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9 Things Refined Sugar, Corn Syrup and White Flour Have in Common

9 Things Refined Sugar, Corn Syrup and White Flour Have in Common

9 Things Refined Sugar, Corn Syrup and White Flour Have in Common

Commonly used throughout North America and Europe, refined sugar is acquired by a refining process that comes from the use of sugar beets or sugar cane. Once extracted through the refining process, the end result is ‘sugar’. The refining process is the removal of the moisture from the sugar beets and sugarcane. Once the moisture diminishes, the natural sucrose in the juice begins to crystalize thus producing sugar. 

High fructose syrup corn syrup is processed from using corn starch. The production process is done by breaking down the starches, thus creating a syrup of sugar glucose. Added enzymes are used by manufacturers to convert some of the glucose into fructose, which creates a much sweeter taste. This artificial sweetener was introduced into the American food manufacturing process in the 1970s after it was considered safe by the FDA. 

Whole grains are made up of 3 equal parts, germ, bran, and endosperm. The germ is the innermost layer that contains B vitamins, minerals, protein, and fat. The endosperm found in the middle is the starchy part made mostly of carbohydrates. The bran or the outer coating consists of antioxidants, B vitamins, and fiber. Refined flour is processed by the removal of the bran and germ, leaving the starchy endosperm behind which is really just refined carbohydrates. The reality is that all the good things are stripped away through refinement and then replaced with compounds that are toxic! Once it’s stripped-down, you’re left with a starch. How does your body react to pure starch? The same way it reacts to refined sugar!  These starches are not easily digested and are hard on the digestive system. Although this process causes a longer shelf life, it contributes to huge nutrition loss and a subsequent ‘food’ that is harmful to our health. Consumption of the enriched white flour or products containing enriched white flour or products containing enriched flour causes your body to scream through the ride of a sugar high/low roller coaster.

I’m not going to ‘sugar’ coat it, refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and white flour contribute to an array of negative health effects on our bodies! Below are 9 common reasons for how refined sugar, corn syrup, and white sugar wreak havoc on your health.

1.) To start, sugar is addictive. Sugar, like drugs, stimulates the release of dopamine. In other words, a “feel good” chemical in the brain. Consumption of sugar creates more dopamine receptors that create the crave for more sugar, resulting in a vicious cycle. 

2.) Premature Aging. Sugar attaches to the proteins in the bloodstream, resulting in damage to collagen and elastin production, which is responsible for maintaining the skin’s elasticity.

3.) They contain No Essential Minerals. Besides being “empty calories” with no health value in nutrition, instead, refined sugar and corn syrup rob the body of the essential minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium to name a few.

4.) Tooth Decay. Because the body is robbed from the essential minerals, this results in weakened teeth. The combinations of excessive sugar intake, bacteria, and salvia result in the decaying of teeth.  

5.) Hyperactivity. Refined sugar enters the bloodstream quickly, producing fluctuations in blood glucose levels that then trigger adrenaline. 

6.) Detrimental to the liver. The liver is the only organ that can metabolize fructose. 

And when there is a high intake of fructose corn syrup and refined sugar the build-up over time can lead to an increase of fat in the liver resulting in fatty liver disease.

7.) Depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, mood swings, and irritability. Sugar leads to a spike in blood sugar and feel-good serotonin levels in the brain. But when there are sugar withdrawals from our system, we then experience a “crash” creating a cycle of binging, and cravings within our minds and bodies. 

8.) Obesity and Diabetes. Sugar can produce insulin resistance, weight gain, and Diabetes in the body. Insulin drives glucose into cells from the bloodstream. Elevated blood glucose is toxic, so when excessive amounts of glucose cannot be used properly, the pancreas then begins to secrete the insulin in order to remove it from the bloodstream, leading the body to become insulin resistant. When the body does this, the pancreas then can’t do its job, thus leading to a contributing factor of type 2 diabetes. The insulin signals the body to store fat, which leads to obesity, and because of the extra body fat, this leads to inflammation throughout the body. 

9.) High Cholesterol Levels and Heart Disease. High consumption of sugar lowers levels of the “good” HDL cholesterol that helps remove the LDL, or in other words, the “bad” cholesterol from the artery walls. High cholesterol levels have shown to increase levels of triglycerides, a type of fat found in the blood that poses an increased risk of heart disease. 

No Sugar, No Flour No Corn Syrup - No Problem!

Whether you’re trying to live a low carb lifestyle or just trying to eat more nutrient-dense foods, there are many ways to eliminate refined sugars, flours, and corn syrup with healthier alternatives. 

Here are 7 simple steps to replace corn syrup, refined flours, and refined sugars:

  • Replace sodas and other sugary drinks with water or use slender sticks coconut water for some flavor.
  • Fresh fruits provide natural sugars that are easily digested by the body rather than pre-packaged or canned fruits that are often high in sugar. The same applies to fruit juice.
  • Switch out pasta for vegetables. Zucchini is a great alternative. Using a vegetable peeler or shape knife to cut thin, noodle-like strips and boil for a few minutes until tender. Eat with your favorite pasta sauce.
  • Grilled or broiled meats are a healthier alternative as opposed to finding that there are breaded in flour that gives them their crispy coating. 
  • Eating fresh fruits is a great alternative to cakes, cookies, and other desserts that are usually made with refined sugars, corn syrup, and refined flours.
  • Bread made from flax meal or bean are a healthier alternative.
  • Gravies and sauces can be thickened with pureed vegetables, arrowroot, or cream without the added flour or sugars.

  • Bottom line, avoiding high fructose corn syrup, refined sugars, and white flours can be the most effective ways to improve your health. Reading labels on products can be helpful in identifying and providing information about that product and finding hidden flours, corn syrup, and sugars.

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