I came across this interesting article on sugar this week, 20 things you didn’t know about sugar. Pay particular attention to numbers 1, 2, 3, 7, and 8. If this doesn’t turn you off to excess sugar and artificial sweeteners, I don’t know what will!

We come from a carb-phobic society that has blamed “carbs” for their weight problems. I really believe the bigger issue is quality versus quantity. Most Americans eat refined carbohydrates, gain weight and then shun all bread and pasta, even when whole grain. Our bodies need carbohydrates. Some may need more than others, but ultimately, you need at least some carbohydrates. The “carbs” you don’t need are refined flours and sugars. These tend to be appetite stimulants and why people think they are “addicted” to carbs. When you look at your plate, 1/2 should be fruits and vegetables, 1/4 lean protein, and 1/4 WHOLE GRAIN. Please don’t forget that! How many times have you had a salad with chicken for lunch and been raiding the chocolate drawer 2 hours later? Whole grains and complex carbohydrates are an important part of a balanced meal. They are also an important part of a healthy lifestyle that you will be able to stick to.

So focus on quality. Ditch the sugar (including artificial sweeteners!) and refined flours and eat “carbs” that count and that will work for you rather than against you.
Emily Fonnesbeck RD,CD