You hear about avoiding sugar everywhere these days. From magazine pages to grocery store shelves to Facebook memes, it's posh to avoid your sugar cravings. A blanket statement such as "all sugar is bad for you" is just as ignorant as saying "all fat is bad for you." It's all about context — type, processing, and what else makes up your diet. Like other dietary trends, there's always a fallout.
So read on, and find out the 5 reasons I'll never do a sugar detox!
1) The right kinds of sugar are very nourishing to the metabolism.
And I'm not talking about high fructose corn syrup, sugar substitutes (stevia included), agave, and other altered fake sugars. I'm talking about the real stuff- sugars from ripe fruits, fresh unadulterated fruit juices, honey, maple syrup, and a little bit of plain 'ole white sugar (non-GMO of course)!
Did you know that your liver stores sugar (called glycogen), and that you NEED a steady flow of sugar to keep glycogen stores topped off? Without a healthy storage of glycogen, your liver won't convert thyroid hormone T4 (inactive) to T3 (active form) — which FUELS your metabolism.
As Dr. Ray Peat, PhD puts it, "The liver provides about 70% of our active thyroid hormone, by converting thyroxine to T3, but it can provide this active hormone only when it has adequate glucose." A waking temperature of less than 97.8 degrees is a sign that your metabolism is lacking (and that thyroid conversion isn't happening like it should).
2) Sugar is easy to digest.
I'm personally a big fan of the sugars in ripe fruits, because when a fruit is fully ripened the disaccharide (double sugar molecule) sucrose is broken down into fructose and glucose (single sugar molecules) making it oh-so-simple to digest.
This makes sugar an especially excellent carbohydrate choice for those with digestive difficulties since the more complex the carbohydrate, the more digestive strength required. The same is true for the single sugars in honey, fresh juices, simple syrup (made from white sugar), requiring very little digestion!
3) Sugar is energy to feed your cells.
Your cell's most important job is to create energy. Glucose is needed to fuel this cellular energy production and to help meet the demands put on your body every day!
When your intake is not sufficient (often due to dieting, low carbohydrate diets and starvation), your body starts the inflammatory process of breaking down both fat and proteins to MAKE glucose. While your body CAN make energy from proteins and fats, it's less efficient, and puts added stress on your body.
4) Sugar makes energy easier than fats.
Your body is able to produce energy from both fats and sugars. Energy from sugar provides quicker and more efficient fuel. "Oxidation of sugar is metabolically efficient in many ways, including sparing oxygen consumption. It produces more carbon dioxide than oxidizing fat does, and carbon dioxide has many protective functions, including increasing Krebs cycle activity and inhibiting toxic damage to proteins," Dr. Ray Peat, PhD.
Dr. Peat even goes on to say that sugar can act as a safeguard; it increases your resistance to stress, and provides anti-aging benefits when it is used properly in the context of a nutrient dense diet. "The protective effects of sugar, and the harmful effects of excessive fat metabolism, are now being widely recognized, in every field of physiology." Dr. Ray Peat, PhD.
5) Sugar cravings are from the need for more sugar (no trickery here)!
Humans are hard-wired to desire sweetness; whether it's found in the crispness of an apple, the succulent richness of honey, or the candy-like concentrated sugar in dates. The body is not trying to trick you, it's trying to tell you how to survive and thrive. It does that by giving you taste buds that favor sweetness over tart or bitter.
“Any craving is a good starting point, because we have several biological mechanisms for correcting specific nutritional deficiencies. When something is interfering with your ability to use sugar, you crave it because if you don’t eat it you will waste protein to make it.” Dr. Ray Peat, PhD.
If you're still ignoring your cravings you might want to reconsider.
"But I read that sugar causes...."
I know what some of you are probably thinking "but sugar feeds candida and causes cancer" and yes, I am challenging that! I personally think that is a very flawed concept. Candida overgrowth is a sign your body is out of homeostasis, caused by a lack of nutrients to support proper balance and function. Eliminating real and natural sugar doesn't address the root issue, it merely eliminates symptoms. Sure, if you eat a diet high in refined, fake, processed sugar, combined with processed, nutritional empty foods, you've probably got a huge nutritional deficit going on. It's the nutritional debt that increases cancer risk, NOT the real sugar I'm talking about here.
When consuming sugar, it's important to remember 3 things:
1) Refined sugar (white sugar) should be non-GMO, in moderation, and in addition to a nutrient dense diet (NOT to replace meals, snacks, etc).
2) Eat CLEAN sugars, free of unnecessary processing and additives. Closest to the source is best (ie. fruit), since the further you get, the less nutrients there are attached to the sugar. That's why white sugar is better in moderation-- it's nutritionally empty, but calorically beneficial.
3) Eat your sugars with proteins and fats to help manage blood sugar. Doing this helps to slow the uptake of sugar into your blood stream. This is especially important if you have blood sugar issues.
Do you embrace or avoid your sugar cravings? Why or why not?
Glycemia, starch, and sugar in context by Ray Peat
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.com/Gromovataya
Wow, I disagree!! Not only have I read several different articles saying that sugar FEEDS cancer, but have also had family members with cancer, that were told by their Drs that SUGAR FEEDS CANCER!! So I don't know where you get the idea that it doesn't.
You know what's funny most doctors don't even take a single nutrition course. Refined sugar feeds cancer but fruits will fight cancer. It is a interesting dichotomy most likely in my opinion because when you eat refined sugar your body has to use up nutrients to metabolize it but when you eat fruits you are giving your body much needed nutrients that your body needs to metabolize those much needed sugars. Not to mention you getting lots of Antioxidants which are proven to prevent cancer because oxidation is actually the number one cause of mutations that lead to cancer.
Monkeys main diet is fruit and you don't see them with cancer. But if you gave the white sugars and other bad processed sugars then im sure cancer may come into play.
Monkeys indeed develop cancer. WTF.
Because doctors are trustworthy and know everything right?
Doctors everywhere badly misrepresent the work of Otto Warburg and come out with the "Sugar feeds cancer so don't eat Sugar" nonsense. It's a massive oversimplification and misrepresentation resulting in poor advice.
I. Have loved sugar and now havery a history. Of dieberticcites and after surgery two years later I'm still going through getting dieberticcites I love my coffee with creamer there is a lot of sugar in it would like an alternative
All our cells need sugar, and cancer cells are no exception. If you starve your cancer cells of nutrients, they will break your body down and use it for fuel (cachexia). I take an alternative cancer treatment which includes sugar. So far so good! Tumor is shrinking.
What kind of alternative treatment did you or are you using? Was it effective?
exactly! What a ridiculous article! She clearly states though she has been paid to endorse this 'dr' and his book. I'm so deleting her.
PS. This is in the times that 90% of Americans are overweight, sick, and dying off because of horrible diet that has SUGAR added to everything! She should give her head a good shake instead of defending sugar and propagating it. Unreal, stupid and irresponsible.
( white sugar is ok as long as it's non -gmo! )
Despite the fact that demonizing sugar is currently very trendy in our society, the science overwhelmingly supports what Catherine has written. Those who are accusing her of stupidity are only displaying their own ignorance and the extent to which they have been brainwashed by current fads in pop culture. Thank you Catherine for this well-researched and refreshing article.
She's talking about not abandoning real fruit, natural honey and maple syrup only, not the refined sugars! Obviously refined sugars are bad for you!
Dr. Esmond Donatelli
Either you did not read the article, or you, like most people, lack understanding of basic scientific processes occurring in your own body. She did not say "Eat all the sugar you want, it's the greatest food ever!" She stated the fact that sugar is a necessary PART of a balanced diet. Americans get far too much of it.
Truth is truth, so be careful not to be too closed minded to see, or hear it.
Serious work has been done to prove white sugar is good for energy, when incorporated into a nutrient rich organic diet. It's sugar cane, a food to enjoy. It is the same sugar that is in all foods. Anyway, so many people are messed up about foods it's sad. Catherine is obviously in great shape and her work is inspiring to me, as is Dr. Ray Peat as well. My husband now feels a lot better having included refined sugar into his nutrient rich diet.
Fruit is natural. God created it. I don't believe that he would have created anything that would be detrimental to our bodies. I agree as only the processed sugars should be STOPPED! All natural sugars like honey and fruit should be consumed in moderation and with a well balance diet. There are some nutrients that our bodies require that fruit is the best solution.
“I know what some of you are probably thinking “but sugar feeds fungus, and causes cancer”! And I personally think that is rubbish.”
