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Is sugar as bad as they say it is? White poison? Is honey any better?

Mary Poppins was right when she said "a little bit of sugar helps the medicine go down." The key word is "little." Sugar, regardless of it's source -- white sugar, honey, corn syrup, etc.-- gives us calories with few additional nutrients. Use small amounts of these sweeteners to enhance the flavors of more nutritious foods--maple syrup on whole wheat pancakes, for example. But limit those foods that contain mostly sugar and little else--soda, candy, and sweetened fruit drinks. Sugar won't cause bad behavior, but it will cause tooth decay and contribute additional calories to the diet that can lead to weight gain. Moderation is your best approach.

Melinda Hemmelgarn, M.S., R.D., Former Nutritional Sciences Specialist, University of Missouri-Columbia

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Last updated:06/17/2015
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