Daily Intake of Sugar – How Much Sugar Should You Eat Per Day?

Young Girl With Ginger HeartAdded sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet.

It provides calories with no added nutrients and can damage your metabolism in the long run.

Eating too much sugar is linked to weight gain and various diseases like obesity, type II diabetes and heart disease.

But how much is too much? Can you eat a little bit of sugar each day without harm, or should you avoid it as much as possible?

Added Sugars vs Natural Sugars – Big Difference

It is very important to make the distinction between added sugars and sugars that occur naturally in foods like fruits and vegetables.

These are healthy foods that contain water, fiber and various micronutrients. The naturally occurring sugars are absolutely fine.

However, added sugars are those that are added to foods. The most common added sugars are regular table sugar (sucrose) or high fructose corn syrup.

If you want to lose weight and optimize your health, then you should do your best to avoid foods that contain added sugars.

Sugar Consumption is Extremely High

Junk Food

It is difficult to find exact numbers because sources vary on this.

According to data from the U.S. in 2008, people are consuming over 60 pounds (28 kg) of added sugar per year and this does not include fruit juices (1).

In 2008 the average intake was 76.7 grams per day, which equals 19 teaspoons or 306 calories.

According to this study, sugar consumption went down by 23% between the years 2000 and 2008, mainly because people drank less sugar-sweetened beverages.

So we are on the right track, that’s the good news!

However, current intake levels are still way too high and are a key player in making people fat and sick.

Specifically, excess sugar consumption has been associated with obesity, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, tooth decay, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and a lot more (2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

What is a Safe Amount of Sugar to Eat Per Day?

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. Some people can eat some sugar without harm, while others should avoid it as much as possible.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are (7):

  • Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons).
  • Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons).

To put that into perspective, one 12oz can of coke contains 140 calories from sugar, while a regular sized snickers bar contains 120 calories from sugar.

If you are healthy, lean and active, these seem like reasonable amounts. You’ll probably burn off these small amounts of sugar without them causing you much harm.

But it’s important to note that there is no need for added sugars in the diet. They don’t serve any physiological purpose.

The less you eat, the healthier you will be.

What About if You’re Overweight or Obese?

A man who needs to lose weight

If you are overweight, obese, diabetic or suffering from the western diet in any way, then you should probably avoid sugar as much as possible.

In that case, you should NOT be consuming sugar every day, more like once per week or once every two weeks (at most).

But if you want to be healthy, then you really shouldn’t be consuming foods that have sugar added to them.

Soft drinks, baked goods, processed foods… these foods have no place in the diet of someone who is overweight.

Stick to real, single ingredient foods and avoid processed foods high in sugar and refined carbohydrates.

If You’re Addicted to Sugar, Then Perhaps You Should Avoid it Completely

Sugary junk foods stimulate the same areas in the brain as drugs of abuse (8).

For this reason, sugar can cause people to lose control over their consumption.

Woman Snorting Doughnuts

If you have a history of binge eating, failure at setting rules about your consumption (like cheat meals / days) and repeated failures with the “everything in moderation” approach – then perhaps you are addicted (like I was).

The same way that a smoker needs to avoid cigarettes completely, a sugar addict needs to avoid sugar completely.

Complete abstinence is the only reliable way for true addicts to overcome their addiction.

I have personally made the choice to never eat added sugar again. I now haven’t touched it in over 7 months. I’ve lost a lot of weight and I feel awesome.

How to Minimize Sugars in The Diet

Sugar cubes

Avoid these foods, in order of importance:

  1. Soft drinks: Sugar-sweetened beverages are awful, you should avoid these like the plague.
  2. Fruit juices: This may surprise you, but fruit juices actually contain the same amount of sugar as soft drinks!
  3. Candies and sweets: You should drastically limit your consumption of sweets.
  4. Baked goods: Cookies, cakes, etc. These tend to be very high in sugar and refined carbohydrates.
  5. Fruits canned in syrup: Choose fresh fruits instead.
  6. Low-Fat or Diet Foods: Foods that have had the fat removed from them are often very high in sugar.
  7. Dried fruits: Avoid dried fruits as much as possible.

Drink water instead of soda or juices and don’t add sugar to your coffee or tea.

Instead of sugar in recipes, you can try things like cinnamon, nutmeg, almond extract, vanilla, ginger or lemon.

Just be creative and use google to find recipes. You can eat an endless variety of amazing foods even though you eliminate sugar from your diet.

A natural, zero-calorie alternative to sugar is Stevia.

What About Sugar in Processed Foods?

Glass Full Of Sugar Cubes

The best way to cut back on sugar is to simply avoid processed foods and satisfy your sweet tooth with fruits instead.

This approach doesn’t require math, calorie counting or obsessively reading food labels all the time.

However, if you’re simply unable to stick to unprocessed foods for financial reasons, then here are some tips on how to make the right choices:

  • There are many different names for sugar: Sugar, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), dehydrated cane juice, fructose, glucose, dextrose, syrup, cane sugar, raw sugar, corn syrup and more.
  • If a packaged food contains sugar in the first 3 ingredients, avoid it.
  • If a packaged food contains more than one type of sugar, avoid it.
  • Be aware that other sugars often labelled healthy like agave, honey, organic cane sugar and coconut sugar fall into the same category.
Warning: You MUST read nutrition labels! Even foods disguised as “health foods” can be loaded with added sugars.

Take Home Message

At the end of the day, it’s important to experiment.

Some people can handle a little bit of sugar in their diet, while for others it causes cravings, binge eating, rapid weight gain and disease.

We’re all unique and you need to figure out what works for you.

Just keep in mind that when it comes to a harmful substance like added sugar…

The less, the better!

89 Comments

  1. Sounds familiar… someone said it very well in the 60′s: Jack Lalanne sugarholic video.

    • Thanks for sharing.

    • Brenda Swartz says:

      Wow, so many people, so many different opinions. I think you should avoid all processed foods as much as possible. Stick to 90% fresh and raw fruits and veggies, mainly veggies and I promise, you will be healthy and not fat! Use common sense.

      • Aaron Kratzer says:

        Being fat and healthy are not mutually exclusive. Isn’t it better to focus just on eating and exercising healthily, regardless of our actual weight?

        • John Doe says:

          You’re only half right. Let’s be blunt, shall we? Obesity is nothing to encourage. While eating right and exercise are the exact thing an obese person should be doing, there’s no need to be ignorant of the fact that being fat is attributed with many diseases and illnesses, lack of energy, and of course, eating more.

          Although it’s great if someone who is overweight wants to get in shape, the reality is many do not. Likewise, smoking is attributed with many diseases and illnesses, decreased lung function, and obviously, more smoking. As I already mentioned about obesity, if a smoker wants to quit the bad habit, that’s a great thing.

          The reality, however, is that many don’t, and such a thing shouldn’t be encouraged. Yes, it can be difficult to lose weight or stop smoking, but it should by all means we shouldn’t dance around the topic like it doesn’t exist.

  2. Been on board here for some time now. Exceptions would be cake at weddings, birthday parties, graduation parties, etc. where it might seem snobbish to refuse the sweets being offered.

    • I wonder where are you from. In Estonia it is quite usual that some men don’t eat sweets.

