Refined sugar, refined flour and processed oils are the clearest examples of manufactured foods. They are the core products of the food industry. They cost almost nothing to produce, they have a long shelf life and, because they are indispensable ingredients in all processed foods, their demand and profitability are scandalous. In fact, the crowning achievement in the food industry was a discovery 200 years ago that it was possible to purify sugar of any elements that might decompose it – without taking away its sweetness this process was called ‘refining’.
Sugar, since its invention in 1751, refined sugar has been the most consumed food product worldwide. However, the refining process strips the sugarcane of all of its nutritional value. Refined sugar is composed of: 96% sucrose; 30% waste; 1 % percent water, and zero nutrients. In essence, all of its calories are stripped of nutrients.
Refined sugar is a prototype of foods without nutritional density. Foods with empty calories are also known as anti-nutrients because, on top of not providing nutrients, they draw from stored nutrients such as thiamin, riboflavin and niacin just to be utilized.
There is a direct relationship between the explosion of chronic diseases in the 1940s and the industrialization of sugar in the 1920s. A diet that consists mainly on sugar can bring many illnesses, including neurosis, hypoglycemia, diabetes, cancer of the biliary tract, colorectal cancer, arthritis, arteriosclerosis, coronary insufficiency and others.
Public awareness about sugar has had a positive impact, and the consumption of sugar is rapidly declining. In response to that, the food industry has increased the utilization of refined sugar in all processed foods (even salty foods) by 100%. Refined sugar is ever-present. The average American consumes 170 pounds a year, and a whopping 82% comes from camouflaged sugar and processed foods. Even with the improvement, Sugar still constitutes 25% of the calories the average person ingests.
People who eat less sugar per year have a lower incidence of illness and live longer. The Seventh Day Adventist, for example, eat a vegetarian diet, and they avoid preservatives and refined foods. It is no coincidence that they live in average of 12 years longer than the rest of the population.
For many generations wheat has been the basis of many diets in many cultures. It is one of the main sources of protein, amino acids, complex carbohydrates and fiber. But we don’t get all the benefits we used to from wheat because most of the wheat we eat now is ‘refined.’
In the process of refining, we lose it’s about 82% of vitamin b1, 67% of vitamin B2, 80% of vitamin B3 and B6, 98% of vitamin E, 90% of minerals and micronutrients, 80% of Biotene, 76% of vitamin K, 75% of folic acid, 50% of linoleic acid, 85% of its fiber. It also loses about 27 other nutrients. But the virtual extraction of fiber is the greatest problem with refinement.
Our health depends on our capacity to nourish ourselves and eliminate waste. Fiber has a life preserving task of helping of body’s unlimited waste. The result of a fiber poor diet is chronically constipated society.
Research groups like H. S. Goldsmith and Reddy at Wynder (Journal of the national health Institute, 1975) reported that Westerners produce small amounts of feces every 24 to 48 hours, and that their stools are hard, segmented, frequently painful and difficult to excrete. On the other hand eaters of primitive diets eliminate three times as much waste with soft, voluminous feces that are easy to excrete.
One of the chief ways that we detoxify our bodies is through bowel movements, urination and sweating. If a person is constipated, that person is not excreting toxins. The longer the constipation lasts, the more toxic that person becomes. Plus, one of the chief ways to excrete estrogen is through the bowels. A constipated person is not excreting enough, so it is reabsorbed, increasing the risk of cancer. Groups of Africans, South Americans of Japanese who lived in rural areas and even primitive diets, which consists of mainly vegetables, fruits, grains rich in fiber and seldom eat animal products, have almost no risk of developing cancer.
As you can see when we make personal choices to help restore our bodies from the effects of environmental assaults. We can control what we eat, even though some factors are out of our control.