Sugar: is it toxic? Plus: what to use instead

I've been reading Food, What the Heck Should I Eat? by Mark Hayman, MD and found it so informational! 

I am going to give you the skinny sugars and sweeteners. I want to you to be able to make well informed decisions when it comes to food, you can thank me later 😉

The average American consumes 150 pounds of sugar a year!

According to Mark Hyman, MD, sugar consumption is more serious than you think. 
Check out these facts:

• Sugar is 8 times more addictive than cocaine!

• The average American eats 1 pound of sugar every day.

• There are 600,000 processed food items in our environment, and 80% of them contain added sugar.

• 90% of kids and 50% of the U.S. population drinks soda once a day.

• One can of soda a day increases a kid’s chance of obesity by 60%.

• You have to walk 4 1/2 miles to burn off one 20-ounce 

• 15% of our calories come from sweetened beverages.

• Obesity (not just being overweight) has risen from 9% to 36% since 1960. It’s projected to hit 50% by 2050.

• Nearly 70% of Americans and 1.5 billion people worldwide are overweight.

 Good news: 

*There are some sugars that are ok to have in your diet (all in moderation of course, it’s not a free for all). 

*When you cut out sugar, you’ll see that you’ll have fewer cravings and your body won’t tolerate overly sweet foods. 

*You’ll look younger, longer…BIG PLUS! 

 Not so good news:

Sugar has been labeled by many as a toxin, and for good reason. It’s been linked to diseases that dominate our healthcare system, such as cancer, obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and liver disease. Sugar causes obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, stroke, depression, speeds up the aging process, damages your live like alcohol. 

Some more facts I found interesting:

1.)  Can you believe almost 20% of our calories come from sugary beverages like soda, sports drinks, juice, & sweetened coffees & teas?

2.)  Sugar is more than empty calories, it promotes inflammation and speeds up weight gain. 

3.)  The food industry adds sugar to almost everything, such as chicken soup, spaghetti sauce, multigrain crackers, bacon, smoked salmon, & salad dressings. Most of the added sugar we consume come from processed foods we buy in grocery stores and fast-food places and restaurants. 

4.)  Sugar spikes your sugar levels and then crashes and that when you crave more sugar and starch.

If you think,  “Ok, I’ll use artificial sweeteners.” Bad idea, it’s worse, you’ll have more cravings and can push you to binge on more sugar and junk food. 

You must read the ingredients, the nutrition label only tells you how many grams, but not what type of sugar is in it (added or natural).  

 Get familiar with the many words that mean sugar: 


Corn Anything (unless it’s whole corn)

Any derivative of rice (unless it’s vinegar), brown rice syrup

Anything that starts with the word “cane”

Fruit concentrate

Suffix “-ose”

Malt anything

Prefix “ios-“

Syrup anything



 So…which ingredients are ok to have in the ingredient list?

Fresh, pureed fruit


Organic palm sugar

Date Sugar

Coconut Sugar

Monk Fruit

Organic Maple Syrup


Stevia (sparingly)

Which should I avoid?

-Artificial Sweeteners of all kinds 

-Sugary Beverages

-High-fructose corn syrup and any ingredient with the word syrup in it (except pure organic maple syrup)

-“All Natural” anything. Big Offenders agave syrup, corn syrup, sugarcane, evaporated cane juice, brown rice syrup

-Packaged foods that contain added sugar (if it has a long ingredient list, or additives with the suffix “-ose,” that’s usually a sign there’s sugar hidden. 

-Refined white sugar

-Brown sugar

-Aspartame (NurtaSweet or Equal)

-Sucralose (Splenda)

-Saccharin (Sweet’N Low)

-Acesulfame potassium (Equal)

Check your kitchen, do you have foods that contain ingredients we should avoid? If you do, get rid of those foods. Your health is your best assist, you’ve worth it!

Vanessa Flores