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Is Sugar Bad for You?

Posted on September 17, 2011 at 5:10 PM

 

Is Sugar Bad for You?

By Benjamin Radford


Over the past few years, some soda makers switched from corn syrup to sugar to sweeten their soft

drinks. This was partly in response to a corn shortage, but also because many people believe that sugar is

healthier or more natural than the high fructose corn syrup previously used. On the other hand, countless

products are advertised as "sugar free," and everyone agrees that people eat too much sugar.  

So what's the deal? Is sugar bad for you or not?

Sugar consumption has been associated with a variety of health problems ranging from dental cavities to

obesity, but definitive links between sugar and ill health are difficult to make because sugary foods are

also often high in fat as well. Diets high in sugar tend to be unhealthy, but that does not necessarily mean

that sugar itself is unhealthy.

Many parents are cautious about giving their children candy, though despite popular myths about a "sugar

high," sugar has not been linked to hyperactivity in children.

"Sugar does not affect the behavior or cognitive  performance of children,"  concluded researchers who

investigated a link between sugar  and behavior in a study published in 1995 in the Journal of the

American Medical Association. Instead, the researchers found that the assumed link between sugar and

hyperactivity "may be due to expectancy and common association."

Sugar is not necessarily bad for you, but, like salt, fat and other tasty ingredients, it should be consumed

in moderation. This is difficult, however, because much of the sugar that most Americans eat is "hidden."

Everyone expects to find sugar in candy bars and soft drinks, but significant quantities of sugar can also

be found in many common foods, from ketchup to salad dressings to pasta sauce. And, of course, there is

naturally occurring sugar in many fruits and vegetables.

Because sugar contains no vitamins or minerals, it provides only empty calories – taste without the benefit

of nutrition. This, in a nutshell, is what's wrong with sugar: it's not bad for you, but it's not good for you

either.



Categories: Halaal & Health

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