During the Christmas season making sugary items from cookies to candies and other treats are often consumed by Minnesotans.  This week on WJON's Health Matters program I talked with Registered Dietician Kari Collett from A-to-Zinc Nutrition.  She says sugar offers no healthy qualities but humans gravitate toward it because we like sweet things.

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Collett does say sugar is important for baking for volume, crusts and the browning process to improve the look and taste of baked goods.  She says artificial sweeteners are no better for us than sugar. Collett says she prefers sugar over artificial sweeteners because our bodies can process it better. She says salt is better for us than sugar because we have to have salt because our body functions on salt. Collett says when blood sugars are low we do need sugar at that time. She says when we experience low blood sugars it's because something else is off prior to that.

Collett says some things that are naturally sweet are good for us like fruits and maple syrup.  Collett says fruits offer vitamins, nutrients, anti-oxidants and minerals that we need.

Collett says there was a time when sugar was a prized possession when sugar was used as currency.  She says as recent as the 1950s and 60s sugar was looked upon as status.  If you had bowls of candy in the home it showed you had money and status.  She says there was a time when sugar was hard to get but that is not case today.

If you'd like to listen to my 4-part conversation with Kari it is available below.






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