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Certain sugars belong in the same category as the fake fats. They not only provide no essential nutrients to the body (your body could live better without them), they actually may do harm.
Soft drinks. Many soft drinks are a double-whammy of sugar and caffeine, a combination which sends most bodies (and minds) on an uncomfortable biochemical roller coaster ride. Since caffeine is a diuretic, caffeine-containing sodas not only don't quench thirst, they can leave you feeling more thirsty. A 12-ounce can of cola contains about ten teaspoons of sugar, in addition to artificial flavors and caffeine. That's what's going into your body, and here's the bad news about it. Sugar mixed with water provides more calories and put on more body fat than the same amount of table sugar taken dry by the spoonful because the quick rise in blood sugar causes an insulin burst, which makes the liver respond by turning the excess sugar into fats. Caffeine exaggerates the roller coaster effect of sugars in the bloodstream by triggering the release of hormones that release stored sugar in the liver. That can of cola will produce a sugar high, but a sugar low is sure to follow.
The junk sugars in soft drinks also take good things out of the body. High doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners increase the urinary excretion of calcium, leading to weaker bones, or osteoporosis, and to deposits of calcium in the kidneys (i.e., kidney stones). The phosphoric acid present in many soft drinks further robs the body of calcium by increasing the loss of magnesium and calcium in the urine.
Then there are the good things that junk sugars take the place of. These junk sugars fill children up, so they tend to eat less of more nutritious foods. They drink cola with a meal instead of milk, or they reach for other junk food to go with the empty calories in their soda. They choose high- fat fast-food since television has made this junk cola along with a junk sandwich the American nutritional norm.
Packaged bakery goods. The combination of white sugar, white flour, and hydrogenated shortening make packaged bakery goods a nutritionally empty package. Most sweet snacks, such as cupcakes and doughnuts, contain all three of these factory-made foods. Look for baked goods that are made with whole grains, contain no hydrogenated oils, and are sweetened with fruit concentrates.