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I have a friend who is trying to get rid of everything with a high sugar content. He doesn't add sugar to tea, coffee, milk. Things like Coke (and all similar drinks), cakes, candies (sweets), cookies, biscuits, chocolates, ice-cream are eliminated. Lump sugar is excluded completely.

On the other hand, I heard that sugar is needed for the brain. And getting rid of sugar is not good idea.


Does sugar-free diet really lead to more healthy condition or it is wrong? Maybe bad consequences of sugar-free diet are even worse than its advantages?

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In the past years of study, sugar had seen to be one of the most disastrous substances to our health. Excessive intake of sugar can cause a lot of health issues like hypertension, diabetes, obesity and other lifestyle diseases. That is why that sugar-free diets are being promoted worldwide. What is sugar? Sugar is typically a combination of glucose and fructose. Sugar is the generalized name for sweet, short-chain, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food.

The most common sources of added sugars include soft drinks, cakes, pies, chocolate, fruit drinks and desserts. Just a single can of cola can contain up to 7 tsp of added sugar, while an average-sized chocolate bar can contain up to 6 tsp.

The fact that our body actually needs a certain amount of glucose to function - primarily the brain - which is the biggest consumer of glucose. All fruits and vegetables contain varying amounts of sugar in the form of natural fructose, so aiming to be 100%, or close to, sugar-free, is not only near impossible but actually unhealthy, as this would mean avoiding all fruits and vegetables.

And according to MedicalNewstoday "Cutting all sugar from your diet would be very difficult to achieve. Fruits, vegetables, dairy products and dairy replacements, eggs, alcohol and nuts all contain sugar, which would leave you with little other than meat and fats to eat - definitely not very healthy."

So what would be the best thing to do?

AHA provide some tips to reduce sugar intake:

  • Cut back on the amount of sugar you may regularly add to foods and drinks, such as tea, coffee, cereal and pancakes
  • Replace sugar-sweetened beverages with sugar-free or low-calorie drinks
  • Compare food labels and select the products with the lowest amounts of added sugars
  • When baking cakes, reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe by a third
  • Try replacing sugar in recipes with extracts or spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, almond or vanilla
  • Replace sugar on cereal or oatmeal with fruit.

According to Dr. Alison Boyd director of Sugar Nutrition UK "Like all sources of calories, sugars can be consumed within a healthy, balanced diet and active lifestyle," and "Sugars can often help to make certain nutritious foods more palatable, which can promote variety in a healthy, balanced diet."

So, in short, having a balanced diet and active lifestyle could be the most appropriate method to be healthy even if we include sugar(reduce intake, avoid added sugar and focus on sugar from fruits and vegetables) to our diet.

  • From what I've read, I got the impression that blood sugar spikes are one of the more dangerous parts about sugar. So I would think glycemic index (GI) is important (and a reason why fruits are healthier than candy). Do you think that's worth including? – Mark Dec 8 '16 at 11:20
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Sugar that is natural, like in apples or bananas, is good and you shouldn't try to avoid that sugar, as apples and bananas contain important vitamins. I do the same. I avoid sugar as much as I can, for example cake, coke, etc - like you explained, too. It does indeed have a positive effect on your health. Most of the sugar we eat these days are industrial made. That isn't healthy at all and it is even the reason for many 'modern' problems such as diabetes or adiposity. Many people think they have to avoid fat to lose weight and live more healthy, but that is wrong. We need to avoid the sugar, which we are mostly consuming way too much. Therefore, your friend is living a really good example, which everyone should try to follow. Because we eat too much sugar, the sugar gets turned into fat - not the fat (of course, it is the same here: industrial made fat is as bad as the industrial made sugar). We should all stick to the healthy sugar (and fat), like in apples or bananas. That way we get all the sugar we need.

The most healthy method of eating is the 'back to nature method'. Stick to organic food and you will get only the healthy sugar that you need.

In general, proteins and fat are the most important nutrients! You don't have to worry about getting fat because of eating fat - the body gets used to it and burns fat much more effectively as a result.

My experience of consuming no cake, coke and candy is that I feel more free and easy. I don't miss it at all - I even feel bad when I still eat a piece of cake. Of course, it is okay if you eat some chocolate once in a while, but you could for example only eat bitter(sweet) chocolate, which is even healthy and also really tasty. You will get used to such a lifestyle soon - and yes, it definetely has a very positive effect on your health.

  • Your argument falls foul of 'Appeal to Nature' fallacy. – Gunge Nov 11 '16 at 7:54
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    In this particular case, the 'Appeal to Nature' fallacy is true. (I hope I got your comment right.) – Harmless Psycho Nov 15 '16 at 13:28
  • If you wish to use the fallacy in your argument you should back it up with some evidence (from pubmed or similar). Saying that diabeties is a direct result of processed sugar is not true either. Type 1 has nothing to do with it. – Gunge Nov 15 '16 at 16:00

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