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Why do people keep defending sugar?

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  • josh250to180josh250to180 Member, Premium Posts: 23 Member Member, Premium Posts: 23 Member
    A biology class really helps the understanding of this topic. It goes into cellular respiration, and what really happens with the two different types of sugars we eat. Highly recommend it at your local community college or khan academy.

    With that said, I don’t keep table sugar in the house. For me, sugary things are like cigarettes. I won’t go buy a pack 99 days, but when I do, I can’t leave the pack alone.

    My almond milk is unsweetened. My sodas are diet. No cereals for me. I don’t quite know why, but I get that sugar crash real bad if I eat or drink sugary stuff. Makes me jittery until I eat something.

    I would say that if you live a lifestyle where you can put the sugars to work, allow your body to process them, then you do you. But if you don’t, your body will convert it into fat and bad cholesterol that will affect your heart and bloodstream, leading to other diseases.

    The liver can be your best friend or your worst enemy.


    If sugary foods are triggers for you, sure, don't keep them in the house.

    But conflating from that to the body will convert any sugars to fat and affect your cholesterol and heart and liver - that is just silly.

    As well as having no sense of context or dosage.

    Nobody is suggesting eating mountains of sugar every day.

    But everyone's heart, liver etc can cope fine with sensible amounts as part of a balanced diet.

    I apologize for not being clear. If the body has excess calories in the form of sugar, it will tend to convert it into fat and contribute to adding cholesterol to the blood stream. Same with excess fats, for that matter. Sugars can just be metabolized faster for storage or oxidation. If the body has its stores of glycogen...what else can it convert to? And the liver will be fine either way.

    The last two parts of your statement are exactly what I said.
    edited July 29
  • ritzvinritzvin Member, Premium Posts: 2,742 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,742 Member
    My almond milk is unsweetened. My sodas are diet. No cereals for me.

    Ditto this for me as well. (I'd rather save the calories for elsewhere in items where I get no benefit -taste or performance-wise- from the sugar, so I do buy the 30 cal/cup unsweetened versus the 80 cal/cup sweetened. I do add Splenda and/or artificially sweetened & flavored syrup along with it to my coffee though).

    I do diet soda when I'm somewhere where I'm tempted to boredom snack.

    Cereal is completely a trigger food for me, so it doesn't come into the house. (Most starchy things - sugary or not - are triggery for me)

    (I will, however, be gobbling down those fruit snacks &/or mini clif bars @ ~ mile 20ish though). (And quite probably some ice cream a few miles before the end unless I'm in a savory-craving mood instead of sweet). (Lately, it's been more savory than sweet.. Last month, however, it was very much sweet).
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 16,507 Member Member, Premium Posts: 16,507 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    Sugar (& other highly processed carbs) has no nutritional benefits, so why are so many people defending it?

    Fruit & veg are good for you because they have high levels of nutrition, and the fibre content helps to mitigate the bad effects of the sugar content.

    So although a lot of people lose weight while keeping their sugar levels high, is this something to be applauded or a reason to defend sugar?


    I have my sugar high because of the 3 servings of fruit I have daily. If I was eating other types of sugar, 6 teaspoons is more than enough.
    I agree with you though: Sugar is not good if you're trying to get tight and tone especially. Once I'm at a good body fat % I plan to drop my sugar to almost nothing.
    High sodium is a huge no for me too; I'll save that for another time

    I've just finished prepping my drinks ahead of a long cycle ride - spooned in 100g of glucose/fructose mix.

    In context that on my ride I will burn in the order of 2000+ calories burning roughly half fat and half glycogen (a form of glucose) please expand on why 400cals of sugar is "not good" for me?

    Bearing in mind "tight & toned" athletes have high energy needs what exactly is the problem with sugar in particular?

    I am really into those articles where athletes share what they eat in an "average" day and I've noticed that a big chunk of them include added sugar, of some kind, in their daily intake. Whether it's coffee with sugar or a post workout baked good or some chocolate after dinner or some Skittles, it's almost always there. And these are people who are carefully monitoring their performance, physical condition, and diet.

