Mary Toscano Interview: Part One – Sugar, Diabetes, Carbs, and Whole Foods

Not very often do we come across a person as knowledgeable about health and nutrition as Mary Toscano.

When we need nutrition advice or want to learn the real facts about the latest healthy food trend we turn to Mary for honest and reliable answers.

Recently we heard about a so called “healthy beverage” alternative containing crystallized fructose which is being marketed as a healthy choice over the leading energy drinks on the market. We were so appreciative of Mary’s knowledge and advice. She told us the facts — plain and simple — why crystallized fructose is not as good a choice as many would have you believe.

In the following two-part interview you will learn about Mary’s educational DVDs, how she became interested in nutrition, plus a ton of information on the myths of low fat diets, healthy sugar choices, and what to buy when you go grocery shopping.

Grandma’s Big Piece of Cake

Sandy Breckenridge: Hi Mary, lovely to have this opportunity to spend some time with you and I am really looking forward to this interview. To start, can you tell us a little bit about your background, and what lead you to become interested in health and wellness?

Was there a certain point in your youth or life that inspired your interest in nutrition and the desire to enlighten others on ways to take better care of their health?

Mary Toscano: I’ve been interested in the body and health for as long as I can remember.

Diabetes runs in my family on both sides. I remember my Grandmother, in particular, about to eat a big piece of cake, not caring that her toes were black and falling off from Diabetes. She would talk to me nonchalantly, with a syringe of insulin hanging out of her mouth like a cigarette, as she’d get ready to shoot up.

Old Fashioned CakeMy Grandmother was completely resigned to her deteriorating health. Diabetes or not, she was going to eat that cake.

I grew up on canned, bagged and boxed food. By the time I was 20 I was hypoglycemic, sugar-sensitive and experiencing extreme highs and lows in energy and mood swings.

I graduated from college with an engineering degree, and went straight into the corporate world, where health and balance were a low priority. For 20 years, product schedules dominated my life and I viewed food as an annoyance—something that I had to deal with to have the energy to keep working.

Needless to say, when I left engineering in 2000 to spend more time with my young daughter, my health was a disaster. I suffered from mood swings, energy crashes, and I felt achy and old.

The Turning Point

Approaching my health as just another engineering problem, I became relentless in my determination to figure out how to get healthy.

I went back to school—first to massage school to learn about the body, then nutrition school to learn how to eat right. Ultimately, I was certified in both disciplines.

Body AilmentsI spent 2 years focusing on sugar and what it did to the body because I knew it was a problem given my family history. Getting this understanding was not easy, especially with terms like glycosylated hemoglobin, Syndrome X, and insulin resistance.

Once I made sense of everything, it became obvious why Diabetes and obesity are epidemic causing a host of health issues. It was also obvious that it was completely preventable if people just knew the basics.

I felt an unstoppable drive to teach what I learned.

I started by developing a two-week course that I designed for sixth and seventh graders. It was while teaching this course that I realized it wasn’t just the kids that needed to learn this information—it was essential for adults as well. I got the talk down to an hour and came out with the video Sweet Fire: Understanding Sugar’s role in Your Health.

Click here, for an in-depth review > Sweet Fire: Understanding Sugar’s Role in Your Health

Understanding Sugar’s Role in Your Health

Sandy: Sweet Fire truly is a wonderful educational Video or DVD for helping people make better choices in their diets. You really break down the confusion and complexities of sugar in simple to understand terms.

Kirk and I thought we had a good understanding of sugar’s role in our health, until we watched Sweet Fire. The information you provide is not common knowledge, and no one really covers the topic of sugar the way you do. Your facts on what is good sugar, and where good sugar is found in a healthy diet are vital to a creating a foundation of good health.

Daily Sugar IntakeIt was shocking for us when we saw the visual presentation in Sweet Fire of how much bad sugar the average person eats in a day thinking they are making healthy choices.

No doubt Sweet Fire will help prevent disease, and may even help extend the life of people who watch the Video or DVD by helping them make better choices once they understand the impact of eating simple sugars or eating them alone.

There are so many fad diets out there that count calories, suggest eating small portions, or high protein low carbs, for example. Many people do not take into consideration the quality of the food they eat.

Besides educating people on sugar facts, what other nutritional advice can you share? I know most diets and even doctors suggest eating low fat diets to lose weight and control cholesterol. What is your perspective on fats and cholesterol?

Something Has Gone Wrong with Our Food Supply

Mary: The premise of most diets is that you must restrict food (especially fat) to lose weight.

But if we know so much more than our ancestors about food and nutrition, why are we getting sicker and more overweight?

Packaged and Processed FoodWe may be less active than our predecessors, but this alone does not explain the increase in diseases like Diabetes and heart disease. What has changed to bring this crisis about? The answer is that something has gone wrong with our food supply.

The most important nutritional advice I can give is to eat more whole, unprocessed food — as close to its natural state as possible. At this point the food is rich in vital nutrients that our bodies have evolved to depend on. Whole foods contain a perfect balance of nutrients necessary to maintain health and to metabolize food efficiently.

Whole Foods Versus Processed Foods

Researchers are just beginning to understand how nutrients in whole foods work synergistically with the body and the extent our bodies thrive on them.

On the other hand, processed foods have been subjected to chemical and mechanical processes that turn them into something else.

If the food is in a bag, box or jar — it’s processed. The processed version bears little relation to the whole food: a lot of the nutrients have been removed or destroyed. The more a food is processed, the more nutrients are destroyed, and the harder the impact on the body.

Organic AppleFor example, when an apple is eaten, it comes with fiber to slow down the sugar absorption, enzymes to help digestion, and other vital nutrients. If the apple is processed into apple juice, vital nutrients are lost along with the fiber, causing an inevitable sugar spike with nothing to slow it down.

Sandy: I was shocked to see in Sweet Fire just how much sugar is in a glass of orange juice. And many people think they are drinking a health drink!

Click to Continue Interview > Part Two: Mary Toscano Interview —Facts on Fats

Mary Toscano PictureMary Toscano teaches people the most up to date nutritional information available through informative and entertaining DVDs, study programs, and in person engagements.


Her programs are are designed as presentations for audiences of all ages. She received her Nutrition Educator certification from Bauman College: Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts.

For more information about the DVDs, as well as viewing clips, and finding contact information to schedule talks visit >

Click here, for an in-depth review > Sweet Fire: Understanding Sugar’s Role in Your Health

Click here, for an in-depth review > Fabulous Fats! Setting the Record Straight