Sugar is the word that people use daily to describe the sweetening chemical compound that is widely used in many products. Compared with other countries, the Dutch are among those who consume the most sweets with an annual consumption of 31 kilos of sweets, cookies and chocolate per person. And then we haven’t begun to consider the packs of sugar, soft drinks and many food ingredients in which sugar is processed. That there are many drawbacks to sugar consumption, apart from teeth decay, is no longer a point of discussion. What relatively few people realize is that excessive sugar consumption is linked to many disorders that can have a devastating effect on the whole body.
What is the difference between refined and unrefined sugar? Unrefined sugar is sugar in its natural form: it has not been ‘cleaned’ in the manufacturing process. Sugar is cleaned to make it white, giving it a neutral taste and long shelf life. In the refining process all sorts of substances are removed from the sugar that your body needs to digest sugar. White sugar no longer contains any good substances.
Unrefined sugar contains all sorts of fibre, minerals, enzymes and vitamins. Your body needs these substances to digest sugar properly. All these ‘good’ substances are removed from sugar during refining, which means that your body has to draw on its own reserves. Your body actually stores these substances for, among other processes, a well-functioning immune system. When you eat refined sugar, your body has to use its reserves of these substances to process the sugar. This can weaken your immune system. Moreover withdrawing these substances from the body can confuse all sorts of other bodily processes, such as hormone regulation.