    I think there is this perception (not with you, but with many others) that professional/elite athletes are very sparse or punitive with their diets and that just doesn't seem to be the case with most of them. Yes, they're eating lots of nutrient-rich food, but they're also including some foods with lowest nutrient density because it's 1) fueling their training and/or 2) they just enjoy them.

    Agree.
    With a high calorie allowance it actualy becomes extremely easy to hit/exceed all your nutritional needs with calories left over for treats or just simply for fuel in a convenient and/or tasty way.
    I wish some of the "sugar is the devil" crowd could join me on some of my organised and catered long distance rides to open their eyes a bit. All those slim, fit, healthy people (some even in their 80's and in remarkable shape) eating so many carbs including sugar based or sugar containing products......

    Side note - my rough estimate was surprisingly close for today's calorie burn. 2030 net calories and the sugars in my drinks kept my energy levels up and made just a small dent in today's TDEE of about 4,500 cals.
    If I had to subsist on a paltry calorie allowance then clearly I would make different choices.

    To the person disagreeing with a string of posts (including simple questions!) - context matters which is why universal and abitrary limits really don't make sense.

    Realistically, what is someone supposed to do, in circumstances like yours, according to those who feel added sugar should always be avoided?

    Activity needs to be fueled, or weight loss will occur, and not everyone is overweight. (Even overweight people aren't best served by always *maximimizng* deficit.) The fueling point is acute, for long-endurance exercise, since fuel will be needed en route, given limitations on muscle glycogen, and such.

    Most people find protein rather filling. Eating a couple of thousand calories of extra protein . . . well, it could be done, but I don't think it would be comfortable in an exercise context. Wouldn't that be like 5 pounds of cooked chicken breast? Whole fruit or vegetables, ditto, except more volume to get that number of calories, since the fiber doesn't contribute to fueling. Fats are calorie dense, but the combination of high fat intake with hearty exercise is a really bad one for many people (most would need a lot of porta-potties on the route). A couple thousand calories of fat would be nearly *half a pound* of fat (coconut oil, or whatever), if I did the math right. I grant that one could go with partly fat, partly whole-food carbs, partly protein . . . but it's still a lot of food volume, potentially with bad consequences for digestive ease.

    Non-filling, non-digestion-challenging carbs seem like an obvious solution for long-endurance activities. And sugar is kind of the ultimate non-filling, non-digestion-challenging carb.

    So, to the folks who argue we should avoid added sugar religiously: What should an endurance athlete eat, during an endurance activity, to get a couple of thousand extra calories, in a practical way? Do you (sugar avoider) do long endurance activity (multi-hour, fairly intense)? What do you do en route for calorie intake?

    These are 100% sincere questions.

    I probably should've added (now too late to edit): I'm aware of the "become fat adapted" keto line of thinking. I don't know who the drive-by disagreer(s) are, but a decent number of the people in this thread who want to eliminate added sugar seem not to be pursuing keto, based on comments about fruits, etc. I admit I'm a skeptic about keto being somehow vital, given the full sweep of human dietary history, but think it's fine for people to pursue if it suits them, and I do see people talking about some endurance athletes considering it a plus to train fat-adaptation via keto. (Some of those athletes, in my understanding, still do dose higher carbs around activity, at least at times, but that's not something I have sound knowledge about. It's obvious that the overwhelming majority of long-endurance athletes rely on carbohydrates for fueling.)
  • tradercourt1tradercourt1 Member Posts: 7 Member Member Posts: 7 Member
    My personal issue with sugar is that is seems to create cravings for more sugar in me. I definitely feel better when I am limiting its use - but I am also trying to operate of a calorie deficit, so that I don't have that same calorie requirement so some others do. Limiting my sugar makes it easier for me to keep my calories down and cravings under control.

    I do, however, love my fruit. I tend to have a rather large plate of it (cherries, strawberries, blueberries, some grapes) after dinner....I am not sure if this is actually a bad idea or not. Is it particularly detrimental at night? Or is the natural sugar okay? I think I am overdoing it on the fruit, probably. How much is too much?
  • J72FITJ72FIT Member Posts: 5,551 Member Member Posts: 5,551 Member
    My personal issue with sugar is that is seems to create cravings for more sugar in me. I definitely feel better when I am limiting its use - but I am also trying to operate of a calorie deficit, so that I don't have that same calorie requirement so some others do. Limiting my sugar makes it easier for me to keep my calories down and cravings under control.

