Welcome to The Balanced Practice Blog, where we explore the intersection fo nutrition science, food relationships, body image, and all things eating disorders. Today, we delve into a topic that often arises in conversations around health and nutrition: sugar.

While sugar has been demonized by diet culture over the last decade, it’s important to understand how it can fit into our lifestyles in a health-promoting and balanced way.

In this blog post, we’ll debunk some common myths surrounding sugar and discuss the significance of balance, stress reduction, and intentional eating!

Breaking Free from Food Morality:

In the world of diet culture, certain foods are often demonized, and unfortunately our worth as individuals becomes intertwined with our food choices.

However, it is crucial to separate our food choices from our self-worth. What we choose to eat does not define our value as human beings. YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU EAT.

By releasing the moral attachments we have to different foods, we can foster a healthier relationship with food and make choices that align with our well-being.

*Note: As a dietitian who has studied nutrition science for years and supported hundreds of clients since working at The Balanced Practice, I want to name that nutritional value and food morality are not the same. As you may be reading this, you may be thinking… but not all foods provide the body with the same nutrients… CORRECT. And, no matter what nutrient value a food contains, eating it (or not) does NOT impact our value as a human.

Understanding Sugar

Sugar is a type of carbohydrate that occurs naturally in various forms and is commonly used as a sweetener in food and drinks. Chemically speaking, there are various types of sugars, but for the purpose of this blog, we will just speak about sugars in general!

Sugar (glucose) is the primary source of energy for the body and is essential for various physiological processes. It is readily absorbed into the bloodstream and used by cells for energy production. Our body was designed to be able to metabolize sugar efficiently.

Sugar is not bad.

It is, for many of us, part of a balanced way of eating that supports our lifestyles!

How can sugar fit in?

EASILY. For most of us, sugar fits into our daily lives without guilt or fear that our blood will turn into maple sugar…

We beleive all foods fit. Including sugar.

Part of food freedom and the healing work we do here at TBP, is learning how you can nourish your body to meet your physical needs, as well as emotional needs! We work on incorporating gentle nutrition principles and building a nutrition foundation to support YOU.

(PS: To learn more about nutrition foundation, check out this blog)

Sugar doesnt replace your nutrition foundation. It is added to it! It can add pleasure and satisfaction to your meals/snacks and that is a very positivie thing!

The Role of Stress in Food Consumption:

UNPOPULAR TRUTH: Stress related to food and eating habits can have a more significant impact on our overall health than the actual foods we consume.

The culture of food obsession, moralizing certain foods, and the constant fear-mongering around sugar can elevate our stress levels.

Research has shown that increased cortisol levels (stress) interferes with digestion, absorption, and metabolic processes, leading to inefficient energy utilization. By reducing stress and changing our mindset towards food, we can improve our overall well-being.

Emphasizing Mindful Consumption:

I think often the fear-mongering around sugar implies the overconsumption of sugar at the expense of other foods.

Let’s talk about this.

If you were to eat sugar blocks all-day-every-day for an extended period of time. Yes, that would be unbalanced and would potentially lead to health issues.

Same applies if you only ate broccoli all-day-every-day for an extended period of time.

It’s not really about sugar or broccoli. Exclusively relying on any single type of food can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Exclusively relying on any single type of food can lead to nutritional deficiencies.

But the OVERALL variety and balance of foods we have.

This is why we take an intentional approach with food and focus on nutrition by addition. Instead of fixating on restrictive diets or counting grams of sugar (, we can focus on the foods we can add to increase : 1) pleasure 2)satiety 3)variety 4)overall health. This means including a variety of foods that nourish our bodies while paying attention to our body’s needs, our emotional well-being, and our intuition. By adopting a non-restrictive mindset, we can create a healthier relationship with food, where sugar is simply one component of a broader, balanced nutrition plan.


In conclusion, sugar is often portrayed as the ultimate enemy in diet culture. This can lead to restricttive diets, food obsession, increased cravings and stress.

However, it’s essential to approach sugar consumption (and overall nutrition) with balance, intention, and a non-restrictive approach.


It can fit in pefectly in your day-to-day life:)