Two hundred years ago, the average American consumed about ten pounds of sugar per year. Before the Industrial Revolution sugar in its original form had nutritional value. Sugar is the body’s primary source of fuel and in its natural form is beneficial and necessary.
When sugar started to be processed by machines in factories, it became refined and lost its nutritional value. Today our consumption of sugar is seventeen times what it was two hundred years ago. Today one-fourth (25%) of our annual caloric intake is from sugar. That amounts to 170 pounds a year for each one of us. In 2003 the World Health Organization released guidelines that said that no more than 10% (200 calories or 50 grams) of our diet should consist of simple sugars.
One problem with sugar is that most people have very little knowledge about all the forms it takes. It appears in the form of high fructose corn syrup in literally thousands of products. White flour, which is really sugar, is the main component of most commercial bread, pastries, and desserts.
A second problem is that overconsumption of sugar creates a fungus in our bodies, which sets up cravings for more sugar. When we eat more sugary items in response, we get an insulin spike and immediate energy followed by exhaustion or depression when the high effect wears off, followed by more cravings for sugar. The side effects of these sugar highs and lows can be bladder and yeast infections, gas, irritable bowel syndrome, fatigue and anxiety, and other illnesses. Other results can be insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. When these conditions occur, our bodies can’t metabolize sugar into nutrition for our cells and turn the sugar to fat. Since we are not getting the sugar we need for energy, our bodies set up more cravings and the cycle continues.
A great feature of the vegan flush, which cuts out all simple sugars and stops the constant blood sugar highs and lows, is that our bodies level out. If there is a great deal of imbalance to begin with, there may be some withdrawal symptoms during a few days of adjustment. This sugar detox is temporary and usually goes like this:
- Day 1: No symptoms.
- Day 2: Possible feelings of irritability and edginess.
- Day 3: Possible headache or upset stomach, irritable or jittery feelings. These last for about 48 hours. They are temporary and the result is worth the discomfort.
- Day 4: This is the hardest day. The symptoms of Day 3 become a little more intense.
- Day 5: The detox is over. You have energy and feel stable. Your sugar cravings are gone.
Many people don’t have any symptoms at all. Your degree of sensitivity to sugar determines whether you have symptoms.
It is important to know that we get all the sugar we need from a natural diet if we are eating well. Produce and grains have some natural sugar in them. When that sugar has not been refined, our bodies can break it down and make the glucose available to our cells. During the vegan flush and when we follow a vegan diet, we don’t need any added sugar. For the person who already has diabetes, the vegan lifestyle is the exact treatment to follow to regain good health. If the diabetic follows vegan food guidelines, avoids sugars, refined carbs, fruits very high in sugar like watermelon or pineapple, and gets some exercise, diabetes in most cases can be reversed or successfully controlled.
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