decay
Sugar causes acidity wherever it goes – the mouth, the stomach, the blood. In the mouth the pH gets lower with the presence of sugar. At around pH 5.5, the saliva begins to dissolve tooth enamel. After eating sugar, the pH of saliva may go down to 4.5 and stays there for 20 minutes or more. This is why dentists say if you can’t brush your teeth after eating sweets, at least rinse the mouth with water as soon as possible to prevent the tooth enamel dissolving.
Sugar is detrimental to the human health. When sugar was introduced to civilisations that had not been exposed to sugar the teeth became rotten, bones became soft, and the new weaknesses were then passed on to the offspring.
Demineralisation of bones and teeth and therefore tooth decay is promoted by the acidic environment created in the blood by refined sugar. This is compounded by the depletion of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and chromium which get used up as the body tries to clear the sugar from its system. On top of this sugar leads to poor digestion and malabsorption of the minerals and nutrients your teeth require and hampers your immune system allowing more nasty bacteria to be present in your mouth and body.
No wonder we call sugar white poison!
Dr Rachel Hall is a holisitc dentist based in Kenmore Brisbane. She is the founder and principle dentist of Evolve Dental Healing. For more on how to have a healthy body and great looking smile CLICK HERE for your FREE How To Guide.