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B. A. in Dance
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Pursue Your Dreams
with a major in
surplus of quick energy stacks up against
what you’ve already been eating that day.
Both nutritionists agree that added sugar,
found in almost every packaged food and
drink, should be minimized.
Even so, Skolnik doesn’t want dancers
to live in fear of added sugar or think of all
sweets as “a treat.” “It doesn’t ‘undo’ your
good nutrition,” she says. “Sugar becomes
a problem when the level of consumption
overtakes that of nutrient-rich calories.”
So, go ahead and eat a cupcake after a
long day of dancing. Just don’t try to sub-
sist on cupcakes alone.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF SUGAR ARE MORE SIMILAR THAN THE
VARIETY OF NAMES MIGHT LEAD YOU TO BELIEVE.
• “In terms of nutritional benefit, when white, brown, coconut
and cane sugars, along with honey, are in their simplest
forms, they’re generally equal,” says Rachel Fine, registered
sports dietician and nutritionist at The School at Steps.
“Fructose, the sugar found in fruit, is also comparable, but
the additional benefits of vitamins, minerals and fiber from
whole fruits make them an ideal choice for an active dancer.”
• If you’re trying to decipher the list of added sugars in
a packaged meal or snack, keep an eye out for cane
sugar, corn-based sweeteners, raw sugar, syrup or
fruit juice concentrate. They can all be types of added
• Agave nectar and brown-rice syrup—often branded as “healthy”
alternatives to sugar—are still sugar. They may have additional
nutrients, but the jury is still out.
• Maple syrup and blackstrap molasses offer some nutritional
benefits that other types of sugar don’t. Both contain the mineral
manganese (important for bone health and more), and maple
syrup offers zinc, while molasses contains minerals like copper,
iron and selenium.
• If there’s one sugar dancers might want to avoid altogether,
it’s high-fructose corn syrup. “High-fructose corn syrup is
added to products to extend their shelf life,” Fine says.
“There’s evidence that it’s metabolized differently, in ways that
may impact long-term health.”