Sugar causes rampant inflammation when it gets in the body. In medical terms, you could say that sugar makes any condition ending in “-itis” worse. PHOTO
When Baby Boy Mukherjee hit 10 months, something inside my head went off telling me that I needed to get back into shape.
Sure I’d lost the pregnancy weight, but as every woman who’s given birth can testify, pregnancy leaves you with these strange squishy bits.
So, as I embarked on a strict regimen of early morning yoga. Baby Boy Mukherjee was hitting that age where his requirements for breastmilk were at their peak.
As readers of my Wednesday column will know, this is when I started the R&D process for my famous granola bars.
With each iteration, I would wake up feeling different. Some days I’d be more bloated, other days I’d sleep better and there were some days I’d be really stiff.
Now as arthritis sufferers may know, it’s the nightshade vegetables (tomato, pepper, aubergine and potato), as well as citrus fruits, that are notorious for causing joint stiffness. But with Baby Boy Mukherjee various colic woes, I wasn’t indulging. So what was turning a simple sun salutation into a torturous exercise?
In a word
In a word, sugar. Sugar causes rampant inflammation when it gets in the body. In medical terms, you could say that sugar makes any condition ending in “-itis” worse.
So, if you have a problem with your eyes (say iritis) or an issue with your joints (arthritis), sugar can aggravate both. Issues with your gut?
Sugar can make conditions like gastritis (stomach) and colitis (large intestine) worse too. Sugar also depresses the immune system, in as little as 30 minutes after eating it. So if you think you might be coming down with a cold or sore throat one evening, if you have a sugary drink, I can guarantee that you’ll be ill the following day.
A 300 ml bottle of soda contains about 30 grammes of sugar – that’s 7.5 teaspoonfuls, or what you’d find in a tube of chewy sweets.
A 250 ml carton of a ready-to-drink “cordial” drink contains about the same. Energy drinks are worse still. One of them (obviously I can’t name names) contains 64 grammes of sugar in a 380 ml bottle – that is 16 teaspoons of sugar!
But it doesn’t need to be sugar in its raw form either. Refined carbohydrates have the same effect – things like chips, mandazis or white bread.
And this is even before I start talking about teeth or skin for that matter. Did you know that sugar actually ages your skin as much as smoking?
So, look for natural alternatives where possible. My granola bars actually use dates and honey to sweeten, and it appears that by combining with slow-release carbohydrates (oats), good fats (nuts) and protein (peanuts) the effect on joints is lessened further.