Myths and Facts About Sugar

Food has been associated with a lot of misinformation due to misconceptions handed over from generations, or hearsay which we end up making a part of our psychological belief system. Many Indians believe that eating curds/yoghurt or even lemon juice gives them a cold and so on. These preconceived notions end up having a placebo effect and the person actually ends up with a cold – the power of thinking and strength of our mind is evident from the same. Let me address some common food facts and myths about sugar with the belief that the trend of false beliefs do not continue.

Myth – Sugar makes you fat

Fact – Weight gain will occur when you eat more calories than you burn. Whether the calories come from eating high fat foods, high sugar containing foods or even eating healthy foods in excess of 500 calories of your requirement daily will make you gain weight. Technically, being fat means 20% above your ideal body weight for Indians and 25% above your ideal weight for Americans. There is no evidence that eating excessive sugar or simple carbs will stimulate appetite or lead to easier weight gain.

Myth – Sugar increases hyperactivity in growing children

Fact – Though parents link high sugar consumption (sweets, chocolates, cakes, ice creams) to hyperactive children who are difficult to manage, scientific evidence does not support this thought pattern.

Myth – Sugar causes tooth cavities

Fact – Yes, eating sweets and high sugar foods tend to promote dental cavities and tooth decay. Regular brushing of teeth should be encouraged after meals to prevent food from remaining stuck to teeth for long.

Myth – Honey, jaggery and brown sugar are recommended for diabetics instead of white sugar

Fact – No, honey, jaggery, brown sugar and white sugar contribute the same blood glucose response. All these should be avoided by diabetic persons. Diabetics can use sweeteners occasionally.