How Much Sugar Is Bad For You?

March 05, 2018

Did you know that the average American consumes more than twice the recommended daily amount of sugar? MORE THAN TWICE!  

We hear all the time why it's so bad for us, and yet we can't seem to cut it out of our diets. But how much do you really know about sugar? Is raw sugar better for you than table sugar? How is sugar bad for you?

Is sugar from fruit better than added sugars?

If you look at sugar content in fruit, it's easy to think that maybe sugar isn't all that bad. This is a common misconception due to the simple fact that it's not the same as added sugar.

Added sugar is anything like raw sugar, cane sugar, etc... that is used to sweeten up foods or drinks. It's not naturally a part of the food we are eating.

In fruit it's a natural form and thanks to the added fibers, our body processes it in a healthy amount of time. This is why we don't see the huge spike of energy followed by a sugar crash like we do with candy. Instead, our body regulates the levels of glucose over time creating a longer-lasting positive energy boost.

Added sugars however cause that immediate glucose spike and inundates our livers with fructose.  

Fructose is actually something our bodies don't need (sorry high fructose corn syrup...) and in excess amounts will be converted to fat by our livers. That's why most diets involve reducing added sugars as much as possible.

Fruits also contain a great amount of water which helps dilute the sugar and makes it easier for our body to process.

Does sugar give you energy?

It's pretty obvious that a quick burst of sugar in the form of a soda or candy gives you instant energy. The downside however is the short lived nature of this boost. Your glucose levels spike (which is bad for your liver and leads to weight gain) and the energy falls off quickly making you feel worse than before.

With non-added sugars it's a different story. Eating fruit and vegetables will give you longer lasting energy and you won't feel the sharp drop-off. Just keep in mind that there's lots of ways to get energy, and if you've read this far you probably know that sugar isn't your best option...

Most energy drinks are built around this quick spike of energy with additional additives designed to make the energy last a bit longer. The problem with sugar based energy drinks (including artificial sugar) is that they still cause all the negative effects of non-naturally occuring sugars.

Raw sugar vs refined sugar, and is cane sugar good for you?

Although you should always limit sugar intake, not all sugars are created equal. Sugar that is less refined and less processed is always a better option.

Organic raw cane sugar contains glucose, fructose, and sucrose which makes it a bit better for your body to breakdown. Common refined table sugar however is almost all sucrose. There are also vitamins and minerals in raw sugars that are good for you and help you to process the sugar more smoothly.

Basically, less added sugar is healthier.

Is brown sugar good for you?

This one's interesting. Unlike brown rice vs white rice, where brown rice is much healthier, brown sugar is no better than white.... Brown sugar is the same as white but with molasses added to it. So switching over to eating more brown sugar will not help at all.

Does Pep Pod contain sugar?

A PepPod does not contain sugar. This way we don't intake more added sugar than we already do, and see real lasting energy vs the quick fix most products offer.  

What about Stevia?

In its raw form, stevia has been consumed for thousands of years without any bad side effects and potential other benefits including burns, stomach problems, colic and even as a form of contraception.

It contains three components: Stevioside, Rebaudioside A and the plant material. Stevioside is the bitter tasting component that has been shown to have many health benefits such as anti-cancer, improves cholesterol and lowers blood pressure.

Rebaudioside A (or Reb-A) is the sweet component, it is thought to have no health benefits but it is has been deemed safe by the FDA. Now, here comes the important part - this all depends on the form you consume it in. In the powdered form, stevia is the most processed and least pure. In fact, the commonly used Truvia is highly chemically processed, contains GMO ingredients and only contains 1% of the actual plant.

Many products containing stevia will only use Reb-A to avoid any bitter tasting components and do not provide any added health benefits. Using certain forms of stevia leaf extract, like in a PepPod, only removes the plant material and thus provides most of the health benefits you get from the stevia plant.

Our approach is to create an energy supplement that keeps you going strong for longer and fills in the nutritional gaps that exist in most diets.

Quick facts about sugar:

  • Added sugars can cause weight gain
  • Diabetes can develop due to our inability to process the increased glucose levels brought by too much sugar
  • Raw sugar and pure cane sugar is better for us than table sugar, but still not good for us
  • Too much sugar intake has been linked to higher cancer risk
  • Added sugars contain no essential nutrients
  • Added sugars contain empty calories

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