It kind of amazes me that some people get so freaked out by a tiny teaspoon of sugar. Fifteen calories have never gotten such a bad rap. In the rush to place blame for the so-called obesity epidemic, this basic carbohydrate that everybody needs for fuel has become a scapegoat.
Nobody has ever gained weight because they put a teaspoon of sugar in their two cups of coffee every morning. And despite what the Food Police will have you believe, there is no reliable science that indicates that sugar causes obesity or has some extra-caloric superpower that causes people to gain weight.
But some people still don’t get that it’s a simple formula of “calories in, calories out,” and if you eat more calories than you need for the energy you will gain weight, and those calories can be in the form of carbohydrates, protein, fat or a combination of all three. A person can eat the “healthiest” foods imaginable, but if they eat more than they need they will gain weight. And for the record, one gram of sugar provides 4 calories, one gram of protein and one gram of fat provides 9 calories each.
The one gram of sugar provides the same 4 calories any other form of carbohydrate provides. The difference between sugar and the other calories is that sugar is immediately converted into fuel that the body uses right away. If you are active eating carbs and sugars are a necessary part of your diet. And if you exercise carbs and sugars are a vital part of your fueling and recovery regimens.
If you enjoy sugar, use sugar. Natural sugar. I’m of the belief that it’s better to use natural sugar – or use nothing – than to use an artificial or chemically altered substance. And some believe that the taste of real sugar can help to control hunger, and as a result, help people to manage their weight.