Why Refined Sugar is the Most Dangerous "Food" You Can Eat
by Mark A Ament
from sugar cane (Saccharum spp.) which is a dense tall grass that grows in tropical
regions. The juice from sugar cane is traditionally used as a sweetener from India to
the Caribbean. And, interestingly, raw sugar cane juice is pretty good for you, being
alkalizing and relatively low on the glycemic index.
But in the 1500s manufacturers began refining sugar cane so that it could be more
easily transported overseas, especially back to Europe. Over the years, the process
has become increasingly complex and dependent on chemicals. Here is what happens
between cutting sugar cane in the fields and delivering refined sugar to your local
After harvest, machines at a sugar mill wash, cut, shred and press the juice out of
the cane stalks. This liquid is then heated to boiling and treated with chemical
solvents to remove impurities. Then it is moved to huge tanks and heated again to
evaporate the water content. This leaves a thick syrup that is placed in a centrifuge
machine to form the syrup into crystals.
These crystals are then transported to a sugar refinery where they are heated to
boiling again, treated with bleach and other chemicals and then filtered through bone
char, which is a powder made from cow or pig bones. After filtering, the syrup is then
centrifuged again to produce refined white sugar. Brown sugar is created by adding
molasses before putting it in the centrifuge.
Given the fact that it's heated to boiling at least three times, treated with chemicals,
filtered through bone powder and forced to crystallize, it's no wonder that refined
sugar has literally had the life force beaten out of it.
Refined sugar, white or brown, literally has zero nutritional value - no minerals, no
vitamins, no fiber, no enzymes, no fats - nothing of value for the body. Instead it's
toxic to the body. You can live longer on pure water alone, than on water mixed with
Here is what refined sugar does in the body:
- It produces an acidic condition in the digestive system. This drains the body of
vitamins and minerals and the consequences can be life threatening. For
example the metabolism of sugar requires leaches calcium from the bones and
teeth which can lead to tooth decay or osteoporosis. Sugar also depletes the
body of potassium and magnesium, which are required for proper cardiac
function, and is therefore a major factor in heart disease.
- It compromises the body's immune system and stresses the pancreas by
forcing it to produce a rush of digestive enzymes. This can lead to the
formation gallstones and diabetes.
- It depletes stores of vitamin B, which is our brain food, and can interfere with
memory, concentration and other mental functions.
- It makes the blood very thick and sticky, inhibiting much of the blood flow into
the minute capillaries that supply our skin gums and teeth with vital nutrients.
Refined sugar has been shown to increase wrinkles and dry aged skin.
- When excess sugar is eaten, it is first stored in the liver. With continued
consumption the liver expands like a balloon and begins to function poorly. An
improperly functioning liver can quickly lead to high blood pressure, skin
disorders and acne to name a few.
- In addition, most people consume far more sugar than their bodies can possibly
use for energy. When this happens, the liver converts the extra sugar into
molecules called triglycerides and stores it as fat, or else produces cholesterol
from the by-products of sugar and deposits it in veins and arteries. Sugar is
thus a major factor in obesity and arteriosclerosis.
- It also negatively effects behavior. Refined sugar consumption has been linked
to violent behavior, hypertension, and learning impediments. In one study
violence in prisons was remarkably reduced simply by eliminating refined sugar
and starch from prison diets. And Singapore in 1991 banned sugary soft drink
sales from all schools and youth centers, citing the danger that sugar poses to
the mental and physical health of children
- Finally refined sugar is an addictive substance. Abruptly giving up sugar often
brings on the sort of withdrawal symptoms associated with narcotic drugs-
fatigue, lassitude, depression, moodiness, headaches, aching limbs. This
happens as the body eliminates the left over toxins from the sugar and begins
to bring itself back into balance.
- As you can see, putting processed sugar into your body makes no sense at all.
It is something like pouring sugar into the gas tank of a million dollar racing car.
Only do it if you want to screw up your car/body for some reason.
Fortunately for all of us with a sweet tooth, there are many natural raw sweeteners
that are not only harmless to the body, but actually support it. The highest choice is
to use 100% unrefined and untreated sweeteners.
These are what I use exclusively:
Dried fruits like dates or raisins,
Pure cane juice,
Raw, unprocessed cane sugar,
Stevia and Stevia extract,
Most of these are available at any health food store. Just make sure to ask if they
are minimally processed and raw (meaning unheated).
Whatever you choose, you can be sure of this: eliminating refined sugar from your
diet is one of the kindest and most loving things you could ever do for your body.
Please pass this information on to anyone in your life who you care about.
Some interesting sugar facts:
- Sir Frederick Banting, the co discoverer of insulin, noted in 1929 that among
sugar plantation owners who ate large amounts of refined sugar, diabetes was
common. Among native cane-cutters, who only chewed the raw cane, he saw
- In 1915, the average of sugar consumption was around 7-10 Kg per person
per year. Today the average person consumes about 70 kg.
- In 2002, almost 132 million tons of sugar were consumed worldwide.
- Sugar is used in leather tanning, printers' inks and dyes and even in textile sizing
- Film stuntmen use bottles and plate glass windows made of sugar.
- Chemical manufacturers use sugar to grow penicillin.
- Sugar hardens asphalt. It slows the setting of ready-mixed concrete and glue.
- About 30% of refined sugar comes from sugar beets. The rest comes from
- One 12 oz. Cola contains 11 teaspoons of sugar.
- Sugar was one of the first pharmaceutical ingredients used, as it still is today, to
mask the bitter taste of medicines.
About The Author
Mark Ament is the author of several books and programs on natural health, including
his unique introduction to called the "5 Master Keys To
Ultimate Healing." To get your free copy and learn more about Mark's work visit .
If you only make one improvement
to your diet this year, I hope it is to
replace refined sugar with raw food
sweeteners. If you do, I can
guarantee you that smoother
digestion, more relaxed muscles,
more peaceful emotions and
increased mental clarity are soon to
Before looking at the negative health
consequences of eating refined sugar,
let's have a quick look at how it's
made. This will give you some insight
into why it affects the body the way
it does. The majority of sugar comes
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remedies and before making any drastic changes to your diet or exercise program.
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