    • Why??
      Far easier to take a small piece, walk around with it a while, break it up a bit, move it around on the plate then discreetly dispose of it. Or refuse it saying I’m Celiac, Diabetic or plain it will just make me ill.

  3. Hi Kris,

    Great article. Since acne affects so many, perhaps you’ll consider an article linking sugar to acne. Ever since cutting carbs and sugar, skin is clear.

  4. Janet R. Chamberlain says:

    I’ve been off of sugar for almost 3 months now and feel great. It is extremely difficult and I plan on adding it back in to some capacity in the future, but it’s something everyone should take into consideration.

    • Jason Gooch says:

      Hi, you said you are off of sugar. I am just wondering what does off mean? I am not trying to be rude. I am wondering because I really want to know. So do you make sure that nothing has any added sugar in it? Do you still eat fruits and veggies? I have started a low carb, no sugar diet. And wondering how I should go about it.

    • Gloria Wright says:

      I’m trying to find a way to stop eating raw sugar. Every day I have to have at least two spoons full of raw sugar. I know that it’s not good but there is nothing sweeter than that. I ask my doctor but she says she has no idea why I do it and neither do I. Need second or third opinions. Please help!

  5. Kris,

    Great post! I totally agree with you. When I quit sugar, I wouldn’t eat ANY foods that had sugar in it, including fruit. If sugar appeared on the label, I didn’t eat it. Even if it didn’t list sugar as an ingredient, but listed a gram or two (or more) of sugar in the nutrition panel, I wouldn’t eat it.

    I needed to take a hard stand against sugar because I was addicted. I had pretty bad withdrawals… headaches, cold sweats, lethargy… for a few days it was really bad.

    After several months of drawing a hard line against sugar, I relaxed a bit. Now, on the occasion, I choose to eat foods that contain added sugar. Although, I don’t call it treating myself. It’s my choice, plain and simple.

    The key is that the majority of the foods you eat are real and contain no added sugar. So having something sweet now and then shouldn’t bother too many people.

    Although, one caution I would add is for people to always be careful to not begin “choosing” to indulge too frequently or by allowing your portion sizes to start getting larger over time.

    Stay Strong…Stay Sugar-free!
    Scott

    • Did you read the post? Meats, breads, fruits, beans, vegetable almost all foods some contain sugar. Sugar is needed, period. Have you ever heard of blood sugar? If it is too low or high, it is a bad thing. No one is completely sugar free.

      • You need to research some more. The body is perfectly capable of making all the sugar it requires. Google gluconeogenesis. You are right about high blood sugar being dangerous tho.

        • Right on, Alan!

          I had definitely gone to an extreme. But I later relaxed a bit. However (this is a personal choice, but…), I still avoid breads, beans, (all forms of starch, pretty much) and fruit. I’m not going to say I never eat them, but I rarely do. I don’t need them.

          Plus, I have extensive blood panels over months that show definite improvement. My doc said to keep doing what I’m doing, because I’m obviously doing things right.

          Gluconeogenesis… gotta love it. :-) Anyway, each person has to find their own path.

          Cheers!

          • Have you tried Ezekiel bread? It it made up of sprouted grains and tastes like the heavy grain breads on the grocery shelf. It is found in the freezer section of the grocery store or health food store.

          • Why avoid fruit altogether? Is that a personal preference? I know fruit contains natural sugars. Which in excess can be harmful, but with moderation fruit is a healthy addition to any balanced diet.

          • Hi Scott, I like the idea of cutting down on my sugar intake, I don’t have much in my diet but I do eat a lot of fruit, where do I start? Could you give me a rough idea of what I should be eating?

        • Rachel T. says:

          Gluconeogenesis is awesome and everything but your cells could never solely depend on this process to generate glucose b/c one of the intermediate compounds in the gluconeogenesis cascade, oxaloacetate, is also required for running of TCA/Citric Acid/Krebs Cycle for aerobic metabolism.

          So if cell is constantly having to using oxaloacetate to make glucose you can’t run aerobic metabolism, which not only decreases amount of energy you get out of each substrate molecule; it’s also really bad for metabolizing fats which need TCA cycle, instead you will form ketone bodies which when in blood can cause ketoacidosis… this happens to people with poorly managed diabetes.

          Bottom line, you should take in some carbohydrates as a glucose source, like whole grains, there is no need for you to take in any foods that have any amount of “sugar” listed on nutrition label.

          • WOW! That is staggeringly wrong.

            You started out sounding like you knew what you were talking about but obviously you need to read more.

            One could argue, and many do, that ketosis is the normal human state and in our past it was. Indeed the heart and brain prefer ketone bodies and the heart performs up to 33% more efficiently. The tiny amount of glucose the brain needs, gluconeogenesis easily supplies. To talk of ketone bodies and ketoacidosis in the same sentence shows a complete lack of understanding. I and lots of others have been in nutritional ketosis for many years with perfect health.

            Bottom line is that there is NO need for one gram of carbohydrate in the diet, period. Especially bloody GRAINS!

            Read: http://www.amazon.com/Art-Science-Low-Carbohydrate-Performance/dp/0983490716/

          • Rachel T says:

            Alan, I agree I am not an expert whatsoever in ketone bodies and that our bodies can indeed utilize them just fine. However these molecules are acidic in nature and if they do build up (due to lack of utilization) in the blood acidosis COULD occur. I just think people should be aware of this risk if they want switch to this kind of diet.

            But then again taking in carbs also has it’s own risks that we are all aware of (i.e. high blood glucose). I don’t know which diet has more risk (i.e you’re more likely to develop problems). Would like to hear your thoughts on that since I’m not an expert.

            But regarding TCA cycle, wouldn’t increased gluconeogenesis cause TCA cycle to effectively be shut off? Isn’t that how ketone bodies are made, can’t but substrate through TCA so cell is forced to do beta-oxidiation to make a ketone body?

          • The body tightly regulates pH levels. Ketone bodies don’t turn the blood acidic, the body makes sure of that. Ketoacidosis only happens in uncontrolled Type I diabetes, it does NOT happen on low-carb diets.

          • Rachel T says:

            Yes, I am aware that lungs and kidney work together to regulate blood pH. But if someone is on one of these diets w/ NO carbs (which was being talked about above) but they don’t exercise enough, couldn’t these ketone bodies build up and cause kidney and lungs to be overworked, which could manifest in symptoms?

            I still think it’s energetically unfavorable to essentially shut off TCA cycle b/c increased demand for gluconeogenesis, don’t know why you’d do that to your body. Making less ATP/energy per substrate molecule metabolized so you have to make even more glucose to compensate since you’re stuck only running glycolysis for metabolism.

          • Rachel,

            As far as I know, a prolonged nutritional ketosis will not overproduce ketone bodies. Those will be reserved for the brain (and the heart to some extent) while muscles will adapt to free fatty acid “burning”. The liver is a smart organ and only does what is needed. The use of ketones by skeletal muscles only happens in the beginning after the keto-adaptation took place. So no worry :)

          • Rachel, you seem to be under the assumption that we need glucose to begin with, which we don’t. The organs of the body actually IMPROVE the “EFFICIENCY” of atp use, per unit, when fatty acids / ketones are utilized in place of glucose. Many individuals who do not get into the actually molecular distribution of energy, right down to the “heat exchange” level, fail to realize that a “cooler” running physiology experiences a significant increase in “processing power”, in terms of atp utilization.

