4 sugar myths you still believe in

4 Sugar Myths You Still Believe In – with Video Notes

Is sugar good? Is sugar addictive? Can it kill you? Can it stop you from weight loss? Does it cause inflammation? Should you still use it despite its bad reputation?

Find out the answer to the above as well as to “what is the real reason for sugar epidemic” from the video.

69 Pleasures cookbook featured in the video to start you in the right direction

69 Pleasures kindle cover


What else you did not know?

4 Sugar Myths you Still Believe In – The Notes

Below are notes on the sugar video with extra details and references

How much sugar do we eat?

Amount of added sugar Americans eat daily: 126g or 36 tsp per person.[1] It’s the highest in the world.

  • Germany – 103 g
  • Netherlands – 102 g
  • Ireland – 97 g
  • Australia – 96 g
  • UK – 93 g

Why do we eat so much sugar?

Why we eat sugar (the unofficial story):

  • Taste
  • Brain pleasure response
  • Energy boost
  • Mood lift
  • Memories of childhood
  • Memories of parties
  • Great recipes
  • Availability
  • Price

Why we use sugar (the official story):

  • Gives baked goods flavor, texture and color
  • Helps preserve foods, such as jams and jellies
  • Fuels fermentation, which enables bread to rise
  • Serves as a bulking agent in baked goods and ice cream
  • Balances the acidity of foods containing vinegar and tomatoes

Why is sugar bad?

  1. Addictive
  2. Causes obesity
  3. Causes inflammation
  4. Is toxic

Sugar addiction

How additive is sugar

  • Most addictive 3: heroin [2], alcohol, cocaine[3]; sugar has been suggested as one of them
  • Can sugar be as addictive? Consider withdrawal and tolerance effects[4]
  • One time use of above substances leads to about 20% addiction (4% if exposed before 18 yrs of age)[5]
  • Most addictions are self-limiting;
    • cocaine addiction lasts 4 years
    • marijuana addiction lasts 6 years
    • alcohol addiction lasts 15 years
  • 75% of addicted recover on their own
  • Addictions don’t get worse over time, odds of quitting get better, not worse
  • Addiction is not a disease, it’s a maladaptive response to stress[6], or simply a poor choice[7]

Is sugar addictive or convenient?

We aren’t as much addicted as much as we are opportunists; we like cheap and convenient foods that taste good. Food manufacturers flood the market with sugary goods as a response to consumer demand, not due to plot to get us addicted.

Why we eat sugar junk in large quantities?

Why do be buy sugary junk so much? Because we don’t cook. We don’t cook because we don’t have time (yet Americans watch TV 4 hrs a day)[8]. The real issue is

  • we don’t know how to cook
  • we don’t want the inconvenience of grocery shopping, food preparation, and washing dishes)
  • we are bad at organizing (no fallback plan while out in town)

Sugar Obesity

Does sugar cause obesity?

  • Sucrose calories = protein calories = 4cal/gram
  • Insulin reaction
    • Glycemic index – when quantities are the same
      • Sucrose – 92
      • Bagel – 103
      • Millet – 101
      • Instant rice, well cooked – 128
    • Glycemic load – when quantities matter

Can sugar prevent weight loss – study

  • The participants were put on high carb diet (71% carb, 10% fat, 19% protein) with varied amount of sugar. All diets were hypocaloric at 1100 cal/day.
    • High sugar group menu contained 43% calories (34 tsp) from sucrose for 6 weeks.
    • The low-sugar group was allowed maximum 3 teaspoon of sugar a day.
  • Both lost weight, lowered blood pressure, lowered body fat, lowered cholesterol and improved thyroid function. Moreover, both groups scored lower in depression, lower in hunger, higher in mood.

Sugar Inflammation

Does sugar cause inflammation?

Inflammation definition: physical condition in which part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot, and often painful, especially as a reaction to injury or infection

Media considers sugar-related inflammation as a set of following diseases:

  • Insulin resistance/diabetes
  • RA
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer

Do simple sugars cause insulin resistance – study

  • Participant diet: 25% of all energy from simple sugars:
  • Group A: 50g fructose + 15g glucose + from diet = 70g fructose + 40g glucose
  • Group B: 15g fructose + 50g glucose + from diet = 40g fructose + 70g glucose
  • 2 x 2 weeks
  • Results: no change in IR, no change in fasting and post-prandial indices, fasting blood lipids
  • Conclusion: sugar side-effects are dose dependent; detrimental effects are observed when a high sugars intake is accompanied by an excess energy intake;[9]

Do added sugars cause cardiovascular disease – study

Outcome measurement: CVD mortality – over 15-year span[10]

  • 3 groups assigned by calories from added sugar: <10% vs 10% – 25% vs > 25.0% 
  • hazard ratio for the groups 0 vs. 1.30 (30% higher) vs. 2.75 (175% higher)
  • Observation: most people eat >10% cal from sugar; CV mortality goes up with amount >10%


Current sugar intake recommendations:[11]

  • Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that added sugars make up no more than 10 percent of your daily calories (12 tsp)
  • The American Heart Association advises max 6 teaspoons for women, and 9 teaspoons for men.

Sugar Toxicity

Is sugar toxic?

Toxicity loosely interchanged with inflammation, IR, cardiovascula dz, cancer, etc.

Lustig sugar study

  • Study length: 9-days
  • self-reported diet by obese African and Latino children either with high blood pressure or high TG;
  • study reduced sugar consumption from 28% to 10%
  • study substituted sugar for starch (fructose reduction, glucose increase)
  • results: reduction in weight, BP, TG, HOMA – conclusion: sugar is toxic
  • conclusion: excess fructose in obese with insulin resistance is worse than excess glucose in normal or high caloric diets

LD50 for sugar

  • Sugar – 5.4 lb[12]
  • Water – 6.0 L
  • Alcohol – 0.6 L

Sugar Video Summary

Studies suggest that it is not the sugar use, but sugar abuse that is the problem. We advocate for more responsible use of sugar, foodstuff, and all consumables.

Take this 2-min quiz to see whether you are immune to other health myths.

[1] https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/top-sugar-consuming-nations-in-the-world.html

[2] https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/heroin-addiction/faq/addicted-first-time/#gref

[3] https://www.addictioncenter.com/community/these-are-the-5-most-addictive-substances-on-earth/

[4] https://behavioralscientist.org/no-sugar-isnt-new-heroin/

[5] https://www.drugfoundation.org.nz/matters-of-substance/november-2014/ageing-out-of-addiction/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3314045/

[7] https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/addiction/addiction-choice

[8] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_consumption

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5174139/

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24493081

[11] https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/added-sugar/art-20045328

[12] https://www.forbes.com/sites/ericmack/2016/10/30/this-much-halloween-candy-could-kill-you-according-to-science/#7aa17c1e6db3


Leave a Comment