The menace of sugar, deadly chemical…. in all these popular summer drinks of the market place. Avoid them if if you want to be in the pink of good health!
BY TARA NARAYAN
IT’S an unsavoury steaming hot summer with elections making it worse in what I’m convinced has become a scam-infested Panaji! But no political talk here. These days I feel like it’s a sugary summer and all around me I see flocks of folk easing their thirst with these any number of cold sugary plastic pet bottled drinks or tetrapacks of “fresh” or not so fresh “nature-identical” fruit juices of mango, orange, pineapple, apple, kokum and so on. Also, when I drop by at the local Amul ice-cream parlour it’s brisk sales of ice-creams and more ice-creams selling like confetti everywhere!
Where did human beings get the idea that sugar as in white refined industrial ingredient sugar in any form can quench thirst — it cannot. The sugar story is well written up now with most all nutritionists telling us to avoid or minimise consumption of refined sugar, refined oils, hydrogenated vegetarian or any other kind of industrial fats. If the government cared about its people it would actually ban these three widely used industrial ingredients which contribute majorly towards our mainstream modern degenerative diseases.
To stay with sugar, the more sugar stuff we drink and eat the more it will feed deteriorating health conditions be it high blood pressure or high blood sugar or just metabolism for vitality. Sugar in any form does not quench thirst — no, not even if it’s the much in demand Amul Lassi (white or pink tetrapacks,
20 and25 respectively). There’s also a Masti spiced buttermilk selling for `10. I get tempted to buy them too like everybody else who thinks they’re healthier to drink!
Read the fine print and the “source of calcium & protein” lassi is “dairy-based drink homogenized heat treated flavoured lassi with chemical and artificial flavours in it. It’s toned milk dahi, water, sugar and permitted stabilizers and preservatives. Homogenized and toned just means whatever (the food and beverages we buy and drink routinely like crazy) has been treated with mind-blowing heat processes to transform a product which once had live food values but no longer have them after they’ve been flavoured and beautified and put on sale. Basically, industrial foods and drinks are treated at high heat for shelf life.
Imbibing or consuming them once in a way is fine, but if you’re entertaining yourself with half-a-dozen tetrapacks or bottles of sugary beverages or drinks, it will definitely contribute to your deteriorating health parameters vis-à-vis blood pressure and blood sugar. The more I listen to the celebrated Luke Coutinho’s informative Facebook chats the more I love them — and him. In one of his talks on the importance of keeping track of your blood pressure, he confirms, high blood pressure is the invisible killer of them all. Most of us prefer to live with high blood pressure day in and day out until we can no longer do so and are forced to do something about it with blood pressure pills (which in turn contribute to slow damage of kidneys).
Basically, Luke is calling for self-discipline and attitudinal changes of lifestyle — let lifestyle changes by your religion and your religion lifestyle changes! Hey, when did you last take stock of your blood pressure? Learn something about it like it is consistent high blood pressure which leads to inflammation in our cells, cardiac problems like hardening of arteries, eventual strokes — medicines to control high blood pressure are there, of course, but they will contribute to overall organ damage over time, especially kidney damage.
Forget cholesterol, says Luke, see to your blood pressure first if you still can. That’s where to catch all the other slow fall out of high blood pressure…high blood pressure and diabetes is a deadly combo which will lead to chronic kidney disease. In all this lifestyle changes can help enormously, just make them. Motivate yourself today because as Luke says high blood pressure is not something to live with if you can help it…do whatever it takes to reduce it. Reduce your blood pressure. High blood pressure can mess up your libido which leads to emotional stress and before you realize it you’re trapped in “a vicious cycle of suffering.”
To summarize what he says, make lifestyle changes. Quit the sugar-salt dense foods and beverages of the marketplace and restaurants. Eat more natural, wholesome, home-cooked food with veggies, pulses, prepared with minimal salt and no sugar (as sweetener, it’s a all-pervasive dangerous chemical of the food industry) and yes, get up and go for a walk for 30 to 45 minutes daily. It will bring down your blood pressure and blood sugar!
