It’s been said by some that sugar is the new tobacco. While that claim may sound extreme, there is plenty of data to support it. The truth about sugar is that added or “free” sugars found in soda, cereals, low-fat desserts and thousands of other processed foods have consistently been linked to serious, often life-threatening diseases.

So is all sugar bad? Not necessarily. Natural sugars, such as the kind found in fruit, are processed differently by your body than added sugars. The effects of the sugar in an apple, for example, are offset by fiber, which slows digestion and helps prevent extreme blood-sugar spikes. Pair it with a healthy fat like peanut butter and the mitigating effects are further enhanced.

Added or “free” sugars, on the other hand (e.g., agave nectar, cane juice, corn syrup and dozens more), are those that have been removed from their original source and added to foods as a sweetener or preservative during processing. Sugar in this form was almost non-existent in nature as humans evolved. As a result, our bodies can’t properly regulate it, and it quickly turns to fat. This increases your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, gout, sleep apnea, asthma and even some cancers.

Truth About Sugar:

The average American consumes 82 grams of added sugar per day. Obesity is at epidemic proportions, and type 2 diabetes is more prevalent than ever. Nearly 10% of children are thought to have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. While there are other risk factors at play — including genetic predisposition as well as our ever-more-sedentary lifestyle — sugar is clearly a major part of the problem.

Given the debilitating, often life-threatening impact of diabetes and other sugar-related diseases, many consumers are trying to prevent or reverse health declines with lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and healthy eating (i.e., foods that are high in fiber and “good” fats). While these behaviors can be challenging to maintain, they remain the best option for those looking to add both quantity and quality to their lives.

Want a delicious snack that’s naturally sugar-free?

Try our Cacao BudiBars®, a long-time favorite with diabetics and others monitoring their blood sugar levels. Walnut Dark and Almond Dark BudiBars® are also excellent choices with only 2 grams of sugar per serving. What’s more, all three are high in plant-based fiber and healthy, brain function-enhancing fats.