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How many grams of sugar should I be eating in total?? Please help

mburroughesmburroughes Member Posts: 2 Member Member Posts: 2 Member
Hi Everyone

I am looking for some advice. How many grams of sugar in total should I be eating daily? I know I should cut out all added sugar if possible, but what about natural sugar? I eat a lot of fruit (fresh & some dried) but I have a feeling I am having too much.

My daily calorie intake is 2,400 - 45% Carb, 35% Protein and 20% Fat. I do lots of cardio exercise and train in the gym nearly every day.

Would be great if someone can give me some advise.

Thanks, Marc
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Replies

  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Member Posts: 30,886 Member Member Posts: 30,886 Member
    There's no credible evidence suggesting that you need to limit intrinsic sugars from vegetables, fruits, and dairy. Countries that set a total sugar limit merely add to their added sugar limit an estimated amount of sugars that people who eat according to recommended minimum amounts of vegetables, fruits, and dairy would be eating on average. They simply assume that most are not going to exceed that, but have not claimed that it's bad to do so.

    What would be a problem is to eat so many calories from, say, fruit, that you don't get enough protein or fat, but that's likely uncommon.

    IMO, what makes sense is to monitor total carbs and fiber (to get above the minimum for fiber) and then watch sugar to make sure you aren't getting more than you thought from unexpected sources. I am perfectly happy to exceed my sugar goal with fruits and veg, although it rarely happens.

    Why do you think you are having too much? With those macros and your activity, it seems unlikely.

    (I'll add that even the WHO doesn't say cut out ALL added sugar. They recommend keeping added sugar to 5% of calories or below. Nothing wrong with cutting it out if you prefer, but not necessary for health for most.)
  • juggernaut1974juggernaut1974 Member Posts: 6,212 Member Member Posts: 6,212 Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    There's no credible evidence suggesting that you need to limit intrinsic sugars from vegetables, fruits, and dairy. Countries that set a total sugar limit merely add to their added sugar limit an estimated amount of sugars that people who eat according to recommended minimum amounts of vegetables, fruits, and dairy would be eating on average. They simply assume that most are not going to exceed that, but have not claimed that it's bad to do so.

    What would be a problem is to eat so many calories from, say, fruit, that you don't get enough protein or fat, but that's likely uncommon.

    IMO, what makes sense is to monitor total carbs and fiber (to get above the minimum for fiber) and then watch sugar to make sure you aren't getting more than you thought from unexpected sources. I am perfectly happy to exceed my sugar goal with fruits and veg, although it rarely happens.

    Why do you think you are having too much? With those macros and your activity, it seems unlikely.

    (I'll add that even the WHO doesn't say cut out ALL added sugar. They recommend keeping added sugar to 5% of calories or below. Nothing wrong with cutting it out if you prefer, but not necessary for health for most.)

    ^^ Yep concur with all this.

    TL;DR - if you set your calorie and macro goals appropriately and meet them for the most part, there's no need (absent a medical condition) to fret over specific # of grams of sugar or the "type" of sugar.
    edited October 2015
  • yarwellyarwell Member Posts: 10,479 Member Member Posts: 10,479 Member
    The 90 gram RDI should be enough for anyone. Lose the dried fruit and the dextrose powder (?) if you need to cut back.
  • mburroughesmburroughes Member Posts: 2 Member Member Posts: 2 Member
    Thank you for making the effort to respond. The information is very helpful.

    I just thought too much sugar is bad for me since it gets so much press but I suppose if I am limiting added sugar and most of the sugar I am eating is natural it sounds like I don't need to worry too much.

    Thanks again, Marc
  • juggernaut1974juggernaut1974 Member Posts: 6,212 Member Member Posts: 6,212 Member
    Thank you for making the effort to respond. The information is very helpful.

    I just thought too much sugar is bad for me since it gets so much press but I suppose if I am limiting added sugar and most of the sugar I am eating is natural it sounds like I don't need to worry too much.

    Thanks again, Marc

    Yes, too much sugar is often counterproductive to weight and fitness goals. But the same could be said for too much fat, too much protein, etc. Sugar just happens to be the latest and greatest scapegoat.

