Sugar: Friend or Foe?

Is sugar the enemy?

This is a very bold question whose answers can go several ways but the truth is, sugar has been given a bad rap though most of them are due to misinterpretations.

While sugar is generally considered bad for health based on what we’ve been hearing and reading, not all of it can be considered entirely true.

So is sugar considered an enemy?

Let’s dive more into it. 

Is all sugar bad sugar?

Yes, sugar can be bad for the health but not all sugar, that is.  

What experts are pertaining to when they say sugar is bad is really “added” sugar or the additional sugar that makes food taste sweeter.

A good example would be the honey you put on top of your yogurt or the processed sugar found in soft drinks and packaged foods.

This is entirely different from the sugar that naturally occurs in some foods like fruits or milk which comes with vitamins, minerals, and a host of other nutrients that are good for the body.

In short, don’t worry about the sugar you get from fruits but worry more about the sugar you get from desserts and sugary drinks because those are the ones that are bad for you.

It’s a matter of cutting back 

While it’s true that you can’t eliminate sugar from your life, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t cut back on it, right?

Studies show that 75% of Americans consume more sugar than what they normally should and this is probably because not a lot of us track what we eat meticulously.

Cutting back shouldn’t be as painful too.  You don’t have to turn your back on some of your favorite treats.  It’s a matter of having smaller portions.

It would also help to be extra conscious of the food you eat.  Pay more attention to the labels so you can stick to your daily sugar limit and know which foods to look out for.

Let’s be honest.  There are some foods that we never expected to have high added sugar content like bread or cereals.  Knowing what and how much sugar these foods contain will definitely help.

How about minimally processed sugars?

We are always advised to stay away from processed sugar which makes perfect sense but how about minimally-processed ones?  Are they as bad as highly-processed sugar?

While it’s true that minimally processed sugar like the ones found in honey or maple syrup contain nutrients, such kind of nutrients are very minimal and don’t have a big impact on the body.

Furthermore, the body treats all sugar the same way regardless of the source.  It doesn’t differentiate whether it came from honey or brown sugar because to our bodies, it’s all the same.  

It’s all considered monosaccharide sugar molecules.

Why is too much sugar bad for you?

One of the reasons why we are warned about our sugar intake is because of the consequences it can lead to that can affect our health in a big way.

Obesity is one of these consequences which we all know can lead to more serious diseases like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease.

Too much sugar can also lead to type-2 diabetes which can negatively impact our health, lead to more serious conditions, and effectively shorten our lifespan.

Final Thoughts

Not all sugar is bad sugar and though added sugar can be bad for health, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t treat yourself to it every once in a while.  

It’s all a matter of taking them in moderation and the best way to do it is to be aware of the contents of the food you eat by reading the label.