Sugar is poison
Sugar is bad
Sugar is a drug
Sugar is toxic
Sugar is killing us
Sugar isn't a toxin or a drug.
"Absolutely not," Dr. Katz says. "Glucose floats in our bloodstream at all times and without it, we're dead." Evolution built a reward system into our bodies that makes us crave sweet foods because they're a source of energy. "In a natural context, sweet foods fostered survival."
The only "bad" sugar is added sugar.
Food manufacturers add sugar to just about everything, but you might be surprised to learn how often it's added to savory items. "There’s more added sugar per calorie in most pasta sauces than in ice cream toppings," Dr. Katz points out. "You'll see many potato chips brands with high-fructose corn syrup sprayed on at the end." That's because sweetness is an appetite stimulant, urging you to eat more. Dr. Katz calls this "stealth sugar," because you don't consciously taste it, but it increases the amount you need to eat to feel satisfied.
Sugar detox is a classic fad.
"Detox" is just another word for "diet." Language like that, Dr. Katz says, "is willful hyperbole. It's meant to be provocative." The diet and food industries enable and encourage fads like sugar-free because they're incredibly lucrative.
Eat dessert (if you want).
"People can be physically healthy without consuming sugar," Kinsella says. "However, you cannot have a healthy relationship with food if it is based on rigid rules. It's impossible to learn how to regulate eating when certain foods are off-limits. Furthermore, research shows that normalizing a food with repeated exposure and [practicing] mindful eating can actually help decrease the allure of that food.