"Sugar is hidden under many disguises but reading the label is where you will find it..." Dr. Pooch (Excerpt from Sugar From Nature is Always Fine!)
Sugar has many different and sometimes confusing names. Sucrose, Aspartame, Fructose, white sugar, brown sugar, maltodextrin...etc.. the list goes on and on. How are we to differentiate between the good the bad and the really bad!?...
Buying food for your home and especially your children can be a daunting task. From ingredient labels that have active and inactive ingredients, serving sizes, percentages, grams... uh, how much is a gram of sugar? Is it a teaspoon? More?? Less?! Even if you do read the ingredient label, what exactly are you looking for? Is it just the overall sugar content? What is a safe amount? Is there a safe amount? Is it really that bad? I mean, my kiddo eats it with no complaints...
To truly understand sugar, let's take a quick look at the history of sugar.
Quick History of Sugar
Before 100 A.D sugar was eaten in its whole form as honey or sugar cane. Humans harvested honey from wild and domesticated bees locally. After that, history has it that India first refines the sugar cane reeds into a crystallized substance similar but not exactly the same as today's sugar. We'll have to wait another 400 plus years for Iran to better the refining methods of the time and further popularize the sweet powder throughout the physicians circles who bought and prescribed the substance as a medicine.
By the beginning of the 7th Century, the Islamic world conquered Iran and thus learned of her coveted superior refining methods. This was used as a financial tool for the expansion of the empire into Europe and North Africa. Through Moorish muslim trade, medicine and pharmacopeial influence, elite circles throughout Spain and northern European countries slowly got their fix and were becoming addicted to the point of changing our world forever...
By the late 1400's Columbus and his money hungry gang were out to find a new world and finance the kingdom of the Spaniards who recently overthrew the Moorish empire. They were out for not only gold and treasures for their royals but for sugar, spice and everything nice (sugar was actually considered a spice back then)! They stumbled across land in the caribbean and Brazil that were prime for mass producing sugar cane. This sparked an immediate need for labor (slave labor) and thus the New World market was created.
Sugar Shifts World Powers & Politics
Europe began expanding their palate through advent of slavery and the colonization of Africa and South America. As a result, coffee, tea and chocolate make their way to the Europeans of the 1600's and fuels even more demand for sugar.
From crystalized white sugar to rum, which is another product made from the sugar cane extraction, sugar was becoming more available then ever before creating a culture of addicts hooked to a legal sweet drug commercially known as sugar.
Rum became the currency of the high seas with which pirates and the British Royal Navy interfaced throughout the Caribbean. It's only as recent as July 31st 1970 did the Royal Navy of Britain cease the daily rations of two rum servings per marine. West African empires got their share of rum in exchange for slave labor. Gold, rum and human bodies were the main means of currency and exchange. More captured free laborers were then shipped to the islands or Brazil to cultivate more sugar... for life... This vicious triangular trade flourished off the flames of free human labor producing mind altering powders (yes, sugar is a drug) and alcoholic drinks!!
Sugar has made its way through every part of our society for every occasion. It's the habit that is culturally accepted though proven to be detrimental to the body. It's only as recent as 1966 did the medical professionals begin to make correlations between high refined sugar intake and diseases like diabetes and obesity.
Where Are We Now?
As of today, 2020 we are living in the first generations of parents that may outlive their kids. Childhood obesity is affecting a third of our children nationwide! Diabetes and other debilitating chronic illnesses usually associated with adults are being diagnosed in our children day by day. Imagine that today in our "modern world" we are witnessing alarming rates of gestational diabetes! That's diabetes even before birth!
Luckily, time is cyclical and we are slowly returning to our original methods of satisfying our sugar cravings in the form of Honey and Dates etc... These superfoods benefit the body with minerals and balanced sugars that are easily absorbed and utilized by the body.
Refined white sugar is stripped of all its minerals... STOP let's think about this. Where did the minerals go? Not that you should be taking health advice from a pirate but it was they and the Navy who navigated those seas at that time with the understanding that the minerals (the good stuff) were in the molasses! On long trips on the sea they virtually lived of the stuff.
So the refined white crystal that remains is "pure" sugar. Just isolated sweetness sure to make you want more. The problem with refined things is that your body has to compensate for the lack of minerals in that particular food substance just to be able to digest it and get it out of your body. This is why high sugar consumption reduces bone density. Refined or processed foods literally strip your body of essential minerals.
It Starts With The Youth
Dr. Pooch is NOT a medical doctor. This information is for educational purposes only.