    The context that is needed is defining how much is "too much".

    Like I said before, so long as you've set reasonable overall calorie and macro goals, and stick to them regularly, I don't think "too much" is an issue I'd worry too much about.
  • nvmomketonvmomketo Member Posts: 12,020 Member Member Posts: 12,020 Member
    If you havr insulin resistance of some sort (prediabetes, T2D, NAFLD) then the closer you can get your sugar to zero, the better your health will be. I am prediabetic, so I cut my carbs and sugars to treat it. My sugar is often close to zero but I eat almost no fruit and veggies are not more than half of my plate, nevermind the fact that I cut all added sugars and starches.

    If I was not prediabetic, and didn't believe that cutting sugars was in my best interest, I wouldn't have done this.

    If you are healthy, sugars from veggies and some fruits are not bad.
  • Yi5hedr3Yi5hedr3 Member, Premium Posts: 2,696 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,696 Member
    Zero sugar would be great! Decrease your Carbs to 35%, and Increase Fats to 30%. That would be a step
    in the right direction.
  • Michael190lbsMichael190lbs Member Posts: 1,510 Member Member Posts: 1,510 Member
    When I dropped most sugars from my diet I had a lot less cravings for food and lost weight. Yes it was from a lower caloric intake obviously but for me getting rid of sugar helped control my cravings for food.. I currently keep my sugar under 50 grams and most of that is from fruit.
    edited October 2015
  • DeguelloTexDeguelloTex Member Posts: 6,658 Member Member Posts: 6,658 Member
    Yi5hedr3 wrote: »
    Zero sugar would be great! Decrease your Carbs to 35%, and Increase Fats to 30%. That would be a step
    in the right direction.
    No it wouldn't. I have 180 grams of chocolate cake waiting for me after my evening walk. It would be terrible without sugar.

    My carbs are right at 50% and I'm maintaining a 122 pound loss. There have been a lot of good suggestions here. The post I quoted just isn't part of that. Those suggestions might be good for someone who wants to do so, but it's certainly not a universal necessity.

  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Member Posts: 30,886 Member Member Posts: 30,886 Member
    When I dropped most sugars from my diet I had a lot less cravings for food and lost weight. Yes it was from a lower caloric intake obviously but for me getting rid of sugar helped control my cravings for food.. I currently keep my sugar under 50 grams and most of that is from fruit.

    OP hasn't mentioned struggling to control his calories or having problems with cravings, so I am curious how this relates to his post.
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Member Posts: 30,886 Member Member Posts: 30,886 Member
    Yi5hedr3 wrote: »
    Zero sugar would be great! Decrease your Carbs to 35%, and Increase Fats to 30%. That would be a step
    in the right direction.

    Maybe for you it would be. That does not mean it would be for everyone.

    edited October 2015
  • Michael190lbsMichael190lbs Member Posts: 1,510 Member Member Posts: 1,510 Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    When I dropped most sugars from my diet I had a lot less cravings for food and lost weight. Yes it was from a lower caloric intake obviously but for me getting rid of sugar helped control my cravings for food.. I currently keep my sugar under 50 grams and most of that is from fruit.

    OP hasn't mentioned struggling to control his calories or having problems with cravings, so I am curious how this relates to his post.

    Yet your quote and comment do?
    edited October 2015
  • burgersronnyburgersronny Member Posts: 4 Member Member Posts: 4 Member
    Sugar really doesn't do anything for the body. Don't go out and eat raw sugar. The less the better
  • Jonny15121983Jonny15121983 Member Posts: 578 Member Member Posts: 578 Member
    Just to throw something into the conversation. The main issue with sugar are one that are rapidly absorbed, especially when you already had normal blood sugar levels and full glycogen stores in your muscles. This would cause high blood sugar, your bodies natural defense mechanism is Insulin (hormone) which turns this into fat. So speed of absorption is a significant factor.