            Kind of like a CPU chip. Glucose releases heat energy at a much higher rate, per unit of time / metabolic yield, and so … extra atp has to be utilized just to lower “ambient temperature” (at the mitochondrial level), just to keep atp re-circulation efficient. This is, in its most simplest form, literally “mechanical stress.” On the atomic level. And this produces more heat. And “hotter running” parts actually run LESS efficiently.

            So, a lot of other physical stressors are often overlooked, when people look at this.

            The brain and the heart, for instance, are the top-two most energy “hungry” organs in the human physiology. And NUMEROUS studies show how it takes LESS atp yield, per unit, to exhibit the same level of efficiency … when these two organs switch ot ketones / fatty acids.

            The brain ESPECIALLY needs to run “cooler” than surrounding body tissue, in particular.

            It is the organ that controls all other organs. So, how can one so easily overlook that a more efficient running “cpu” will have an over-arching improvement effect of efficiency for all other organs under its control?

            The point here, is there is an extra amount of energy that has to be set aside just for “damage control”, and bringing heat production down to more efficient levels, when glucose is being adopted as the primary fuel source, through exogenous (food) intake.

            Often, people look at energy yield from the direction / cascade – “downstream” – but they fail to see what effects efficiency, when things have to re-circulate and swim back “upstream” again. It’s not just about what YIELDS energy, but what CONTROLS and REGULATES, and requires LESS energy to KEEP the process going.

            When you talk of “aerobic metabolism” … Have you forgotten the prefix of the *word* itself.? “Aero”, with oxygen. It is FAT that is mostly switched to, for aerobic metabolism, not glucose.

            Glucose is a “fight or flight” energy source. That’s why we actually need very little to begin with (since in our past, the outcomes of “fight or flight” events were decided very quickly. Within seconds, minutes tops). this is why we store limited amounts, to begin with. In liver. In skeletal muscle. Not really that much.

            Glucose is an “emergency” atp yielder.

            We primates have not evolved to be “marathoner” animals. We don’t take flight, and stay aloft for thousands of miles, migrating over long distances. We have evolved to be short to medium-output animals, in terms of athletic bursts of speed / power.

            So, the flaw in logic already starts with the faulty assumption that “how can we survive, not getting extra glucose through diet, if we run very far?” The problem is, we weren’t designed for long-distance, to begin with.

            Sure, we can, if we want to. But it tears us down.

            And that’s inflammation. And, glucose, by the way, increases the inflammatory response, too.

            Why is it that HUMAN marathoners (who are “glucose junkies”) need to constantly stop at “glucose stations”, every several miles, and suck down on glucose packets?

            Well, the answer is: we weren’t MEANT to. The fact that a marathoner HAS to even do something so unnatural … is evidence all its own, that we only store enough glucose in muscle / liver for very short bursts of raw power. Not “aerobics.”

            Finally, there is no such thing as a “no carb” state, to begin with. We will manufacture, whatever we don’t get from diet. “Ketoacidosis” is extremely rare. Even in many diabetics (except those of the worst kind).

            It would take a SEVERE metabolic disease, coupled with someone who is so bed-ridden, that they cannot move their arms / legs, to reach such a threshold. But even then, the very reason they even reach such a threshold / saturation point for blood ketone body levels, is because their organs have been failing in all OTHER aspects, as it it. The “ketogenic” diet isn’t really “killing them” any more, than the fact that they have been killing themselves as it were, and are already shutting down.

            Nothing really works well, any longer, in such a dire metabolic state. Not ketone body efficiency, or ANY metabolic process. You cannot blame the ketogenic diet for the problem. The problem already existed.

          • Rachel, your assumption concerning “increased demand for gluconeogenesis” makes it sound like this is an unnatural state to be in. But it’s not really a “burden”, since it is our ORIGINAL and PREFERRED state. If anything, gluconeogenesis is GENTLE on the physiology, next to what constantly spiking / rising / falling glucose levels do, from obtaining additional and substantial carbohydrates from the diet.

            Why is it that we never hear of anyone dying from “gluconeogenesis” … but, MILLIONS of people die from glucose ingestion, annually?
            The REAL “strain” on our physiology is not PRODUCING the limited amounts of glucose that we actually need … but the constant bombardment and pressure to keep blood glucose levels from damaging our tissues!

            Again, caloric energy = heat. And glucose is heat that is released most rapidly, with the highest level of instability / explosiveness. This can only risk DAMAGING living tissue. Whereas, energy / heat produced from fatty acids / ketones is steady, even, and uniform.

            Down to the most simplest, fundamental level of physics, here: Heat destroys, in excessive amounts. It takes even MORE energy (hence, a reduction in operating efficiency) to regulate heat and keep it within safer levels, then to start low in the first place, and raise heat levels gradually, and gently to begin with … when needed.

            Nothing is more INEFFICIENT, than to start off with a carb-dominated diet, where the physiology actually has to work THAT much harder (and STRAIN that much more) to keep excessive heat yield down to a non-destructive level.

            No one has lost an eye, or a leg, or an arm, on a ketogenic diet!

            But how many countless millions (if not billions) have lost organs and limbs, from a glucose-dominated diet?!

            To think the opposite: that a gluconeogenetic diet is a “strain”, is ludicrous. The OPPOSITE is true!

            I hope this helps..

          • By the way, we also run on fatty acids, too. Not just ketone bodies. And not all fatty acids require bile emersion / bile salts, or an added step in reductase / enzyme conversion.

            Some fatty acids (such as medium-chain triglycerides, or “MCT’s” for short, get taken up into the citrate / krebs / glycolysis cycle, as easily as glucose! But without the uneven spikes!

            MCT’s pass easily through the gut, and can be quickly converted through energetic (atp-producing) pathways, without the added enzyme / bile / hepatic conversion pathways seen with some longer-chain fatty acids.

            I find a slurp of MCT oil before a strenuous workout gives me limitless energy.

            “Ketosis” itself is a rare state. Most people won’t even reach full ketosis, let alone something as extremely rare as ketoacidosis.

            “Ketosis” implies that the blood has reached its maximum gradient / threshold, for carrying ketone-bodies. This almost never happens, in anyone but a practically comatose person.

            With the absence of excessive glucose (from diet), we eventually become so efficient at ketone / fatty acid distribution, that we use them up as quickly as they are transported and appropriated.

            This is also why, for instance, that “ketone urine strip tests” never really work well, or hardly ever register, for a healthy, active person. Ketones never even get concentrated enough to even pass into urine, let alone concentrate in the blood.

          • Rachel T says:

            Wow Alan thanks for the in depth answer, much appreciated :). Yeah I learned about ketone and acidosis stuff in a human physiology class so we tended to look at “extreme” cases when things could go wrong in the body.

          • Alan’s remarks claiming that marathon distance running is unnatural and that humans are not designed for it are totally incorrect. If anything that’s precisely what the human body is specifically designed for. Our ability to sweat and carry water means that humans can outrun almost every other animal in existence.

