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Do We Need to Fear Fruit Sugar?

There is little fear about the sugars in whole fruit!

Information from the Australian Health Survey reveals those with higher intakes of whole fruit were 12% less likely to be obese than those with lower intakes. Those with higher intakes of sugar-sweetened soft drinks and chocolate were 9% more likely to be obese. There is no need to fear fruit sugar, although chemically similar, the combination of other nutrients and the overall diet probably account for the difference.

PositiveTip: Eat more fruits as they are an excellent source of many wholesome and necessary nutrients.

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Holiday Shots Fired in the War on Sugar

New study suggests that restricting junk food is based on junk science.

A systematic review of the the evidence supporting current recommendations for significantly lowering sugar intake says they are based on weak  evidence. However, an accompanying editorial says this is not trustworthy because it was funded by an organization (ILSI) supported by Coca-Cola and other food and beverage manufacturers. These are similar to claims made by the tobacco industry discrediting evidence on the harmfulness of tobacco.

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Soda Money Fuels Obesity?

Soda companies beneficent sponsorships are intended to buy influence.

The two major soda companies, Coco-Cola Company and PepsiCo, sponsored programs at 96 national health organizations between 2011-2015. These "sweet deals" helped them lobby against 29 public health bills intended to reduce soda consumption and promote better nutrition. Organizations such as the American Diabetes Associaiton, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and many more. This influence is really understated as it did not catalog local and state organizations.

PositiveTip: Avoid using these sugar-laden products and do you part to discourage acceptance of these funds.

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The Sour Side of the Sugar Industry

Excessive sugar intake should not have been downplayed.

In an analysis of archived correspondence between the Sugar Research Foundation (today the Sugar Association) and several prominent Harvard nutrition researchers in the mid-1960s, it has been revealed that secret support was given in an attempt to shift the blame from sugar to fat as the culprit behind coronary heart disease. Not all the dots have been connected, but this gives insight into the food industry's attempts to influence food guidelines.

PositiveTip: Don't look for just one dietary demon! Choose a balanced diet based mostly on whole plant foods for good health.

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Granola: A Really Sweet Dessert!

Granola started out as an unsweetened breakfast alternative.

Are you part of the majority of Americans who believe a mixture of oats, sugar, vanilla flavor, and maybe a few nuts and raisins is a healthy food? If so,  think again! Most commercial granolas tend to have enough sugar that they rival an ordinary slice of chocolate cake or a cup of ice cream. Read a fascinating history of granola on the New York Times website.

PositiveTip: Make your own granola, but beware of putting too much sugar, honey, maple syrup and other sweeteners in it. 

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Video: If Soda Commercials Were Honest

If it is bad for our health, why do we drink so many sugary beverages?

Analysis of the Framingham Heart Study has found those drinking sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) had more belly fat than those not drinking SSBs.  Yet the industry continues to supply the market with large quantities of this liquid candy because of a steady stream of customers who buy it! For a different perspective and a good laugh, watch If Soda Commercials Were Honest!

PositiveTip: If you don't buy and drink belly-fat inducing SSBs they will not have any impact on you!

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Lowering Sugar Increases HDL Cholesterol in Youth

Sugar is a modifiable dietary risk factor.

Sugar, sugar, sugar...we all love it in almost everything! High consumption of sugar sweetened beverages, fruit juice, and sweetened teas is associated in children with higher triglyceride levels. Researchers found in a group of 600 young people that as sugary drink consumption decreased over 12 months their HDL (good) cholesterol increased. Reducing just one or more servings per day made a significant difference.

PositiveTip: Replace sugary beverages with the universal zero calorie drink--water!

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Soda and the Aging Process

Soda might age you as much as smoking.

Researchers studied white blood cell telomeres (the caps at the end of chromosomes in every cell). Shorter telomeres are associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, stress and a shorter lifespan. People who drank more sugary soda tended to have shorter telomeres. One 8-oz serving daily was found to be equal to 1.9 years of additional aging; a 20-oz serving was equal to 4.6 years of aging, equivalent to the impact of smoking! Non-carbonated sodas and sweetened fruit juices did not demonstrate the impact.

PositiveTip: Sugary, soda beverages contribute no nutritional or health advantages.

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Sugar’s Links with Mortality

New research associates high sugar intake with heart disease

Processed sugars are associated with (but don’t necessarily cause) increased rates of heart disease. New research on 12,000 people over 15 years found that there was a 29% increased risk of death by cardiovascular disease for people who drank at least seven servings of sugar-sweetened beverages per week compared to those who drank no more than one serving per week. Excess sugar can contribute to obesity and other determinants of cardiovascular disease.

PositiveTip: Minimize your intake of soda pop, sugar-sweetened teas, energy drinks and fruit juices.