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Is Sugar Really All That Bad?

Posted on: May 11, 2016

The resistance I have personally about reducing sugar in my own diet is truly astounding.  I decided to create a list of the ill effects of sugar to motivate myself.  Guess what?   Setting aside the addictive qualities of sugar I shared in my last newsletter, the list of reasons for at least reducing the amount of sugar in the diet seems endless and serious. I’ve distilled my research into two guidelines below that I hope you will find helpful and supportive in your journey toward better health!Brownie

Proven consequences of sugar intake are much more devastating than gaining a few unwanted pounds. The most comprehensive list that I found so far is from nutritionist Nancy Appleton, PhD, listing 146 reasons to avoid sugar, with research backing up each reason.

Since we now know that consuming sugar obviously promotes ill health, how can we manage our eating in a practical way in daily living?  I created a simple set of guidelines to make practical eating decisions every day.  With this information you can take charge of your sugar intake without becoming obsessed with types of sugar, calories, or the form of sugar.

Guideline One: Strive to reduce the sugar intake in your diet no matter the source or type of sugar.

The most recent statistics say that the average American adult consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar a day and the average child 32 teaspoons per day. The American Heart Association would like to get that average down below 10 teaspoons per day.

How much do you think you take in?

Guideline Two: Strive to keep the type of sugar in your diet as “natural” as possible.

There are three primary ways we take in sugar:

  • The natural sugars in the fruits and vegetables we eat.
  • The sugars from sweetened foods we know are sweet such as ice cream, sodas, cookies, and cake. Recognize that sugars such as honey and agave are still sugar and they do count!
  • The hidden added sugars in foods we don’t think of as sweet, but when we read the list of ingredients we find sugar has been added such as in bread, crackers, soup, nuts or salami.

Becoming aware of the ingredients in the food that we buy by reading the label can be an eye opener. If you aren’t already doing that, this would be a good time to start. Remember that the earlier in the ingredients list, the larger the amount in the product. There are so many forms of sugar in our diets it can sometimes be hard to tell if an ingredient is actually sugar.

Here are some common names of sugar sweeteners you will find:
Cane sugar, honey, agave, high-fructose corn syrup, corn sweetener, corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrates, polydextrose, glucose, invert sugar, lactose, demaltose, malt syrup, raw sugar, sugar syrup, cane crystals, crystalline fructose, evaporated cane juice, corn syrup solids, malt syrup.

However, the least processed forms are proving to be less problematic to health. The sugars found naturally in fruits and vegetables are the least to worry about.

By the way, in case you are considering using artificial sweeteners instead of sugar, such as in diet sodas etc., please don’t! This is a topic I will explore in another newsletter, but the bottom line is that these are worse for you than the sugar they replace.

Consider these two guidelines as a starting point. They are a straightforward method to help make healthy decisions about food. By following them you can avoid the entanglement of learning organic chemistry and at the same time find yourself getting healthier with every bite!


At Westlake Village Chiropractic Arts, we are committed to supporting you in your journey of greater health & well-being. Contact us for your next visit.

Posted in: Health & Well Being, Nutrition

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Disclaimer: Dr. Stephen B. Chopyak, D.C is a chiropractor and does not offer medical or chiropractic advice from this website. This information is offered for educational purposes only. Do not act or rely upon our information without seeking an independent health care professional's advice. The information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship between you and Dr. Chopyak. As with any medical procedure, results will vary among individuals, and there could be risk involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, condition or issue, promptly contact your health care provider. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The photos used may be models and not patients.