            We have a specific design of the base of the skull that is for an extra ligament to stabilize the skull for running – only two other mammals possess this feature. Running combined with tracking – being able to imagine what is in the mind of the animal – is why our brains have developed.

            The simple fact is that if you run or cycle with no carbs you will go nowhere and you will feel terrible. If you consume glucose and fructose during effort you will feel good and perform well and you will also feel good afterwards instead of needing to sleep.

            When I look at the condition of my marathon, cycling and triathlete friends and then the rest of the population I know who looks best. It’s only bodybuilders I see getting bypasses and they avoid carbs.

          • If we look at everything at a sub-microscopic level we often fail to get the big picture. Here’s a piece of new information regarding ultra runners…

            “In a study published in the online journal PLoS One, Australian researchers report that ultrarunners have telomeres that are 11% longer than those of age-matched sedentary people. As a result, the researchers write, the ultrarunners have a biological age 16 years less than their chronological age (which was an average of 43).”

            Based on local metabolic issues I’m sure that Alan’s information is spot on – but it leads him to inappropriate conclusions regarding running and health.

            So if those “glucose junkie” runners are so unnatural and unhealthy how come all the empirical evidence is exactly to the contrary?

          • Ian, their telomeres may be 11% longer but that’s no guarantee they will live any longer. Following the recent emergence of studies finding high levels of coronary plaque in marathon runners, sports medicine is debunking the myth that distance running confers protection against heart disease.

            Read this article:

            http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424127887323975004578501150442565788-lMyQjAxMTAzMDIwNDEyNDQyWj.html?mod=wsj_valettop_email#articleTabs%3Darticle

          • Unfortunately my last reply wasn’t published (yet) – so I’ll try again without any links.

            The media write all sorts of sensationalist nonsense to stir both controversy and increase sales. The articles quoted by you Alan show no meaningful statistics. A proper scientific study of marathon running shows that the risk of a fatal cardiac event both during and in the following 24 hours is a rate of 1/100th of that of the general population over the same period.

            I’m 54 years old and prefer cycling to running but with a resting heart rate of 37 and a max (cycling) of 177 and blood pressure of 110/60 – plus annual heart tests for sports insurance and professional licensing. I don’t think that scaremongering will affect my judgement. My father didn’t exercise, didn’t have high cholesterol, ate a normal diet high in protein and fats and underwent major heart surgery at age 55.

            As far as fatalities go among the very top professional elite (World Champ Ironman etc.) – well it’s probably better to ask Lance Armstrong about that one than any doctor.

            Saying that – I’m open the the idea than even the best of things can be taken to damaging excess. The first article you link to however has a medical professional suggesting almost the opposite – that there is evidence that there are potentially no limits to the benefits of ever increasing exercise. That’s an interesting thought that even I wouldn’t have entertained so thanks for putting me on to that – I’ll look into it more.

            The simple fact is that the human body is superbly designed for endurance running, the elastic return from the Achilles tendon, the massive knee joint, the enormous glutes, the inverted pendulum action of the body, the copious sweat glands in the skin, the tendon connecting the head to the neck etc. etc. We can outrun practically anything on the planet – and probably only need a small pot of honey to do the job. When persistence hunting is carried out for real they just select the best runner to chase down the antelope in the end. He’s probably the guy who metabolises fats best and saves his glycogen naturally. He’s probably the main reason humanity survived the savanna and eventually moved out of the African plains.

            Whatever details are known about the details of metabolism it is certain that 5 years from now it will be challenged by new information. If people always listened to the so called experts they wouldn’t do any exercise due to creating “free radicals” in their bodies. The reality is that the body needs this stimulus – and perhaps the telomere situation is an overall reflection of this.

            The objective evidence is that runners have telomeres that give a biological age 16 years younger (on average) and on marathons they have a heart attack rate of 1/100 the of the norm. So your assessment that they are unlikely to live longer and that distance running is unnatural is not based upon facts.

            Currently America has a female Olympic gold medalist road cyclist. Road races are normally two to three times longer in duration than marathons. She was diagnosed as pre-diabetic before she bought her first bike. Her endurance sport caused her to lose 20lb and normalise her blood sugar levels – with no medication. No doubt she eats glucose rich food during her races.

            I don’t believe that there is any perfect system – or that the human body is perfect. I do think that there is still a great deal to learn on the subjects of nutrition and sport – so it important to keep an open mind. Everything we do will have positive and negative outcomes – but when the good is overwhelmingly more prevalent than the bad we can perhaps accept the damage. There’s not much genuine evidence of damage however in the case of endurance sports. In contrast there is a lot of evidence that a carb free diet – such a Atkins – is very dangerous if sustained indefinitely – especially regarding colon cancer. Like the original article here says – it’s chronic “empty calories” and constant feeding without the massive amounts of natural nutrition that comes with whole organic foods that’s the problem regarding carbs. Obsessive removal of carbs from the diet removes an unquantifiable amount of other nutrition.

            Perhaps – as with the terrible “free radicals” we will be hearing in a few years that the body also needs stimulus from “inflammation” in certain contexts. We already know that autoimmune diseased are more prevalent today due to the complete lack of parasites that the immune system was developed to deal with – so it ends up attacking your own body. The fact is that all pharmaceutical medicines are toxic – that’s how they work! This is only conjecture though. The facts are strongly in favour of endurance sport.

          • Ian, I’m glad it seems to be working for you, I hope it continues to.

            I’m a few years older than you and while, due to an accident, I’m unable to engage in your type of activities, I maintain what I consider is a high level of fitness by heavy weight lifting to the extent of my limitations.

            I’m sorry to hear about your father.

            My own father is 85, trains every other day and will soon be renewing his gym membership for yet another year. He is my inspiration.

            Thanks for the discussion.

            Good luck.
            Alan.

          • So I am just wondering if a hard hour of cardio and burning a thousand calories, on top of your normal one hour of lifting, justifies eating say a bag of skittles or maybe even more sugar loaded snacks.

        • Jeanette says:

          Then how come my blood sugar drops (at least I think that’s what happens) and I am borderline fainting (I have fainted) and I eat a chocolate or candy and I feel better? Btw I’m not anemic.

      • Ummmm, can someone re-read or learn to read… I think the discussion is based around ADDED sugar.

      • Yes. sugar already exists in many natural foods. That is precisely why a normal diet including the types of foods you mentioned will include sufficient amount of natural sugar. (Therefore, if one eats a healthy balanced diet of natural foods, there is no need to eat prepared foods/drinks with excessive amounts of added sugar.)

  6. Ditched the sugar from day 1, don’t miss it (same with all grains and seed oils).

    However, I have 2 kids and I am not afraid of giving them something sweet… but not with added sugar but with xylitol. Some people are like : what??? but that stuff is too good for health. I do eat some xylitol myself but very rarely because my sweet tooth is not so sweet any longer.

    And xylitol is not addictive at all. Some people have GI issues with it, but in our family, we don’t. Maybe it’s because we always ate foods with some naturally “high” content of xylitol (berries, plums, cauliflower, etc).

  7. Elisabeth says:

    I wanted to say thank you, I really needed this information for a school paper and this was the only place that I could find it. And I also saw that you have articles on everything that I searched for on this site. Thanks so much.