Treat sedentary living like a curse. After that make such easy changes as staying hydrated with water, drink a glass of “sattu” (“sattu”, what’s that, recipe please), drink beetroot juice (“beetroot juice works beautifully with high blood pressure because of its nitric oxide”), eat some some dark chocolate, etcetera. Most folk like the good life of smoking and drinking alcohol and then take medicines for falling health parameters….“but medicines are only a crutch.” With more disciplined lifestyle changes you can throw away your medical crutches slowly and steadily.
Finally, he focuses on stress-free sleep for the night. Do you know that 30 minutes of deep breathing can bring down your blood pressure? So de-stress by learning to breathe deeper (it is only oxygenating yourself better), let go of all the emotional stresses of life. Lifestyle changes are for free! And deep breathing is a powerful tool for de-stressing. Start doing it today when you get up and before you go to sleep.
TO all that I will add don’t get tempted by all those highly acidic sugary drinks tempting you to buy, buy and buy to quench thirst these hot summer days — make your own curd, buttermilk and lassi at home, bottle and stock in the fridge and drink on the rock as per heart’s desire. Cheers to that.
Excerpted from ‘Nature’s Way to Health’ by Justice Glass…
The Menace of Sugar
‘The tycoons of sugar are not concerned as to whether it is a good or a bad thing from the point of view of health for you and me to eat so many sweet things. All they are concerned with is to make us eat more and more of them, so their profits are boosted. Advertising helps them to do this; one of the selling-points is that sugar is a quick-energy producer. So it is — and so are many drugs, the after-effects of which are destructive to the system. And white sugar can be classed as a drug; it stimulates without nourishing.
The discoverer of insulin, Dr F G Banting, as strongly anti-white sugar. He said, concerning the spread of the sugar-eating habit: “In the United States, the incidence of diabetes has increased proportionately with the per capita consumption of cane sugar. In the heating and re-crystallisation of cane sugar, something is altered, which leaves the refined product a dangerous foodstuff.” Many doctors have said and are saying he made thing in different words…white sugar is a menace, is what it adds up to. Yet how many people realize it? Medical opinions seldom get much publicity; certainly nothing like enough to counter-balance the “selling talk” about white sugar. Sugar is good for you…sweets are good for children…sugar gives you energy…sugar this, sugar that. Sugar has been established as a kind of treat. Animals — dogs and horses, for instance — are fed lumps of sugar by kind people who think that not only will the animals enjoy the sugar, but that they will benefit from it.
Nothing could be further from the truth. White sugar has been defined as “a pure carbohydrate, incapable of sustaining life”. In the processing of sugar, all the proteins, minerals, fats, enzymes, and vitamins which make up a food are extracted. The colourless, sterile crystals which remain are of no food value. Not only has white sugar no real nutritive value, but it is liability to the body….Also, as white sugar is highly soluble, it penetrates the stomach walls without going through the processes of digestion. This can cause an imbalance in the chemistry of the bloodstream, and so open the way to many disorders. Many people cannot assimilate more than a certain amount of artificial sugar at a time. The surplus passes unchanged through the kidneys. It enters the bloodstream, where it remains as a poison. The consequences can be a feeling of chronic tiredness, kidney disease, disorders of the blood, bad complexion, digestive troubles. Artificial sugars put a strain on the pancreas, which has to deal with them. In the end, this gland goes on strike. And the result is diabetes.’
(Note: Justine Glass’ book was one of the earliest to talk about the dangers of sugar consumption in the countries of the West in the 1960s when it was first published and raised and alarm about refined sugar in popular foods undermining health. Alas, in India today we continue to wallow in sugary beverages and sugar-doped foods — no wonder we’re dying of diabetes and pancreatic cancers! Who cares?)