I would like to know where you got this information from. You can’t make statements like that without backing it up with research and evidence. The reference you quote seems to be mainly about diabetes. Your comment seems to be your personal opinion
As somebody who has struggled to get rid of candida I can assure you that it is not rubbish. The only way I have managed to control the candida is by eliminating sugar from my diet. I also have a husband who has just had emergency surgery for bowel cancer and I am eliminating sugar from his diet also. I would not like the responsibility of telling him that all the research we have read saying sugar feeds cancer – is rubbish because you said so.
I find you comment quite disturbing and hope your readers take it with “a pinch of salt”
I do agree that it is also about having a nutrient dense diet but I do not agree that as nutritionists we should be encouraging people to embrace sugar.
Thanks Janet for your concern. I think we may have to agree to disagree on this one.
My whole blog is my opinion– based off of work with clients and research over the past 10 years. “Sugar feeds fungus and cancer” is a flawed concept. Sure, sugar does feed fungus– but why is the fungus, candida, etc. overgrown? It’s because your body is out of homeostasis, caused by a lack of nutrients to support proper balance and function. Eliminating real and natural sugar doesn’t address the root issue, it merely eliminates symptoms. Sugar in the form of fruits is very rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and is an excellent tool in creating nutritional wealth.
I think you mean to say that fruits and other sources of natural sugar are nutrient rich - but you keep saying that the sugar itself is nutrient rich. I don't understand that. Plain 'white' sugar is chemically separated from whatever potentially nutrient rich thing it came from - usually GMO sugar beets or cane in the case of grocery store 'white' sugars. Why didn't you advise your readers to try organic cane sugar, molasses, or coconut palm sugar instead of 'white sugar'? I agree that eating fruits. honey. and occasional treats should be okay for most people - but your statements suggest that you do not understand sugar very much. 🙁
I recently saw a programme which put me straight about sugars.
White sugar is less processed than brown sugars did you know that? The more processed your food the worst it is for your body.
I'm with the many people above.. look into the ketogenic diet and its progress with cancer patients, aswell as updates on in-depth scientific/medical explanations on the functioning of cancer cells.
I can say through personal experience that sugar (and dairy) help feed the source for cancer. its even been studied that cancer patients vs healthy people struggle greatly when pushing towards fasting or a truly healing diet (likely because of the cravings/constant-depletions created by the way cancer hordes sugars)
I agree that its not as simple as that, but for you to say these things and relate them to serious illness.. just because you have the medical disclaimer doesn't give you the right to spout shit that could misdirect/damage someone in their healing process.
spend a straight year of research after getting cancer yourself, try to heal your self on a healthy sugar diet and then tell us were wrong. Even after so much progress over the past year, add any regular amounts of sugar for any amount of time (exception being fruit) and hey.. welcome back tumor growth / systemic decline. there's more beyond sugar that roots these issues, and I do believe that once the roots are truly remediated, sugar/carb/glucose usage should remediate aswell.. so yes. healthy sugars aren't bad over all, but this does not extend to those who are Ill, nor to those in remission of such illness
sugar feeds cancer so well that if one does honey-extracts for things like ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, ginseng, blackpepper (etc) and consciously consumes only those as sugar-intake outside of fruit, it subsides cravings/lows while bringing a potent arsenal into the body. obviously this alone will not do miracles.. and I dont claim cancer is as simple as sugar. but I'll repeat again, sugar is a key piece of tackling the puzzle on cancer,
legit, I recommend you tread carefully with such statements in this article. there's personal opinion and then there's creating a bias/ ignoring fact. I just hope people aren't ignorant enough to listen to you when it comes to their fights.
I do agree that sugar is not the root cause of these things and that a severe lack of homeostasis is a more accurate description, its an interesting opinion-article, but you'd be better off rewriting after even just a few hours of solid dedicated research
Sugar do not feed cancer. Sugar feeds cells. Both healthy and cancerous. Stopping eating sugar will not starve cancer cells. For more than half century I eat a lot of sugar and experience no harm. My suger blood level is perfect the same is true about blood pressure . Never been overweight and for the last 30 years never had any medical condition that required doctor visit or prescription drugs. My diet is very rich in sugar and carbochydrates and although I am not vegetarian I eat relatively very little meat.
Jb You contradict yourself. In your first sentence you say sugar doesn't feed cancer. In your second sentence you say it feeds healthy AND cancerous cells. You may be healthy after eating sugar, but for someone who has cancer the sugar will feed it, and as most of us don't know whether or not we have cancer it is best to avoid it.
Sugar do not feed cancer.It feeds healthy and cancerous cells. If tou will not have sugar in your diet cancerous cell will feed on your ketones .When body will not have sugar healthy an cancerous cells will feed on ketones. Does ketones feed cancer???
Not eating sugar will not stop cancer progress so what is pointto starve healthy cells? If cutting off sugar consumption was cure nobody would be dying from cancer.
Another analogy that can ilustrate my point... Bacteria need water to dissolve the food they use for energy and growth. so we can easily get rid of bad bacteria by cutting off drinking water, dehydratation will stop bacteria growth... right ???
A year ago I would have disagreed with your article,, but I started to follow your advise in March of this year, starting with Gelatin powder (twice daily) and then reading other articles by Ray Peat. It has made a difference with my health. I seem to have less food sensitivities. Keep it up. Thank you.
You're absolutely right! I did the same, being my own test tube. And I have found (after 3 years) the same. I think people don't understand Ray Peat, he's a tough one, intelligence that we don't even know of. Look at Linus Pauling! He was so far ahead of his time. I have found that she is correct. But the problem is that a lot of the people are so messed up with nutritional imbalances and therefore hormone issues (especially hypothyroid) that it's overwhelming to just take one aspect. I needed to get my body back in balance, and it's taken me 3 years. Good going on the article. Most doctors are only spouting what they hear in med school, which is why you're getting such a backlash of criticism. Doctor = god, ha. That's why we pay them so much, and that's why we wait in the waiting room for around an hour.
I have read a lot of comments that sugar is ok in moderation...how much is that? How much constitutes being ok or god for you!
I'm sorry, but I do not agree with this article at all.
I'm not anti sugar, really, but I'm certainly not in agreeance with this article.
Although fruits do have some wonderful nutrients in them, they need to be eaten fairly minimally, and in conjunction with healthy fats and proteins.
Any sugar causes fluctuations in blood glucose. White sugar, 4 hours of fuctuation. Sweet fruits, 4 hours. The sweeter, the greater the fluctuations. What happens during those fluctuations? Your body is leaching minerals like calcium, phospherous, and magnesium from the bones. Causing mineral deficiencies and suppressing the immune system.
The body is either in a state of calm, health, and healing, or it's in flux, and being depleted.
There is no such thing as a good sugar. Is it ok to occasionally enjoy a treat? Yeah, sure, as long as you are healthy and not deficient of minerals or trying to heal bones and teeth, but should sugars, even in the form if fruits be eaten daily?? No.
I think we are going to have to agree to disagree on this one. Also, I'm confused, you said you were not "anti-sugar" but then say there is no such thing as a good sugar?
Thanks for reading, even if you disagree!
Dear Catherine, have you ever had a health issue? And how d are you?
I agree with Catherine. Sugar is very good for our health, the same way as fat, salt and many other things we were told at some point of time thatthey were bad for our health.
If sugar was so bad for human health like current hype tell us I should be dead long time ago. for more than half century I eat a lot of sugar in various forms: refined sugar, honey, syrups and a lot of fruits... I am 56 years old and for the last 30 years I did not see doctor even once. My weight for the last 30 years was in last 30 years between 130-135 LB.
What is bad for our health are all those sugar substitutes and chemical food preservatives, coctail of two dozen of vaccines and fluoridated water. Problem is that fruits and vegetables currently produced contain ten times less micronutrients than those that were produced 40 or even 20 years ago, they look beautiful in supermarket but contain more pesticide residues than iron, zinc, vitamins and micronutrients. The same is about milk, meat and even grains... milk you drink is coming from geneticaly modified corn feed, beef is the same, chicken and eggs also and even comercially grown fish is fed with corn... almost all juices and soft drinks are sweetened with corn syrup....any commercially available dairy product do not contain much micronutrients unless it is coming from farmer who allow cow to freely graze on grass and plants... Blaming sugar for cancer is as stupid as at some time was blaming sturated fat and salt use for heart disease.
English is not my native language so excuse my bad spelling /grammar.
I find it hard to believe that you have never seen a doctor. Sorry.