  8. Annorah says:

    You should try to ween yourself off of sweets because so many of our low fat, no fat, low cal. foods have sugar or sodium to make them taste like they have the fats in them. So you can have a candy bar or something for a treat.

  9. Mary McC says:

    Kris: I have given up added sugars and only eat (low-sugar) fruit occasionally. My question is, if I’m trying to lose the final 20 lbs of fat I’m carrying, how many grams of sugar derived from non-starchy veggies, coconut products, whole-fat dairy (1-2 servings per week), and the occasional serving of raspberries should I limit myself to per day? (I’m a 5’2″ female, age 53 and premenopausal). Thanks!

  10. This article really puts the amount of sugars most americans ingest on a daily basis in perspective. As a male, it would take quite the bit of effort to consume less than the 38 grams per day set by the AHA. Wow. No more redbull…

  11. Just wanted to say thanks for the concise and valuable article and for all the comments which have educated and entertained me. If I could chime in and add that if you want to see the effects of sugar on the physique and overall health, just look at China today from ten years ago. When I first came here (ten years ago), sugar was a treat and was rarely enjoyed except by the richest and most spoiled. Today, however, it seems to be a staple of the diet and you wouldn’t believe the difference ten years makes!

    As a teacher who has seen the students grow (pun intended) over the years, I feel like I’ve been fortunate enough to have the truth so clearly placed in front of me that I’ve sworn off sugar.

    By the way, I think more studies are warranted regarding grains and simple carbs because these folks here have lived off of white rice, white noodles, white steamed bread (it’s called mo here or bing), etc. for generations without seeing diabetes or other ailments afflict them in great numbers. Is it possible that Asians’ bodies have adapted to them over the years? Why is it that when I eat their “mo” for a month I feel lethargic and doughy but they eat it daily for YEARS and are still lean and energetic? The same goes for noodles and white rice.

    So, while I am convinced of the evil sugar (which I was after reading Sugar Blues anyway), I think there is something to look at regarding carbs. I can’t eat them, but the Chinese can and do, and in great amounts, without suffering anything it seems. Thoughts?

    • Not all carbs are bad, rice eating Asian populations demonstrate that very well.

      I think it’s something about the sugar and the way Western foods are processed. Sugar seems to open the door for all kinds of problems and the way foods are processed and engineered in the West makes them so incredibly “rewarding” that people automatically start eating too much.

      Everything in nutrition depends on the context.

      • That is quite possible, Kris, and I think there is some relevance to the idea of sugar + carbs in the diet. In fact, I can’t think of anything worse.

        The older generations here may feed to their heart’s delight on rice, steamed bread and noodles, but I never see them eat ice cream, candy or drink coke. The same cannot be said of the younger generation and yet, if you look at who is fat and unhealthy, it isn’t the older generation.

        My point is that you are right about people eating too much, but there may be something to look at regarding one’s entire diet being based on sugar AND simple carbs. That sounds obvious, but looking at the examples here complicates the matter.

      • Very happy to have stumbled upon this article this morning, what a well of knowledgeable people! I am happy to hear, Kris, that you think maybe not all carbs are the devil. I get nervous reading some of these articles with very anti-carb people, talking about the dangers of carb intake.

        I have digestive problems that prevent me from eating red meat, pork, and most dairy foods. (As well as many other foods that may be high in fats, saturated fats, or cholesterol.) The little bit of meat I am left to eat is lean poultry and fish.

        My diet consists of mostly fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and what lean protein sources I can get outside of the poultry and fish, such as soy products and beans. But both of these things can also contain a lot of carbs. I am always in a struggle to find foods that are nourishing, blood sugar stabilizing, and filling.

        But that’s why I am always happy to run across articles like these while I continue to educate myself. I don’t know how well I could completely stop eating fruit, or veggies or legumes that have carbs as they are (while not the largest) a large portion of my diet. I’ll keep experimenting though, and hopefully find a happy medium.

        • Amber,

          I’m also one of those people who don’t think that ALL carbs are bad. They’re not all created equal. Carbs from high-fructose corn syrup aren’t the same as carbs from veggies. I’m speaking generally, or course, but some carbs are worse than others, in my opinion. I’ll take fruit carbs any day over candy carbs.

          While I tend to not eat fruit, I’m not avoiding it because I think it’s bad. I’m a big fan of balance and of people finding a diet that works for them based on their level of understanding, their lifestyle, and their willingness to stick with it. For all of us, our understanding and knowledge will evolve, as will our food choices and desires.

          Just my two cents.

          Cheers!

          • Scott,

            Thanks for your reply! Yes I agree, I think certain diets just work better for certain people. I know that since I figured out some of my own dietary mishaps I’ve managed to drop 50 lbs since this time last year. I am gaining a lot of health benefits from dropping the meat and dairy.

            I do still eat it some times, just in great moderation and I need to take digestive enzymes and ox bile to assist in digestion and absorption. I don’t eat red meat period though, my body simply doesn’t like it.

            While I do eat fruits, I wouldn’t say I go hog wild with them. I do definitely get my recommended allowance though, easily! Smoothies are a often had breakfast or lunch for me, with yogurt or almond milk. I just realized after reading this article though, and attacking the labels on the foods in my kitchen, how many of my health foods I’d gotten for easy-to-digest purposes are full of added sugar.

            I have no idea why my almond milk needs more sugar, or my rice milk…and had no idea how much sugar was in the yogurt I’ve come to love. UGH now I realize I’m surrounded by added sugar and will need to seek out some other things, or at least other types/brands of the foods I love that don’t add so much sugar. ;)

  12. Always interesting to read nutrition-related articles, despite the sometimes very conflicting information and advice I encounter in them. But this piece on the pitfalls of a sugar-laden diet instantly caught my attention.

    Now, I’m actually somebody who has always had an almost instinctive aversion to sugar(y) foods. I honestly cannot stand the very thought of buying/eating foods with added sugar. I NEVER eat cookies, candies, cakes, ice cream and sundry other blatantly sweet foods. And frankly, I’m not even the least tempted to occasionally give in and indulge.

    I stick to fruits, very dark (80% or higher) chocolate, and well, peanut butter (which has sugar). And oh, very occasionally I eat high-fruit content conserves. I’ve also always shunned foods high in salt. So, I wonder if I’m a bit extreme in my habits, i.e. whether my extremely low consumption of sugar (and low intake of salt) is actually counter-productive in some way.

    • There is no physiological need for refined sugar, avoiding it completely won’t be counter productive. Too little salt may be harmful though: http://authoritynutrition.com/how-much-sodium-per-day/

      • I’m not so sure about that. Some people have a tendency to reject anything refined or man-made – even antibiotics. My feeling is that “abuse” of refined sugar is the issue. Anything, no matter how good can be abused.

        The point is that I’ve been in cycling races lasting 9 hours and training sessions lasting longer and have persisted with this over several years. My own finding, shared by everyone else I see, is that without refined sugar supplements the whole process is like a bad nightmare – both during and after. The brain goes fuzzy, headaches start, the body hurts and goes weak, morale disintegrates and results are bad. In contrast, consuming a 2:1 mix of maltodextrine:fructose every 20 minutes at an overall rate of between 45 to 90 grams per hour (depending on effort) removes all of those symptoms and replaces them with the opposite effects.

