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How about giving up refined sugar, flour for Lent?

Fuelling Your Body

Sunday, March 10, 2019

DO yourself a huge favour. If you were or are considering giving up anything for Lent, give up refined flour and sugar.

There is a lot of debate, discussion and shaming about whether or not there are any such things as 'good foods' and 'bad foods'. Most people agree that foods manufactured with preservatives, hydrogenated oils, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial additives are easily health risks. But it was not always agreed. It took a while for the research and science to catch up with the industries and manufacturers.

Now, because flour and sugar are considered products of basic refinement of natural foods, such as wheat, grain, cane, beet and others, their usage and products are largely thought of as safe and even healthy in moderation. This is promoted as truth, and many in the fitness, nutrition, weight loss, and medical industry will paint flour and sugar moderation with a wide brush of agreement, when in reality it is much more brutal than that.

Do we have nutritional requirements for refined flour and sugar?

No, all we need is what is known as the essential nutrients — water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. So, refined sugar and flour are refined carbohydrates, but there is nothing natural about them.

Every natural occurrence of flour contains fibre, and almost all natural occurrences of sugar contain fibre. Without fibre these materials are potentially hazardous to your body.

Think of your body as a finely tuned machine, passed down to you by every ancestor that has ever lived before you. Its reactions, processes, strengths, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities are the sum total of each and every ancestral code written into your DNA. This is the physical total of what you are.

Intekai has what we have called our theory of origin. As such, whatever the majority of our ancestors survived, and how they adapted to survive it, defines what will affect us positively of negatively.

Natural whole foods have been the way for thousands of years. It is for this simple reason that refined foods create very complex physical, hormonal and biochemical havoc in our bodies, such as:

• Diabetes — and yes, it is much more common than you imagine;

• Increased fat storage;

• Metabolic slowdown/damage;

• Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease;

• Kidney damage;

• Dementia;

• Alzheimer's disease;

• Erectile dysfunction;

• Inflammation;

• Sepsis;

• Weakened immune system;

• Cancer;

• Coronary disease;

• Bone loss;

• Gastro intestinal disorders including diverticulosis;

• Autoimmune complications;

• Depletion in important nutrients;

• Depression;

• Rampant cravings;

• Damage to our very important, good gut bacteria;

• Premature ageing;

• Skin damage, glycation resulting and exacerbating wrinkling, sagging, acne, dark patches, and more;

• Dissolving teeth;

• Reduced lifespan, in quantities often comparable to cigarette smoking;

• Life-long addiction, yes, addiction — not just habituation, and more.

These are a few of the things that refined flour and sugar will eventually do to your bodies and the bodies of your loved ones.

Why do refined flour and sugar eventually do so much damage?

To be very clear, complex, low glycemic index carbohydrates in reasonable amount, are not dangerous. These diseases and conditions are connected to refined flour and sugars.

The lack of fibre is ultimately the culprit. Do you remember I mentioned the Intekai Theory of Origin, and the presence of fibre with practically all natural sources of grains, wheats and sugars? Well, without fibre the sugar, flour and, carbohydrates are dangerously high in the glycemic index (GI).

In other words, they are more rapidly absorbed than our body is ideally designed to manage, leading to peaks of insulin secretions.

Without the fibre, the smoothness and ease of ingestion lead to eating high quantities of various cheap, manufactured, refined foods. This has caused an unprecedented intake of flour and sugar in: breads, pastas, pastries, drinks, sauces, dressings, meats (yes meats), packaged fruits, energy drinks, instant oatmeal, flavoured yogurts, fruit juices, cereals, smoothies, alcoholic mixers, non-whole nut butters, coffee drinks, non-dairy milks, flavoured water, bottled teas.

Do you have to stop all flour and sugar?

No, of course not. There is always the risk of opening addiction and habit-driven cravings and pangs.

The World Health Organization recommends 25 grams or less of sugar, in any form, refined or natural, per day — to best avoid the related illnesses. Your recommended amount of vegetables in a day can account for as many as nine to 12 grams of sugar, leaving you with about one medium orange worth of sugar from fruit for the entire day. Look at the list above, read labels, and avoid adding sugar as much as possible.

Although it is possible to mostly stay away from refined sugar and flour, it is also fair enough to have sugary products a few times a year. Intekai recommends your personal special occasions/celebrations, vacations, and the occasional sampling during a shared experience.

Give yourself a break; do something good for yourself

Taking a break from refined sugar and flour is not a sacrifice though, it may feel that way because of the convenience, your socialisation, habit and perhaps addiction.

In reality, giving your body the opportunity to get a break from these disruptive refined materials is a gift beyond measure — giving your system the opportunity to clean out, normalise and heal.

You may need support and advice on substitutes during this period, so seek assistance from a coach or other professional. It will certainly be a gift to yourself.


Fitz-George Rattray is the director of Intekai Academy, which is focused on helping people live a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and weight management. If you are interested in losing weight or living a healthier lifestyle, give them a call at 876-863-5923, or visit their website at