Well, I saw doctors many times when taking my mother in law to doctor office. She is currently 88 years old and she does not speak English so I acted as translator. My wife forced me to go for physical 10 months ago because she bought all that hype about sugar , gluten and carbs and she know that those are things I love to eat. With exception of slightly elevated cholesterol (210) everything was in normal or perfect range. Doctor even told me I do not have to worry much about cholesterol because ratio of good to bad cholesterol is very good. The only thing doctor recomended was tetanus shot and quiting smoking but I politely refused tetanus shot and told him that I will consider quiting but so far unsuccesfuly. You can believe or not but for 30 years I never made apointment in doctor office for myself and when I had flu, indigestion or even hemorhoids ... I cure it wit just home remedies, kefir , magnesium and vitamins. Every day I take 500 mg of Magnesium and 1000 mg of vitamin C and from time to time I take Zinc, Selenium, Vitamin D and B12.. One thing that probably helps me is fact that for almost 50 years I drink at least 3 cups of black tea everyday and I drink relatively much less coffe. and very rarely green tea. I do not drink much soda and never eat artificial sweeteners,, margarine or any other fake foods.
Every one is biologically different. I totally agree with the facts about nutritional deficiencies in the foods we consume. The additives, unseen poisons and pesticides lacing the whole foods are wrecking havoc
"What happens during those fluctuations? Your body is leaching minerals like calcium, phospherous, and magnesium from the bones. Causing mineral deficiencies and suppressing the immune system." You must have read that in cosmopolitan or the Beano or some other reputable scientific journal.
It's a relief to read this article.....
Approximately 60 days ago I did a 31 day sugar-detox, even though my weight and health were perfectly fine...I just thought I had a problem with sugar (too many Paleo treats, sometimes getting carried away with ice-cream, occasional M&Ms).
After the detox ended,I started incorporating natural sugars such as fruits, raw honey, maple syrup back into my Paleo lifestyle of eating and working out on a regular basis....just as I ate before, except I was more conscious about what types of sugars I ate.
A terrible thing started to happen! I've started gaining unexplained weight (10lbs in 30 days)- my belly is actually collecting fat like I've never had and I crave sugar more than ever before! The only thing I can think happened is my metabolism slowed way down during the detox and now anything sweet I put in my body - turns to fat!
I wish I would have never done the detox. I truly believe doing without sugar - and I mean "the good kind" was a mistake and now I'm paying for it. Still trying to figure out how to fix it. 🙁
Does this mean I have to go the rest of my life without sugar?
I don't think so! Let me know if you want to have a free consult-- as I'd love to chat more about this!
i am having similar issues. Longer on low carb, no carb. Wild blood sugar fluctuations. Now weight gain, exhaustion, belly fat. How do I get out of this pit I'm in?
You may have been using fake honey and fake maple syrup, read up on how to tell the difference. Use only raw organic products.
Belly weight gain is your body's way of retaing water and fat to heal damage to your organs from eating low carb and/or low calorie,. Once healed, your body's metabolism will increase and it will reduce the weight if you continue to eat enough.
Many low carb people end up in adrenal fatigue which has the same symptoms as starvation/anorexia. Our bodies need sugar.
visit youreatopia.Com for more about this.
Awesome! Its nice to see someone who understands the importance of natural sugar! I get so tired of the "avoid this, this, this and that" mentalities. Thanks 🙂
Thanks Christina! <3
Thank you - this is great! I have IBS with constipation & tried every available medicine. Got a new doctor (a very qualified one at that) - eat 5 servings of fruit everyday, he said. And I feel a 1,000 x better. We take a spoonful of local honey everyday to help with our allergies.
Sure TOO MUCH sugar is bad. Too much of anything is bad.
I agree with what you are saying. That it is the method in which we consume sugar that makes it healthy or unhealthy. Sugar gets a bad wrap because of the company it keeps; not because it is toxic on it own.
Thanks Summer! I find sugar to be a great tool in creating nutritional wealth 😉
Nice to see that there are nutrition site out there that support a well balanced diet! I can't understand how some people think that all carbs have to be cut out and that even the smallest amount of white sugar is going to kill you. This paranoia makes losing weight and eating healthy that much more difficult. Thank you!
Thank you for this article. I see all kind s of information on line and so much different advice. Sometimes so much different advice, that it tends to be overwhelming, but in my research, and experience alike, I have learned to listen to my body, and my body tells me that I need sugar. I do tend to eat a lot of fruit, I eat raw honey, maple syrup, evaporated cane juice, coconut sugar, blackstrap molasses, brown rice syrup and coconut nectar, but I don't eat these sweeteners all the time(only my fruit)and I am very healthy. Sorry to go on and on, but it is good to see this info, because this is a bit different as I am used to people saying avoid sugar in any form at any cost, so I say to you..."Thank you, and keep up the good work".
I just have to share Cheeseslave's experience:
She carbed up for a while to get her temps up, then dropped the excess carbs and started working out when her body was READY. Holy cow she looks great!
I appreciate this so much. I have a similar story. I had a candida flare up and started restricting my carbs and natural sugars and my metabolism tanked. I couldn't even digest food anymore, it was horrible. I went back to eating plenty of starchy carbs and enjoying Paleo treats when I feel like it and I'm feeling better than I have in a long time! My body temperature is up a few degrees (yes, whole degrees!). Sugars are not the enemy. I definitely believe that vilifying macronutrients is just silly.
Hi! I'd love to hear more about your experience with increasing your temp! I had a similar experience to yours but my excess cravings after a detox, are still having me eating lots of junk food. (A health nuts version of "a lot" that is lol) I do eat lots of real food, but have yet to get back to real food 100%. But I'd like to knowhow you got youtyour temp up!
This is the worst and most fallacious information that I have read in a very long time. Shame on you for not doing any proper research. Sounds like sugar addiction to me.
Thanks Nancy for sharing your differing opinion. There are many different opinions on the "sugar" story.
Would you care to share your research with us, in place of criticism of an opinion different to yours?
Thanks for reading,
I love the way you handled that, Catherine. People need to learn how to voice their opinion without so much anger--and realize that there's many varying and conflicting view on everything. Take what resonates with you and chill. Otherwise, it may be a matter of :" thou doth protest too much"
Yes she swapped her sugar addiction for her heroine addiction as they "light up the same parts of the brain," right?
People get really angry when their long held unsupported beliefs are challenged don't they!
Not like I'm super invested, but she really wasn't mad at all, just asked for evidence to support the differing opinion (yknow... the same standard the opener was criticizing her for lacking...)
Disagreement =/= anger
Dental hygienist here...completely and totally disagree with your comments about sugar in moderation. I am concerned about that comment for obvious reasons about what sugar does to the bacteria in your mouth. I can quote thousands of research articles on the relationship between sugar consumption and decay, even a very little can completely create an unhealthy oral environment. Very scary advice you are giving.
And yes, we can agree to disagree...
I think we have to agree to disagree. I have some differing ideas on dental nutrition as well--> https://butternutrition.com/what-your-dentist-wont-tell-you/
Thanks for reading!
I've always eaten fruit, honey and molasses, and definitely ate way more than I should've in my 20's. Which was also a time when I had no dental insurance. I just flossed and brushed with a big soft toothbrush. When I finally saw a dentist at age 32 I was worried, but shouldn't have been. I did have 3 small cavities- in my 3 wisdom teeth. Keep in mind this was a period of 12 years. You would think no dentist plus bad diet of a 20 something year old (my version of bad diet, I'm not talking soda or twinkies here) would equal tooth decay.
I typically agree with your articles, but this one I absolutely cannot agree with. Sugar wreaks so much havoc in our bodies and no one has to be a "nutritionist" to know this; causing diabetes, lowering the immune system, feeding bacteria (including the bad), linked to cancer, and causes cavities. Now if you said something like everyone needs carbohydrates to fuel their bodies, in moderation, that would be a different issue altogether. And even then, the amount depends on the individual person. I, for one, have seen my family's health deteriorate because of sugar and telling the general public that it is a good thing can be very harmful.
Also, if you are going to post research, make sure it is current. Otherwise your credibility waivers.
Research doesn't need to be recent for it to be valid.
Sugar fuels cells, simple as that. Blaming sugar for diabetes is like blaming ambulance drivers for heart attacks because you find them with people who have had heart attacks.
Too much is too much and that applies to any macronutrient. Enough is what the author is shooting for here.
Sugar doesn't l"ower the immune system". That's just numpty talk.
