Sugar

Brannick Clinic of Natural Medicine - St. Charles, IllinoisThe difference between simple sugars (white sugar) and complex sugars (fruits and vegetables) is the difference between health and poor health. Simple sugars cause diseases like diabetes and feed cancer. Complex sugars create health and give us sustainable, stable energy to allow our bodies to function. The difference between these two sugars is the fiber. It is the fiber that allows for slow release of sugar into the bloodstream. When fiber is removed from a complex or good sugar it is turned into a simple or bad sugar. An example is an apple or carrot: both are perfect complex sugars and supports health. However, once the fiber is removed and it becomes a juice, it no longer is good for you and is now a simple bad sugar. Juice is a simple sugar whereas fruit and vegetables are a complex sugars. Juice feeds cancer and creates diabetes, whereas fruit and vegetables gives us stainable, stable energy needed to power our bodies! People often think that because they are juicing at home that for some reason the juice is not a simple sugar because it is more fresh. This is not the case. Juice is a processed food, whether it is processed at home or in a manufacturing plant–the fiber is still removed making it a simple sugar.

We are designed to eat food and drink water. I prefer my patients to eat their fruit and vegetables, not to juice them and drink water. This is optimal for digestion and absorption. Many times I have asked patients, “How long would it take you to eat the foods that you are juicing?” They often tell me it would take 1-2 hours. Well that is proper digestion. You can NOT take 2 hours worth of food and slam it down your throat in 5 minutes and think this is health. What it is doing is stressing out your pancreas, which now has to secrete a huge amount of insulin to decrease the high sugar you just dumped into it. This eventually wears out the pancreas and creates sugar instability, which is first seen as hypoglycemia and then a few years later Diabetes.

Normal digestion involves chewing our food and mixing it with saliva, which contains digestive enzymes. When we drink our food instead of eat our food we miss the first phase of digestion, which puts more pressure on the stomach and pancreas to digest the food. This over time creates a digestive system that is dysfunctional, weak and atonic leading to gas, bloating, and poor absorption of nutrients.

Another thing I hear is, “I need to be assured I get my nutrients, and this is how to do it.” Well again, we can not absorb 2 hours worth of nutrients in 5 minutes. The damage that results is not worth it, and we need to get our nutrients other ways. For one, we need to consistently eat healthy foods. This means eating a variety of organic, less processed foods as much as possible. Secondly, we need to sit down and eat in a calm, relaxed atmosphere. Our bodies digests food best in the parasympathetic mode, which is the relaxed mood. Stress prevents absorption and will result in nutritional deficiencies. If you can not sit down and relax before you eat, then I think you should not eat until you can do this. Thirdly, we need to chew our food thoroughly before swallowing instead of gulping our food down whole. Eating is not just filling an empty void in our stomach; it is about nourishing our bodies and feeding our five hundred billions cells in our body. This is what we need to do to have vitality and live life to its fullest—not to live life in a debilitating sickly manner!

With the abundance of food in our society we tend to take it for granted and no longer respect the food we eat. Connecting with our food by having respect for it and appreciating the amazing feat our bodies perform to change an apple into fuel that can heal cuts, fight disease, provide energy to ride a bike and think clearly, etc. helps us to slow down and pay attention to what we are doing to ourselves.

So to prepare ourselves for proper digestion, I want you to put some energy into buying the best food that you can, cook it with love, smell it, taste it, and put time into it (not thrown in the microwave). Then sit down and take a few breaths to slow down and move your body into a relaxing state, say a prayer or meditate for a few moments. This prepares your body to receive food. Look at the food, smell it, all which gets us salivating and tells the brain we are now ready to receive food… and now you are ready to eat.

When you eat, chew thoroughly, drink some water to soften the food, which begins the digestive process. Do not swallow until the food is liquid. The more work you do in your mouth the less damage you do to your gastrointestinal tract and the easier it will be to absorb your nutrients. Chewing food thoroughly also results in satiety and we feel full faster, which can result in weight loss.