        There is clearly a powerful physiological need for refined sugars during hard endurance exercise.

        Perhaps our ancestors on the African plains used honey for this purpose during persistence hunting. The composition of honey is also a mix of glucose and fructose.

        If you try to fill yourself with complex carbs instead then look forward to a very nasty stomach upset into the bargain – and all the rest of the problems. Maltodextrine, which is man-made, needs only 1/6 th of the water for digestion that glucose does so stomach problems are also avoided there and water doesn’t sit in the gut sloshing around.

        The elite Kenyan runners were tested for diet and it turns out they get 76% of their calories from carbs compared to 46% for American athletes (who make up the difference with fats). 20% of their carbs comes from table sugar used in milky tea.

        Sure there is a massive sugar abuse problem in society in general but there are also abuses with alcohol, drugs, tobacco etc. People are like that. Tobacco killed my parents, not sugar.

        Yesterday at 5pm I went for a 70km bike ride, 9000ft climbing at altitude, back home before 8pm. Felt great the whole way. Without sugar it would have destroyed me even as a youngster – but at 54 it felt just great with added sugar!

        • Ian,

          I don’t pretend to be an expert in such matters, but what you are describing does not sound like a sugar consumption abuse, considering your physical activity.

          Whether one can survive with or without dietary sugar is not the question, one can do without. Is it the same as thriving? Is it optimal? That all depends on your environment and activities.

          The problem with refined sugar is its presence in every processed food for no health reason, and its consumption by 100% sedentary people. And oftentimes, this added sugar is mixed up with quite unhealthy fats (rancid polyunsaturated omega-6′s which form the bulk fat of heavily processed foods) and protein compounds that can be regarded as toxins (gluten, mutated milk proteins, etc). And if these pseudo-foods are part of your daily diet as a staple, you are screwed, regardless of how much you move your butt.

          But eating honey or maple syrup once in a while, as treats in an otherwise very solid and healthy diet? Hell yes! :)

  13. ok now I am somewhat confused! This would be for Alan and Ian B. I have read every post just now. I understand Alan’s point of our bodies being set up for fight or flight, short bursts. Makes sense and no after effects generally from a quick sprint or what ever you may consider a short distance. I understand Ian B’s side as are bodies have certain setups that would allow for long distance endurance. Ian B your last reply is where I get confused.

    To me, if my body was meant to go long distances as you described why would I need to stop every so often and take in a mix of things just to keep going or so my body doesn’t hurt? It sounds the same to me as if I said I was built to breathe under water but I needed to stop and breath from a tank of air every few minutes. It just doesn’t add up. I don’t mean to sounds sarcastic at all, I just would like some clarification is all.

    Thanks, Brian

  14. Brian, I don’t think there is any confusion in any of the writing.

    You are apparently starting out with the false assumption that high density carbs are unnatural – but they are not. Honey can be found practically everywhere. Even fresh dates contain 55% sugar. Raisins have over 70% sugar with a slightly higher proportion of fructose to glucose.

    There’s nothing unnatural about using more protein to build muscle and nothing unnatural about using more sugar to run further and faster. Unlike most animals we have conscious control over our diet so we can make intelligent choices. When going through your normal day you would eat anyway – so if you are engaged in a 6 hour endurance event why on earth would you want to avoid eating? And why would you not select food that works better for that activity and eat when appropriate? You are certainly going to have to drink anyway and there’s absolutely nothing unnatural about that.

    The human body is set up for “fight or flight” but that is only one program. We are also set up exquisitely for endurance – better than practically any other animal. Our metabolic and respiratory processes reflect this duality clearly. We use bipedal motion (upside down pendulum) which allows us to use gravity for forward propulsion instead of muscular force. We are not fast at all – even in “fight or flight” mode – but we can outlast all but a few animals. We sweat so we stay cool in the heat and even as we generate more heat as we run. We have hands with opposing thumbs and can carry water and food. We have brains so we can track and organize – and we can go non-stop for over 200 miles. (at least talented runners can)

    Only very few people today still need to hunt by running down their prey in the heat, but most people still find massive relief from stress ( commonly linked to eating disorders) from endurance sports. As performance levels improve there is also a general feeling of well being. This is now linked to a measured average 16% longer telomer (genetics) which determines lifespan. Statistics for cardiovascular health (lets rule out top elite athletes and their doping programs) are massively in favour of endurance work too.

    The real problem is as DO states above – the average sedentary type who consumes excess sugar and few nutrients in an unintelligent and inappropriate diet.

    If I have a point to make it’s that it’s important to place everything in context and avoid being dogmatic. Stating that “sugar is the single worst thing that you can have in your diet” is probably not true when placed in the context that I describe. However it probably IS the single worst thing when seen in the context of the obesity epidemic. You don’t find any obese endurance athletes – at least I’ve never seen one.

    The real issue relating to the original article is that EXCESSIVE refined sugar is toxic – though that probably applies to unrefined sugar too. Most things in excess are toxic. if you get your daily nutrients and then add some extra sugar to fuel a good long workout that burns up more calories than you consume – then it’s hard to see were there is a problem. On the contrary, in this context sugar appears to be very beneficial at least in performance terms and the health statistics do not present any obvious contradiction.

  15. During a high intensity endurance workout – at anaerobic threshold (sustainable max) a fit athlete would use in the region of 1000 calories per hour.

    One can of Coca Cola has 136 calories. Most sports gels have better sugar types but are still only about 140 calories and have a big price tag.

    The theoretical max that people can absorb hourly on a 2:1 mix of glucose/fructose is 90g – or 360 calories.

    All I can say is that even though this is still a massive energy deficit the consumption of between 45g to 90g per hour during this sort of effort makes a dramatic physiological difference both during and after the exercise (I know this from experience). Consuming nothing or less than this is still possible but you pay with performance loss, fatigue and demoralization.

    “Currell and Jeukendrup (2008) completed one of the first studies to directly look at the effect of a glucose:fructose, 2:1 beverage on performance. Using a simulated 1hour time trial in the lab after 120 minute of cycling exercise at 55% of their VO2max, participants consumed either a placebo (flavoured water), glucose or a glucose:fructose drink. The results of the study were simply astounding. Performance improved by 8% as a result of using two forms of carbohydrate, which was on top of a 10% improvement in performance from taking on glucose alone! Similarly Triplett et al. 2010 also showed an 8.1% performance improvement due to a higher power output when using glucose:fructose drink during a simulated 100km cycling time trial. Interestingly Triplett did not measure gastrointestinal upset directly, but did report that participants on the glucose:fructose experienced no problems at all whilst many of his participants in the glucose only trial reported problems with their stomachs ‘not emptying the solution’. “

  16. Ron Garrett says:

    What about oats? I’ve reduced my sugar intake but don’t actively avoid it. However, I eat more oats in the place of bread and limit my sugars for most of the week to raisins, cranberries and fruit. I eat a cup of oatmeal (dry) mixed with raisins and either nuts or sunflower seeds for breakfast almost every morning; for lunch/dinner I normally have a lean protein and a veggie (steamed or fresh), for snacks I may have a small portion of oats prepared the same way or a handful of nuts and raisins together.

