Sugar Baby

As I’ve written about before, I’ve been trying to get back into a healthier lifestyle for 2013 (and ideally forever on), so lately I’ve been reading a lot about health and nutrition and diets and yadda yadda yadda. I’ve been working on eating less carbs and more fruits and vegetables, and I’m proud of myself for that. Everyone has their own views on how you should be eating (paleo! south beach! gluton free! dairy is the devil! etc. etc.), but for me, I believe as long as you eat real food, from real ingredients, combined with a decent amount of veggies, you’re doing okay.

So when I saw the infographic below, I found it incredibly interesting but enormously depressing. It’s all about sugar.

Sugar sugar sugar.

And I’m sorry, but what the eff? One apple and you’ve already exceeded your suggested sugar intake for the day?

Last night I started looking up the sugar counts of some of the foods I eat most often. I usually have a turkey sandwich for lunch, but sometimes, if I want to be healthy, I’ll have a big delicious bowl of fresh fruit or a green smoothie.

But now I’m confused. I did the math, and the sandwich that I eat has barely any sugar in it (8 grams), while my fruit bowl has almost 50! However, my sandwich is swimming in carbs, while my fruit bowl is not. So what’s worse? Carbs or sugar? What is one to do? Ahhhh!

See the depressing facts for yourself:


Based on that diagram, I might as well just be eating oreos!

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AshFebruary 12, 2013 - 11:39 am

honestly, the sugar you get from whole foods is COMPLETELY different than the processed shit. i wouldn’t worry about eating those apples (: as long as you are not eating a high fat diet, you can eat all the whole foods you want- sugary or non (:

StephanieFebruary 12, 2013 - 11:58 am

Honestly, I think people tend to make a big deal out of sugar in general without looking at what else goes along with the sugar. I tend to view it the same way I view calories. There are empty calories and nutritious calories (the high calories in an oreo vs. the high calories of an avocado, for example). I think sugar is the same way – empty sugar and nutritious sugar. An apple may exceed the “recommended” sugar for the day but there are so many other great nutrients and vitamins that make it worth it. Whereas a chocolate chip cookie has little to no nutritional value and a lot of empty, useless sugar. I also think there’s a big difference between artificial sugars and sweeteners and the stuff Mother Nature included to make those foods appeal to us so we’ll eat them again and again. I think being healthy ultimately comes down to common sense and moderation. Graphs and charts can be misleading or misinformed. Eliminating entire food groups based on viewing one particular ingredient as “bad” just seems dumb to me.

StephanieFebruary 12, 2013 - 12:02 pm

PS – I remember bringing this up with my doc because diabetes runs in our family and she told me that your brain actually needs the sugar that comes from fruits, veggies, and grains (glucose, I think). Apparently it’s the only type of fuel your brain cells can use so if you eliminate or severely restrict those types of whole, natural sugars from your diet, you’re actually doing harm to your brain and not allowing it to operate at its fullest. Obviously too much of anything is bad, but you still need at least some sugar in your diet!

AllisonFebruary 12, 2013 - 1:00 pm

Just try to stay away from food containing high-fructose corn syrup / sweeteners. Good types of fructose and glucose are naturally found in fruits and vegetables.

I agree – “eat real food, from real ingredients, combined with a decent amount of veggies.” I’d add that if you eat regular portions, you’ll be ok!

JessicaFebruary 12, 2013 - 1:21 pm

I’m screwed then! Is this what you are going to try and give up for Lent? PS Your mom is too funny!

Julie / BoundFebruary 12, 2013 - 2:00 pm

I’m with you on the “real foods” concept. I think the frustrating thing about this is that even carbohydrates like sandwich bread basically are sugar…just more complex. That’s why I dig the paleo concept, because most of your food intake is coming from sources (like meat and vegetables) that have no sugars at all. Aaaaaand then I can save my sugar intake for frozen yogurt. Which is not paleo in the slightest and I do not care at all. haha!

nicole marieFebruary 13, 2013 - 10:13 am

ok there’s no way they can say that eating strawberries is worse than eating a twinkie… get serious. there’s a difference between natural sugars and processed sugars. so unless you have a sugar problem… eat those fruits away! obviously like you said everyone has their own idea of what’s healthy and iagree with you that eating the most natural foods is best

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