Wow, so many negative comments about sugar should tell you something. If I had never personally experienced any bad effects from sugar, this post wouldn't bother me so much. It boils down to this-ANYTHING that raises blood sugar is not good for oyr bodies. PERIOD.
Blood sugar handling has little to do with sugar consumption and a lot to do with cortisol, ffa's, liver and pancreatic health amongst other things.
This article shows real ignorance of basic physiology. So long as we are eating anything the body can turn it into glucose. How on earth did ppl survive before sugar agave or even much honey was available? Please think about what you are saying. It is perfectly possible and in fact an excellent idea to avoid fructose. No need to eat any sugar agave or honey. Have whole fruit if you like it, not juice. The fibre in whole fruit ameliorates the effect of the fructose but you can replace fruit with veges. For more information check David Gillespie and Dietdoctor websites. they provide links to research.
Ah, wondered how long it woul take until the fructose fear mongering reared its ugly head. Pushing your own unsupported fears on other people isn't very smart.
I have fought this and fought this. Yes, there is such a thing as sugar addiction and NO it is not a good thing! I can't believe to see the lies in this post. It's saddening for those of us who have personally experienced the devastating health effects of too much sugar and sugar addiction. It's very discouraging to hear yet another person claiming to be a professional who says "eat lots of sugar" just because she hasn't personally experienced those effects. Just because you haven't personally experienced them, Catherine, that does not mean they aren't real. The negative effects of sugar are VERY real to those of us who suffer from them.
I'm a big believer that the real danger is being scared of food. Food fear, including hating sugar and any food that contains the slightest bit of it, does more damage that eating small amounts of real sugar in moderation, and in the context of a nutrient dense diet.
Jade - LN
Fellow nutritionist here - and I completely agree with Catherine! Social media and fad diets have always created these waves of fear surrounding foods that would otherwise be alright in moderation - and IN THE CONTEXT OF A NUTRIENT DENSE DIET, as she notes above. At the end of the day, almost everything we eat has pros and cons if you look at it holistically, but the 'poison is in the dose', so to speak. I made the mistake of cutting out all sugars completely and ended up with an underactive thyroid, severe adrenal fatigue and noticeable depression. By introducing some fruit and a bit of brown sugar back into my diet, I saw the difference within a few days. We have been eating things like sugar for centuries (think medieval times and before!), but the lifestyle disease epidemics of today only really cropped up on a great scale towards the end of the 20th century (I'm not talking about any of the various plagues, mind. More diabetes 2 and central obesity). Food fear can also create eating disorders, and boy, if you want to see your health deteriorate, that's the way to go about it at break-neck speed... -J
Thanks so much for joining the conversation and sharing your expertise!
RN Nutritionist Biologist
Wow, these comments are really interesting and saddening to read. Your body needs every substance to thrive. Over doing it is the problem, being our of balance is the problem. Yeast overgrowth is s sign of other issues, generally that of a digestion issue. Yes, sugar feeds yeast, but it does not cause the outbreak,.. just because that happens to be a food source for it, it does not mean it MAKES the outbreak occur. That is like saying, for example, fire feeds off oxygen, so oxygen CAUSES fires!!!! WRONG! ((The same thing can be said the the reverse, cut out all sugar and symptoms of CYO go away,... cut off oxygen and fire goes away, but it can come back again under the right conditions, that being MORE THAN JUST the presence of oxygen! Otherwise we'd all be in big trouble!)) It is merely ONE thing needed to sustain a fire, as sugar is merely ONE thing needed sustain yeast overgrowth!!! The body is a delicately balanced system of multiple systems and organs all working together to keep you up and running, throw one thing into one of the many systems that make the master system and you will eventually see issues arise in many of the other systems or organs.
Daily I take 2 tablespoons of honey, eats lots of fruits throughout the day. What I have eliminated from my diet are desserts, cakes, cookies/biscuits and chocolates( will only take dark unsweetened chocolate if there is any desire). Once I eliminated all these, candida just disappeared ..... I always refused desserts during lunches or dinners out, even though all my friends were indulging them.....I will only take desserts if I made them as I use honey, coconut and maple syrup....only if I get a strong craving for a dessert......and I have been doing this 10 years now.... My weight has been a constant 55kgs....and I totally agree with the term....your body knows best.... It is your weakness and ignorance that gets your health in trouble. Sugar is great for the soul but make sure you take the right sugars. But then....I m no qualified nutritionist, doctor or an expert in this field, I just let my body/health do the talking.....at the age of 53.... I feel awesome, calm and happy. Cheers!!!!
I tend to agree with most of this. I do wonder about the fruit juice though, but I cannot have anything high fodmap. I eat ordinary plain sugar in moderation. In my country we have sugar cane not beets. I am nearing 60 and have perfect teeth and have never had fluoride either.
I get so sick of people saying all these natural foods are bad for you. Raw sugar in Australia is not greatly processed and is not GMO.
Have a diet rich in natural foods and a bit of sugar treat won't hurt.
Brilliant article! I agree a million percent. I wouldn't have 10 years ago though. I was a mainstream nutritionist,but now having studied Ray Peat's work and Andrew Kim, Broda Branes etc. I see now I was totally wrong. Eating more sugar was the best thing I ever did for my health. People don't even know what sugar (sucrose) is. It's glucose (our bodies preferred fuel) + fructose (fruit sugar). How can that be bad??? Sure, it's had some of its nutrition refined out of it, but thats no issue if you are eating a good diet. Its the PUFA that gives sugar a bad name. And all the crappy foods sugar is in. Well, I certainly agree that Ray Peat is 50-100 years ahead of the game. Yes candida does feed off sugar, so what? what happens when you stop feeding it sugar? It gets pissed off and then migrates further up the digestive track causing issues like SIBO. Cheers Catherine : )
Totally agree, and when it comes to the "healthy fats" I think the choice here of is also really important, organic grass fed ghee and refined organic coconut oil. There still are lectins to consider some important in all of this, especially during detox, which I really haven´t figured out in Peat world. Seems harder to do.
Just to weigh in about sugar feeds fungus, etc: I know from personal experience about several friends who have had trouble with candida. They all tried various things but mostly no sugar or anything that is said to feed candida. However, the only one who i've ever seen really get it under control ate nothing but bananas for almost 2 weeks (10-12 days). I'm not a raw foodist or into extreme diets and this is certainly anecdotal but it is the type of thing that should at the very least make us question our rigid ideas/beliefs about sugar. Thank you
This is the WORST nutrition article I have EVER read. Go read a published peer-reviewed nutrition study about sugar. I'm not saying not to eat fruit but get your physiological processes and facts straight.
"Get your physiological processes right". It seems it is you who needs to go and brush up on your physiology, not the author of this article.....
Marty, Do you see yourself as the author's personal gard dog or something? Why is it that any opinion that differs from this author's opinion isn't valid to you or deserves some sort of juvenile response equating to "I'm rubber and you're glue". .
It's as if you genuinely believe that current science is never changing or unable to be contested/questioned. I'm guessing you'd also be one of those people who stood scoffing at Joseph Lister and hold fast to the ideas that if you couldn't see it with the naked eye then it wasn't there. This person, whoever she is to you, has theories based on her experiences and research. But her input is possibly less valid than the Doctors and Scientists who readers are quoting and learning from and who've put their long-standing and hard earned reputations on the line by throwing their medical papers into the academic ring.
I can't believe how hateful some people can be......When someone has researched and studied for years, has lots of experience, and cares to share what they have learned with the rest of us, I will gladly listen to their opinion. I may have differing experience that I'd share in a nice, polite way, but I'd still be thankful for someone taking the time to share their wealth of info. We are learning and growing constantly. Nutrition and how it affects our bodies is a fascinating study, and I would hate to become so indoctrinated and set in my ways on something that I become a "know-it-all" and won't listen to any opposing views.
Thank you so much for taking the time and giving us some differing "food for thought" about sugars. I've always believed everything in it's most natural form is best, and everything in moderation. So, it only make sense that those fruits, honeys, and other sources of natural sugar that are loaded with so much nutritional value, are not something that we should be avoiding because of the sugars. Definitely something I'll have to look into more.
