The average person in North America consumes 150 lbs of refined sugar per year! This is astronomical in contrast to the 5 lbs per year consumed by the average person at the turn of the 20th century.

Sugar, especially in its refined state, has many detrimental effects on the body. First and foremost, it is highly acid-forming. This means that sugar consumption throws off your pH balance so that your blood and other important become more acidic. The more acidic your body becomes, the greater the likelihood for disease to flourish. It’s no wonder that research has linked sugar consumption to cancer, hormonal disruptions, arthritis, osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes, cataracts, and many other degenerative diseases.

Refined sugar is one of the worst poisons you can put into your body. It is known to compromise the immune system response for between 4-6 hours, lowering the body’s natural defenses and making less capable of fighting harmful pathogens.

The manner in which sugar is processed exacerbates the problem. More than 60 chemicals are used in the processing of natural sugarcane’s thick beige stalks into the fine, white granular table sugar that we’re all to familiar with. Many of these chemicals, including bleaches and deodorizes, are still present in the product.

At same time, the naturally occurring minerals and vitamins in the sugarcane plant are completely removed. One such mineral is chromium. Chromium is a critical player in the body’s ability to uptake sugar from the blood and into the cells. The fact chromium is not present in refined sugar poses a problem for sugar uptake and metabolism, which imposes further stress on the body’s energy metabolism regulation. This is one of the reasons why refined sugar causes a rapid spike and then crash in blood sugar levels.

And it’s not just the refined table sugar that is the problem. In fact, the majority of our sugar intake comes from hidden and unexpected sources such as processed and packaged foods. Sugar is used as an additive in foods ranging from meat to ketchup to salt. In packaged foods sugar can take the form of glucose, dextrose, sucrose, or the ever-present high-fructose corn syrup.

The major concern is that sugar provides no real nutritional value, while wreaking havoc on our blood sugar levels (promoting diabetes and weight gain) and leading to excess caloric consumption. It suppresses the immune system, disrupts normal mineral relationships, and compromises the health of our vital organs.

If you’re a big sweet tooth and constantly seeking your next fix, then here a couple of strategies that will help you from joining the “dark side”:

• Use natural sweeteners such as agave, honey, or maple syrup if you must sweeten your foods. Agave is probably best since it is a much lower glycemic index option, which is favourable for maintaining normal blood sugar levels.

• When you get a sugar craving drink a big glass of water. Many times we have cravings for unnecessary reasons such as being bored. Drinking a tall glass of water can help curb this urge and prevent you from making the choices that you will later regret.

• Eat schizandra berries or take a schizandra supplement. This natural herb/berry helps restore normal blood sugar levels and can help reduce the need for sugar.

• Supplement with chromium. Chromium is a mineral that is often lacking in our foods (because everything is so refined). Supplementing with 200 mcg/day of chromium can be immensely powerful at restoring normal blood sugar levels and ensuring proper sugar metabolism.

• Alkalize your body through lemon water and green juices. As you alkalize your body, you purify your blood. Since we often crave what is in our blood, it is necessary to cleanse the blood of excess sugar and acidic compounds. This is accomplished through plenty of green juices, salads, and drinking lemon water.

Author's Bio: 

Nutrition Expert, Yuri Elkaim and his groundbreaking raw food book, Eating for Energy, have helped thousands of people in over 80 countries regain control of their health and weight. Watch his new You Tube Video and discover a delicious GREEN smoothie recipe that will keep you energized and nourished. For more on his revolutionary healthy eating book visit