On closer examination, the truth about sugar is more nuanced. A diet of all refined sugars especially in the form of candy and sodas will displace other foods making one malnourished. Many of the foods that contain refined sugars also have harmful ingredients for health. Pastries include poor quality and excessive amounts of omega 6 fats in the form of rancid oils and bromated or bleached flour which hurts your thyroid function. A healthy thyroid function is crucial for overall health. There is evidence that an under active thyroid leads to many diseases including cancers and heart disease.
On the other hand, natural sugars from fruits and moderate amounts of natural unrefined sugar sources such as maple syrup or honey have tremendous benefits for health.
Here are some of the key benefits from eating regular and moderate amounts of natural sugars.
- Sugar can reduce stress and inflammation in the body.
- Eating moderate amounts of cooked, dried or fresh fruits and drinking small amounts of fruit juices can help moderate blood sugar and calm the adrenal glands. Adding a bit of salt to your fruit juice will help raise blood sugar to normal levels, lower damaging stress hormones, and stimulate the conversion of T4 (inactive thyroid) to T3 (active thyroid hormone)
- Sugar can increase your metabolic rate by supplying easy to digest calories.
- Sugar increases calories which keeps the metabolism higher for people who have a low appetite.
- Sugar boosts energy levels for active people by supplying a quick and easy to digest form of energy.
- Sugar enhances sleep. Insomnia is caused by the body producing excessive amounts of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Sugar replaces lost energy and calms down the production of these hormones.
Keeping the metabolism highly functioning is a warm process. Energetically, sugars produce quick energy, but in excess can cool the body or slow the metabolism.
For this reason, I recommend that people living in temperate climates focus on moderate sugar fruits growing in this climate including cooked and some fresh fruits like apples, pears, berries and seasonally available fruits such as melons. Dried fruit for people living in temperate areas include raisins, apricots, apples, pears and others that are naturally processed without sulfites. Healthy natural sweeteners include rice syrup, barley malt, maple syrup, organic molasses, and raw honey.