    I do, however, love my fruit. I tend to have a rather large plate of it (cherries, strawberries, blueberries, some grapes) after dinner....I am not sure if this is actually a bad idea or not. Is it particularly detrimental at night? Or is the natural sugar okay? I think I am overdoing it on the fruit, probably. How much is too much?

    Out of curiosity, which foods in particular create the sugar cravings?
  • cmriversidecmriverside Member Posts: 30,429 Member Member Posts: 30,429 Member
    J72FIT wrote: »
    My personal issue with sugar is that is seems to create cravings for more sugar in me. I definitely feel better when I am limiting its use - but I am also trying to operate of a calorie deficit, so that I don't have that same calorie requirement so some others do. Limiting my sugar makes it easier for me to keep my calories down and cravings under control.

    I do, however, love my fruit. I tend to have a rather large plate of it (cherries, strawberries, blueberries, some grapes) after dinner....I am not sure if this is actually a bad idea or not. Is it particularly detrimental at night? Or is the natural sugar okay? I think I am overdoing it on the fruit, probably. How much is too much?

    Out of curiosity, which foods in particular create the sugar cravings?

    I'm gonna answer for her so she doesn't get jumped on.


    I'm guessing added sugars lead to compulsive eating - like with so many people. Yes, sometimes there is fat involved, but not always. I'll just get that out of the way.
  • cmriversidecmriverside Member Posts: 30,429 Member Member Posts: 30,429 Member
    kimny72 wrote: »
    J72FIT wrote: »
    My personal issue with sugar is that is seems to create cravings for more sugar in me. I definitely feel better when I am limiting its use - but I am also trying to operate of a calorie deficit, so that I don't have that same calorie requirement so some others do. Limiting my sugar makes it easier for me to keep my calories down and cravings under control.

    I do, however, love my fruit. I tend to have a rather large plate of it (cherries, strawberries, blueberries, some grapes) after dinner....I am not sure if this is actually a bad idea or not. Is it particularly detrimental at night? Or is the natural sugar okay? I think I am overdoing it on the fruit, probably. How much is too much?

    Out of curiosity, which foods in particular create the sugar cravings?

    I'm gonna answer for her so she doesn't get jumped on.


    I'm guessing added sugars lead to compulsive eating - like with so many people. Yes, sometimes there is fat involved, but not always. I'll just get that out of the way.

    If I had a science crystal ball, one of the things I would love to study would be the science of cravings. While I believe the magical combo of carbs/fat/low-fiber is as close to a holy grail of cravings-causer as there is (because it was literally designed to do that), on a personal level cravings seem to me to be a bizarre combination of biology, psychology, and habit. Some people say sweetened drinks make them hungry, others say they actually satisfy a snack craving and keep them from eating too much. I eat one peanut and something triggers in my brain to eat anything not nailed down in my apartment, others say a handful of nuts will satisfy them so much they might forget to eat their next meal.

    Anyway, I'm fascinated by it :lol:

    And that posters large plate of fruit habit is making me crave the nectarines and cherries I bought yesterday that are sitting in the fridge!


    Funny you should say that.

    Yesterday my "dinner" was habenero lime pistachios and Raisinettes. 700 calories, or the entire pack of both. Pretty good macros, and it didn't put me over on anything except fat. I had already had a monster salad and some protein oatmeal with a banana so my day ended just fine. I haven't done that since the middle of June, so it was a little mini-vacay.
  • ccrdragonccrdragon Member Posts: 2,727 Member Member Posts: 2,727 Member
    kimny72 wrote: »
    J72FIT wrote: »
    My personal issue with sugar is that is seems to create cravings for more sugar in me. I definitely feel better when I am limiting its use - but I am also trying to operate of a calorie deficit, so that I don't have that same calorie requirement so some others do. Limiting my sugar makes it easier for me to keep my calories down and cravings under control.

