the sweet truth about sugar: myths and facts

Have a sweet tooth? Do cakes and pies call to you, despite any guilt for indulging? We've got some healthy alternatives for enjoying your desserts with less guilt, once you sort through a few myths and facts about sugar. Sugar’s role
  • Myth: Sugar is nothing but useless, empty calories!
First, sugar is sucrose, a molecule comprising carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, elements that make sugar a carbohydrate. Carbs, along with fat and protein, are a macronutrient, the energy source (burned as units of heat, or calories) essential for the body to live and function.So, sugar isn’t useless; it’s overused by the food industry and consumers, sending health problems out of control. Types of sugar
  • Myth: Sugar by any other name would be the same!
Actually, sugar falls into two different categories, with health effects we’ll discuss further on.
  • Natural: Fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and whole grains contain simple sugars. The beauty is, they also contain starches and fiber (complex carbs), vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Added (processed, refined): Every pastry chef knows there are at least 15 types of processed sugar, from the ubiquitous white sugar down to bee’s honey, all used to flavor and preserve food. No added nutrients, just added “empty” calories.
What about sugar substitutes, or artificial sweeteners? Stevia is a popular plant-based choice on the FDA’s approved list of sweeteners. Stevia, or “candy leaf” (related to the daisy), is calorie-free, sweeter than sugar, and safer (LiveScience). The bittersweet truth
  • Myth: Sugar just leads to obesity and disease. Go sugar-free!
Remember, we need sugar. Can’t delete it, only reduce it. See, the body uses sugar the same way whether it’s natural or added; the problem is the amount we eat.VeestroSugar.jpg

Source: American Heart Association

Reality Check!

  • One 12-ounce can of regular soda contains 8 teaspoons of sugar. (AHA)
  • The average American consumes 22 teaspoons added sugar (350 calories) a day. (Harvard)
More added sugar means more calories to burn (before they store as fat) and can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease. It takes a conscious effort to curb your sugar intake when even nonsweet, savory packaged and fast foods are laced with added sugar! Sometimes overdosing on sugar starts early, too, when virtual “sugar babies” consume sweetened baby food and formula. For example, one formula contained 3.8 grams (one teaspoon) added sugar per 5-ounce serving. The plant path
  • Myth: Plant-based sugars are a hassle to cook with and don’t taste as good.
But plants are the very origin of sugar! Think sugarcane and sugar beets. Switching to plants is just a return to basics –sweetness and energy wrapped in a natural, nutrient-dense package. Just cutting out sodas and limiting carbs will greatly reduce sugar in your diet. Also, check Bliss Returned’s list of fruits and veggies high (mangoes, peas) or low (apples, cherries) in sugar as a shopping guide.Healthier treats just might reawaken your taste for the organic sweetness of plants. Explore Plant Based Kitchenista’s recipes as a whole new culinary world unfolds. Not into cooking? Try Veestro food delivery for heat-and-serve plant-based dishes. The sweet life!Taking baby steps in a new direction sugar-wise is a great start. Or, dive deeper with University of California’s Sugar: The Bitter Truth video for more data to digest. Bottom line, you simply can’t lose by switching to plant-based foods for better health. To that end, Veestro meals and desserts offer a super-easy, guilt-free approach to the sweet life!  Sources:

Ann Jamerson, Importance of Sugar in the Human Body, SFGATE

Aviva Patz, Is Sugar Really That Bad for You?,

Added Sugars, AHA

Related Blog Posts

top 5 benefits of a detox diet to reset yourself

war on waste: are fresh veggies healthier than frozen?

got milk? the dairy industry’s mass deception

5 ways you save the world by eating vegan for lent

what happens to your body when you go vegan?

what difference can one person make by going vegan?

how easily can the pope go vegan?

supercharge your sex life

is it possible to prevent and reverse disease?

5 ways plants power us in 2019

detox your body

lose weight simply: eat smart

here’s what happens to your body on a juice cleanse

4 reasons plant-based eating helps with weight loss

juice cleanse success plan

your sugar detox guide

eating healthy doesn’t have to be scary - 5 simple tips

the most unusual facts about berries

can you get enough protein from plants?

5 foods you should never eat

spotlight on: activated charcoal

5 superfoods for women's health

ancient remedies we use today

5 plant-based foods that help you lose weight

five magnesium-rich foods for stress relief

why detox?

10 ways to sneak in more veggies

high fiber foods you can snack on

myth vs fact: 5 things you didn't know about vitamin c

plant-based aphrodisiacs that work

5 heart-healthy foods

8 underrated veggies & why you should be eating them

probiotics - your best friend around the holidays

5 winter superfoods for more energy

5 easy ways to detox after overindulging

the key benefits of juicing

should you take supplements?

veggie anatomy 101: carrots

is plant-based good for kids?

are plant milks good for you?

good carbs vs. bad carbs

food facts: tomatoes

frozen vs. fresh: know your veggies

10 seasonal superfoods

5 summer foods to keep you hydrated

how much water should you really drink?

plant foods that boost your energy

sodium's effects on health and weight

5 winter squashes you need for better health right now

fat vs. sugar: the battle rages on

the soybean saga: myths and facts

top reasons to have an apple a day

pumpkin seeds and their health benefits

turmeric and it's powerful benefits

growing edamame & health benefits of soy

pumped for peppers!

what's sugar doing to us?

benefits of basil

benefits of raw foods

check out cherries!

nih guide: how to lower blood pressure with a dash eating plan

eat more dark chocolate and lower your blood pressure!

beans v. beef: an infographic

boost your healthy gut bacteria with plant-based foods

stop the madness! treat heart disease with a healthy diet -- not drugs!

cabbage-it's history, use, and nutritional benefit

a plant-based diet is key to controlling diabetes

want to lower your cholesterol? a pill is not a magic bullet!

are you at risk for heart disease?

can eating more veggies save your eyesight?

don't have breakfast without one of these three!