I was wrong about sugar…

Posted on October 24th, 2013

Just kidding.

Although today I want to take a moment to emphasise and clarify a really crucial issue that a few unmentionables in the comments insist on challenging: that my focus on fructose is misguided. Or, more specifically, that substituting fructose with glucose as a sweetener is misguided (which I don’t actually do, but more in a second…).

Image via

Photography by Angie Gassner & Thomas Mailer

I’m responding to you lot (calm and reasonable readers; not Mr Unmentionable) in the event that you might be wondering if I care about the issue at all.

I do. And to be honest, I’ve had to double-check my position. Just to get clear myself. And for this, I’m grateful to the Mr Unmentionables out there who like to go after me for encouraging people to get real with their sugar intake. As I emphasise throughout my books and other materials, I’m constantly exploring and researching this area and am open to tweaking my thinking as I go. Then sharing it with anyone (calm and reasonable) in my orbit who cares to read on.

So, let’s break it down.

Why do I target fructose specifically (and not sugar as a whole, or glucose)?

Sugar is 50:50 fructose and glucose. It’s the fructose bit that I say is problematic. This is because:

1. Fructose is metabolised by our liver (while glucose is metabolised by all our cells). This taxes the liver BIG TIME: it spends so much energy turning fructose into other molecules that it may not have much energy left for all its other functions. Leading to the production of uric acid, which also promotes insulin resistance and is linked to a whole bunch of metabolic diseases.

2. This liver dumpage also causes it to store the fructose as fat, especially in the liver, and triglycerides, leading to a fatty liver and insulin resistance.

3. Fructose stuffs our appetite mechanisms. Our bodies strictly regulate the amount of glucose in the blood. Glucose stimulates the pancreas to secrete the hormone insulin, which helps remove excess glucose from blood, and bolsters production of the hormone leptin, which suppresses hunger. We eat glucose, our bodies register this and the message goes out, “stop eating now”. Fructose doesn’t do this.

4. Indeed the metabolic havoc it wreaks can cause our body to store all food as fat.

5. Worse, fructose actually raises levels of the hormone grehlin, which keeps us hungry.

6. Fructose is highly addictive.

7. Fructose is twice as sweet as glucose.

The bottom line (literally):

Fructose makes us fat, we can’t stop eating it, and it makes us eat more.

So does substituting fructose with glucose fix the problem?

Nope. In I Quit Sugar (the print book) I advocate using substitute sweeteners:

  • Stevia. A plant that contains neither fructose or glucose.
  • Rice Malt Syrup. Made from fermented cooked rice, it’s a blend of complex carbohydrates, maltose and glucose. RMS is a slow-releasing sweetener so it doesn’t dump on the liver as much as pure glucose does.

(PS, while we’re being helpful and upfront, there has been a bit of media attention about arsenic being found in rice malt syrup, based on some studies done in Scotland and the US. We asked Pureharvest, who make the rice malt syrup we use, about this and they got their product tested (they do so regularly using independent laboratories). The tests show their syrup is well below the detectable level for arsenic in food. FYI, the studies refer to an arsenic standard that applies to drinking water, not food. The problem with using a water standard is that the average person does not use syrup to replace drinking water, so the quantities of total arsenic consumed from rice malt syrup would not equate. Also, any arsenic found in Pureharvest rice malt syrup does not include the inorganic arsenic from herbicides and pesticides.

  • Glucose Syrup. This is 100% glucose. I don’t personally use pure glucose or dextrose in any of my own recipes. I never have…for a range of reasons, one of which is the fact that so much of it needs to be used to get a sweet flavour. But I do list it as a safe sweetener, so I can see why there’s room for confusion.

So, some clarification:

  • In my other ebooks, in the 8-Week Program and in my second book (coming out in March), I state that I use stevia and rice malt syrup only, as above. Where there was room for confusion, I’ve tweaked copy to ensure this message is now clear.
  • In all my materials, I stress using as little sweetener as you can. I stress using none, highlighting, for instance, that I don’t always use sweetener in my recipes.
  • In all my recipes, across all my materials, I use very little sweetener. The most amount of rice malt syrup I have ever used in my recipes is 1/2 cup,  spread between 8-10 serves.

I do feel that some of my peers who advocate glucose syrup and dextrose as a substitute use too much of it, up to 2 cups in some recipes.

  • In all my materials I include the warning that even non-fructose sugars are not good to eat in large quantities and will cause insulin wobbliness too, albeit in a far more manageable way. Consuming any sweetener – even the “fake” ones that don’t contain sugar as such – can cause a blood sugar spike and continue a blood sugar addiction. Just the sweet taste can trigger insulin and metabolic responses.  
  • There is some conjecture that some of the health impacts of fructose can’t be completely distinguished from the health impacts of glucose, or sugar broadly. Of course, studies to this effect are tricky since rarely do we eat fructose or glucose in isolation….