    I do, however, love my fruit. I tend to have a rather large plate of it (cherries, strawberries, blueberries, some grapes) after dinner....I am not sure if this is actually a bad idea or not. Is it particularly detrimental at night? Or is the natural sugar okay? I think I am overdoing it on the fruit, probably. How much is too much?

    Out of curiosity, which foods in particular create the sugar cravings?

    I'm gonna answer for her so she doesn't get jumped on.


    I'm guessing added sugars lead to compulsive eating - like with so many people. Yes, sometimes there is fat involved, but not always. I'll just get that out of the way.

    If I had a science crystal ball, one of the things I would love to study would be the science of cravings. While I believe the magical combo of carbs/fat/low-fiber is as close to a holy grail of cravings-causer as there is (because it was literally designed to do that), on a personal level cravings seem to me to be a bizarre combination of biology, psychology, and habit. Some people say sweetened drinks make them hungry, others say they actually satisfy a snack craving and keep them from eating too much. I eat one peanut and something triggers in my brain to eat anything not nailed down in my apartment, others say a handful of nuts will satisfy them so much they might forget to eat their next meal.

    Anyway, I'm fascinated by it :lol:

    And that posters large plate of fruit habit is making me crave the nectarines and cherries I bought yesterday that are sitting in the fridge!

    I have this same issue with peanut butter - I eat one spoonful and it's open season on the rest of the jar... fruit and other sweets, meh. An occasional piece of candy, a handful of blueberries or a banana and I'm good. As I have said before in the thread, sweets (read sugar), are not my downfall... savory foods on the other hand...
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 23,846 Member Member Posts: 23,846 Member
    ccrdragon wrote: »
    kimny72 wrote: »
    J72FIT wrote: »
    My personal issue with sugar is that is seems to create cravings for more sugar in me. I definitely feel better when I am limiting its use - but I am also trying to operate of a calorie deficit, so that I don't have that same calorie requirement so some others do. Limiting my sugar makes it easier for me to keep my calories down and cravings under control.

    I do, however, love my fruit. I tend to have a rather large plate of it (cherries, strawberries, blueberries, some grapes) after dinner....I am not sure if this is actually a bad idea or not. Is it particularly detrimental at night? Or is the natural sugar okay? I think I am overdoing it on the fruit, probably. How much is too much?

    Out of curiosity, which foods in particular create the sugar cravings?

    I'm gonna answer for her so she doesn't get jumped on.


    I'm guessing added sugars lead to compulsive eating - like with so many people. Yes, sometimes there is fat involved, but not always. I'll just get that out of the way.

    If I had a science crystal ball, one of the things I would love to study would be the science of cravings. While I believe the magical combo of carbs/fat/low-fiber is as close to a holy grail of cravings-causer as there is (because it was literally designed to do that), on a personal level cravings seem to me to be a bizarre combination of biology, psychology, and habit. Some people say sweetened drinks make them hungry, others say they actually satisfy a snack craving and keep them from eating too much. I eat one peanut and something triggers in my brain to eat anything not nailed down in my apartment, others say a handful of nuts will satisfy them so much they might forget to eat their next meal.

    Anyway, I'm fascinated by it :lol:

    And that posters large plate of fruit habit is making me crave the nectarines and cherries I bought yesterday that are sitting in the fridge!

    I have this same issue with peanut butter - I eat one spoonful and it's open season on the rest of the jar... fruit and other sweets, meh. An occasional piece of candy, a handful of blueberries or a banana and I'm good. As I have said before in the thread, sweets (read sugar), are not my downfall... savory foods on the other hand...

    Any kind of savory cracker is my kryptonite. I can eat a piece of candy and be fine. If I buy a pint of ice cream, I can have a serving and sometimes forget the rest of it for weeks. I regularly eat one ounce of potato or tortilla chips and feel happy and satisfied.

    If I open a box of Wheat Thins or Triscuits, I'm either eating the whole thing or literally throwing the box away so that I don't eat them all. There's no in-between. I recently gave myself another chance after about a year of not having crackers, thinking maybe I'd gained more control. Nope. I would even tell you that I like potato chips more than crackers, but my behavior makes it clear that isn't truly the case!
    edited July 30
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