Is sugar really that terrible?


A 90 minute YouTube video about the dangers of sugar titled “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” can be summed up with this one sentence: Sugar and alcohol are bad for you. Did I just waste an hour and a half on something I already know? Yes and no. Dr. Lustig a pediatric endocrinologist goes into excruciating details about HFCS, high fructose corn syrup, and refers to it simply as fructose, which is confusing since fruit contains fructose and so do some vegetables. He explains that fruit is okay because fruit contains fiber. He really should have explained that what he was specifically referring to is HFCS when he references fructose because people might otherwise mistakenly avoid healthy whole foods that contain natural occurring fructose.

This video was posted back in 2009 and many products have removed HFCS and replaced it with sugar, which is still bad. What I found interesting is that he said “fructose is metabolized like fat.” I don’t know if that’s true, but what I do know is that any food that is not burned off is turned into fat.

He also revealed the ingredients of baby formulas at that time which contained sugar and oils. I reviewed numerous current baby formula ingredients and it appears that most contain milk, oil, and vitamins, and have replaced sugar with brown rice syrup, corn syrup (not good!) or glucose. It’s no wonder that people push breast feeding. He says that if a pregnant woman consumes sugary foods and drinks, her child is more apt to crave sugar. I cringe whenever I see a pregnant woman drinking  alcohol and/or smoking while pregnant, and now I’ll be mad when I see a pregnant woman eating a candy bar. Thanks Dr. Lustig.

He exposes that soda contains a lot of salt, but who would know that? It doesn’t taste salty. He explains that manufactures add salt to sodas so people will be thirsty and drink more; they have to add a lot of sugar to mask the salt. Just because someone says something is a fact, even if it a doctor, doesn’t mean it’s true. To view the data first-hand, I went to the grocery store and looked at the calorie, sugar and salt content of Coke, Pepsi and Dr. Pepper, all regular, not diet or flavored.  I also looked at Gatorade Blue since many people drink flavored beverages in lieu of soda.


Coke                     140 calories        45 mg sodium     39 mg sugar

Pepsi                     150 calories        30 mg sodium     41 mg sugar

Dr. Pepper           150 calories        55mg sodium      40 mg sugar

Gatorade Blue    80 calories          160 mg sodium  21 mg sugar

By looking at the above information, Gatorade has the lowest calories and carbs and the largest amount of sodium which makes it an acceptable fluid during or after light exercise. Coke, Pepsi and Dr. Pepper are all very similar in calories, sodium and sugar. Is the salt content high? It’s not. There are 2300 milligrams of salt in 1 teaspoon so these sodas don’t have much salt. The sugar is high at about 3 tablespoons per serving. I don’t know why he said sodas are extremely high in salt unless the amount of salt has decreased dramatically since 2009.

Nevertheless, if you drink soda and eat candy, cookies and sugary items, you should take the time to watch this video; it may make you change your habits.

2 Comments on “Is sugar really that terrible?”

  1. I found your article fascinating. It occurred to me that if you only drink one soda per day the sodium wouldn’t be that bad, but people who drink sodas usually drink several a day. That would start adding up the sugar and salt content. I think it would be helpful to look at the sodium amounts in diet sodas as well. They may have even greater amounts of sodium.

    • The sugar and calories definitely add up. Diet soda is just as bad since it has been shown to make people fatter. From what I recall, the sodium in diet soda wasn’t much either. The soda info was on 12 ounce bottles so if someone drinks a larger size, then those numbers will be higher. Yikes!

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