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Sugar as evil

rosebette
rosebette Posts: 1,657 Member
This post ended up going elsewhere, under "Introduce Yourself," but I really wanted it to go under this topic.

Here's my question:

I have a few friends who are of normal body weight and fairly healthy who are really focused on sugar intake for themselves and their children. I don't mean just not eating sweets, baked goods and packaged stuff like pop tarts, but not buying orange juice anymore for their families, not eating sweetened yogurts, giving up cereal, and even limiting fruit intake. They talk about how eating more than two tablespoons leads to sugar addiction, type II diabetes, etc. I'm married to a diabetic myself, so there are certain things I naturally don't keep in my house, and he has to track his sugar. However, he is overweight and has a genetic history of type II in his family.

For myself, I still eat cereal that has some sweeteners, eat a protein or granola bar that has some sugar for a snack, and I don't limit fruit, and will even eat some canned or jarred fruit if it's canned in juice. The only reason I don't drink orange juice is that it has too many calories and I'd rather eat an orange. I hadn't been tracking my sugar macros because I have been more concerned with fat and cholesterol, since that's a health issue for me. I just changed the MFP settings so it will display sugar, too, and there are some days when I go over on the sugar. If I have calories left for the day, should I avoid fruit and just eat a protein snack? Am I putting myself at risk even with even a slightly higher level of sugar intake? I don't have diabetes in my family, and I am for the most part eating within my calorie limits.
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Replies

  • glevinso
    glevinso Posts: 1,895 Member
    Barring actual diabetes, there is no reason whatsoever to unnaturally restrict sugar.

  • Phoenix_Down
    Phoenix_Down Posts: 530 Member
    Sugar doesn't cause diabetes. It is largely a genetic factor. Being overweight increases the odds as well. The national diabetes association even says on its website that while it's important to get a balanced diet, unless you are diabetic, there's no reason to fret over sugar.

    I would focus on protein, fats and fiber goals and not be overly concerned with sugar. If you stay within your calorie limits, you'll lose weight irregardless. If you have a history, it wouldn't hurt to get a check up from the doctor to make sure you don't have diabetes but again, I wouldn't be overly concerned.

    I don't even track my sugar intake.
  • Need2Exerc1se
    Need2Exerc1se Posts: 13,577 Member
    Too much sugar is not a good thing. And most American eat too much sugar. This causes health agencies to put out recommendations to cut back on sugar.

    Unfortunately, many people see "cut back" as "cut out" and start thinking all sugar is evil/bad/unhealthy and try to cut it all out, when they really should just be cutting down on the amount they eat.

    It's the same thing that happened in the 80's when the recommendation to eat less fat and especially less saturated fat came out. Suddenly all fat was bad and to be avoided.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    Yeah, that's a really good summary, IMO, Need2Exerc1se.
  • blktngldhrt
    blktngldhrt Posts: 1,053 Member
    There's no need to avoid sugar unless you have a medical condition. It's not evil.

  • HeySwoleSister
    HeySwoleSister Posts: 1,938 Member
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  • PeachyCarol
    PeachyCarol Posts: 8,040 Member
    Too much sugar is not a good thing. And most American eat too much sugar. This causes health agencies to put out recommendations to cut back on sugar.

    Unfortunately, many people see "cut back" as "cut out" and start thinking all sugar is evil/bad/unhealthy and try to cut it all out, when they really should just be cutting down on the amount they eat.

    It's the same thing that happened in the 80's when the recommendation to eat less fat and especially less saturated fat came out. Suddenly all fat was bad and to be avoided.

    I am curious just how far this anti-sugar pendulum swing is going to go and what the repercussions are going to be. I was looking up the nutrition information for a fuller fat Greek yogurt today on a website, and they had a segment listing the dietary pros and cons for a food. They had PLAIN 2% Greek yogurt down with a con of being high in sugar.



  • athena61
    athena61 Posts: 54 Member
    I am one who (somewhat) watches sugar intake. I eat all the fruit I want (1-2 pieces a day), avoid juice because it's too high in calories and I'd rather eat my calories than drink them. I mostly restrict process sugars found in treats because they are trigger foods for me. I have a heck of a time eating anything remotely resembling a realistic portion, so I simply avoid them. Having said that, when I do have a dessert I share with someone and they usually what their fair share :).
  • tinascar2015
    tinascar2015 Posts: 413 Member
    Too much sugar over a long period of time can easily lead to diabetes, but the people you describe are taking things to a bizarre extreme, especially by restricting fruits. I can understand how they'd want to avoid giving their kids a lot of added sugar, but that isn't the same thing as sugars found in unprocessed foods.

    These parents also run the risk of denying their kids foods that all their friends get. That can backfire and cause the kids to sneak food, even shoplift candy and snacks, and once they learn to drive and can access all those things they were always deprived of, all bets are off.
  • Need2Exerc1se
    Need2Exerc1se Posts: 13,577 Member
    Too much sugar is not a good thing. And most American eat too much sugar. This causes health agencies to put out recommendations to cut back on sugar.

    Unfortunately, many people see "cut back" as "cut out" and start thinking all sugar is evil/bad/unhealthy and try to cut it all out, when they really should just be cutting down on the amount they eat.

    It's the same thing that happened in the 80's when the recommendation to eat less fat and especially less saturated fat came out. Suddenly all fat was bad and to be avoided.

    I am curious just how far this anti-sugar pendulum swing is going to go and what the repercussions are going to be. I was looking up the nutrition information for a fuller fat Greek yogurt today on a website, and they had a segment listing the dietary pros and cons for a food. They had PLAIN 2% Greek yogurt down with a con of being high in sugar.