But it’s a moot point!

First up, there’s no doubt fructose causes a host of health issues that glucose doesn’t. The science is in, see above.

But!!! Even if you wish to contest this in any way, it’s redundant…

I don’t push excess glucose consumption anyway.

Further, and this is the really important point…

The I Quit Sugar philosophy and 8-Week Program is about a bunch of meta principles that go beyond this.

* I Quit Sugar is about quitting all sweetener, including glucose (and rice malt syrup and stevia) for 6 weeks.

Then inviting everyone to reintroduce sweetener back in gradually (with recipes that use very little sweetener of any kind).

* Plus, at its core, its about cutting out sugar in general (the fructose AND the glucose halves of the sugar equation).

We don’t eat fructose on its own anyway; it’s always in table sugar or HFCS form. What’s the issue then? Who’d want to argue against cutting table sugar and HFCS? (Aside from those with interests in the sugar industry.)

* It’s also about cutting out processed foods and reintroducing new ways of whole, healthy eating. This is The Point!

Yep, this is the meta point that Mr Unmentionable et al really seem to miss. Or choose to miss. Again, who’d want to argue against this nutritional advice?

So my clarification is to the way I present glucose in the print edition of I Quit Sugar. And my apology goes out to those who might have gone ahead and dumped large amounts of glucose into their cooking of their own accord using their own recipes.

I hope this clarifies things.

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  • http://katwhitfield.wordpress.com Kat

    Patiently waiting for a response to this post! What do you think the chances are?

    …I know I’ll try not to get my hopes up.

    [Reply]

  • meg

    Yes, as much as I love this blog this bugs me a bit as well.

    The photographers are Angie Gassner & Thomas Mailer and the model is Anna Lundgaard (http://www.stereo.net.in/gallery.html) :-)

    [Reply]

  • Rose

    Hi Tamara, it’s good that you’ve quit sugar and had some great results! I just wanted to let you know though about soy and how that has given me terrible grief just befoee that time of the month. Whilst my symptoms are nowhere near as bad as yours it’s no picnic. I have terrible nausea, cramps, hot and cold flushes and have to keep trotting off to the toilet. I also have this aweful burning sensation around my lower abdomen. At one point my doc thought I had mild endo but as soon as I gave up soy I was 100%. Just thought the soy info might also be of help.

    [Reply]

  • Meg

    I just remember Sarah posting this: http://www.sarah wilson.com.au/2011/06/five-helpful-tips-for-image-crediting/ and she has ‘all rights reserved’, so I’m guessing copyright is important to her?

    *copyright police slowly backs away* lol

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  • http://facebook.com/CritiqueofDavidGillespiesBigFatLies David Driscoll MSc

    Monique, my personal experience wouldn’t affect the science and evidence, and that is what is being discussed here (at least by me). If my experience was taht I could eat tons of sugar with no ill effects, that wouldn’t justify me running around telling everyone that was the best thing to do nor that it was evidence based. That is the nature of good science, it’s impartial.

    My experience wouldn’t change the evidence re metabolism, alleged addiction, appetite etc

    [Reply]

    Sasha Reply:

    This is evidently something you’re quite passionate about and involved with….why not commence a research program for it? I’d be most interested in the overall effect the IQS program has on the human body.

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  • http://annaliesemaree.me Annaliese

    Sarah I love your blog and have been following it for a long time. I love hearing different points of view about health. I think cutting out excess sugar can be a good thing, but I also believe that having sugar in your diet can be beneficial. I have used it recently to boost metabolism, and I think it is a great source of quick energy when needed. It is also very satisfying to your taste buds. We are programmed to love it, and I’m not going to fight my instincts. But to reduce the toll it has on my body, without creating too many sugar spikes during my day, I always try to eat it along with a meal, or a source of fat. I do actually believe in the moderation argument, and that restricting an entire food group can cause some of us to binge, followed by guilt, negative emotions around food. etc. I used to have candida problems (breast thrush. yuck.) and they always flared up after eating sugar (ridiculous amounts of pain). But I found that these problems went away when boosting my metabolism and fixing stomach acid levels. I think craving sugar actually means something – our body wants calories, and it wants the most delicious easy source of them to get us through. Our bodies aren’t stupid. If you are craving sugar, have you eaten enough lunch? Do you get enough starch? Are you drinking too much water?