    It is also worth mentioning that all carbs basically become sugar too, what is worth watching here is it's Glycemic Index (GI.) A high GI (Potatoes, White Rice, Bread etc.) means they will be rapidly digested and absorbed causing a faster rise is blood sugar levels, thus the Insulin response kicks in. A low GI (Vegetables, Wild Rice etc.) means that they are slowly digested and absorbed.

    Fiber is another key factor at play when looking at sugar absorption rates and fruit is a great example. An apple for example is not sugar I would worry about, the fiber acts like a matrix to keep sugar absorption rates low. However if we run that apple through a juicer, the apple juice has lots its fiber and so is very rapidly absorbed.

    It can thus be beneficial to save high HI carbs or sugary treats for after a workout, this is because blood sugar is lowered and glycogen stores are depleted in your muscles. The faster sugar uptake serves to refuel to normal, thus helping to avoid the Insulin fat storage response. Insulin's opposing hormone is Glucagon, this kicks in when blood sugar is low and serves to convert fat into energy, you can try to manipulate this to your advantage with a three hour fast before a workout.

    You'll hear many different options though and I encourage you to review them all and form your own opinion.
  • cdudley628cdudley628 Member Posts: 547 Member Member Posts: 547 Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    When I dropped most sugars from my diet I had a lot less cravings for food and lost weight. Yes it was from a lower caloric intake obviously but for me getting rid of sugar helped control my cravings for food.. I currently keep my sugar under 50 grams and most of that is from fruit.

    OP hasn't mentioned struggling to control his calories or having problems with cravings, so I am curious how this relates to his post.

    I think Michael was just letting OP know his experience with sugar. I think by letting others know how you felt when you stopped eating sugar, it can help them form their own opinions and see the effects sugar may have.
  • mccindy72mccindy72 Member Posts: 7,020 Member Member Posts: 7,020 Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    When I dropped most sugars from my diet I had a lot less cravings for food and lost weight. Yes it was from a lower caloric intake obviously but for me getting rid of sugar helped control my cravings for food.. I currently keep my sugar under 50 grams and most of that is from fruit.

    OP hasn't mentioned struggling to control his calories or having problems with cravings, so I am curious how this relates to his post.

    Yet your quote and comment do?

    They do, because not everyone needs to cut added sugar from his or her diet. You addressed a specific concern to your own health, @lemurcat12 addressed general information as a starting point for anyone reading the thread about sugar.
  • WinoGelatoWinoGelato Member Posts: 13,458 Member Member Posts: 13,458 Member
    Hi Everyone

    I am looking for some advice. How many grams of sugar in total should I be eating daily? I know I should cut out all added sugar if possible, but what about natural sugar? I eat a lot of fruit (fresh & some dried) but I have a feeling I am having too much.

    My daily calorie intake is 2,400 - 45% Carb, 35% Protein and 20% Fat. I do lots of cardio exercise and train in the gym nearly every day.

    Would be great if someone can give me some advise.

    Thanks, Marc

    OP can you provide more insight as to why you think you should cut out all added sugar if possible? Do you have medical guidance to do this, or are you doing this as a mean to help control your overall calories, or are you doing this because when you eat foods with added sugar you have other cravings?

    Reducing added sugars is not something that is required for every person. If you fit any of the criteria I listed above, you may find some benefits from restricting them, but there are not necessarily benefits to restricting added sugars for all people if you don't have a medical reason to do so.

  • nvmomketonvmomketo Member Posts: 12,020 Member Member Posts: 12,020 Member
    It is true that not everyone needs to cut out added sugars. It is equally true that people do not need added sugars.

    Cutting sugars can be helpful,or at worst benign, to a person's health. I can't think of any health benefits that only sugar can give.

    ... It does taste good though.
  • juggernaut1974juggernaut1974 Member Posts: 6,212 Member Member Posts: 6,212 Member
    nvmomketo wrote: »
    Cutting sugars can be helpful,or at worst benign, to a person's health. I can't think of any health benefits that only sugar can give.

    Quick release energy.

    There's a reason marathon runners don't gnaw on pork chops during a race.
  • madhatter2013madhatter2013 Member Posts: 1,561 Member Member Posts: 1,561 Member
    I just made lunch out of a bag of tootsie rolls. Is that bad?
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