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Sugar Free Sunday & UCSF study

Welcome to one of the sweetest weekly virtual potluck get-together ever! Yes indeed β€” it is Sugar Free Sunday! We host it every Sunday to exchange incredible sugar free recipes. Inspiration to start the week right? You bet!

For this weeks Sugar Free Sunday I would like to share this article UCSF scientists declare war on sugar in food that was published in SFGate 10 days back. It is very thought-provoking and controversial at the same time. The article starts out with this line:

Like alcohol and tobacco, sugar is a toxic, addictive substance that should be highly regulated with taxes, laws on where and to whom it can be advertised, and even age-restricted sales, says a team of UCSF scientists.

They had this interesting Poll next to the article that I voted on and the results that I am sharing below are as of, 11th Feb 1:06pm:

Should sugar be regulated like alcohol or tobacco (Total Votes: 4325)?

25% – Yes, it’s addictive and causes major health problems (1092)

34% – No, it’s a nutritional substance, not a drug (1471)

41% – People should be free to poison themselves (1762)

So I voted, “People should be free to poison themselves” but after seeing 34% saying that it is nutritional, I’m inclined to say “Yes, it’s addictive and causes major health problems” and should be regulated like alcohol or tobacco. How would you vote? and what is your stance on this study and issue?

NOTE: Back in April last year Raj shared a fantastic video on Sugar Free Sunday which is a talk by Robert Lustig, MD, University of California, San Francisco Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology. Along with this article, it might actually be a great time to see this video again as a refresher of sorts.

How do you participate in the virtual potluck?

  • Link your recipe post (NOT your homepage) if it does not use refined sugar. Your blog does not have to be entirely sugar free, just the dish you’re sharing!
  • Please link back to this get-together somewhere in your post’s text. It’s a great way to invite your readers to the fun!
  • Want to make something sweet without using refined sugar? Just check out all the ways to satisfy your sweet tooth without refined sugar here.
  • Your link doesn’t have to be to a sweet dish! We love to see your sugar free appetizers, entrees, soups, snacks — well — you get the idea!
  • Please don’t link to carnivals or giveaways. This is a party; bring a dish to share!
  • In the ‘Name’ field, please enter who you are and what you’re linking. For example Sonia would put: Bean Kale Pasta Soup [Sonia @ Flip Cookbook]
  • It’s not a party if no one chats! Please join the conversation by leaving a message in the comments section below. Also make sure you have the ‘Notify Me’ checkbox selected so that you can listen as well!
  • Sign up for free to our new venture Velvet Aroma. It’s a visual way to read the blogs you love and really bring their recipes into your kitchen.

We’re so excited to see what you’re cooking….. Sugar Free!

Click on the ‘Add your link’ button below to share.



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25 Responses to Sugar Free Sunday & UCSF study

  1. Vicky says:

    Interesting topic! The nutrition labels which appear on the packaging of foods in the UK (do you have them in the US?) are supposed to make people more aware of the amount of sugar (and salt) they are consuming. I don’t think most people bother to read them but it is a step in the right direction. We are amazed that the so-called healthy fat-reduced prepared foods in the UK contain more sugar in them than the original products! Actually passing laws to regulate the amount of sugar in prepared foods would, in theory, be an excellent idea but in practice, it probably would take years! Thank you for hosting and for all the interesting information each week!

    • Sonia says:

      Hi Vicky, we have the labels with the nutritional break-down by a single portion and the total portions in the packaging (based on a 2000 cal diet). But the label by itself doesn’t specifically guide you about the sugar or salt. (gms of sugar is usually given, salt I’m not sure.. sodium and potassium are mentioned)

      I believe in freedom of every kind so my gut said no laws but when I saw a crazy number of people think that sugar is actually nutritious I was shocked! So the article by itself made a dent, but seeing the response to that vote was a huge reality check!

      Btw Vicky, love seeing you here every week! and that heart shaped pizza is adorable! πŸ™‚

  2. I’ve been working on a article about sugar, so I am thrilled to see all this great info!! I am so not surprised that so many people think it is a nutritional product….fits right in with with the food culture right here in our local school that hands out candy rewards, 5 pound chocolate bar prizes, and Jolly-rancher pick-me-up for testing time. I’d like to think that it is just because people do not know. I would probably say people can choose to do whatever they want…but I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to regulation….put a big kink it the giant food corps profit (which we can’t do THAT of course)..sigh…but we can dream……..

