October 28, 2015

Raw Sugar: Why We Were Wrong

Found in most Starbucks shops and many supermarkets, the light-brown turbinado sugar “sugar in the raw” became a “healthy” alternative to processed sugar.  But is it really better for you than processed sugar? Turbinado (sugar in the raw) is made from freshly cut sugar cane that is crushed to squeeze out its juice.  The juice is then evaporated and spun in a centrifuge, or turbine – hence the name – where the characteristic large crystals are born. Turbinado sugar is basically left overs from raw sugar cane juice that has been stripped of its natural molasses and impurities. It has also been stripped of vitamins, minerals and other trace elements.
Sugar in the Raw is a widely known brand of turbinado sugar. If you take a closer look at the processing of turbinado sugar, the name “raw” is somewhat misleading.  Here’s what the manufacturer of Sugar in the Raw has to say about it’s product: 
Enjoy sweet moments naturally with Sugar In The Raw®, our all-natural Turbinado sugar grown in the tropics. The hearty, golden crystals are never bleached, so they keep the rich flavor and color of their natural molasses. So go on, stir it in or sprinkle it on. Bake and cook with it too. Whatever you do, just do it naturally with Sugar In The Raw®.
However, do not let the name “raw” deceive you. It is still sugar. The process of making it might be different, but the chemical composition is absolutely the same. Moreover, your body doesn’t recognize the difference. Sugar and Sugar In The Raw are both simple sugars that rapidly enter your bloodstream. Since sugar is stripped of all nutrients, the body must `borrow` missing vitamins and minerals required to metabolize sugar from its own tissues. 
Raw sugar isn’t even really raw. It’s just slightly less refined.  According to the FDA, “Raw sugar is the term generally applied to the intermediate food product as it leaves the sugar factory mill for further refinement in sugar refineries before use as food. In general, raw sugar is unsuitable for human food use because it contains extraneous impurities which are removed in the refining process. On occasion the agency has taken action against raw sugar intended for human food use without further refinement which was found to contain impurities rendering it unsuitable for food use. The only practical process for freeing raw sugar of such impurities such as filth, dirt, and decomposition is the usual refining process of sugar refiners.”
Studies have shown that sugar contributes to diseases such as obesity, premature aging, osteoporosis, hyperactivity in children,  heart disease, autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, asthma, and multiple sclerosis, tooth decay, and etc.
According to Lewis Cantley, director of the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School, as much as 80 percent of all cancers are “driven by either mutations or environmental factors that work to enhance or mimic the effect of insulin on the incipient tumor cells,” Gary Taubes reports, stating:
“As it was explained to me by Craig Thompson, who has done much of this research and is now president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, the cells of many human cancers come to depend on insulin to provide the fuel (blood sugar) and materials they need to grow and multiply. Insulin and insulin-like growth factor (and related growth factors) also provide the signal, in effect, to do it.
The more insulin, the better they do.
Some cancers develop mutations that serve the purpose of increasing the influence of insulin on the cell; others take advantage of the elevated insulin levels that are common to metabolic syndrome, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Some do both.
Thompson believes that many pre-cancerous cells would never acquire the mutations that turn them into malignant tumors if they weren’t being driven by insulin to take up more and more blood sugar and metabolize it.

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