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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Put the Easter candy down!!

Sometimes I guess I miss out on things by not sitting in front of the T.V. or reading the newspaper.  Thank goodness for Facebook!

Apparently CBS News ran a story following last weekend's 60 Minutes segment with a tag line stating "New studies support claim that 'sugar is toxic' ". Great timing - a week away from Easter, the biggest candy consuming holiday.  Really cool, dramatic, eye- catching lead, but NOT new. Nope, we've known about the effects sugar has on us, our brain and our bodies for a looooooong time.   Then why is everyone gasping about this? Maybe they forgot about it.  Maybe they didn't want to believe it the first, or second, or third time they heard it.  Maybe they were somehow caught up in the 'fat is toxic' foolishness that is still being passed around.  Who knows. The point is, NOW people are paying least for a week or so.

Ripples from this segment have turned to 'added sugars' vs 'natural sugars'.  Pushing people to avoid the 'added sugars' and look for more 'natural sugars'.  That is all well and good, but it doesn't tell the whole story, or even the REAL story.  Yes, it is good to look at those things, but for goodness sake, don't stop there.

All carbohydrates are saccharides (sugars).  All carbohydrates must be converted to glucose (by our bodies) to be used for fuel or stored as fat. This means that all carbohydrate foods, even those that are sugar free must be converted to glucose for use or storage. Natural or not, the rate at which this happens affects a whole host of things including cravings, fat storage, insulin production, and other hormonal malfunctions. The faster this conversion takes place- the more it is like swallowing sugar straight. Natural or not.  Dump a large amount of sugar into your body and you will pay the price. Natural or not. You may remember reading about this in one of my earlier posts.   If not, I suggest you go back and read it now.  The glycemic index/glycemic load of foods and food products cannot be ignored.

What is my point with all of this? The point is that you CANNOT simply eye the Nutrition Facts, scan for grams of sugar and consume.  You CANNOT simply read the ingredient list, scan for 'added sugars' and consume. It is entirely possible to run across food items that will list zero grams of sugar in the Nutrition Facts and will not have any 'added sugars' listed in the ingredients list (rice cakes, cereals, bagels, breads, crackers etc)   This DOES NOT mean they are a wise food choice.  So while looking for added sugar is a great thing to do, you cannot stop there.  You'll have to do a bit more homework.

While I'm at it, I may as well give you this information too. Studies indicate that fructose consumption has been linked to the proliferation of various types of cancer including colon cancer.  Too much fructose, whether from high fructose corn syrup or from fruit is not a great idea. Natural or not. Thank you 60 Minutes for giving sugar the spotlight, but people you cannot stop there.

Put the Easter candy down and do some research.

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