Natural Sugar (fruit/milk) vs Added Sugars

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Hello Everyone,

I have been using MFP for logging my foods, but have a few issues with my sugar intake.

I know that you shouldn't overload your diet with fruit, but I now feel hesitant to eat a lot of fruit/milk due worrying about going over my intake. For example, after a cup of milk, banana, and 3/4 cup of blackberries, I have went through almost 85% of my sugar limit.

The only added sugar I eat is a tsp of turbinado sugar in my oatmeal and the 1-2 grams in misc veggies, etc). The total amount of added sugars in my meals combined is about 8-10 grams.

How do you all handle the issue with sugar? Do you differentiate between natural sugars and added sugars? Any advice you can give about counting mine?

Thank you!
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Replies

  • I_Will_End_You
    I_Will_End_You Posts: 4,397 Member
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    I don't even track sugar, I swapped it out for iron on my profile instead. Are you diabetic? If not, I wouldn't worry about going over on sugar, especially considering it's from fruit and milk.
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,763 Member
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    Do you have a medical reason to limit sugar? If not, many people have found success here just disregarding it and tracking something else instead (I track fiber). I don't differentiate between the two and exceeded the default setting for sugar many times when I was losing weight. As long as you're meeting your nutritional needs and you don't have a medical issue, I think you will be fine.
  • ReaderGirl3
    ReaderGirl3 Posts: 868 Member
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    cityruss wrote: »
    Unless you have a specific medical need, stop worrying about sugar and track something else.

    This. I don't track sugar intake and never have. Hasn't affected my results in any way. I only pay attention to calorie intake.
  • snowflake930
    snowflake930 Posts: 2,188 Member
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    cityruss wrote: »
    Unless you have a specific medical need, stop worrying about sugar and track something else.


    ^This. Truth.

    Eat less calories than you burn to lose weight, and all foods in moderation for a sustainable, long term, success at maintaining a healthy weight when you reach your goal.

  • Rocknut53
    Rocknut53 Posts: 1,794 Member
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    cityruss wrote: »
    Unless you have a specific medical need, stop worrying about sugar and track something else.

    This. I don't track sugar intake and never have. Hasn't affected my results in any way. I only pay attention to calorie intake.

    Both of these. Being older, I track fiber instead. ;)
  • toscarthearmada
    toscarthearmada Posts: 382 Member
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    Everyone on this thread is correct!

    However to answer your question...Sugar is sugar. The only difference between natural sugar and added is that natural sugars have fiber. The fiber slows down the digestion of these sugars and doesn't overload your insulin levels all at once.

    Don't worry about sugar intake unless you have to. It's a pain in the butt.
  • the_quadfather
    the_quadfather Posts: 47 Member
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    I don't track sugar OR sodium intake. No issues. Unless there is a specific medical reason, as previously stated, don't worry about it.

    Sugar can indeed be very bad for you, particularly if you are not actively burning it. If you are exercising regularly though, your body will NEED to replenish the glycogen stores. Your brain runs on glucose and carbs. And, you need more sodium than what MFP allows for, as well.

    Manage your macros (protein, fats, carbs.) As one previous poster stated, track other things. I tend to track fiber more, as that is what helps us eliminate all the bad stuff, and also balance our carbs/sugars in our system in a more healthy manner.
  • taviyiya
    taviyiya Posts: 4 Member
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    Thanks everyone! This helps.

    I honestly do not have a medical need at the moment. My blood pressure runs on the low side and my sugar is average, I am guessing (I rarely check). I do have a family history of diabetes. My parents have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic, but both my grandparents four of my aunt-uncles, and a few cousins had full blown diabetes.

    I'm trying to do my best to prevent that from happening since I have a sweet tooth, so I wanted to track my sugar better. I know our body interprets natural fruit sugar/added sugar, fructose, the same way regardless of the source, but since natural sugars have vitamins, fiber and other minerals, I know they can somehow help offset.

    I think I will try to match my sugar and fiber intake ratio (as someone suggested) and try to keep an eye on it. I don't feel comfortable ignoring it due to my family history.

    As for the added sugars, I will make sure they don't go over 24g, the max daily intake stated by the American Heart Association.

    Thanks again for the advice. I will try not to be so hard on myself about the sugar ratios.
  • Need2Exerc1se
    Need2Exerc1se Posts: 13,576 Member
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    I only pay attention to added sugar.
  • I_Will_End_You
    I_Will_End_You Posts: 4,397 Member
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    taviyiya wrote: »
    Thanks everyone! This helps.

    I honestly do not have a medical need at the moment. My blood pressure runs on the low side and my sugar is average, I am guessing (I rarely check). I do have a family history of diabetes. My parents have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic, but both my grandparents four of my aunt-uncles, and a few cousins had full blown diabetes.

    I'm trying to do my best to prevent that from happening since I have a sweet tooth, so I wanted to track my sugar better. I know our body interprets natural fruit sugar/added sugar, fructose, the same way regardless of the source, but since natural sugars have vitamins, fiber and other minerals, I know they can somehow help offset.

    I think I will try to match my sugar and fiber intake ratio (as someone suggested) and try to keep an eye on it. I don't feel comfortable ignoring it due to my family history.

    As for the added sugars, I will make sure they don't go over 24g, the max daily intake stated by the American Heart Association.

    Thanks again for the advice. I will try not to be so hard on myself about the sugar ratios.

    Eating sugar doesn't give you diabetes. In most cases it's either inherited, or a result of being overweight. Are your diabetic family members overweight or obese?
  • ReaderGirl3
    ReaderGirl3 Posts: 868 Member
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    taviyiya wrote: »
    Thanks everyone! This helps.

