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Carbohydrates & Sugar

Updated April 11, 2013

Sugar is generally thought of as an intensely sweet-tasting substance that’s highly refined and unhealthy. These highly concentrated carbohydrates affect the brain’s chemistry and can lead to dependency. There are common myths about sugar, such as: sugar turns to fat, causing obesity and/or type-2 diabetes, and sugars have a high glycemic index. Simple sugars, especially fructose, will cause blood triglycerides to rise in sensitive people and make weight loss more difficult when they make up a significant part of one’s diet. Refined sugars cause tooth decay and may lead to nutritional imbalances. However, when used in small amounts, simple sugars can enhance the enjoyment of the McDougall Diet without adverse consequences. Artificial sweeteners have few benefits and are not generally recommended. The significance of the glycemic index (a popular measurement of one quality of food) is over-rated and often causes people to make incorrect diet choices. My best advice is to consume sugars in their natural forms found in unprocessed starches, vegetables and fruits.