    I started lifting weights again 3 weeks ago with cardio on the same day (20-30 mins) and have lost about 20lbs. Now the weight is coming off slower but my body is slimming up even though the weight is slower so I’m stoked. However if I’m eating too much oats I would like to know. I use whole grain, unprocessed oatmeal. Thanks in advance.

  17. What about ectomorphs bodybuilding? I chow down heaps of carbs every day and have been doing so for years, almost 100-150g of sugar daily and still have issues gaining weight.

  18. Dave Carlson says:

    Loved the intelligent debate.

    I look at a healthy diet in terms of this simple analogy.

    Food = Energy.
    Sugar = Kindling.
    Fats = Logs.

    You need both to start a fire, but should primarily maintain your fire with logs/fats. If you get low on logs/fats (marathon runner/cyclist) you may need a little kindling/sugar to get that fire going again. If you have a raging fire (exercise a lot) you’ll be able to handle a little kindling/sugar better than others. However, you shouldn’t live on kindling/sugar. You’ll quickly burn out.

    I agree that high sugar consumption in the western diet is the main source of food addiction and the obesity epidemic. It’s a serious problem that is destroying lives. That doesn’t make sugar evil however. If it were, our taste buds wouldn’t have evolved to enjoy it.

    It shouldn’t be a debate about exclusively consuming fats vs. carbs. It should be about finding the right balance. Right now, we can all agree that industrialized nations eat way too much sugar and too many calories.

  19. Thanks for sharing! Very well written! Enjoyed reading this and I’ll be sure to share it with some people who wouldn’t like to hear it ;)

  20. I like the article and I will do some more research as people are having different opinions.

  21. This is an amazing post on sugar, I have to say. Though this is aimed at the US audience (I assume), I noticed one of your recommendations, stevia is sold here in the UK. Might have to give it a try!

  22. I am a stupidly active person who literally is running around my work for 8-12 hours a day, and then usually work out when I get home. I eat tons of meats, breads, cheese, and that isn’t enough to sustain my lifestyle so I drink 4-5 pops a day. I don’t know if this is gonna give me diabetes soon, but I have never been in better physical condition and am unable to find any fat.

    In my opinion, screw the official do this and you will be healthy regulations… if you are crazy active, then you should just eat tons and more unhealthy foods the better, because when you are very active, those unhealthy sugary foods are exactly what is going to keep you going. If you are a couch potato then by all means be very careful about your diet because you will kill yourself if you eat like me.

  23. Hi. First, thank you for the great article. It was very informative for someone like myself who is trying to cut down on sugar intake.

    Question: I’m always hearing about how using honey as a sweetener is a healthier alternative to using sugar, but I am confused why this is the case. If you look at the food label on my honey jar, the honey contains 16 grams of “sugars” for every 21 grams of weight, which is almost as much sugar content as pure sugar.

    That being said, it would seem that using a tablespoon of honey in my tea brings me to 1/2 the daily recommended value of sugar (32 grams), which seems quite high and goes contrary to the commonly held belief that honey is a healthy substitute to sugar. Is there something I’m missing here?

  24. I’ve come to realize that I am addicted to sugar. I have been doing a lot of vegan baking lately but the amount of sugar in what I am baking is pretty crazy. I baked a vegan banana bread 2 weekends ago for my birthday and I ate the entire thing!!!! I ate it before the party. So, I had to make another one.

    For me, once I have one piece I want another and another and another. While I rarely drink soda or eat too much processed foods, there are times when if it is in front of me at a party or someones home I can never just have one. I will definitely binge.

    I would like to lower my sugar in take and ween myself off of sugar. I am also a heavy hitter when it comes to breads, pastas, and starchy foods. I need suggestions on what I can and can not eat and best steps for this. Thank you!

    • Jen,

      I admire your vegan-hood. I was considering going vegan for a short while until I realized I cannot live without sushi. My whole family is chefs which makes it even tougher!

      In my brief stint, I came accross this great column about sugar intake of vegans. I hope it’s helpful to you in fighting the good fight!

      http://www.vegancoach.com/vegan-is-easy-but-sugar-is-impossible.html

      • Hey Jeff, I actually am not vegan but I do a fair amount of it. I eat fish and chicken (white meat). I love sushi and I would never give that up. I have IBS so it gets tough finding the foods right for my stomach. Thanks for that article. I actually came across it before. Btw – I totally binged on sugar these past few days… very bad!

        • Try Stevia in The Raw. It doesn’t require as much as regular sugar, it bakes just like regular sugar and it’s a much better choice. I too, am addicted to sugar and can totally relate to your story of eating the whole cake before the party began! I just wouldn’t have made another. Haha ;)

    • My mama makes her banana nut bread with splenda. We could not tell the difference.

  25. I can’t help but notice that some of this information is completely wrong. For example, the article said “if you’re a sugar addict you should avoid it completely” NOO!! You need sugar in your diet! Even though the article probably wasn’t talking about natural sugars, you still shouldn’t avoid added and processed sugars.

    If you’re addicted to them and avoid them completely for even as little as 2 days, you’ll go crazy and binge on twice the amount of sugar you could have the day before. Sorry, just thought that should be mentioned.

  26. Nice article! Other substitutes for sugar could be coconut sugar, non-pasteurized honey, pure maple syrup… The list goes on. I’ve been limiting my sugar intake for a while now, but just starting eating it again and now I get really sick… Definitely not good for you!!

  27. Kathy Patlakis says:

    Great article and information! Thank You!

  28. I came to this site because I wanted to see what the normal amount of sugar a person should have per day. You see, I have stage four cancer, and have learned that cancer survives off of sugar (glucose). I’ve cut process sugar out of my diet, but living with the natural sugar in our fruits.

    I’m trying to survive this disease. Pomegranate is a top fruit for fighting cancer. So I have been drinking POM which is 100% juice, but there are 33 grams of sugar per servings. And this scares me, because of the high amount. This also goes for BOOST, which is suppose to be healthy but has 26 grams of sugar.

    How can one stay within the daily sugar amount when just one item (supposedly healthy) can take you over the edge?

    • Hello Jan. I hope you’re also doing whatever your doctor recommends and taking the surgery/chemo/radiation, or whatever is appropriate. Do NOT depend on internet articles when you’re dealing with something as serious as cancer.

      That being said, eating healthy certainly can’t do any harm. In order to reduce glucose, you need to cut back on all carbohydrates, including starches, sugars, juices and fruits.

      There are some studies on a ketogenic (very low carb) diet for cancer, but the studies are small and it’s impossible to make any recommendations based on them. But if you are interested in looking into it then you can read more here: http://authoritynutrition.com/ketogenic-diets-and-cancer/

      I think the harms of these juices (high sugar) will far outweigh any possible benefit.

      • Thank you for your reply… I have been doing chemo for 4 months and have 2 more months to go. My oncologist wouldn’t even talk to me about vitamins or supplements. His focus is to push the drugs and nothing else. I’m sorry but after 6 months of research, I’ve come to realize they will never find a “cure” for cancer.

        Though I know the cure is out there. This is because the Pharma and FDA wouldn’t continue to make their billion of dollars, if they did find a cure. So let’s keep asking the public for money to continue researching for another 50 years. In the last 4 months, it has cost me over $100,000.00, now think of all the other cancer patients and their cost… it’s big money.