    • Sonia says:

      Hi Tessa, you make a good point. When my 2 year old was given jelly beans at daycare… I was shocked that a 2 year old was given something so sugar laden… how about just fruit? or dehydrated fruit? It feels like its common sense but seeing the number of people that voted it a nutritional product just plain old shocks me!

      Btw, have you seen those commercials saying HFCS is the same as regular sugar… πŸ™‚ they might be right, but someone needs to separate sugar from sweetener… you can sweeten foods without sugar! πŸ™‚

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    • i have seen those commercials…and no surprise the research for that supposed claim was paid for by….you guessed it…big processed food and corn conglomerates! Same kind of mis-information campaigns have been repeated in so many ways over the years (aspartame anyone?!). Luckily, blogs like ours are out there to show well-meaning parents another way to sweeten things. I know a lot of my personal circle has changed the way they cook for their kids b/c of my recipes, so it can happen!

  4. Thanks for sharing the article! I’m sharing my healthy version of Spinach Artichoke Dip, vegan and gluten-free. Enjoy!

    • Sonia says:

      That looks fabulous! I almost thought guacamole until I read the name… Adding it to my must-try list! My hubby dearest is going to love this! Thanks Heather! πŸ™‚

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  6. This is my first time at this virtual potluck – thanks for hosting! I’m sharing a delicious fudgey cookie recipe, made with black beans and just a little maple syrup. I always try to use grain-sweetened chocolate chips when baking, except some people who aren’t used to them don’t always like the taste.
    That is a very interesting article! I agree with Vicky that in theory it would be a great idea to regulate sugar in food, but it would be a big struggle with the food corporations and probably take years. Also it’s true that processed foods labeled “reduced fat” almost always have more added sugar than the original.. so it’s really unfortunate that people see these foods as healthier!

    • Sonia says:

      Hi Micha, Welcome to the party! Raj & I host Sugar Free Sundays every Sunday as a way to start the new week off just right… with loads of ideas and recipes! πŸ™‚

      You do make a good point that it’ll take years… wish it were sooner… it feels like the companies always come up with a new way to get people *addicted* to their new product… feed consumers the right amount of feel-good information… they won’t ask for more and gulp stuff down!

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  10. Hi! This week I posted all about sugar, explaining 25 different types of sugar and sweeteners and how they affect your body. The UCSF study has a lot of people hopping!

    Sugar is an addictive toxin, but it is a universally accepted addiction, so you can’t win people over with just the facts. I lean toward immediately de-subsidizing the corn syrup and beet sugar industries, and regulating sugar at the food production and institutional levels. Why exactly do we need to add sugar to things like bread, pasta and mayonnaise? Why do we let kids have candy and soda in schools? Add to that an aggressive public education campaign, and I think we’ll begin to get at the problem without totally freaking everyone out with unnecessary paternalism.

    • Sonia says:

      Hi Dawn, your article is wonderful and I love how you have listed and described the different properties of sugar and sweeteners. Btw, I love baked goods too! πŸ™‚

      You have a good point. Unfortunately people don’t wake up until a health crisis hits them or their loved ones… plus when you have the big corn companies having commercials like HFCS is regular sugar… I don’t know how anyone can break the barrier and wake people up… How do you get schools to quit giving jelly beans to 2 year olds? or soda to 3 year olds? (Yes, I’ve seen it)… People rely on the government, and if the government has the corn sugar cash cows behind them, then how do you get them to de-subsidize the crop?

      I guess the question then becomes… when is paternalism necessary… one in three americans is obese… if that doesn’t wake people up then what will?

      • It’s amazing what moms can do when we get together… change local and national public school lunch standards, start school gardens, urge the government to do the full cost accounting on what our addiction to sugar really costs us as a nation, and make policies that reflect that understanding… And today with the internet, we can have even more impact. Why wait for the Big Ag- and Big Pharma-owned government to figure it out on their own (yeah, right). A handful of dedicated people have always been the real changemakers. πŸ™‚

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