Sweet and toxic: Is sugar really ‘poison’?

How could something so sweet be so bad for you? That’s exactly the point.  Sugar in all forms — from the refined stuff in the bowl on your table to high fructose corn syrup — is a key contributor to many of our diet-related diseases and conditions, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer. While our sugar intake has declined significantly since the 1970s, our diets are now filled with processed foods containing artificial sweetener and high fructose corn syrup.  The problem is they’re both bad and they’re both equally toxic.

According to recent estimates, about 16 percent of the total calories in North American diets comes from added sugar — mostly in the forms of soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks, grain-based desserts like cakes and cookies, sugar-sweetened fruit drinks, ice cream and other dairy desserts and candy. These highly palatable foods and beverages contribute a lot of calories with few nutrients, and crowd out healthful fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and the nutrients those foods provide.

An excess of sugar — fructose or any other form — is harmful and it’s wise to limit it in the diet.  It’s not sugar that’s the poison, but the dose that makes it poison.

It doesn’t help to completely eliminate sugar if other areas of our diet are lacking. The food industry will be happy to give us whole new cart-loads of ‘low sugar,’ artificially sweetened junk food. It will be low in sugar, but will still be junk food.”

There are easy ways to lower your daily added sugar load:

Sidestep soda.

Look past the lump. Sugar grams listed on Nutrition Facts panels on packaged and processed foods and beverages lump naturally occurring sugars — lactose in milk and fructose in fruit — and added sugars together.

Learn the lingo on labels. Look for the following terms on ingredients lists—they all spell sugar: high fructose corn syrup, white sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, raw sugar, malt syrup, maple syrup, pancake syrup, fructose sweetener, liquid fructose, honey, molasses, anhydrous dextrose and crystal dextrose.

Find your sweet spot. Before you reach for dessert, have some fresh or frozen fruit or some unsweetened low-fat milk or yogurt to fill you up before you dig in.

DO YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE? – This Thursday Evening at 6:30 pm Dr. Brad will be hosting a trip to Nutrition Plus – He will be giving you more information on the do’s and don’ts on what to look for in the grocery store!!!

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