I know everything can be misconstrued or have a mistaken cause & effect, but I'm pleasantly surprised that since eating 5-6 dates a day, my weight has been incredibly stable. I admit I was initially concerned it would be a problem, but so far, so good! 🙂
wow! what a backlash in the comments... just direct them to ray peat's writings and let them wade thru that instead of your blood on the floor lol
i just discovered ray peat a couple days ago, i was on a ketogenic diet, which should kill yeast dead according to conventional wisdom.... instead i had the most sudden and viscious overgrowth in all my born days! scared the heck out of me... enter ray peat into my life, i started reading his article on sugar and slowly took myself out of ketosis by sipping slooooowly on a glass of orange juice, and the next day i had some peeled cut up apples with a hunk or two of cheese, and today? the yeast beast is gone!!!
so that's that for me, i'm a believer, but it's true that it's a matter of what KIND of sugar you eat... i see no need to go out and get some table sugar for my coffee, but may get some processed berry sugar
right now i'm on a mission to find ray peat's article, or interview on the subject of candida! so thanks for this article 🙂
Adding sugar back into my diet is saving my health and healing my thyroid and metabolism. Don't buy into the low carb dogma! Fruit sugar is preferable because you get the nutrients, but extra table sugar is also protective.
Thanks for the great article!
Thanks Ben for the kind words and for reading 🙂
I believe that people were meant to eat a plant based diet including fruit so I always get amazed when someone tells me that I should avoid fruit (especially if the someone eats a cake loaded with white sugar after every meal). Also people arguing that sugar makes people fat are just ridiculous. While I'm having fruit every day and am skinny they are having troubles loosing weight yet they would still argue that it will make me fat. Blame all the processed crap you are eating, not the natural stuff.
Most of us aren't so much concerned about the fruit. I absolutely believe that we should eat fruit! That is not the bad kind of sugar, and there are synergistic qualities about fruit which help our bodies process that type of sugar.
What most of us are taking issue with is the author's recommendation of processed sugar, and her complete denial that it can cause people health problems.I truly didn't know there was anyone left on the planet who would say that too much processed sugar doesn't cause health problems.
Catherine, I applaud you for going against common thought, however I do think we need to be cautious of overdoing sugar, as I'm sure you agree it needs to be in moderation. When I was on my sugar detox, avoiding fruits and certain veggies, and even certain nuts or other foods in an attempt to starve candida. I was still consuming around 5-10g of sugar a day from vegetables and nuts. I think that the sugar found in vegetables and nuts are sufficient for the body, and that if someone is suffering from Candida, then the fruits should be avoided. My point is that even a sugar detox is not truly sugar free, so sugar is in everything. And I don't think we need to add it in in the form of sweets or excess fruit. I totally feel more cravings after the detox and understand the metabolism stuff, but I think that people are likely to go overboard anyways because of how easy it is to enjoy sugar, and how its present even in veggies and nuts and beans etc. I just think your advice willcause people to ooverdo it. I also love how open your response to criticism is and how polite your responses are LOL. Kudos to peaceful debate!
I'm very happy to read your article.
The dogmatic, low-carb diet has never worked for me- and I really wanted it to!
In fact, it made me more miserable, and certainly caused my body to hold on to more fat than I could believe. I suppose it works until you have sugar - and then the physical and psychological toll is great. Too great.
Still, I've avoided most sugar as part of my pseudo primal diet - lean and green with lots of nuts and seeds for the past several years.
Since my pregnancy, however, I've been enjoying a LOT of fruit. My body has craved it like mad.
I can't believe the backlash from self-proclaimed health 'guru's' around me. "Sugar is harming your baby! How can you do that to your child?!" It's really quite shocking.
But the funny thing is... by allowing an apple a day and maybe a handful of grapes or some Maple Syrup into my diet... I've seen the greatest positive change in my digestive system ever.
I've done every type of detox, elimination, and other such diet. But incorporating a piece of fruit a day with a healthy protein packed breakfast has really done wonders for my moods, my pregnancy, and my digestion!
I don't understand how people can take something like fruit - truly a gift from God that is delightful - and demonize it. I do understand staying away from processed sugars - I avoid HFCS and gluten where at all possible.
But the reason restrictive diets are fads is... well.. they're unsustainable. And generally unhealthy!
Love and appreciate your blog and your bold choice to stand and respond in the face of some disrespectful comments.
In Health & Happiness,
Beth Leah Nutrition
Sugar from fruit is best! But it does have to be eaten in moderation. I wrote a long article on sugar as I am a former sugar addict. Hope it helps other sugar addicts too!!
Couldn't agree more, Catherine...keep up the good work that you do and share. Thankful for people like you.
This is just a bunch of excuses to justify consuming more sugar. Alcoholics crave alcohol, does that mean it's healthy for them?
Exactly. Tell people what they want to hear. These are all opinions, not well researched scientific fact.
Thank you for this interesting perspective. I've never bought into the avoiding fruit theories (assuming the fruit isn't filled with man-made toxins.) I've had the thought as well that a craving is the body's way of saying that it wants something. Not necessarily that donut or French fries. But if struggling with a craving, I think it's always worth asking what it is the body is asking for. I also think it's worth pointing out that a craving and an addiction are not the same thing. To me, that's the distinction between natural sugars like fruit and honey, and granulated sugar. The latter probably has more addicts than illegal drugs. Which is why I can't embrace that as a healthy food. But the rest of it I completely agree. As a cancer survivor I do appreciate the thumbs up on fruits. Not that I've ever restricted them, but I do get weary of hearing how they'll kill me, when it goes against what my gut is telling me.
The only part of this article I have is the white sugar part, but that's probably because I try to keep my diet nutrient dense, so when I use sugar I use sucanat, (which I learned about in one of your other articles), coconut or turbinado sugars, as I'm healing from some chronic health problems, so I figure I need all the extra minerals I can get, Since starting to live a more healthy holistic life, I've read so much rhetoric on what we should eat and what we shouldn't, or this or that is the way to eat, my approach is as long as it's healthy, ie... not processed, or refined, gluten free for the most part unless they have been sprouted some, (my tummy does protest if they aren't), and I will only very occasionally eat nightshade veggies, like some tomatoes in my chili, since I have fibromyalgia and nightshades cause me to hurt if I eat them all the time like I used to, I probably ate either tomatoes or some kind of peppers on a daily basis, since for most people there very healthy, the biggest thing I'm learning is I listen to my body, and if I eat something I shouldn't my body will tell me, and I do believe we need to eat a wide variety of healthy foods, whether it's plants, meats, nuts, grains, legumes well I guess technically the last 3 come from plants,, dairy if it's fermented, (I'm lactose intolerant), eggs, mostly as long as it doesn't come out of a box, and filled with unpronounceable words I'm game, and all this about our great ancestors, ie... cavemen didn't eat sweet things how do we know that, did the world just start producing fruits, honey, and sugar cane the last 200 years or so, I think not, I think cavemen ate what was available, and I'm sure they too had things they enjoyed more than others it's our modern reality that our bodies are out of sync, due to pollutants, toxins, overly processed and refined foods, stress, and who's to say cavemen were actually healthier back then it was survival of the fittest, and natural selection, if a baby was born sick or something or if someone got sick the simply died, so we can't say for sure it was that they were healthier because of what they ate. JMO, but I really appreciate this insight as I hear so much of the talk that all sugar of any kind is bad for you, I believe our creator gave us sweet stuff for a reason we didn't invent sweet stuff we just found ways to make it more useable.
No argument about this subject, pro or con, can be made without reading William Duffy's landmark book, Suagar Blues.
Macrobiotics got it right when they recommend satisfying sweet cravings through naturally sweet foods that have fiber present to slow down the spike. Baked carrots, parsnips, vidalia onions and I would add yams to this mix. Unfortunately, the winter sqaushes like kabocha and buttercup, do not have the sweetness they had a quarter century ago.
And as crazy as it may seem, a bitter taste will cut down on sweet cravings. A small amount of dandelion or burdock, endive, raddichhio, work wonders. You will have sustained energy throughout the day.
The human pancreas, a little five inch gland, was not meant to take in simple sugars in the absence of fiber, the way it happens in nature.
Lastly, white flour is metabolized same as white sugar. No difference
As my favorite doctor Ray Peat says, if you feed your gut bacteria the nutrient it requires...sugar, they will happily remain where they are supposed to be, making ethanol, and won't venture elsewhere in your body looking for food. (paraphrased) Having suffered with candida for most of my life, and after trying practically every therapy I could find, I completely crashed my endocrine system. My temperature plummeted, and I felt like I was dying. I've been back on simple carbs for almost five years, my thyroid has recovered and I'm getting back to normal.
