Five Common Myths About Sugar
Our bodies require sugar in the form of glucose — it’s the preferred fuel source for our cells and organs. Although overconsuming sugar can certainly be unhealthy, sugar has gotten a bad rap over the years. There are many myths surrounding sugar — let’s take a look at the top five.
1. Sugar Causes Hyperactivity
Pretty much all parents have heard that the theory that eating too much sugar will cause kids to become hyperactive. However, the research doesn’t quite back this up — no link has been found between sugar intake and kids bouncing off the walls. While all foods provide our bodies with energy when broken down, this doesn’t translate to hyperactive energy.
2. Sugar Directly Causes Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is caused by a complex array of factors. Yes, eating too many carbohydrates — whether from sugar or other carb sources, like starches — can increase your blood sugar. Chronically high blood sugar causes your body to not respond to insulin, the hormone needed to shuttle sugar from the blood into cells. Over time, this can lead to diabetes. However, there are other reasons why diabetes may develop, including being overweight or eating too many calories of any kind.
3. Sugar in Fruit is Bad
A common misconception among dieters is that fruit is too sugary. While some fruits are more sugar-rich than others (think: tropical fruits like bananas, mango, and pineapple), fruit also contains valuable vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that are beneficial to health.
4. Sugar Must Be Completely Eliminated to Be Healthy
It’s a myth that all forms of sugar must be eliminated to be healthy. Plus, all forms of carbohydrates — whether from broccoli or a brownie — will get broken down into the same molecule in the body: glucose. Eating a zero-carb diet is highly unrealistic — and not healthy, either.
5. Natural Sugars Are Healthier
Whether it’s honey or molasses or agave syrup or table sugar, all sugar is sugar. While some forms of sugar do have benefits over others — for example, honey can contain antioxidants — the differences are typically negligible.