In the last article, I talked about fatty acids, and how they can both heal and harm us.
Refined sugars are digested and absorbed into our bloodstream with uncanny speed, and raise blood glucose levels too high. This is hyperglycemia, a symptom of diabetes. Insulin does its job of removing excess glucose from our bloodstream with amazing efficiency. Then our glucose levels may fall too rapidly or too low. The result is hypoglycemia, with symptoms that may include depression, dizziness, crying spells, aggression, insomnia, weakness, and even loss of consciousness.
When blood glucose falls too low, our adrenal glands kick in to mobilize the body’s stores of glycogen, and also stimulate the synthesis of glucose from proteins and other substances present in our body.
A diet of refined carbohydrates catches our pancreas and adrenal glands in a biochemical see-saw, overworking them. If our pancreas weakens, it secretes less insulin. Blood glucose remains high, and diabetes (hyperglycemia) may result, with glucose spilling into our urine.
Cardiovascular complications that develop from excess glucose and/or fats kill many diabetics. In addition, hard fats interfere with insulin function, leading to ‘insulin insensitivity’. If our adrenal glands give out, adrenal exhaustion – the inability to respond biochemically to stress – results. Stress-caused diseases occur. Overworked adrenal glands fail in their blood sugar-raising function, resulting in low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) from the action of insulin. Hypoglycemia gives rise to craving for sweets. The rapid absorption of sugar in sweets eaten in response to this craving starts another vicious hyperglycemia-hypoglycemia-sugar-craving cycle.
If our body is unable to use all of the extra fats and cholesterol produced from sugar, it must dump the additional load. Fats can be deposited in the cells of our liver, heart, arteries, fat tissues, kidneys, muscles, and other organs.
One aspect of fatty degeneration is the deposition of visible fat in places where it is not normally found in healthy people. Atherosclerosis, fatty liver and kidneys, some tumors, obesity, and some forms of diabetes belong to this group.
Saturated fatty acids decrease oxygen supply to our tissues (hypoxia), choking them by making red blood cells stick together, less mobile, and less able to deliver oxygen to cells. By increasing our body’s load of these unnecessary fatty acids, refined sugars cause tissue hypoxia. Hypoxia is common to many degenerative conditions and to fatty degeneration .
Sugars inhibit the functions of our immune system, and increase diseases caused by poor immune function, such as colds and flu. Sugars also support the development of food allergies with symptoms that include colitis, asthma, behavioral disorders, joint pain and deterioration, and muscle pain. Food allergies can lead to autoimmune diseases, which attack and destroy our own tissues.
Sugars increase our body’s production of adrenaline by four times, which puts the body into a state of ‘fight or flight’ stress, without anything to fight or flee from, except the consumption of sugar. This stress reaction increases the production of both cholesterol and cortisone. Cortisone inhibits immune function.
Sugars lack the vitamins and minerals required for their own metabolism, and must draw on our body’s stores of these nutrients. As these are depleted, our body becomes less able to carry out other functions that require minerals and vitamins to be present: to metabolize fats and cholesterol; to convert cholesterol into bile acids for removal from our body through the stool; or to burn-off excess fats as heat or increased activity.
As a result, our cholesterol level rises; our metabolic rate goes down; fats burn more slowly; we feel less like exercising, and we may become obese. Obesity increases the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Decreased metabolic rate is also involved in aging, arthritic diseases, cancer, and cardiovascular disorders, and is another general symptom of degenerative diseases. I discuss this more in my next article.