I'm a homeopath, and every one of my clients that has done the same has recovered. (One of my young clients was infertile and had terrible anxiety attacks. She is now completely well and has a one month old.) Sugar isn't the culprit...but the ubiquitous polyunsaturated fats are! I eat sweets daily, and/or have half of a Coke with real sugar... but I make sure to have plenty of fruit or orange juice, at least one to two quarts of fat free milk a day, cheese, lots of gelatin, coconut oil, potatoes, eggs, and liver once a week....and I have not gained weight!
There's a reason so many people are unhealthy and, dare I say, grumpy these days! Their cells are starving. It's true that sugar "feeds" cancer cells, but that's because sugar is the preferred fuel for ALL of our cells (Nursing 101). And if you don't get plenty of simple carbs, the cancer will break down your body to get what it needs, causing cachexia! Make sure your body gets ALL the nutrients it needs, including sugar! You'll likely become happier and healthier. (All polyunsaturated fats must be eliminated as much as humanly possible to restore health and prevent weight gain. Diabetics must use caution and always follow doctor's orders!)
Correction: I meant to say "yeast organisms" instead of "bacteria." Here is the actual quote from Dr. Ray Peat:
"There is a great anti-sugar cult, with even moralistic overtones, equating sugar craving with morphine addiction. Sugar craving is usually caused by the need for sugar, generally caused by hypothyroidism. When yeasts have enough sugar, they just happily make ethanol, but when they don't have sugar, they can sink filaments into the intestine wall seeking it, and, if the person is very weak, they can even invade the bloodstream and other organs. Milk, cheese, and fruits provide a very good balance of nutrients. Fruits provide a significant amount of protein. Plain sugar is o.k. when the other nutrients are adequate. Roots, shoots, and tubers are, next to the fruits, a good carbohydrate source; potatoes are a source of good protein. Meat as the main protein can provide too much phosphorus in relation to calcium."
''Fruits provide a significant amount of protein.'' - how can somebody listen to a doctor (or a self proclaimed one I guess) who doesn't know basic nutriton knowledge. A significant amount of protein, where did you get that?
Susan, thank you for posting Dr Peat's quote. I wish the author of this blog had done that extensively. After reading his writings for almost a month, I am so convinced he is right, and that we have been fed a bunch of malarkey for about 50 years on nutrition and medicine. If all these people commenting actually could take time and read his writings, I can't believe they would be so against the use of sugar., and would also be anxious to learn more from him. I would stress learn everything you can about Sr Ray Peat and his amazing knowledge and approach to great health and healing.
It blows my mind how ugly people can be! Grow up! This is a great article!
But sugar has a lot of bad effects in the body also. So, I guess we all should know how to balance what we eat. Just eat enough of it and you will be just fine. No need to cut it off totally. Thanks for this article!
I can speak from experience that cutting all forms of sugar and starch 100% out of my diet (for three months) did absolutely nothing to get rid of my candida overgrowth. I've added starchy vegetables and berries back into my diet and feel much more energized. Great article.
WOW! I wish I had seen this before. I went low carb and avoid sugar and I lost a lot of weight but then my hair started thinning, I was constipated and cold and cranky and tired. For the longest time, I thought I had something wrong with my thyroid but it checks as fine. Then I saw you mention that your active thyroid can't be made unless you have natural sugars. So, that makes sense. But, I don't know what to do! I heard that people can get non alcoholic fatty liver by ingesting sugars? That's how you get goose pate...they make the goose eat corns and such to fatten the liver. I am really fat (100 pounds over) and if I eat starchy carbs or sugary carbs I seem to gain weight. But, if I don't, then I get low thyroid symtoms. What can I do? How many carbs should I be getting daily if I want t3 to be produced? Weight lifters macro cycle to cut fat. They go 2-3 days low carb then carb out on the 3-4 day to replenish...would that work? Is weight gain having to do with combining fats with starches/sugars? So, would it be safe to have the sugar with a lean meat or vege but not combine with fats? I really need help to fix my thyroid but I also need to lose weight. Any advice or sites you recommend I look into? Or, at least, how much carbohydrate should I get?
Rachael Abel @ Love Yourself Green
Great article for debating!
I went on a super strict anti-Candida diet for 10 long months 2 years ago. I started out bedridden... and sure, I got better in those 10 months, but, once I reintroduced fruits, I felt SO much better. Then, once I introduced natural sugars like raw honey, my good health skyrocketed! I literally came alive eating things that I'd developed a fear of.
I am now of the belief that we should "listen" more to our bodies, rather than what a person on the internet tells us to do. I think people can guide us, but we're all different and we need to pay attention to ourselves more than any "rules" or research. Well - I'm not saying to run out there and binge on processed foods, obvs... haha. You know what I'm sayin'. 😉
I've also found that what works for one, might not work for another, so you'll never see me preachin' too much. I don't know what's right for you - I only know what's right for me.
I love how you think, Racheal. Thank you. This cleared some things up for me
I agree. We have been told so many things are bad, but now are just great. Butter, coffee, eggs, lard, salt. Sugar is about the only thing they have left to demionize, other than gkuten, and I refuse to jump on the gluten bandwagon.
‘There is a great anti-sugar cult, with even moralistic overtones, equating sugar craving with morphine addiction. Sugar craving is usually caused by the need for sugar, generally caused by hypo-thyroidism.’ - Ray Peat Phd.
I think maybe the sugar bashers aren't clear on what sugar is.
Glucose is your cells preferred fuel source.
Fructose is plant sugar. When glucose and fructose are bonded together they form sucrose. One peach is 8g of sucrose plus 3g glucose and 2g of fructose.
A note on white table sugar. It is just sucrose! Yes it is true white sugar has most of the nutrition refined out, but eaten along side nutrient dense foods is metabolically stimulating.
We don't really want to be mainlining Tate & Lyle. Fructose is the most powerful sugar at regulating blood sugar (both up and down). Fructose inhibits the stimulation of insulin by glucose, so this means that eating ordinary sugar in place of starch, will reduce the tendency to store fat. Eating ‘complex carbohydrates’, rather than sugars, is a reasonable way to promote obesity.
It's PUFA that perverts sugars action in the body. Blame PUFA not sugar.
Sugar is the bodies preferred source of energy, especially if it contains fructose.
Thinking of white sugar as an ‘anti-stress supplement’ will help one overcome sugar-phobia.
Bravo! Great comment Greg!
Agave is now the demon sweetener b/c of its high fructose content. Would love to know what you think about this.
Let Dr Ray Peat speak for himself. Go to raypeat.com. You won't be the same afterwards.
Great article! The subject took on a religious fever and made me laugh. it was good to post the importance of sugar, but words trigger so many different responses, and for some serious emotions, this is a relative point regarding he importance of glucose, fructose, sucrose of what we commonly call sugar.
The goal is not to waive a flag for sugar, the goal is to keep stress hormones out of our lives!
"Hormones are King" they are long chains of proteins and these messengers communicate information for all bodily functions and without them fatality is eminent.
The idea is to use natural sugars found in combination with proteins and minerals which switch on our glandular system to keep our ratio of hormones in a balance which promotes longevity.
Negating the necessity of glucose and its role in cell respiration and the importance of balancing carbon dioxide and oxygenation, glucose, fructose or sugar is viewed with a prejudice based off biased research.
This is detrimental to many peoples health.
Few people know the difference between medical research and scientific research and this lack of acuity leads those to take a position like a religious zealot, defending an ideal and parroting obsolete, and biased study funded to promote the introduction of patentable drug therapy.
Fructose was in the past a prescribed medical treatment in diabetes until the development of drugs like insulin and others were of more financial value and one may be better suited to research the past historical scientific literature to
get a clearer picture of how these new trends in diet are manipulated.
Life and living in peace comes through balance, and it is more about the totality of human experience not only diet.
We can all show examples of someone who defied all laws about healthy diet, but lived a long healthy happy and productive life. Maybe these people should be listened to and we can, by being open minded find what makes us as an individual happy healthy and productive
Thank you onehumin for this lucid and brilliant comment. All macronutrients are performing unique and important functions. Oversimplified - Carbohydrates (as simple sugars in fruits and milk) are our body's best energy resource; Proteins are in the main for information storage and transmission; and Fats for structural stability and insulation.
But for all these functions to be streamlined and coordinated, the primary resource is an efficient energy delivery system. If sugars are in short supply, fats are mobilized and if no fats then the protein stores with resultant inefficiency and more toxic metabolic waste generation and inflammation.
All conditions of ill-health have their roots in deficient or sub-optimal cellular energy delivery.
