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What Sugar Means for Your Heart--And Your Restaurant

Last month, USA Today ran a story about the sugar industry and important research linking sugar intake to heart disease. This is another page in the stack of information regarding, not only the negative effects of sugar, but also how processed sugars have infiltrated American diets in unexpected ways. 

Of course, the news isn't shocking--we've long known that sugar isn't the best thing to take into our bodies; and as such, we've tried to make concessions. Perhaps your restaurant has a basket of, not just sugar packets, but various artificial sweetners as well to accommodate the different health and diet choices your guests may make.

But as health trends sweep the nation, and as more and more news continues to come out about the effects of processed sugars and artificial sweetners on heart health, it could be important to pay attention to what nutritionists are saying about natural alternatives. In some of the country's healthiest cities--like San Diego, Minneapolis, Portland, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and here, in Denver--cafes and restaurants are offering a myriad of healthier sweetening options. While natural choices, like honey, are still broken down in the body like sugar, they're not stripped of any nutrients through processing.

Health concious consumers may opt to skip the processing and ask for turbinado sugar or evaporated cane juice, while purists may prefer honey, maple syrup, agave, or even molasses.The Mayo Clinic has an easy-to-read and understand article about all sweetners, from natural options to processed sugars to artificial sweetners, which will help you to make an informed choice for the culture of your town and restaurant. 

Our restaurant consultants can also help you conduct cultural research about the health choices in your business's community, and assist in marrying that information with the most cost-effective option for your restaurant. If you have questions about the sugar in your menu items or how you can be well-informed to better serve your guests, contact a restaurant consultant today. 

Photo by David Burrows