Evil sugar – how much is too much?

How bad is sugar really? It is such the trend today, similar to gluten, to carefully avoid sugar in our diets. But in growing children, when the greatest concern is sustained positive growth, even in the picky years, I’ve always felt that some sugar is better than no protein. The zero calorie alternative sweeteners raise their own concerns, and even a product like stevia, which is derived from a plant may not be a perfect alternative to pure cane sugar, agave nectar or honey. Several studies have hypothesized that stevia may have mutagenic (or cancer-causing) effects. Furthermore, the FDA rejected stevia in the 1990s because of a study with stevia-fed mice that became infertile post-consumption. It is important to note that research on artificial sweeteners typically uses levels much greater than that which we would consume, and a lot of the negative data on stevia refers to the consumption of the unaltered, or crude, leaf. The highly purified form is …