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Sugar – The Basics
Here is a summary of the major problems with sugar in all of its forms!
What’s wrong with sugar? Everyone likes it and it’s everywhere, so it must be good for you, right?
Provides zero nutrition but adds to our calorie load
Substitutes for the nutritious foods we really need
Is somewhat addictive and doesn’t tell us when we’re full, so we keep eating more
Spikes our insulin levels and then lets us down, leaving us tired and hungry again
What we don’t burn off in exercise, we store as fat, so we gain weight we don’t need
And, while it’s in our mouth, it creates an acid that eats into the enamel of our teeth
And, by the way, it makes lots of money for food manufacturers since it’s so cheap to produce!
What foods have sugar in them?
Soda, cakes, cookies, bread, candy, pies and cobblers.
Sweet rolls, pastries, and donuts.
Fruit drinks, such as fruitades and fruit punch, sports drinks
Dairy desserts, such as ice cream, and smoothies
Tomato-based pasta sauces
Fat-free salad dressings, BBQ sauce,
Cereals and crackers, including whole and multi-grain
And many other foods that contain sugar, often masquerading as things like agave nectar, barley
malt, cane juice crystals, caramel, corn syrup, fructose, dextran, ethyl maltol, fruit juice
concentrates, glucose, honey, maltodextrin, maple syrup, organic raw sugar, oat syrup, panela,
panocha, rice syrup, sorghum, sucrose, treacle, tapioca syrup, turbinado sugar, and yellow
Sugar Is actually addictive / lab rats prefer it to cocaine!
The same part of the brain is stimulated, leading to cravings and addiction
The less you eat, the less you will crave it; the more you eat, the more you will crave it
The difference between natural and added sugar
Naturally-occurring sugars in fruits and some vegetables comes with the plant fiber that slows
absorption during digestion, so our blood sugar levels don’t spike and crash the same way as
refined sugars in fruit drinks and sodas. But, it’s still sugar and doesn’t provide needed nutrients
like vitamins, mineral and flavonoids that we get in colorful fruits and vegetables. (Flavonoids
are best known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits as well as the
support of the cardiovascular and nervous systems. Because they also help support
detoxification of potentially tissue-damaging molecules, their intake has often, although not
always, been associated with decreased risk of certain types of cancers, including lung and
breast cancer.)
What to eat instead:
Whole fruits and vegetables, at least half of our plate full at mealtime
Add some healthy fats like butter, to vegetables to make them taste better and help with the
absorption of the vitamins they contain.
Make fruit taste better by eating it with (unsweetened) yogurt; eat berries with cream
Eat cheese and nuts which add protein and other nutrients along with some fats that help make
hunger go away
Unless you are a vegan, eat unprocessed meats and fish that look like plain meat, from the farm,
or fresh or salt water.
Minimize the amount of sausage, ham, bacon, corned beef, salami, bologna, pastrami, hot dogs
and bratwurst that contain sodium nitrite or chicken that comes in the form of chicken nuggets.
In general, eat real, whole foods that grow in the ground or are raised on a farm and less of
things that come in a box or a bag.
And, whenever possible, cook the food you eat yourself. Restaurants often add things to foods
to make them taste better, even though they’re not very good for you.
Remember, you are what you eat, and you only have one body, so take good care of it!
What to drink instead of soda:
Water, with or without fruit slices
Unflavored milk, with or without fat
Decaffeinated tea and coffee (without added sugar)
And, if you prefer carbonation, soda water (some now comes flavored)
To learn more, go to
Prepared by Partners for a Healthier Community, Inc.,