Sugars & sweetness

A lecturer of ours once referred to the human body as a machine. Apart from the vocabulary feeling a tad flat, it was quite spot on. I would have added excellent before our flat word. A combination of several systems working in remarkable harmony so that we can do whatever the hell we feel like on earth.

I believe excellent is what you would call something that performs well beyond its scope. Our bodies have been doing just that for ages, and never more than now. How, you ask? Walk with me…

Our Designer originally supplied our first parents with the food He saw fit for them. Would you go against Volkswagen Motors if they specified that only diesel should be put in their engines? Highly unlikely. Yet we find no qualms digressing from the original diet by miles.

Sure, those diesel engines will run, albeit with some discomfiture, on less than pure stuff, but in comparison, we seem to be feeding our machines with rather creative ‘fuels’ and expecting nothing less than perfect functioning, much like dropping at the fuel station for some oobleck(industrial grade porridge) for your automobile before whistling all the way home, your car roaring with zeal and joyous strength.

Absurd, I know…bordering on the comical even. Obviously, the steaming spirits (chang’aa) that are fond of closing people’s eyes with brutal efficiency rank high on the list, but some impudent offenders are quite close to us all.

Quite a number, but for today let us consider one celebrated fella. Sugar. Yep, those white or brown( depending on how much you let healthy living concern you) crystals packed in magnificent wrappers. The sugar in sugarcane is squeezed out and purified with skill, leaving only the statistical margin of error.

So from 2-3% soluble sugar in sugarcane, you get a whopping 99%. Quite a feat. Worth a pat on the back and a few acres of land, maybe a few malls. The product is much sweeter too.

Yet it is burdensome to the body. The Designer made systems, i.e. the liver, to deal with 2-3%, cushioned with other essential nutrients and a lot of water as exhibited in sugarcane, but you give it up to 99% sugar, little to no nutrients and as little water as our patience can bear(chai fupi, anyone?).

Your body, being its excellent self, will try its best to work with what it is given, but the strain will take its toll. A lot of the harmful effects of sugar can be found by being bold enough to google, but I will quickly highlight one, in the interest of not boring you with 1000 words.

We have finite energy in us, used in meeting various needs such as digestion, repair, and fending off diseases. When under excesses such as highly concentrated sugar, the body will have to reluctantly divert some of the energy required elsewhere to process the sugar that could quickly turn poisonous if left unattended.

As a consequence, other vital body functions suffer neglect. Of course, the effects are gradually felt, but as always, by the time the body shouts, the damage has reached critical levels.

Small wonder then that some of the people who lived in the yesteryears enjoyed much better health. Unburdened by overly refined and altered foods, they had all the energy to keep many diseases of opportunity at bay, and avoided many more of the aptly named lifestyle diseases.

How about we be kind to our ‘machines’ and judge the results for ourselves? Sure, reverting to the natural will be less than appealing to the senses, but our expendable selves can get used to almost anything with time, and even abhor the former. The outcome of being a caring master to the servant will be yours to behold. Let us have a bountiful day.

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