Ocnutrition’s Blog

Debunking Sugar Myths
May 12, 2010, 10:08 pm
Filed under: General Nutrition

If you have access to the internet, you have access to free, unregulated nutrition information. As a result, you likely find it difficult to determine which information is accurate and which is mythical. Sugar has long been the victim of various myths so, in an effort to clear up the confusion, we have weeded through the research to bring you the facts about sugar and your health.

Sugar causes weight gain

NO, eating sugar will not necessarily cause you to gain weight. Eating more calories than you’re burning, whether the extra calories come from sugar, other carbohydrate sources, protein or fat, is what leads to weight gain.

Sugar is unhealthy and should be avoided

NO, sugar is not inherently unhealthy. It is important to note that sugar is found in some highly nutritious foods. For example, fruit and milk both contain naturally occurring sugar and these foods are an important part of a healthy diet. Sugar is found in a lot of foods with low nutritional value such as candy, cookies, ice cream, soda, etc. and these types of foods should be limited to ensure a well-balanced diet.

Sugar causes diabetes

NO, sugar does not cause diabetes. After someone develops diabetes it is important for them to monitor their carbohydrate and sugar intake to control the disease, but eating sugar is not the cause of diabetes. Some of the potential causes for diabetes include:
• genetics
• gaining too much weight (especially in the abdominal area)
• eating an unhealthy diet (especially a diet low in fruits and veggies and high in fat)
• being inactive (less than 30 minutes of physical activity per day)
If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, a Registered Dietitian can help you design a nutrition plan to manage your blood sugar.

Sugar causes kids to be hyperactive

NO, sugar does not cause hyperactivity. Sugar is often blamed for hyperactivity in kids, but study after study has proven this not to be true. Even children who were said to be “sugar-sensitive” were not found to behave any differently on a sugar-full or sugar-free diet. Because treats are usually given to children as a reward or eaten in a fun, social environment such as a birthday party, the excitement of the situation is probably the true cause of the hyperactivity. Also, sugary soft drinks usually contain caffeine, a component that legitimately causes increased energy and activity in some adults and children.

Eating too much sugar will lead to dental cavities

In children, a weak association between sugar consumption and dental caries exists when teeth are not brushed 2 or more times per day. It is important to note that dental health is mainly influenced by factors such as dental hygiene, fluoride intake (usually from tap water), and genetics.

This information was brought to you by OC Nutrition, Your Trusted Source for Health & Nutrition Advice, and Amanda Nelson, RD. OC Nutrition offers nutrition counseling services over the phone or in person in Newport Beach, Irvine, Orange, Anaheim Hills, Chino, Glendora and Long Beach. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact:

Kristy L. Richardson, MS, MPH, RD, CSSD, CHES
Registered Dietitian & Exercise Physiologist
(949) 933-6788

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