When I was younger, my great aunt used to say that we need sugar to give us energy. These days I’m not so sure.

Of all the food groups, carbohydrate is the most maligned. Sugar is a carbohydrate which has various names a few of which are : sucrose, fructose, dextrose, corn syrup, maltose, galactose, honey and  lactose .

Here are two points of view, based on fact. Read more should you wish to and make up your own mind. While Information is UK-based, the same is rapidly becoming true in France.

  • 1. Robert Lustig, is professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of California (USA), an expert on childhood obesity and an endocrinologist (his area of expertise is human metabolism and how our bodies break down food and turn it into energy). You can search for videos of him and his work on YouTube.  Lustig says that sugar should be restricted by law in the same as alcohol and tobacco since they pose the same risk to health in the form of non-communicable diseases such as Alzheimer’s diabetes, heart disease, chronic fatigue and high blood pressure. Depression, food cravings and addictive overeating, not diseases in themselves, are also side effects of sugar consumption.

Sugar: can something which tastes so good be BAD for you?  Let us look at processed and unprocessed sugar.

  • 2. In their natural, unprocessed form, sugars are metabolised (broken down) by the body since they are diluted, distributed, and balanced out by a combination of other important nutrients. An example of this is the sugar in fruit such as an orange, fructose. The orange also contains vitamin C and fibre making it take longer to be broken down by the body so the appetite is satisfied for longer. When sugar is refined however this process is distorted and becomes unbalanced. The high nutritional cost of this is that the sugar becomes high in calories, but low in nutrient density. The fact that refined sugar isn’t full of wholesome nutrition however does not necessarily make it bad for us.
Various forms of sugar from my kitchen