Sugar Is Sugar

You may have noticed that sugar and syrups have received a lot of press recently. A lot of it is due to the corn refiners petition to the FDA to change the name “high-fructose corn syrup” to "corn sugar." The move has sparked debate from health experts around the country and provided a forum for discussion on what sugar does to the body. While we all wait for the dust to settle, here is what you need to know now.

Posted on | Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD | Comments ()

You may have noticed that sugar and syrups have received a lot of press recently. A lot of it is due to the corn refiners petition to the FDA to change the name “high-fructose corn syrup” to "corn sugar." The move has sparked debate from health experts around the country and provided a forum for discussion on what sugar does to the body. While we all wait for the dust to settle, here is what you need to know now.

Sugars and syrups, regardless of how they are named, raise your blood sugar to a rapid spike that is followed by a rapid drop. This is what I call the “roller coaster effect” and it happens to impact how satisfied you are after a sugary treat as well as how much you eat throughout the day. Consider this; 10 licorice twists will cost you 400 calories and a ride on the blood sugar coaster for sure (by the way, you also take your friend insulin on the ride too). For the same amount of calories, you could have a lean turkey breast sandwich on 100% whole wheat bread loaded with spinach and spread with yellow mustard. You could even pair your sandwich with a small apple and a serving of plain yogurt as well. The ups and downs from the licorice will cause such a crash that you’ll be searching for more food, lots of it, and soon. Have you ever really felt satisfied and full after 10 licorice twists?

The sandwich on the other hand will provide you with satisfaction inducing protein in the form of the turkey and yogurt, high-fiber bread and fruit to keep you fuller longer and anti-inflammatory rich mustard. You’re sure to be full and satisfied after that meal and thus, you won’t need to scavenge for more empty calories that will continue to leave you feeling empty. The truth is, it doesn’t really matter how sugar is named and while many of us are fixated on this ongoing debate, they all have the same effect on our body and that’s really all you need to know!

Blog written by Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD
Kristin Kirkpatrick is a registered dietitian and Wellness Manager for Cleveland Clinic’s Lifestyle 180 program. Kristin has...