Home » Nutrition Channel » Sports Nutrition Basics Center » Nutritional Needs & Guidelines » Debunking Some Nutrition Myths About Sugar

Debunking Some Nutrition Myths About Sugar

There are a surprisingly large number of myths about nutrition. In this and future articles, I will try to set the record straight about some of the most common. Here are some myths and facts about sugar:

Myth:

Starches such as whole-grain breads, cereals, potatoes, corn, beans, rice and pasta contain more calories for a given amount of food than foods with a high fat or sugar content.

Fact:

Contrary to popular belief, such foods actually contribute significantly fewer calories for a given amount of food than foods with a high food or sugar content. By replacing fats and sugary foods in the diet, nutrient-dense carbohydrates actually promote weight loss because they contain fewer calories. So, next time your child wants a candy bar, offer her a piece of fruit instead. The naturally occurring sugars in fruits make them a perfect sweet, low-calorie snack.

Myth:

Consuming sugar before anaerobic exercise ,such as a 100-meter dash or swim, wrestling match, hockey, football, volleyball or basketball game, will improve performance by providing a sudden burst of quick energy.

Fact:

The body relies on stored energy - glucose stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen - for these tasks, not food consumed just before exercise. In fact, eating too much sugar immediately before or during exercise can increase the risk of gastrointestinal problems, such as cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and bloating.

Myth:

Brown sugar, date sugar, honey and molasses are nutritionally superior to table sugar.

Fact:

Despite popular press claims, these so-called "natural" sugars, while they do contain trace amounts of some vitamins and minerals, will not add significant nutritional value to the diet of your child athlete.

Myth:

Fructose is a better energy source than other sugars because it causes a lower insulin response than glucose.

Fact:

Far from improving performance, eating fructose has been shown to harm performance. Not only does your child's body store twice as much muscle glycogen (the preferred fuel for most types of exercise) after eating glucose or sucrose than from eating fructose, but also fructose is far more likely to cause gastrointestinal distress, even in small amounts. This is the reason that glucose, maltodextrins (glucose polymers), and sucrose are the major carbohydrate sources in sports drinks.

0

NOW Available in KINDLE