Hey Sugar!

Here’s an ode to the best-loved and most maligned ingredient in the world.


Do you kick it to the curb because you heard that sugar is a ‘toxin’ or do you cuddle a cookie sweetly smiling with taste bud joy?

The tasty truth about sugar and health lies sweetly in-between.

Sugar is source of energy and feeds our bodies and our brains with the fuel we need. If you’re very active and exercise regularly some sugar in your diet helps supply ready energy to fuel your muscles and keep your brain active.

Too much sugar, as too much sunshine, is a bad thing. By consuming excess sugar in the any form you are piling on excess calories with no nutritional benefits.

“Added Sugars” will soon be listed on Nutrition Facts Panels.

Some food products are already listing “added sugars” to their Nutrition Facts panels ( thank you! ) but it will be law in 2020 for all foods, beverages and perhaps even alcoholic beverages (regulated for the first time! ) to list ‘added sugars’ as one of the lines on the FDA regulated Nutrition Facts label.

That way when you buy a yogurt, you can see how much sugar is naturally occurring in the milk and how much is added as the ‘fruit’ component. Lactose is the sugar naturally occurring in all milk and milk products. Fructose is the naturally occurring sugar in fruits and other plant foods,

Think about your drink.

Did you know that the average person consumes 22% of their daily calories in the liquid form?! That’s right. Soft drinks, sweet teas, and the sugar sweetened beverages can really pile on the extra calories. And besides the thirst quenching, there are no health benefits.

So if you want to cut calories to trim down, take note of what’s in your glass before you change what’s on your plate. By making the switch from a sugar sweetened cola or sweet tea ( as we love here in the South ) and let’s say you drink two glasses a day (12 ounces)  and instead you enjoy a thirst quenching flavored sparkling water (or an unsweetened tea) you save 300 calories a day. That’s 2100 calories a week.

In nutrition we figure that to gain a pound of body weight you must consume an additional 3500 calories. So just by cutting out 3500 calories you can lose a pound of body weight. Drop a two-a-day sugar sweetened beverage habit and you could drop two pounds a month!!

The weight loss math here: Cut 2100 calories a week x 4 weeks = 8400 calories deficit


Cut the Sugar, Up the Taste & Nutrition!

Besides the excess calories in sugary drinks and sugar laden foods such as pastries and cookies and cakes and pies ( oh my!) the real nutrition story is what’s missing. By choosing these foods and drinks you’re NOT getting the vitamins, minerals, proteins, fibers and healthy fats you might be getting by choosing foods not so high in sugar. For instance, just making the ‘pastry flip’ by changing a fruit cobbler from mostly carb heavy cobbler to more fruit than pastry, you’ve created a healthier dessert! In my book The Slim Down South Cookbook we created healthy dessert recipes with taste and nutrition in mind while cutting the sugar.