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Sugar Is the Dietary Devil

I struggle with sugar consumption, even though I am convinced it is essentially the dietary devil. It tastes so good sometimes. I used to drink soda all the time, but I’ve been working on getting it out of my diet. I replaced soda with kombucha thanks to a friend who suggested I try it. Well, I replaced soda as my regular drink of choice. I still drink soda every now and again, and just for my own benefit, I want to review all the reasons I need to get away from added sugar.

One thing I’ve read is that sugar is an inflammatory. In other words, it makes your body “heat up”, so to speak. An article on the Health Line website explains to pros and cons of bodily inflammation. On the pro side, it can help with healing. On the con side, sugar seems linked to several chronic conditions. It may be that sugar every once in a while or when you need to stimulate your body may be ok. However, it may also be that regular sugar intake may cause problems for the body.

A blog post published to the New York Times website by Anahad O’Connor goes in depth about the role of sugar in the diet. Some key points are that sugar is in a lot of things, so added sugar only adds more to what you may already be eating. Also, apparently, the F.D.A. has settled on 50 grams of sugar a day as a recommended maximum intake. This includes all sugars from all sources. It is important to note as well that fructose is digested only by the liver while glucose can be metabolised by any cell in the body. It’s not clear that this difference makes any substantive difference to the body.

Even though sugar is a dietary devil, my favorite kind of food to make is dessert. One reason I like to make it is because I can control the amount of sugar in the dessert. The New York Times article noted that 1 teaspoon of sugar is about 4.2 grams of sugar, or about 1/12th of the maximum daily intake. This makes it a lot easier to measure how much sugar I put into desserts considering how the dessert is portioned.

A new fact for me is that fiber helps the body regulate sugar digestion, so it is less taxing on the body all at once. That is why fruit sugar is different from candy or pop, since the former includes fiber and the latter doesn’t. An article on the Thinking About Nutrition site states that a 1 to 1 ratio is found in whole foods that give the body regulated energy over a longer period of time. When sugar is much higher than fiber, then it releases into the body much faster than the body can handle. As such, it helps to have fiber with your sugar.

I may not be able to get rid of sugar entirely, but hopefully, I can add some fiber to my diet to help keep things under control. Also, it will be interesting to play with my dessert recipes and make sure I know how much sugar goes into each serving as well as consider how I can add fiber to help regular what sugar there is.

Read about sugar and inflammation on the Health Line website
Is sugar really bad for you? It depends – NY Times
The sugar to fiber dietary ratio – Thinking About Nutrition website

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