The Ingredient Kevin O'Leary Says American Cooks Overuse - Exclusive

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Though "Shark Tank" star Kevin O'Leary was born in Montreal, Canada, and currently splits his time between there and America, during his childhood he spent a lot of time eating food from around the globe. When he came back to the States, he noticed something about American food that made it different from most other cuisines, and not in a good way. As he told Tasting Table in an exclusive interview to promote his show and the cooking products he's invested in, "We use too much sugar in North America."

In O'Leary's opinion, this overuse of sugar is bad in two ways. First off, he doesn't like what it does to the flavor of food. That's why, for example, he doesn't put sugar in his graham cracker crust when he makes key lime pie. "You don't get the lime zest or the lime juice flavor with all that sugar in the crust." Secondly, O'Leary is wary of the negative health effects of sugar consumption. He thinks "It's bad for kids," particularly commercial sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, which he singled out as being "terrible for you."

He thinks too much sugar is unhealthy and unnecessary

Kevin O'Leary is right to be worried about sugar's effects on the body. According to Harvard, eating too much sugar can increase your risk of weight gain, high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. Those risks just don't seem worth it when, as O'Leary pointed out, many foods taste better with little to no sugar added. 

"In Europe, when you get bread there, a classic loaf of bread, it's made with sourdough with no sugar in it," he explained. "We put up to three teaspoons of sugar in our bread here. That's horrible ... It's so overpowering that you can't tell the subtle flavors of the original food."

O'Leary thinks Americans need to cool it on the amount of sugar they use when they're making pizza, too — neither the sauce nor the crust needs extra sweetness. Ultimately, his food philosophy is all about letting the ingredients shine in their natural state, and if you add excessive sugar to your recipes, sweetness is all you'll be able to taste.

You can find the cooking products he's invested in like the Turbo Trusser and Bertello Pizza Ovens on Amazon. New episodes of "Shark Tank" air Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.