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Is sugar really that bad for you?

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  • Is sugar really that bad for you?

    So i was thinking. Sucrose is a natural product. All it is, is a disaccharide of the monosaccharides glucose and fructose. A basically 50:50 split of glucose and fructose. Glucose is perfectly natural and is used for energy easily by the body. Fructose on the other hand must be directed to the liver, and is fine in smaller amounts, but is said to become problematic when you take too much (it is estimated up to 50g a day is completely safe).

    So my quesion is, why is sugar said to be so bad for you, when all it is, is glucose and fructose? Is it because of the fructose component? Because in that case you would need to have over 100g of sugar to reach 50 grams of fructose. If it is unhealthy becuase of it's effect on insulin, sucrose has a gi of 64, which is not bad by any means. Does anybody have any ideas as to why it's so bad? I know mark sisson has a post on sugars but it doesn't really explain WHY sugar is bad.

    (all this being said, i never actually eat sugar, i am just curious to know why it's so slated in the health community).
    Last edited by Lukey; 08-30-2012, 05:47 AM.

  • #2
    Sugar isn't that bad. It becomes bad in the amount some people consume, mainly in sodas but also some processed foods. People following this woe don't have to worry about sugar unless they're juicing a lot of fruit.


    • #3
      There is nothing inherently bad about it. But at the same time it is void of any nutrition, except energy. Because of that it's so much better to get all your glucose/fructose from veggies and fruit. They come with much better nutritional value and ingredients that help overcoming the negative incluence of, for ex., glucose - like fibers.


      • #4
        Yes it is the shear amount that the average person consumes these days. It is an insane amount and its day after day after day and eventually it WILL cause a systemic breakdown. As with all else, genetics determine how much and how long one can continue along this path before it manifests in disease. No different than smoking really. There is always that story of someone who is 105 and they've been smoking for 85 years and never had a problem! But then there are the millions who have suffered and shortened their lives and in many cases by decades.


        • #5
          An interesting read Cut the Sugar - How to Build Muscle | Strength Training Workouts | Mass Gain Diet what is particularly interesting if accurate is the sugar consumption 100 years ago was about 4lbs per year now on average it is about 150lbs per year. In that kind of quantity it is definitely not good

          A good watch as well Sugar the Bitter Truth Sugar: The Bitter Truth - YouTube and I have heard that Pure, White and Deadly is a good read and years ahead of its time.
          Last edited by Dirlot; 08-30-2012, 06:13 AM.
          Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
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          • #6
            Yes this is all exactly as i thought, it's just the whole health community slants sugar and says it is related to various diseases, but then recommends eating 5+ pieces of fruit, which are high in fructose? It just doesn't make sense. It seems like sugar is just another carb and that the only problems with eating excess sugar is the fructose content, or just too many simple carbs.


            • #7
              Pretty sure there was a post by Mark on fruit but my understanding the fibre content in fruit affects the rate and the amount of sugar absorbed by the body.
              Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
              Don't forget to play!


              • #8
                I've been curious of the same thing, but I agree with the last point: simple vs. complex carbs. As much as I love love love fruit, I know if I have too much of it it will spell bad news for me. More complex carbs like squashes, sweet potatoes, and tubers in general make me more satisfied and feel better overall.
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                • #9
                  I think the health community has a lot to answer for given the state of most of the people I can see across my office! Our neolithic ancestors might have eaten five pieces of fruit a day in summer, at certain latitudes, but I think it would be the exception not the rule. Also, much of the fruit we eat today has been selectively bred for sweetness.


                  • #10
                    Most of the fruit recommendations I see are at the front of the phrase 'fruit and vegetables'. Five fruits AND vegetables aren't so bad if you don't forget the vegetables and maybe switch the order. But five fruits a day, is too much sugar for most people out of their teenage years. And, when you consider the seasonality of fruit and original sweetness levels, just not what our bodies evolved eating.


                    • #11
                      An interesting read from Zoe Harcombe on the 5 a day recommendations. The UK is very big on the 5 a day but at least 3 portions should be veg which is not talked about. Other countries like Canada aim for 7-10 portions.
                      Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
                      Don't forget to play!


                      • #12
                        You're not going to be consuming too much sugar in the form of fruit. Lustig has set people off on a complete irrational frutose phobia.
                        And no offense to zoe harcombe but she's pretty much a nutty zero-carb zealot. She even blames the obesity crisis on fruit. lol

                        Denise also debunked the whole "all modern fruit is much sweeter and worse than the fruit our ancestors ate"
                        Wild and Ancient Fruit: Is it Really Small, Bitter, and Low in Sugar? Raw Food SOS
                        Last edited by Forgotmylastusername; 08-30-2012, 06:57 AM.


                        • #13
                          My bet is you did not read Mark Sisson's or Robb Wolf's book. Their body of work is based on 2.4 million years of human evolution in which sucrose/fructose was a very rare/seasonal item. We are not adapted to eating the amounts of sucrose from fruits and carbohydrates that most people consume 365 days of the year in our current time. See any fat people?

                          The only time fruit would have been available nearly year round would be living at the equator in a rain forest...and we did not spend our evolution living like chimpanzees in a very limited environment. Vegans would have you believe this is our natural diet but they are uneducated morons...another story.

                          Animals gorge on fruit to fatten for winter hibernation. Humans do not hibernate for months on end, just nightly on the couch stuffing their faces. Humans gorge on sugars just to get fat.
                          Last edited by Moochy; 08-30-2012, 08:26 AM.
                          Primal/Paleo is not for everyone, it's for those who have committed to understand.
                          READ THE BOOK! Robb Wolf says: "Trying to convince people to save their own ass will burn you out."

                          Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, and an affront to all I stand for -- the pure enjoyment of food. Anthony Bourdain

                          and yes, calories DO count my little piggies


                          • #14
                            Everyone is of course, different.

                            I can tell right away that eating fruit sets me up to want more carbohydrates.

                            I remember when I first read "Neanderthin' his simplistic explanation of the bio-mechanics of a HG finding a 'stash' of fruits, and his body doing the right things to make him want to just sit and eat and eat- putting down stores for the winter. (This is my even more simplistic re-telling.) A light-bulb went off for me. No wonder a handful of grapes wasn't enough.

                            At a time when fruit can be had every day, as much as I want, I need to exert the control that circumstances usually took care of. Maybe when I've healed my body so that it is working from health, I can eat more fruit.

                            For now, no way.


                            • #15
                              This is getting a bit off topic guys, i'm not talking about fruit i'm talking about sucrose. I know that mark sisson and robb wolf say it's bad for you, and it wasn't available for us to eat regularly, but WHY is it bad. It's just glucose and fructose
                              Last edited by Lukey; 08-30-2012, 11:06 AM.