When it comes to striking a balance in a healthy diet, there are several ingredients that seem to provide little more than confusion. There’s an endless stream of contradictory diet information concerning everything from sugar and salt to coffee and cocoa. For those striving to eat more healthily, it can be hard to sort through the evidence, to separate fact from fiction, and to understand what’s good for you and what isn’t.

That’s why we’ve chosen 8 items- salt, sugar, oil, caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, flour and ready meals- to cover in depth. We’ll discuss their health benefits and disadvantages, but also offer practical tips for putting the information to use. While you don’t want to consume these things in abundance, you can educate yourself on the best and healthiest ways to incorporate them into your diet. Let’s start of with the sweetest source of contention- sugar!

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1. SUGAR

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How does sugar fit into a healthy diet? Does it have any place at all? The answer, in short, is yes. The focus in a healthy diet should not be on avoiding sugar altogether, but in obtaining it from healthful, natural sources that will provide the body with nutrients and sustained energy. For tips and info on satisfying your sweet tooth, check out our guide to sugar in a healthy diet

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