It appears that this new wave of belief in the ills of sugar is borne out of ignorance or a deliberate attempt to misinform and deepen ignorance and its consequences. This has been a cyclical, familiar trend: saturated fats are bad, high Cholesterol causing heart disease, all sugar forms are bad .....next animal proteins are bad...
That the body cellular array intelligently chooses to deliver potent metabolic poisons to change the behavior of aberrant (cancer) cells, as it (the body) was deprived of it's best energy resource, should not give rise to the inference that this preferred energy resource is bad. Apparently then, the sun must be really bad as it shines on all peoples irrespective of their race, creed or morality. It is our worlds best energy resource. And like the sun, glucose (simple sugars) is the best energy resource for all cells (cancerous or normal).
To get a broader view on research, it is important to check publications made in the 1920 -1960 -70. A clearer picture of the truth could be deduced by so doing.
True health is all about coherence; it's all about harmony; and flowing with simplicity rather than chasing complexity.
Thank you so much for the comment.
O.k., I read about half of the comments and I really feel I need to weigh in. I agree with Catherine, for the most part. I never eat white sugar because its processed with bleach and bone meal. Both of those are registered as carcinogens by the EPA. Most of those tests claiming that sugar causes cancer were run using white sugar processed with bleach and bone meal... Think people! Use your brains! I've been researching dietary and environmental toxins since 1983. I'm considered an expert. The causes of candida, diabetes, cancer and hypertension ( as well as many other diseased states routinely blamed on sugar) iare not sugar. You can check out a white paper I wrote in my site's library on sugar. The citations are there that backs up much of what Catherine said.
Here's my personal experience with sugar, if I don't eat enough of it, I die. I have porphyria. Its a metabollic error that impairs energy production in the cells on several levels. Without enough sugar my cells commit suicide in a systemic and cascading collapse. Obviously, researching sugar was very important to me. I've struggled with balancing my sugar for years. I am aware of the research that says that fluctuations in glucose levels drive minerals out of bones and teeth, but I'm here to tell you that glyphosate (roundup) in grains (wheat and corn), conventional cane sugar ( they are dessicated with it before harvest), and GMO sugar beets (98% in the US market) chelates minerals out of bones and teeth a whole lot faster. 70% of prepared foods contain GMOs. Note also that I said "fluctuations in sugar..." Not "sugar." They are two different things.
Kudos Catherine on doing the research and being truly informed.
Where can we see your white paper on sugar? Thanks
As a Nutritional Therapist, I absolutely agree with this article - natural sugars are good for you, just as healthy fats are, and are just as necessary. Of Course, everything in moderation - Catherine did say that - so it's not like this article is saying "go crazy", it's saying yes, it's okay in proper amounts. Every body is different and as such requires a different amount to remain balanced ... bluntly put, what works for one may or may not work for another. It's Normal.
That said, my family uses local raw honey from local bee keepers, we buy the real maple syrup, we use raw sugars that are in all the fruits we enjoy daily.
What you choose to do is on you - this article is not "wrong", it has much research to back it, if those condemning it would make the effort to research it themselves they would know that.
She didn't just encourage natural sugars, though, but the processed ones. That is a problem. Especially when she is also saying that those processed sugars don't cause health problems. That is an outright lie.
Blessings and love to you Catherine for the audacity of your writings. It is indeed such boldness that is needed in this time of delusion from confusing and misdirecting information.
All macronutrients are performing unique and important functions. Oversimplified - Carbohydrates (as simple sugars in fruits and milk) are our body's best energy resource; Proteins are in the main for information storage and transmission; and Fats for structural stability and insulation.
But for all these functions to be streamlined and coordinated, the primary resource is an efficient energy delivery system. If sugars are in short supply, fats are mobilized and if no fats then the protein stores with resultant inefficiency and more toxic metabolic waste generation and inflammation.
All conditions of ill-health have their roots in deficient or sub-optimal cellular energy delivery.
It appears that this new wave of belief in the ills of sugar is borne out of ignorance or a deliberate attempt to misinform and deepen ignorance and its consequences. This has been a cyclical, familiar trend: saturated fats are bad, high Cholesterol causing heart disease, all sugar forms are bad .....next animal proteins are bad...
That the body's cellular array intelligently chooses to deliver potent metabolic poisons to change the behavior of aberrant (cancer) cells, as it (the body) was deprived of it's best energy resource, should not give rise to the inference that this preferred energy resource is bad. Apparently then, the sun must be really bad as it shines on and ensures the growth of all peoples irrespective of their race, creed or morality. It is our worlds best energy resource. And like the sun, glucose (simple sugars) is the best energy resource for all cells (cancerous or normal).
To get a broader view on research, it is important to check publications made in the 1920 -1960 -70. A clearer picture of the truth could be deduced by so doing. Dr. Ray Peat's website is a good starting point.
True health is all about coherence; it's all about harmony; and a conscious flowing with simplicity rather than a blind pursuit of complexity.
Thank you Catherine, the force of divine peace and love shields and surrounds you.
I'm not sure the answer..but I knowy digestion got so much worse when I did a ketogwnic low low carb.. Only a few veggies... Meat and high fat I am now sicker than ever. Stool tests show I'm very low on good colon flora and I'm full of ulcers in my gut and intestines. Dr put me on nystatin and low carb and starch diet and I'm even worse. I have gained thirty lbs eating a clean diet....I'm sure thyroid and estrogen is screwed up along with my inability to detox due to MTHFR. Issues. I'm pretty hopeless and overeating some gluten free grains...I am just tired of feeling tired and ashamed.
Sounds awful. Eat a balanced diet. Incorporate good strains of probiotics through good sourced foods. You will get back to balance but it takes time. Just eat a normal healthy diet.
I think moderation of everything is key. Extreme, strict diet is not good. I fully believe this article. People do more harm cutting certain foods rather than eating a healthy balance diet.
All you need is a basic biology course to understand that you can get your sugars from carbohydrate sources like VEGETABLES. Yes my brain can get its glucose from broccoli and carrots! Any type of refined carbohydrates spike insulin levels faster than what is considered healthy (I say this while drinking a cup of coffee with lots of sugar lol). I do know however that when I do my yearly detoxes from sugar my face clears up. Did you know that a bowl of pasta turns to sugar right away once broken down? Imagine eating your sweets on top of that. Most people do not know what a carbohydrate is and how it breaks down into sugar and the less fiber the faster the insulin spike.
Exactly!!! Our bodies can get all the sugar they need from vegetables (and definitely fruits if you want to add them). Many fruits have as much sugar as candy--they are just healthier because they provide our body the nutrients to go along with them. Nobody "needs" white sugar. Period.
Genetic footprints and diversity...these are the keys. One man's meat is another man's poison as my dad used to say. Also the largest elephant in the room is the enormous ingestion of things modern that are totally foreign to human physiology.
Forgot to add exposure to emf's (see Jack Kruse MD) and all kinds of modern stressors that trigger unfavorable genetics. Get your hormones and genetics tested (via 23andme to find your tendencies) and find your workarounds. Sorry to say there are no shortcuts. The older you are the harder all this is likely to be. I believe gut integrity is a major issue in all this. If methylation difficulties are a problem, I have personally noted great benefit from trimethylglycine lately and a very small amount of levothyroxine/synthetic t4. Don't forget as much sunshine exercise and fresh air as you can stand.
All I know when I eat sugar- natural or otherwise, my blood sugar skyrockets, when Eat Meat , Eggs and non starchy veg it does not. Maybe ok for some people, but for me sugar is poison.
Great article! Like others here I was brainwashed for years abandoning ALL sugars in search of the perfect anti-aging diet. From vegetarian to paleo, I thought being sugar free would be the 'holy grail' to exceptional health,,,,, boy was I wrong.
It wasn't until I stumbled upon Ray Peat who has been studying the human body at the molecular level since the 60's and has a masters in biology and taught at the University of Oregon that the demonising of sugar and salt were essentially easy scape goats for a bigger picture, mainly PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids), you want to talk cancer? Talk about the advent of crisco , soybean oil, sunflower oil ANY vegetable oil!
Since following his advice which includes a diet high in fruit sugars honey and occasional plain table sugar along with saturated fats and salt my joints no longer ache , I don't hobble first thing in the morning , my body temperature has risen and things feel looser, I'm feeling the best I have in years and all it took was a few basic nutrients that I shunned , feeling years younger at 53.
Thanks for sharing great article. I have seen much information online. White sugar is not good for our health. It creates more sugar in our body. Most of the people face the blood sugar problem in their body.
Great post, Catherine. So very true.
