Sugar is a carbohydrate . In its natural form it is enjoyable to taste and a swift and excellent source of energy. Sugar, whether in the form of glucose or fructose , or a variety of combinations, is usually found in nature in association with a variety of other nutrients and is bound up with larger molecules. This means that the body, at the same time as absorbing sugar, is also absorbing useful building blocks and does not absorb the sugars too quickly because a considerable amount of digestion is necessary to break down the complexes to get at the sugar molecules.

All of this is lost with refined sugar. The complexes are already broken down so the glucose is absorbed rapidly. This creates a fast insulin response, which causes sugar levels to be stored as fat more swiftly and blood sugar levels to drop, thereby providing short bursts of energy only. All the nutrients are stripped so the body gets a sudden surge in energy but no building blocks are necessarily there to do the building. Refined sugar is much sweeter than natural sugar and the taste buds accommodate rapidly, taking away the pleasure of the sweetness of, say, a carrot or an apple. Very swiftly do we ‘hook’ ourselves and especially our children, onto un-nutri-tious sweetness, much against the preferences of nature. Sugar is not bad for you. In fact it is extremely good, but not if refined.

The mechanism of insulin production leads to states of hypoglycaemia with a myriad of symptoms: fatigue, depression, irritability, muscle weakness, shakiness, headaches and even asthma. Diabetes is encouraged, arteriosclerosis is propagated and blood pressure is elevated. Sugar requires vitamins and minerals to be utilized and high doses of white sugar keep the metabolism going but, without a nutrient supply, deficiencies will arise. Worst of all, perhaps, refined sugar makes us fat, along with all of the social and health implications that this brings. Believe me, I have only scratched on the surface of metabolic and health dangers of refined sugars.