        I’m trying to find a way to prevent my cancer from coming back, which it will. Which is why I asked what is consider normal daily sugar intake. I need to focus on low sugar intake and to get my body in an alkaline state which has been a real challenge. Please realize that chemo and radiation does more harm to the body… putting toxins in the body during treatment which destroy the liver and kidneys, along with all the MRI and PET scans we must have, you lose a large amount of weight, which is hard to put back on, and the other side affects are horrible.

        As for radiation, the burns you receive are unbearable. One guy who was in good shape at the start of his treatments is now using a walker because the radiation is destroying his body. So you can see why people are looking into alternative medicine. Sorry if I’m sounding harsh, but I told my previous doctor for 8 years about my symptoms and he kept telling me I had IBS.

        It wasn’t until I found a new doctor did she discovered on my first visit what could be my problem… sure enough, my previous doctor gave me a death sentence because he was too lazy to do the tests needed to discover what was causing my symptoms.

        • That’s truly heartbreaking, it would be difficult to let go of the anger from lazy doctors who refuse to diagnose patients.

          I’ve come across many, and have still yet to find a decent doctor.

          What I’ve learnt is to research my symptoms on the Internet, then go to the doctor and request the tests I need to diagnose the condition it sounds like I have.

          That is how I diagnosed myself with PCOS, despite telling the doctors my symptoms for 7 years and now probably won’t be able to have children.

          I couldn’t imagine the pain if I were diagnosed with cancer…

          I’m so sorry you went through that, I know this is cliche, but stay positive, believe in your mind you will beat cancer, you’ll be surprised about the power of the mind, being negative makes you depressed, and depression weakens your immune system.

          You should try to stay positive, HIT exercise, order alkaline strips off eBay for cheap and see what makes you alkaline, and stick to it. Everyone is different, so it’s just a matter of experimenting.

          But I truly believe if you cut out preservatives and added sugars, and exercise, you will beat cancer for good.

          If you really want to do the Nestor your body, you could try raw vegan diet, which is supposed to be incredible for health issues. Or even water fasting with spring water… people have claimed to have cure cancer with just this method, but… I wouldn’t recommend it for a sole cure since you’re already going through chemo (woah that’s so expensive). I truly believe there’s already a cure, it’s just not released to the public because of profits and other reasons I won’t go into.

          Even fasting 2 days out of 7 can be very good for your health. Your body literally eats the toxins and dead cells from your body and uses them as energy… it takes a lot of dedication. And it’s best to invest in your own equipment like blood pressure monitor, heart rate, etc so you can take your obs several times a day to ensure things are going smoothly. Most doctors won’t support a water fast.

          And lastly, a naturopath is what you really need. If you find a good naturopath, they can put you on a formula that can do wonders.

          I’ve always had a weak immune system and started taking echinacea and haven’t had a flu since. It’s crazy what herbs and plants can do. Definitely better than prescriptions! Within reason, with a life threatening illness, I’d stick with the chemo, but for prevention, if I were you, I’d go on a raw vegan diet, while fasting 2 days per week, (either water fast, or 500 calorie juice fast).

          I’d test my urine with alkaline strips, and I’d take my obs with medical equipment from eBay, I’d perhaps even look into having a colonic, which helps get rid of all the toxins in your intestines, but again, wouldn’t do it whilst undergoing chemo, wait until after because you will be weak and dizzy and need energy… you should google your type of cancer and herbal remedies, and decide if you want to take the remedies on top of what else you’re doing.

          Cooking things over 40 degrees is apparently not good for you either! Some vitamins actually contain bad things too, so just be weary of that. Stick to reputable brands, and research the vitamin before taking it. I’ve always thought vitamins were fine to take as they are purchasable without prescription, but I had way too much vitamin B12 in my system which was making me ill, some vitamins, like vitamin A can actually be dangerous in large amounts, so be careful with dosage, research it before taking, only takes a minute to google it.

          My grandmother beat breast cancer twice, she has now been in remission for many years and things seem good. Don’t give up hope, stay positive, you must remember, is being depressed going to help your situation? No, is being angry? No, is stressing going to help anything? NO. So why do it?

          I know it’s easier said than done, but try relaxing, meditation, and deep breathing, be spiritual and think holistically, your life will change, you will be strong and you will beat this! Take care, sorry I don’t know much in particular about this stuff, but this is just what I would personally do. Hopefully others, like Alan, chime in with their abundance of wisdom on the subject. Stay positive Jan.

  29. Hi, thanks for the article. What about honey? What kind of sugar is that?

  30. Susan Konarik says:

    Cut back your daily sugar intake to 15 grams a day.

    Cut your carb intake to 120 grams a day. I promise you, in one week you’ll see a huge difference. Keep those two things in mind and you can still enjoy pasta and sweets. It’s all portion control. Try it and let me know how it worked for you! :)

  31. Read “Sweet and Dangerous”…

  32. I just recently in the past couple of months have been diagnosed with insulin resistant hypoglycemia. Now I never heard of that but my doctor told me that it could go extremely high up or extremely low down (blood sugar).

    I am a little over weight and I am trying to get things better and healthier, but this all confuses me. Everyone says stay away from fruits, breads, etc but I don’t know what I can and can’t eat.

  33. I really don’t know how my grandmother and grandfather survived… they didn’t know about sugar composition abuse, ketone bodies, aerobic metabolism, gluconeogenesis cascade, oxaloacetate, TCA/Citric Acid/Krebs Cycle. They didn’t cycle or do aerobic exercises.

    They worked… grew their own livestock, chickens, gardens… grandma even made APPLE PIE! gasp! They didn’t know sugar was bad for them… too bad, they may have lived to be 99 and 100 instead of 97 and 98.

  34. Phyllis Poole says:

    Sugar also depletes the B vitamins. Carbohydrates turn into sugar in our system. Niacin – the memory vitamin, when depleted causes memory failure (Alzheimers?) you bet. Learning disabilities too!! My son had it and was noticed in kindergarten. I found a center by a doctor whose wife was a nutritionist and they found most hyperactive kids had low blood sugar, caused by a pancreas that isn’t working well, is overworked by too much sugar consumption and carbohydrates.

    When sugar was cut out of his diet and carbs way down, he got his memory back again. Also one B vit should not be taken alone because they work together (Adelle Davis nutrition books! really good, not in print anymore). But the doctor found Tupelo honey did not cause pancreatic action. MD’s don’t take a course in nutrition! Use alternative doctors instead.

    I wish more was written about what I have imparted. And I wish a strong push was put on grocery stores. They have aisles loaded with packaged sugary items, now have bakeries loaded with it, candy aisles and many canned goods and dairy products have it. They also now carry alcoholic beverages.

    What’s a person with blood sugar problems, obesity and alcoholism to do if they need groceries!? Let’s all ask them to stop carrying that stuff or put it in another room so we with problems aren’t tempted!

  35. I am confused by something. The title of the article suggests that this article is about sugar in general. But the whole content focuses on ADDED sugar. Since fruits have NATURAL sugar, then why is drinking (presumably 100%) fruit juice #2 on the list of things to avoid?

    • Ron, the issue with juice is that you remove all the fiber. That is why natural sugar is okay and unnatural is not. Natural sugar also comes with fiber.

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