By Stevi Dinizio
Sugar, a widespread and all-around favorite food, also happens to be one of the most common food additives we consume each day. what would ice cream, Hershey kisses, and donuts be without this simple and significant ingredient? Frozen milk, bitter little tear-shaped objects, and deep fried dough. Not likely as enjoyable or as wildly popular.
Something most of us may not realize is how often sugar is added to our foods that don’t even have to taste “sweet”. As a part of living a well, whole life we should be aware of what we are putting in our bodies everyday and how it can effect us. Here are some facts, pros, and cons of sugar to help you make an informed decision on how you approach everyday eating.
First off, sugar can produce a variety of negative effects on the body, with very few positive ones to counteract. On the outside of our bodies, sugar can cause skin problems, such as break-outs and irritation, as well as hinder blood flow which causes skin to dry and appear aged. What we don’t see going on inside our bodies, but will feel the effects of, are the diseases and stresses sugar is linked to. Sugar can leach vitamins and minerals such as calcium, which makes our teeth decay and our bones weaker, and potassium and magnesium, which are imperative to our cardiac health. Sugar is even linked to pesky or things like insomnia, headaches, obesity, and allergies.
In addition, sugar is considered to have those “empty calories” we hear about, meaning it has no nutritional value and we do not need food with added sugar. Studies have shown that it is better to have nothing than to have sugar. Now that’s saying something!
Oftentimes, lines can be drawn between sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Some nutritionists would say the body processes sugar more easily because it is natural and high fructose corn syrup is processed. However, other nutritionists believe sugar has little benefit over high fructose corn syrup therefore making neither a preferable food additive.
The secret is not to eliminate sugar all together… just to understand, respect it, and control your personal intake.