    I honestly do not have a medical need at the moment. My blood pressure runs on the low side and my sugar is average, I am guessing (I rarely check). I do have a family history of diabetes. My parents have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic, but both my grandparents four of my aunt-uncles, and a few cousins had full blown diabetes.

    I'm trying to do my best to prevent that from happening since I have a sweet tooth, so I wanted to track my sugar better. I know our body interprets natural fruit sugar/added sugar, fructose, the same way regardless of the source, but since natural sugars have vitamins, fiber and other minerals, I know they can somehow help offset.

    I think I will try to match my sugar and fiber intake ratio (as someone suggested) and try to keep an eye on it. I don't feel comfortable ignoring it due to my family history.

    As for the added sugars, I will make sure they don't go over 24g, the max daily intake stated by the American Heart Association.

    Thanks again for the advice. I will try not to be so hard on myself about the sugar ratios.

    Big family tree of type 2 also and I used to have higher glucose numbers myself. For me, losing the extra pounds (around 50 of them), was the key to getting my glucose numbers stabilized (80s). If your numbers are good I'd just focus on getting your weigh into the healthy range and then maybe talk to your doctor about a blood work schedule to make sure everything stays good (I go in every 6 months ).
  • tomteboda
    tomteboda Posts: 2,171 Member
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    I track fiber because I have a hard time meeting the goals without actively trying. The sugar goal is garbage.
  • Wickedfaery73
    Wickedfaery73 Posts: 184 Member
    edited April 2016
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    Diabetes runs rampant in my family as well. I also try not to get too much sugar but I dont beat myself up too much if I go a little over.

    from Diabetes.org

    "
    Myth: If you are overweight or obese, you will eventually develop type 2 diabetes.

    Fact: Being overweight is a risk factor for developing this disease, but other risk factors such as family history, ethnicity and age also play a role. Unfortunately, too many people disregard the other risk factors for diabetes and think that weight is the only risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Most overweight people never develop type 2 diabetes, and many people with type 2 diabetes are at a normal weight or only moderately overweight.


    Myth: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.

    Fact: The answer is not so simple. Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and unknown factors that trigger the onset of the disease; type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors.

    Being overweight does increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and a diet high in calories from any source contributes to weight gain. Research has shown that drinking sugary drinks is linked to type 2 diabetes.

    The American Diabetes Association recommends that people should avoid intake of sugar-sweetened beverages to help prevent diabetes. Sugar-sweetened beverages include beverages like:

    regular soda
    fruit punch
    fruit drinks
    energy drinks
    sports drinks
    sweet tea
    other sugary drinks.
    These will raise blood glucose and can provide several hundred calories in just one serving!

    See for yourself:

    Just one 12-ounce can of regular soda has about 150 calories and 40 grams of carbohydrate. This is the same amount of carbohydrate in 10 teaspoons of sugar!
    One cup of fruit punch and other sugary fruit drinks have about 100 calories (or more) and 30 grams of carbohydrate.


    - See more at: http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/myths/?loc=db-slabnav#sthash.VeFlhtwT.dpuf "
  • kgirlhart
    kgirlhart Posts: 4,991 Member
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    I don't track sugar. I would only worry about added sugar, but honestly I don't worry about added sugar either. Unless you are diabetic or have a specific health reason to limit sugar then I wouldn't worry about overloading your diet with fruit.
  • sunnybeaches105
    sunnybeaches105 Posts: 2,831 Member
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    I don't track sugar but then again I don't eat many sweets. I do eat fruit and drink milk. If you're tracking calories and eating plenty of whole foods then I wouldn't bother.
  • Afura
    Afura Posts: 2,054 Member
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    I track sugar but I primarily kept my eye on it when I was diabetic. Otherwise as long as I'm under calories, atm it doesn't matter. :smile:
  • taviyiya
    taviyiya Posts: 4 Member
    edited April 2016
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    My grand parents and my dad weren't overweight. My mother and some of my other family members are a little on the hefty side, but not bad. Diabetes in my family is common, but we haven't really talked about it as much as we should.

    I am actually at a healthy weight already, but I still want to lose 10 lbs. As for my numbers, I rarely check, which is probably the problem. When I did check, they were always normal.

    I will go to my doctor and see if I can get blood work done so I can pin point where my trouble areas that I need to watch out for (or if I shouldn't worry at all). The only thing I was told about my eating habits was by my cardiologist telling me to not skip the salt since my blood pressure runs low.

    Thanks again.
  • distinctlybeautiful
    distinctlybeautiful Posts: 1,041 Member
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    I don't even track sugar, I swapped it out for iron on my profile instead. Are you diabetic? If not, I wouldn't worry about going over on sugar, especially considering it's from fruit and milk.

    @I_Will_End_You Does this mean you no longer see your sugar intake at all? If so, how did you do that? Thanks!
  • chrissymfred
    chrissymfred Posts: 47 Member
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    I watch my added sugar, but don't worry too much about sugar that is in fruit or milk. For me, I have found too much sugar is inflammatory, especially if there are no other nutrients along with it. Like drinking pop, or eating candy for example. But if there is protein, fat or fiber with it, the sugar doesn't bother me. I have also noticed since cutting added sugar that my teeth are doing much better, which I never expected.
    Most of my sugar comes from fruit and milk, and for me it has been a big help in how I feel compared to when I drank pop and ate sweets. Personally I am really surprised at what a difference it makes for me.