    I can't say I'm surprised. I've seen several posts on here questioning the natural sugar in dairy. I'm sure Silk and Blue Diamond are loving it. ;)
  • RockstarWilson
    RockstarWilson Posts: 836 Member
    edited March 2015
    If you eat an apple or what have you before bed, you won't wake up in a diabetic coma (if people are awake for that-are they?). What your husband has has nothing do to with you, since he was genetically predisposed to the disorder. Were his parents overweight as well? It took him years to get where he is today, just like it will take him years to get to where he wants to be.

    Sugar is not evil. How could something that tastes so good and makes people happy be evil? :-)
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 39,898 Member
    rosebette wrote: »
    This post ended up going elsewhere, under "Introduce Yourself," but I really wanted it to go under this topic.

    Here's my question:

    I have a few friends who are of normal body weight and fairly healthy who are really focused on sugar intake for themselves and their children. I don't mean just not eating sweets, baked goods and packaged stuff like pop tarts, but not buying orange juice anymore for their families, not eating sweetened yogurts, giving up cereal, and even limiting fruit intake. They talk about how eating more than two tablespoons leads to sugar addiction, type II diabetes, etc. I'm married to a diabetic myself, so there are certain things I naturally don't keep in my house, and he has to track his sugar. However, he is overweight and has a genetic history of type II in his family.

    For myself, I still eat cereal that has some sweeteners, eat a protein or granola bar that has some sugar for a snack, and I don't limit fruit, and will even eat some canned or jarred fruit if it's canned in juice. The only reason I don't drink orange juice is that it has too many calories and I'd rather eat an orange. I hadn't been tracking my sugar macros because I have been more concerned with fat and cholesterol, since that's a health issue for me. I just changed the MFP settings so it will display sugar, too, and there are some days when I go over on the sugar. If I have calories left for the day, should I avoid fruit and just eat a protein snack? Am I putting myself at risk even with even a slightly higher level of sugar intake? I don't have diabetes in my family, and I am for the most part eating within my calorie limits.

    Classic-GIF-2015.gif

    My personal philosophy is that if I'm not washing down cake with 40 ounce big gulps and popping gummy bears all day, I'm probably gonna be ok...

    I think I'm generally in the neighborhood of 80 - 100 grams of sugar per day...most of which comes from veg and fruit with the occasional "treat". I've improved all of my health markers, including my blood sugar levels and fixing my cholesterol and triglyceride issues by simply balancing out my diet a bit and making overall better nutritional decisions...particularly less soda and the like and way more veg and a couple servings of fruit per day. I've done well, no fear mongering required.

  • hedwardsb
    hedwardsb Posts: 201 Member
    edited March 2015
    Whenever I've put on extra pounds, it wasn't eating bananas sliced in plain yogurt and drinking orange juice.
  • abatonfan
    abatonfan Posts: 1,123 Member
    Part of me wants to slap that family so hard with my insulin pump. Sugar does not cause diabetes. An excess of calories that results in someone gaining weight increases insulin resistance, which increases the odds of type 2 diabetes. Not many causes have been identified for type 1 diabetes other than a genetic predisposition plus exposure to an unidentified trigger setting off the autoimmune attack.

    I apologize if I go off topic. Technically, diabetics do not need to watch their sugar intake but their carbohydrate intake instead. All carbohydrates excluding dietary fiber and sugar alcohols are broken down into glucose during digestion. I could eat 50g net carbs of steel cut oatmeal (very low in sugar) or 50g of net carbs of sucrose (table sugar), but both are going to spike up my blood glucose by a certain amount unless I take the proper amount of insulin for it. What differs is how quickly the food is digested and absorbed into the blood stream. Foods that are high in fiber and whole grains typically take longer to digest than table sugar alone, so blood sugar spikes might not be as dramatic compared to the table sugar (oatmeal tends to spike my BG up more so than glucose alone unless I take my insulin a half hour early and add fat and protein to it).

    On average, I think my sugar intake is around 80-100g, primarily from fruits and vegetables. If my blood sugar goes low during the day, then my sugar intake might be closer to 100-110g, but overall I have very few added sugars in my diet (save for the occasional piece of real chocolate I might have if I already met my fat and fiber macros).
  • salembambi
    salembambi Posts: 5,607 Member
    i always go over on sugar 90% of it is from fruit
    i only limit my processed sugar intake because eating it everyday inflares my chronic health condition
  • MindySaysWhaaat
    MindySaysWhaaat Posts: 401 Member
    If it's not a medical issue, then I wouldn't worry too much about sugar.

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  • jgnatca
    jgnatca Posts: 14,465 Member
    Unfortunately, many people see "cut back" as "cut out" and start thinking all sugar is evil/bad/unhealthy and try to cut it all out, when they really should just be cutting down on the amount they eat.

    This. Even as a type 2 diabetic I did not avoid all sugar, and I had my fruit servings every day. That "no more than two tablespoons" from WHO is about "added sugar", not the natural sugars found in food. I just checked the WHO website and their guidelines have not been finalized yet. I saw one that suggested added sugars should not make more than 10% of a person's diet.
  • rosebette
    rosebette Posts: 1,657 Member
    MFP gives me around 60 grams a day (I net around 1200 calories). Some days I do exceed that. However, MFP doesn't distinguish between added sugar and naturally occurring sugar, just as it doesn't distinguish between unhealthy saturated fats and healthy fats in olive oil or nuts.
  • canary_girl
    canary_girl Posts: 366 Member
    Years ago I did Atkins and swore off all sugar (except fruit, that's just crazy). I felt SO much better than I ever had before.
    I don't do Atkins anymore but I do limit sugar. Not because it's evil but because I just don't have a taste for it. Any time I might have sugar it just tastes so sickly that I can't stomach much of it.