What you don’t know about sugar and your health
Sugar has a confusing reputation and it can be overwhelming to decipher what types are and aren’t healthy. Consuming sugar can affect everything from your mood, energy levels, quality of sleep, brain health, weight, and skin.
Today we’re busting five popular myths about sugar that you might be surprised to learn!
Myth #1: If it says “sugar-free”, it’s healthy.
From children’s snacks to “health food” bars, many products out there are labeled as “sugar-free”. Keep in mind that just because it’s marketed this way, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily healthy, which is why it’s essential to carefully read labels.
Often when packaged foods are classified as “sugar-free”, sugars have been replaced with artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame which is a known neurotoxin and often found in gum) and fruit juice concentrates that can increase blood sugar, sometimes even more than sugar itself.
Myth # 2: All sugar is bad, even fruit.
Fruit can be a sneaky sugar source because it contains fructose, but it’s also full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that nourish our bodies. Like anything else, it should be consumed it moderation, but if you’re debating between eating a candy bar or an apple, go for the apple!
If you have any insulin-resistance or aches and pains, look for deeply pigmented, smaller-sized fruits that are higher on the NDI (nutritional density index) and lower on the glycemic index such as berries and seasonal fruits. If choosing higher glycemic fruits such as mangoes and grapes, choose smaller portion sizes to avoid spiking blood sugar.
Myth #3: Natural sweeteners are always a healthier alternative.
While natural sweeteners, like honey and maple syrup, contain health enhancing amino acids and antioxidants, it’s important to make sure that you are buying high quality products coming from a reliable source that vigorously test their products. As there is little government regulation, beware of low-grade commercially produced honey found in most grocery stores, as it is often stripped of it’s nutritional value, and can even be laced with high fructose corn syrup which is detrimental to our health. Erythritol, on the other hand is a TMB approved option – It’s 100% natural, sourced from monk fruit and has zero impact on our glycemic index (aka it won’t raise our blood sugar).
Myth #4: Stevia is better for you than sugar
Stevia (the herb) has been used medicinally for centuries, but it has only been used as a sweetener alternative in recent years. Although it’s natural form is generally considered healthy, stevia in the white powdered form goes through almost a dozen steps to turn it into what we use it for, including chemical processing and bleaching.
Myth #5: Fruit juice is a healthy drink
At the end of the day, sugar is sugar, and whether or not it’s from a natural source, it’s still going to spike your blood sugar and be processed by the same metabolic pathways in our body. Fruit juices contain high amounts of sugar, and even though they may contain vitamins, minerals and other healthy components, they should be consumed in moderation. Moreover, many brands even ADD sugar to their juice! As an alternative , eat whole fruits, which are generally lower in sugar and a much healthy option.
Busting sugars about myth can help improve your health
We hope you can take these myth-busting facts with you the next time you head to the grocery store! Remember, when it comes to sugar, don’t believe everything you hear, do your research, and always read labels.
About The Movement Boutique in Toronto – Pilates, Chiropractic, Functional Medicine
Located on Yonge Street in Toronto, The Movement Boutique serves the areas of Summerhill, Rosedale and Yorkdale with Pilates classes and much more. Our philosophy is centred on a holistic, multimodal approach to health, grounded in the latest therapeutic techniques and clinical research. Our approach: Optimal health cannot be attained through a single therapeutic lens; injuries are often the result of a constellation of lifestyle issues, including dysfunctional movement patterns, trauma, nutritional deficiencies or destructive habits of mind.