Our intake of calorie-containing sweeteners and different sugars has steadily been on the rise in this country. Sweeteners are added to foods and beverages during processing and preparation, and then we add sweeteners again at the table. Lots of added sugars: table sugar (sucrose), high fructose corn syrup, honey, molasses and syrups.
Top sources of dietary sugars (in descending order): sodas (No. 1), fruit drinks, bakery desserts (cakes, pies, cookies, etc.), frozen desserts (ice cream, etc.), candy and cold cereals.
Is there a Sugar-Health Link?? Research suggests yes with an excessive intake of sugars. This can cause oxidative stress in the body, and this in turn may be involved in cancer cell growth. The strongest link seems to be with increased colon and breast cancer risk.
What is the High Fructose Corn Syrup link to our health? Research again suggest that with a HIGH intake there may be an increase in lipid production in the liver, an increase in belly weight, and thus, insulin resistance (linked to type 2 diabetes).
A modest intake of different forms of sugar really does not matter health-wise. But we consume 300 more sugary calories each day than 30 years ago! So, the answer? Dial it down, if you can. Have more foods prepared at home from scratch, because you can limit the sugar added and control the type of sweetener. A muffin mix has lots of sugar already added. If you make a batch from scratch, you can decrease the sugar and add in more natural sweeteners through the addition of fruit like diced apples, applesauce, crushed pineapple and blueberries. You are in the driver’s seat for sugar intake.