Pure, White and Deadly – An Appeal for Raw Sugar

Raw SugarOver the last few years, there has been a worldwide explosion in the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes – the third leading cause of death in the US. Type 2 diabetes occurs where there is sufficient insulin, but when insulin receptors become less sensitive.

This insulin resistance is the common factor in a cluster of cardiovascular disease risk factors known as metabolic syndrome. 20% of adult Americans have it, and it affects up to 40% of those over 60.

These shocking statistics mirror the loss of chromium from our diets, owing to soil deficiency and the refining of foods. Even when chromium is present in food, processing removes up to 80% of it. Significant amounts of minerals are lost from whole wheat and raw sugar when they are processed to white flour (40% loss) and refined sugar (93% loss) – two of the main constituents of the Western diet. As a result, an estimated 25-50% of these populations are chromium deficient.

Chromium is an essential mineral, important for health, that has a beneficial role in the regulation of insulin action. Chromium controls hunger, reduces cravings, helps stabilise blood sugar and lowers cholesterol levels.

In its metallic form, chromium is indigestible. In a food form, it is indispensable. Although needed only in minute amounts, most people don’t get enough in their daily diets.

But why is chromium so important? Chromium helps metabolise carbohydrates to produce energy. The process begins when the digestive enzymes in the gut break down complex carbohydrates to simple sugars, which raise the level of blood glucose. In order for this glucose to provide energy, it must be escorted into each of the body’s cells, where the energy conversion takes place. The ‘escort’ is insulin. Insulin does not work properly unless chromium is present as a cofactor.

In a state of chromium deficiency, glucose builds up in the blood, and not enough is transported into the cells. A person in this situation is said to be glucose intolerant.

Symptoms of chromium deficiency include frequent hunger, excessive thirst, addiction to sweet foods, fatigue and irritability. Those who are stressed or who eat a diet high in refined sugars and flours are at risk. Refined foods are very low in chromium, and sugar increases chromium loss. Milk and other high-phosphorus foods, such as refined maize, bind with chromium in the gut to make chromium phosphate that is not absorbed.

Indians in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, consume nine times the amount of sugar that Indians consume in India, and they have suffered a veritable explosion of diabetes ‑ believed to be the highest in the world.

It is clear that public health programmes should move from the detection and treatment of diabetes to preventive nutrition ‑ principally, replacing refined foods with whole foods.

Excellent natural sources of chromium are yeast, whole grain flours and potatoes. But raw sugar is also rich in chromium. So Nature provides its sweetener with the cofactor that facilitates its handling and reduces craving. Raw sugar is also rich in calcium, cobalt, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, selenium and zinc. All these essential trace minerals are removed in the refining process, and a similar document could be written on the importance of each of them.


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2 responses to “Pure, White and Deadly – An Appeal for Raw Sugar

  1. the title is confusing

    Please consider the respect for your post, though if that was not read, there would be some confusion because the title links raw sugar to that “pure white, and deadly”

    Something like “Change from pure white and deadly to a better nutritional raw sugar”

    Your choice. cheers.

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