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No Sugarcoating the Truth

Is there such a thing as a healthy sugar? The latest research says no.

Gummi Bears by Pamela Michelle Johnson

The latest research on sugar isn’t so sweet. Over the past three decades, dietary fats and cholesterol have taken the rap for causing cardiovascular disease, obesity, and a host of other ailments. Now we’re learning that, in fact, sugar may be the true culprit.Calling sugar “the new tobacco,” a consortium of British medical professors recently launched Action on Sugar, a campaign to cut sugar consumption in the United Kingdom by 30 percent. Across the Atlantic, the American Heart Association recommends an even steeper slash: reduce our current consumption from a whopping 22 teaspoons per day to six for women and nine for men.And doctors aren’t just singling out the obvious offenders: sodas loaded with high fructose corn syrup or coffee laced with packets of snow-white granules. So-called natural sweeteners—think molasses, maple syrup, agave, date sugar, and, yes, even honey—also deliver potentially unhealthy doses of sugar. The human body runs on glucose—a simple sugar produced from carbohydrates through the course of digestion. Increasingly, the Western diet has incorporated a form of sugar called …

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