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The 5 biggest fables about sugar

Some Fit chicks have completely renounced sugar. They start with a detox diet and then decide to never-ever eat a teaspoon of sugar again. I hear this too often. But should we believe all evil ‘facts’ about this delicious ingredient? I don’t think so

1. ‘SUGAR MAKES CHILDREN AND ADULTS HYPERACTIVE’

You can probably hear your mom/aunt/grandmother say: “No, don’t give them too many candies otherwise they will stay up the whole night”. In itself this is a nice assumption, but this was never proven.  In the 70s an American pediatrician claimed that the consumption of much sugar would lead to hyperactivity in children. In combination with his claim, he wrote a large number of diet books which were sold as fast as warm bread (without sugar). Without a doubt, this was a clever marketing stunt. However a large part of what he said was a lie.

 

2 ‘TOO MUCH SUGAR CAUSES DIABETES’

This is a misconception which still a lot of people think is a fact. Type 1 diabetes – the non-generic variant, is not caused by eating too much sugar. Type 2 diabetes can occur when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. Or when the body no longer responds to insulin. This may be due to genetic predisposition, but also it may be due an unhealthy lifestyle. This is not necessarily because of eating too much sugar, but the result of eating too much candies and unhealthy things.  In fact, candies are often high in calories and fat. Excess calories causes weight gain and when someone gains a lot of weight, this can make them be in higher risk to develop diabetes. Keep that in mind!

3. ‘SUGAR FREE IS ALWAYS THE BEST OPTION’

Nope, this is not always the case. Candies (or sweets) without sugar are often sweetened with artificial sweetener. You can often taste the difference in  flavor when you compare it to a ‘real’ candy. People often think that if something doesn’t contain sugar, it is a license for them to eat all kinds of snacks in all kinds of amounts. Just as with sugar, other sweetening ingredients can also become addictive. Also, artificial sweeteners can cause stomach discomfort. Ehmm, sitting in the toilet hours straight because you let yourself go crazy with the ‘sugar-free’ candies doesn’t sound ideal, does it?

4. ‘SUGAR IS THE #1 REASON OF WEIGHT GAIN’

Sounds plausible, yet it is not. Weight gain is simply caused by consuming too much calories. Whether they come from sugar, or from fat doesn’t matter. Too many calories are too many calories. If you want to lose weight, it is of course a logical step to cut down on sugars, because there is normally a lot of sugar on products which do not make you feel full. So you could better replace your favorite muesli with chocolate with a homemade granola with fresh fruit.

5. ‘SUGAR IS POISON’

Yes, this is perhaps the most exaggerated comment I occasionally hear. The sugar industry is something completely different than the ingredient sugar itself. What people do with sugar is indeed not always good for you. S’mores, sodas, candies, cupcakes, just to mention some. If you ingest daily a normal amount of sugar, and not drown yourself in liters of cola, you have nothing to fear. You won’t get poisoned. Thank god!

Be honest, in which of this fables did you believe before reading this post?

 

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