Sunday, March 03, 2013

Sugar Is Not Toxic

Magnification of grains of refined sucrose, the most common free sugar.
Mark Bittman's article ...

It’s the Sugar, Folks, New York Times, 27 February 2013

... elicited this comment that I think makes sense:
"This article is a gross distortion of nutritional and biochemical facts, that neglects the fundamental importance of sugars to the metabolism of life on this planet. The opening line ("Sugar is indeed toxic.") is distorted and inane. Sugars are not toxic, as evidenced by our evolution of taste buds that respond so positively to them. Sugars are a dense source of energy, which is why our metabolic systems cherish them. Let's leave such excessive, unsubstantiated commentary to The Onion or Mad Magazine, and just apply common sense to our diets."

Phillip E. Klebba, Ph. D.
Head of Biochemistry
Kansas State University
It may be useful to make a distinction between the refined "sugar" (table sugar or sucrose) that one sprinkles on cereal, stirs in tea, and adds to cake batter from the "sugars" that are chemically defined as molecules of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, also known as carbohydrates. There are lots of foods that contain sugar - carrots, apples, tomatoes, peas - that are not toxic.


Angela and Melinda said...

Love the remark about the "fundamental importance of sugars to the metabolism of life on this planet"!!!

RB said...

I like your comment about how a lot of food contain sugar. One of the things I hate about the sugar debate is that people fail to distinguish the difference between added simple refined sugars found in soft drinks, candies, processed foods and bakery goods and the complex sugars found in fruits and vegetables. This debate extends to all carbohydrates making carbs an evil to be avoided (e.g. Atkins diet). Sugars and carbs from real foods are just fine and part of a healthy diet. Sugar is not the problem: processed food and junk food is.