Thursday, April 8, 2010

Why Do Americans Think That Sugar Is "Natural"?

I always find it funny when a sugar-snob starts belittling artificial sweeteners, and high-fructose corn syrup. Most of these people will then trumpet the naturalness of sugar.

I have always found that hilarious. Few things in our diets are as highly refined as sugar. The process starts with sugar cane or sugar beets, and then is refined through a process of multiple steps to extract out the sucrose and put it into the crystal form we know as sugar. Of course, these people don't realize just how super concentrated this sucrose really is.

It struck me just how much of a refined product sugar is by watching an episode of "How It's Made".

How appetizing. Added to the cane juice during processing: sulfur dioxide fumes, and powdered lime.

Most people's reaction to this is "You mean sugar doesn't fall out of trees?!?" LOL Of course not. This super-concentrated sucrose now goes into almost everything we eat. And we wonder why diabetes rates are through the roof.

So next time someone tries to tell you how sugar is superior to high-fructose corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners, you'll know the truth. Sugar is no more natural than those other things.

I found this article to be pretty even-handed: The Sugar-coated Truth

Here is a quick summation:
  • Natural sugars (consumed in fruits and vegetables and honey!) are fine
  • Refined sugars (table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup) should be avoided
  • "Artificial" sweeteners, well the jury is still out. Just don't lean on them as a crutch
  • Limiting your portions is the key to weigh control, regardless of the contents
Just remember, after watching that video, can you really claim that refined sugar is "natural"?


  1. Think I'll follow this blog...might just learn something about eating healthier.

  2. Welcome covnitkepr! Hopefully you will. I am not a militant health food nut, I am just a guy that used to eat anything he wanted that tried to start eating healthier.

    Feel free to check out my political blog too:


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