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Is White Sugar Really THAT Bad For Me?

I think you know the answer to the question if white sugar is bad for you. White sugar comes from sugar cane, which is a plant, so why is it so bad for us? Can you say highly processed? Yeah, the gorgeous white crystals most people pour into their coffee every morning has zero nutritional value because it's all stripped away. White sugar is a refined sweetener, adding nothing but calories and taste to foods.

When you eat foods with refined sugar like sodas, candy bars, or high carb meals, it upsets the body's blood sugar balance. This triggers the release of insulin, which the body uses to maintain blood sugar levels at a constant and safe level. After insulin levels spike up, they quickly crash soon after, leaving you feeling sleepy, and possibly even hungry again. This often leads to more snacking and usually on sweet or refined carb treats. This cycle leads to overeating, since you are not really hungry, and weight gain. This is the reason carbs are often viewed as “bad” nowadays, and why the Atkins Diet is so popular.

Refined carbs such as white bread, white pasta, white rice, baked goods such as cookies have the same effect on your body, so that's why you should look for alternative foods made from whole grains. When you feel like snacking, stick to straight up fruits, nuts and ones that contain whole grains. These are slow burning carbs that contain vitamins and fiber too, so they'll give you a consistent flow of energy without the sugar meltdown.


Join The Conversation
StaceyMae StaceyMae 9 years
White sugar is horrible, artificial sweetners are 100x's worse!!! So many Americans are uneducated and ignorant when it comes to nutrition. NATURAL is always best. Raw cane sugar and agave nectar are the best sweetners.
Iris1000 Iris1000 9 years
Yeah, I use white sugar as a last resort.
almostloli almostloli 9 years
i avoid white sugar because of the calories, i switch to low-cal sweeteners.. i know i know.. NOT healthy as well :( but i can't drink coffee/tea (except green tea) if it's not sweet enough
Green Green 9 years
i stick to Sugar in the Raw if I have any sugar at all.
loonyluna loonyluna 9 years
There are natural sweeteners like blue agave nectar.
Equita Equita 10 years
I'm a big fan of Alter Eco's ground cane sugar; its unrefined, fair trade and organic. re: tea sweetners, there's something to be said for the little kick you get from a cup of local, flavorful honey in your daily cup. If you need to use a sugar substitute, avoid Equal, SweetnLow, Splenda and all the other chemical alternatives; I've read some terrible news linking them (esp. aspartame) to migraines and even brain tumors. There is a natural substitute called Steevia which is a plant; if you need a sugar fix you can just chew on one of the leaves.
lintacious lintacious 10 years
"a cup of brown sugar has slightly more calories than white, but it "also contains 187 milligrams of calcium, 56 of phosphorous, 4.8 of iron, 757 of potassium and 97 of sodium, compared to only scant traces of those nutrients found in white granulated sugar."
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 10 years
Brown sugar is produced similarly to white sugar, with two exceptions. Its crystals are left much smaller than for white sugar, and the syrup or molasses is not washed off completely. Brown sugar contains from 3.5% molasses (light brown sugar) to 6.5% molasses (dark brown sugar). So why is it better than white sugar?
lintacious lintacious 10 years
ugh don't use splenda. artifical foods create artifical moods. there are enough chemicals in other things i eat. also, most foods you eat (all fast food, all soda) doesn't even use white sugar. they use high fructose corn syrup. which is a super cheap way sweeten things using a sugary syrup. and its disgusting and super unhealthy. remember: anything homemade is not junk food. if you make your own cookies and cakes, you can determine just how much sugar to put in there. if a recipe calls for 1C of white sugar, i'll put in 1/2 C brown sugar and 1/4 C white sugar. it's so easy to modify your own recipes to make them a bit healthier and then you know -exactly- what is going in your body. please dont use splenda.
melda melda 10 years
oh i cannot drink my tea without sugar and i am addicted to tea
cams cams 10 years
I hate to break this to you, Giabash, but fruit has FRUCTOSE, crackers have MALTOSE, Dairy has LACTOSE, etc Every single carbohydrate you eat is broken down to glucose--because thats the only form of sugar that your cells can use for energy. MORE bad news for you sugar haters: When you eat too much protein, the excess is converted to GLUCOSE and then stored as fat. Its impossible to avoid all sugar simply because its converted to sugar once its in you. Granted, white sugar isn't the most nutritionally dense food, but I would argue that its better than HFCS. But trying to avoid all forms of carbohydrates is not healthy.
Feesje Feesje 10 years
Thanks for the list, Giasbash6260! I guess I already knew that, but it's good to remember.
beingtazim beingtazim 10 years
i think white sugar is gross. why is it so white - often bone char is used to bleach it. oh yuck. i like brown sugar or sucanut.
theboyslover theboyslover 10 years
I use splenda...
Giasbash6260 Giasbash6260 10 years
STAY AWAY FROM ALLLLLLLLLL SUGAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YIPES! This day in age, sugar has soooo many different names that people get so confused and have no idea they are actually eat sugar because most labels these days dont even say sugar, they say... Dextrose Sucrose Maltodextrin High Fructose Corn Syrup Corn Syrup Fructose Glucose Maltose Lactose Honey Juice Concentrate Syrup Molassas Cane Juice Succanat Turbinado Barley Syrup Brown Sugar White Sugar Sorghum Mannitol Invert Sugar Grape Sweetener ....the list goes on, but I will stop.
jennifer76 jennifer76 10 years
Isn't white sugar better than high fructose corn syrup or artifical sweeteners, though? I mean if you're going to indulge (like most people do, I'd think...).
Iris1000 Iris1000 10 years
I like the coffe cup and saucer in this picture. Wonder where I can buy it?
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