Wednesday, January 12, 2011

White Death

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That is what my husband calls white sugar. He's been calling it that for at least as long as I've known him, so that's about 20 years.

Have I listened to him? In a nutshell... no.

I should have.

When I told my best friend Theresa that I had breast cancer, she told me a story about a man who was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Rather than get chemo*, he decided to stop eating sugar. Apparently, his tumor went away.

Hard to believe, right? That's what I thought.

Until I had my food epiphany. In my "bible", Anti Cancer A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, Phd, there are many, many pages dedicated to why sugar is bad. Specifically refined sugars.

Basically, cancer feeds on sugar. What my best friend said was correct.

We all know about carbs (I hope!) and how they work in the body. I always just assumed that sugar was a simple carb, and that was that. It burned up quickly in the body.

Not totally true.

Our bodies do not know how to handle refined sugars and high fructose corn syrup. It's like giving our cells crack. They go nuts. Imagine having cancer cells in your body, when you eat refined sugars you're giving them the ability to stimulate growth with basically rocket fuel.

Aside from the cancer aspect, which, incidentally, has skyrocketed since the industrialized age, you have obesity, diabetes and heart problems from all this excess consumption of sugar.

(On a side note, do you know how they find out where cancer is in your body? They inject your body with glucose (which is sugar) and the glucose rushes to the crazy cancer cells that are rapidly multiplying!)

I could go on and on about why you shouldn't eat sugar, but I think cancer, obesity, diabetes and heart problems might be good enough... don't ya think?

Sugar, aka white death, also hides out in other refined stuff like cereals, sodas, spaghetti sauce, ketchup, sweet dill pickles... tons and tons of processed foods. Your best bet is to start reading labels and educate yourself.

Also try to steer clear of white flour, white rice & pastas... anything that metabolizes quickly, is like sugar and feeds those growing cells.

What's the answer?

If you are thinking Splenda, Equal or Sweet Low, you're on the wrong blog honey... what part of any of those is natural?

My favorite NATURAL sweetener by far is Agave Nectar. It's made from the agave plant, just like tequila! It has calories, 60 per tablespoon, but the taste is just like that of white sugar. However, it has a much lower glycemic index than sugar. The fewer easily-digested sugars and starches a food contains, the less likely it is to create a spike in blood sugar.† I buy my Agave Nectar at Walmart... yep, you read that correctly, Walmart. My local healthfood store also carries it as well as Wholefoods, if you have one.

I haven't yet tried to bake with agave nectar, but I use it in tea, iced tea (which it's awesome for!) and coffee. Also, in my oatmeal... just a touch. And any recipe that calls for a tablespoon of sugar, like a sauce, I'll use the agave nectar.

For white flour, try to use unbleached flour and whole wheat flour. The less refined the better. For cereals, try to eat oatmeal, natural rolled oats. Not something in a package with added sugars that you add hot water too. Remember, anything instant is processed.

Swap white rice for brown or basmati. They taste better anyway.

Steer clear of syrups, aka pancake syrup, corn syrups and the like. Instead invest in some REAL maple syrup for those wholewheat or buckwheat pancakes.

Whoa, whoa, calm down, I know, maple syrup costs a lot of money, but lets think of it this way, we are investing in our lives.

I also switched to using turbinado sugar (aka cane or raw sugar) in baking and my coffee. It's less refined, and also has less calories. Only 11 per teaspoon versus white sugar, which has 16. In my tea and my smoothies, I use a bit of honey.

Making small changes, like swapping out refined white death sugar, for something more natural like turbinado sugar and honey, will help you stay healthy.

REFINED SUGARS: to eat or not to eat, that is the question.

The answer, NOT TO EAT.


*I would never, ever tell anyone not to get chemo. Follow the advice of your doctor.
Taken from All About Agave.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for putting it out there. I am addicted to sugar. I am not joking, I really am. I drink pop (soda to you American's) and love my chocolate. Ya I eat oatmeal, from the instant packettes. I crave sugar everyday.
    Now that I think of it as white death, maybe I will at least eat a lot less of it.

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