It is believed that sugar is the root cause of a lot of health problems including obesity, heart diseases as well as lung problems. In fact, people nowadays have started to avoid sugar in their diet completely. There are plenty of myths related to sugar that makes eating even moderate amounts of sugar sound worse than it is. However, we cannot ignore the fact that everyone needs sugar to live.
Dr Jennifer Haythe, a cardiologist at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York, told Business Insider that “We all need sugar — it’s the basic building block of what runs our bodies, and, in fact, it’s necessary.”
In this article, we have tried to find out the truth behind some of the most common myths about sugar.
MYTH 1: Some types of sugar are better than others.
FACT: The fact is that all “types” of sugar affect the body in the same way.
Dr Haythe said that there’s this idea that there are different types of sugar, but that’s a complete myth. He added that brown sugar, white sugar and honey all ultimately break down into the same thing: glucose. The fact is that all forms of sugar are carbohydrates that can be used as glucose.
MYTH 2: Consumption of too much sugar leads to diabetes.
FACT: Genetics and environmental factor cause both types of diabetes, a sugary diet alone doesn’t lead to diabetes.
According to Dr Haythe, eating sugar does not directly cause diabetes; rather it is a complicated problem which involves pancreas and metabolism. In case of people with diabetes, their body doesn’t produce enough insulin. Insulin helps the glucose get absorbed into the bloodstream and liver as usable energy.
However, it is to be noted that overweight or obese are more likely to develop diabetes as extra fat can lead to insulin resistance. So, a sugar-rich diet is an indirect cause of type 2 diabetes.
MYTH 3: Artificial sweeteners are better for than sugar.
FACT: Some artificial sweeteners can be as harmful as sugar.
Some artificial sweeteners like Stevia, Truvia, and aspartame that are usually found in diet sodas have fewer calories than their sugary counterparts. But research shows that people who drink diet soda are twice as likely to be obese than those who do not.
As per a study published in the National Library of Medicine, artificial sweetener, saccharine, is more addictive than cocaine.
MYTH 4: Sugar should be completely eliminated from your diet.
FACT: Glucose is necessary to survive.
It’s true that consuming too much sugar will lead to weight gain and other long-term health problems. But, the fact that cannot be ignored is that glucose is essential to our body.
Dr Haythe said that this idea that sugar is inherently bad for you is a complete myth. He added that we all need sugar; that’s the basic block of what runs our bodies. It’s necessary to survive.
MYTH 5: Sugar causes cavities.
FACT: Acidic foods and drinks cause cavities.
Sugar does not cause tooth decay. Dr Mark Burhenne, of the online “Ask a Dentist” community, said claims that crackers and bread are the most cavity-causing foods, not candy.
“When you eat something with sugar, bacteria that naturally reside in your mouth consume this sugar as well,” Burhenne added. “Bacteria’s waste product is acid, so after they have a meal, they excrete acid….Acid decalcifies or demineralizes tooth enamel by taking away its structure, creating decay.”