Americans can find nutritional advice everywhere these days. Television, internet, smartphone apps, and yes, even still in print newspaper articles. But whatever the case may be, it seems consumers are hearing more and more doomsday advice about the dangers in food and they don’t know whether to never touch a certain food again or just quit trying to understand nutrition advice altogether. In short, they are needlessly confused about the most pleasant of subjects—the foods we eat and enjoy.
Certainly that is the case with sugars. Over the decades, sugar consumption has been studied extensively, especially in the current environment of increasing levels of obesity and chronic conditions like diabetes. To date, there is no conclusive evidence of a causative effect of sugars on chronic diseases, despite the fervent efforts of some to condemn it. Much more scientific research is needed before we can make an absolute statement about sugar and disease. In the meantime, it’s good to remember that dietary guidance to enjoy all things in moderation—including sugars—has stood the test of time.
To answer some questions about the role of sugars in a healthful diet, we’ve attached links to a few fact sheets, Q&As, and peer-reviewed articles that may clear up some of the confusion out there. We hope you will find the information interesting and useful and that you will visit our website, www.FoodInsight.org for more information on this topic and many other nutrition and food safety subjects.
The Science of Sugars
A four-part, peer-reviewed series examining many aspects of the relationships between sugars and health. The review also summarizes nutrition and policy recommendations of the scientific community.
The referenced papers are now published in the peer-reviewed journal, Nutrition Today.
Part 1, “A Closer Look at Sugars,” was published in the May/June 2012 issue. As a bonus, you can receive Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credit for reading Part 1.
Part 2, “Sugars and a Healthful Diet,” appeared in the July/August issue.
Part 3, “Sugars and Chronic Disease Risks,” was published in the September/October issue.
Part 4, “Sugars and Other Health Issues,” is now available in the current November/December issue.
Background on Carbohydrates & Sugars
This background paper contains information about the role of carbohydrates and sugars in the diet and provides the Institute of Medicine’s consumption recommendations.
Questions and Answers about Sugars
This brochure answers questions you may have about sugars and their role in a healthful diet. The questions cover everything from why sugars are added to foods to how the body uses sugars.
Questions and Answers about Fructose
This Q&A answers the questions you may have about fructose—everything from the differences in the way glucose and fructose are metabolized by the body to whether fructose has an effect on triglycerides in the body.
Sweet News about Sugar
This consumer friendly piece examines how sugar affects your health.
Sugars: 10 Facts You May Not Know
Here are the facts about sugars to help you decide how to sensibly incorporate sugars into your diet.
Fast Facts about High Fructose Corn Syrup
This fact sheet explains what HFCS is, how it is made, and why it is used in foods.