Myths About Sugar
By Sara Butler
Sugar consumption in the United States only continues to rise. According to the National Institutes of Health, in 1990 Americans ate about 16 grams of sugar per day. In 2014, Americans at about 80 grams of sugar per day. That’s a notable increase, especially when combined with the fact that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that Americans get about 16 percent of their calories per day from added sugars. It’s pretty clear that Americans need to pay more attention to the amount of sugar they eat. Here are a few of the myths and facts about sugar and tips to help you cut down on the sweet stuff.
Myth No. 1: Sugar is Addictive
Researchers have been looking at how sugar intake impacts health for decades and in all that time, there’s very little evidence to support the idea that sugar is an addictive substance. Of course, your body wants sugar because it wants fuel. For many people, that translates to a higher amount of carbohydrates in the diet.
Your brain certainly lights up when carbohydrates and sugar are eaten, but it’s not the same kind of reaction found in the brains of people with an addiction to controlled substances. Plus, while you may crave it, there are no physical withdrawal symptoms associated with sugar. So, while your body might like it, it’s not dependent on it.
Myth No. 2: Every Type of Sugar is Bad
While it may be true that sugar, no matter what form it comes in, has the same impact on the body, there is a difference between natural sugar and added sugar. In naturally-occurring sugars, such as the type found in fruit, there are other nutrients being ingested at the same time, such as minerals, vitamins, and fiber -- and your body uses these nutrients to helps aid in bodily functions. So, you should probably skip out on the added sugars, but don’t shy away from the natural sugars in dairy, complex carbohydrates, and fruit.
Myth No. 3: Sugar Makes Kids Hyper
You probably hear this myth all the time, but it turns out it may just be an excuse not to let little ones have all the candy and soda their little hearts desire. While sugar certainly should be limited, there’s no scientific support for the idea that sugar causes hyperactivity.
Sugar is a much larger part of the diets of Americans than it should be. So, take steps to reduce it.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Orlando, Fla.