Aug 04 2010
Effective EBV treatment needs to minimise sugar intake in the diet. Today’s high-sugar diets are having unhealthy effects including lowered immunity, yeast overgrowth, blood vessel deterioration, heart disease and cancer.
The danger of sugar during EBV treatment
If we are unable to utilise the amount of sugar we eat, certain symptoms will develop. These include fatigue, brain fogginess, low blood sugar, intestinal bloating, sleepiness, increased fat storage and weight, increased triglycerides, increased blood pressure, mood swings and depression.
The average westerner consumes about 65kg (140 pounds) of sugar a year! If you are undergoing EBV treatment, then this amount of sugar can worsen your symptoms and prolong your recovery.
So how do you break the sugar habit during EBV treatment? The first step is to be aware of how to recognise sugar and in what foods it is found. The next step is to consciously cut down your sugar intake and find alternatives which are better for your health. So let’s get started…
Sources of sugar
Sugar is a term used to identify simple carbohydrates. Sugar includes monosaccharides such as fructose (fruit sugar), glucose and galactose; and disaccharides such as maltose and sucrose (white table sugar).
During EBV treatment, you need to get into the habit of reading food labels. Anything listed ending in ‘ose’ is a sugar e.g. sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose and lactose. You’ll be surprised at how much sugar is actually used in foods.
The most obvious source of sugar is the packaged sugar you buy from your supermarket. Sugar is bad in all forms – it doesn’t matter if it is brown, raw, black or white. It also comes in liquid forms like corn syrup, golden syrup, maple syrup and molasses. It is still all sugar.
A less obvious source is hidden sugars in foods. Huge amounts of sugar are in items like cola or soft drinks which can contain from 8 to 12 teaspoons of sugar per can! Sugars are also high in lollies, ice creams, biscuits, cakes, chocolate, fruit juice, alcohol and processed white bread. Also be aware of sugars in some yoghurts, breakfast cereals, muesli bars, baked beans, mayonnaise and tomato sauce.
The alternatives to sugar
Artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose, are an alternative to sugar but not recommended. They introduce chemicals into your system which then have to be dealt with by your liver, which is often already compromised during Epstein Barr. If you need to wean yourself off sugar during EBV treatment, they can be a temporary fill in.
A better option is a herb like Stevia. Stevia is several hundred times sweeter than sugar, and has no calories. It has been used as a sweetener for over 1,500 years in South America, and is popular in Japan where it is used to sweeten pickles and other foods.
For those with a really sweet tooth or for children who are struggling with getting off sugar, the best choice is fresh fruit. Natural sugar found in fruits is a far better choice during EBV treatment. The natural sugar in fruit is accompanied by fibre, water, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and enzymes. It is much more slowly absorbed than refined sugar.
Alternatively small amounts of dried fruit, barley malt or rice syrup can be used during EBV treatment. These naturally sweet foods have longer chains of glucose molecules than sugar. They break down more slowly in the gastrointestinal tract and are absorbed more slowly into the blood stream.
Refined sugar is an unnatural food, not necessary in the human diet. We should all try to keep our consumption of simple sugars as low as possible. Removing our addiction to sugar should be a priority in everyone’s health, especially if you are undergoing EBV treatment.
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