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The not so sweet side of sugar

Looking for a healthy alternative to the "white devil" sugar? Let us explain it to you in plain english!

Sugar and I are close friends.  I really enjoy its sweet presence in my life,
and though I’ve cut back from our time together, we still hang out regularly. 
But after some gut wrenching research I’m thinking of breaking it off.  I may be
overreacting, or not, but I’m pretty convinced that sugar is trying to kill me. 
Kill us.

Sugar, it’s definitely YOU, not me.

We get most of our sweeteners from naturally occurring sugar sources:
plants.  Maple trees, sugar cane, palms of coconut trees, sugar beets, agave
cacti and corn.  From there we extract and then condense the sugars.  When it
comes to honey we can thank the bees for doing that work for us.  And did you
know that about 30% of our granulated sugar comes from beet sugar? 
Interesting.

The sweeteners mentioned above are naturally occurring sweeteners. 
Artificial sweeteners would be the ones that are made in a lab.  I’ll save those
for a different post.

Ok, so let me say this.  I love plant foods.  I’m all about eating plants,
but just because sugars come from a plant does not mean they are good
for you.

It’s now estimated that about 20% of our diet is comprised of added
sweeteners (that does not include fruit and veggies).  YIKES!  That’s a 14%
increase in total energy consumption from all sweeteners since 1970.  It may or
may not have to do with the fact that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was
discovered in 1971.  Or, it may exactly have to do with that.  Especially
considering HFCS was initially marketed as healthier than table sugar. 
And cheaper (later in the 1980′s).  We believed it too.  And many hopped on that
bandwagon.

Speaking of bandwagons, in case you think I’m jumping on the HFCS being pure
evil bandwagon, know that I’m only 1 foot on.  If you look at intake of HFCS in
recent years, it’s actually down!  Unfortunately, body fat is still on the rise
in America, so we can at least say that the direct correlation between,
specifically, HFCS and extra body fat is inaccurate.  Bummer.  I know how much
we all like to finger point.

Some people say that sugar is sugar is sugar.  According to some recent
research, that’s not really true.  An important thing to understand about
sweeteners is that they each have a different chemical structure.  Depending on
the structure, our bodies process and store them according to their structure. 
HUH? I know, I try and keep it simple.  Basically different sugars act
differently in our bodies.

Some other people also say that a calorie is a calorie.  That’s also not
totally true.  Since we’re talking sugar, it’s good to know that all
carbohydrates are broken down into sugars.  So, 100 calories of glucose (from
something like a potato) or 100 calories of table sugar (half glucose and half
fructose) will be metabolized differently and have a different effect on the
body.  Calories are the same, but the metabolic consequences are quite
different.

Let me try to explain a bit more.

Heard of high and low glycemic index foods? Read more at: http://missfitcomplete.com/blog/2013/01/17/sweet-side-sugar/

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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