Thanks so much.
Hi Catherine !
I love your blog !
May i ask you which software/plugin do you use to put the title on the picture at the top and the bottom of your post ?
Thanks a lot !
I totally agree with you. I eat a lot of fruit (6 servings/day) . bread and other starches and it makes me not crave sweets. If someone gives me a silce of cake, I can eat it(if I want to) but I can also refuse it without hesitating,
I've met a lot of people who avoid bread and fruits. They are always wondering why they can not lose weight.
Keep up with the good work, you're awesome!
I intensley dislike butter. HOw can I pump up my fat intake? I eat protein, lots of vegetables including some root vegs. and I don't wnat butter on them. I would like coconut fat/oil even less. I do choose fatty meats, chicken with skin.. No grain products. Do you think I am low carb when my fat content is not high?
Eat the root veg and go easy on those that grow above the ground. Overcome your fear of butter and eat some coconut oil everyday. Go very easy on the chicken but eat some beef or lamb fairly regularly. Eat liver once a week and a raw carrot daily. Eat fruit, drink plenty of orange juice and take your coffee sweetened with sugar or honey. Don't worry about fat too much other than making sure you avoid all vegetable oils (except coconut oil and a little olive) oil). as if your life depended upon it.
What do you think about oats and rice?
I have a relative who is a Type I diabetic and he must have carbs or he would die. Permanently cutting out sugar to include no fruits, just doesn't make sense to me. If it's not good for a diabetic to go without carbs, then we must need them too. I have witnessed the results of low blood sugar in this relative and it ain't pretty.
When he goes really low what's the cure? Candy or fruit juice. If he passes out, out comes the glucagon. It is an injection used to stimulate the liver to produce sugar to bring the unconscious diabetic back to consciousness. It works almost instantly. The brain is unable to function without sugar.
Take advice from someone reputable like Dr. Steven Gundry. He has completed numerous clinical studies and amazing testimonials from patients he has helped cure from every disease imaginable.
The bottom line is we eat too much sugar. I believe what Dr. Gundry states and that is that we should treat fruit like candy and not eat too much of it and only seasonal fruit. That makes perfect sense to me.
Sugar is not the only culprit to all of the disease of today but oh my goodness it sure is one of the biggest!
Dr Eric Berg says sugar cravings are a sign of low potassium we need 4700 a day from green leafy vegatables salads etc. So the equivalent of about 10 cups every single day. We only need about 2 teaspoons of sugar in our untire body and the body itself makes it If your trying to lose weight cut out sugar even in fruit until you lose then weight then choose berries etc. Low sugar fruits. I have a square of 70% dark chocolate every day . Definitely don't Agee on the sugar intake there's lots of sugar substitutes around now and amazing low carb recipes on Pinterest etc.
When I eat even a small dessert, I get skin rash that is red, swollen, feels hot, but it doesn't itch. It looks exactly like candida rash.
The funny thing about my candida rash is that it ALWAYS shows up in the same spots: my calves, inner thighs, back of thighs, buttocks, and inner arms. I have long eliminated all other causes that people assign to something like this. The moment I eat sugar I get it. When I stop eating it, it takes about 3-4 days for it to go away.
So, while you may believe you can eat sugar all you want, some of us KNOW we can't. I am not dismissing your theory, just commenting that facts point to a more complex problem.
Thanks for the article. Many don't believe you, but how could sugar be inherently bad when Chimps (our closest relatives) eat mostly figs all day long? After trying the whole no carb thing and feeling horrible, I went back to eating regular foods (and gained weight, unfortunately, probably my body throwing a fit and increasing my cravings for carbs). I feel better now, my muscles are stronger and not all flat, and I don't feel fatigued all the time.
I think healthy sugar metabolism, in my opinion, is very much supported by regular resistance training. Our problem is not necessarily sugar, but the fact that most of us have very little muscle mass compared to our ancestors. We sit all day at "work" then wonder why we have diabetes and obesity. Just my two cents...
I think people are being overly reactive to this article. Getting sugar from fruits, honey, and very little from white sugar will still put most people in better shape than the rest of American society.
Lindsay A Gower
"Moderation in all things." We have lost that concept! Stop thinking of "white sugar" and think instead of "birthday cake." How siliy to say No to a slice. When you're sitting with a friend over a coffee and a croissant, do not fear that croissant, or the [enter name of sweetener here] you put in your coffee. Enjoy! Be mindful and moderate. My rule was "don't have a second piece" and I lost 25 lbs.
This is wrong on so many levels. You are assuming that being a sugar burner is correct and healthy. It simply isn’t. There are too numerous of reasons for my to type here but I urge people to do in depth reading and gain an understanding of glycation, being fat adapted, gluconeogenesis and the fight of flight response of being a glucose/carb/sugar dependent person.
I've done research on this. And all the added sugars are definitely bad for you. Fruits are not. Honey, which contains natural sugar is not bad for you. You need those natural sugars for fuel. What we don't need is the High Fructose Corn Syrup in soft drinks (soda,/fizzies/whatever you want to call them). We also don't need the refined sugars in snacks, cakes and deserts. The best desert you can eat is an orange, an apple, some other fruit or even some honey. Because the sugars in these are natural sugars. And a regular diet of these foods will keep your glycogen store at acceptable levels.
Great article. I see so many people with health issues and pain that the generations before didnt have. Fruit and honey have always been here, so one would have to ask. Have these modern health issues come about because we are eating more fruit and natural sugars, or because we now eat much less of these things and far more refined sugars, chemicals, addititives? I have a friend with terminal cancer, who was told she had 1 year to live, 5 years ago. She is managing and beating it with diet and lifestyle changes. Yes she has cut out refined sugar and has very little natural sugars, but she also has a very strict diet of organic whole foods, no dairy, supplements, keeps stress to a minimum, keeps chemicals out of her life as much as possible and uses natural therapies. Her diet is balanced and its not a diet completely devoid of natural sugars. This approach may not work for someone else, but it is working for her. Thank you for the article, it does challenge the prevailing opinions and love the balanced approach always 🙂
I think an ADDED sugar detox would be helpful. But that means cutting out refined sugars and High Fructose Corn Syrup; and the fake sugars, of course. Eschewing fruits, honey, and natural sugars they contain? That's a recipe for malnutrition. We don't need all the added sugars. But apples, oranges, grapes, berries, honey and such can be very helpful. You can also use honey to sweeten oatmeal so it is palatable and actually rather tasty. And get a nutritious, filling meal out of the deal.
Sugar does feed cancer though, but not the natural sugar of fruits. It's all the added sugar that is cancer fuel. But don't juice the fruit. Eat it whole. We have a psychological need to destroy things with our teeth. This actually helps us to feel full and satisfied. If you've squeezed the juice out of the fruit and drank it, you won't get that chewing resistance and it will take much more juice than whole fruit to get full.
The body can’t tell the difference from an apple or a candy bar I don’t eat sugar and I am healthy and not malnourished.
You took on a mountain here Catherine...
I only use three sugars. Maple syrup, Raw honey, and raw unrefined sugar(sucanat, Panela). I eat whole fruit, no fruit juice. I cut out processed foods, cooking my food from scratch. It's called clean eating and since I have been eating this way I have lost weight for first time in two decades and kept it off. No more yo-yo dieting. I have started eating whole wheat pasta, so far so good. I started baking with whole wheat pastry flour and Einkorn flour. I may try using spelt flour soon.
What a savvy informed group.
I am a fervent DIY-person. As such, I like to take in all ideas....then parse. One HUGE lacuna in the discussion re: glucose is unrelated to nutrition & metabolism....but detox. Glucurondation is the way the body (Liver, mostly) gets rid of toxins (anything in excess such as estrogen, metals, fats etc). Its helpful to discover which things help or hurt the process. Glucuronic acid is formed FROM glucose. Our own individual Cathcart limit goes up when we are "infected". Vit C is a known anti-viral. All other animals (i.e. apes) can make their own vit C endogenously- humans cant. If glucose is being used UP getting rid of more & more hidden toxins, that leaves less for normal metabolism...which ups cortisol to dissolve our tissue to make more glucose. The brain is INFINITELY sensitive to even the slightest salt deficiency; likely the same or worse, for glucose deficiency.
Nine years ago I posted a few comments on this subject. For my whole life I ate a lot of sugar. Right now I am 65 years old and I still eat a lot sweet things without any need to visit doctor. My weight is the same as it were 9 years ago. See my comments I wrote in 2014. Sugar is part of healthy diet.