    Thanks for the great blog Sarah :-)

    [Reply]

    Rose Reply:

    I can relate to this. I too believe in the moderation argument. For me it doesn’t suit cutting out things altogether either. Well said. :-)

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  • Marie

    David, Sarah has never claimed she is a scientist, she has merely opened herself up to connect with thousands of people who have similar issues/stories/interests. Going by the popularity of her books, blogs and twitter, she has reached the lives of many and changed the lives of most. If you can’t ‘connect’ with her David, find something else to occupy yourself with.

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  • andrea

    Dear Sarah
    I think we all are aloud to make some different points of a view, makes us a person.
    So i think by making a point, you give space to people to think about how they live.
    And that is where you’re make a differents, Sarah, you make people think about the way they live….
    And that’s a good point.

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  • KirstenB

    I find that to be true too Emma, I remember when I quit eating meat people felt the need to bring me all sorts of ‘facts’ about why eating meat is normal/healthy etc etc – which I don’t dispute but the reality was that they were trying to feel better about not being disciplined about their own eating habits. Bottom line. Great post Sarah :-) Happy sugar free Friday!

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  • Dani

    Hi Sarah and Readers,

    Thanks for the clarification of your understandings again Sarah. You certainly package all those facts neatly for those of us often without the time or dedication to do the research. There is a lot to take in!

    Like you always say – the facts speak for themselves. And for anyone who has given quitting sugar a real go and subsequently listened to how their body and mind reacts, the affects of sugar and especially fruictose are abundantly clear.

    It’s so bizzarre to imagine the kind of human who would actively go about dismantling the information you deliver. I kind of feel sad for how worked-up they must become behind their PC screen, typing madly in an effort to be ‘right’, when in the end your readers will choose their own view on your words and message regardless. Noone reacts well to agression and the main audience of this blog are usually those looking for a message like yours. I have no doubt that your main audience will pay little heed to the haters.

    Imagine spending so much energy on negativity and attempts at destruction!
    Poor souls.

    Sending love, Dani

    [Reply]

  • PammyT

    Hear, hear!!!

    You’ve hit the nail on the head Michelle.

    [Reply]

  • Greg

    I think you’ve missed the point that Sarah was trying to make. Fruit is OK, except in the “break the habit” cycle of the program. Once that’s done, it’s back to normal. The issue with fructose is when you take it out of the fruit. Cherries are fine, cherry juice isn’t. Apples are a great example. 250ml of apple juice is the same fructose as 4 apples, yet after drinking a cup of apple juice, people are still able to eat more food. Try that after eating 4 apples. In fact, try eating four apples…

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  • Maya

    I was thinking the same thing, especially when you say ‘the science is in, see above’. Don’t get me wrong, I agree with your message but I think a reference would help.

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  • Peta

    Hi Sarah,

    Previously to reading your book I, by trial and error and come to many of your conclusions by listening to what my body did & effects that certain foods had on them.. High sugar & gluten were two of these… I was amazed at how much I was following your ethos & the effect that this had had on my life (stabilised weight & reduced mood swings were two improvements I had noticed over the past decade). However, when I picked up your book in the airport you added science (although I know you are not a scientist) to what I had been doing and furthermore you also showed me areas that I didn’t even realise that I was adding sugar into my diet… It was a real eye opener & I love your recipes! It made me realise it didn’t have to be all veges, steak & salad & that fat isn’t the enemy.. I couldn’t quite work out why when I ate bacon & eggs I didn’t put on weight but I seemed to when I had a day of eating diet yoghurt an apple & a banana! :) Thank you for opening a whole new world of food for me!

    [Reply]

  • Sunni

    I don’t really like the taste of Stevia. How about Agave? Is that OK?

    [Reply]

    Sara Reply:

    Sunni, hope you don’t mind my butting in but Agave is extremely high in fructose (more so than table sugar) so the answer is no. You might want to try alternative forms of stevia or natvia which mixes it with another sweetener. I hate pure stevia usually but natvia is pretty good.

    [Reply]

  • Catherine

    What brand of Stevia do you use Sarah? I have struggled to find one that doesn’t have a bitter aftertaste.

    [Reply]

  • Amy

    Hi
    I studied pharmaceutical engineering and a lot of pharmacology subjects at university. I now work as an engineer but in a different area. We wrote a number of scientific papers for our study (non were formally published as we were undergrads) and learnt how scientific studies can be contructed to prove your point. Basically what I am trying to say it is possible to make any scientific study say what you want! Just cos it’s “science” doesn’t mean it’s true! And… a lot of journals are published that shouldn’t be for qualitative reasons.
    I think science is great and has it’s place but it’s good to keep an open mind as well.
    Good on you Sarah for spreading the word! Keep it up!

    [Reply]

    Sasha Reply:

    At the end of your post, Ito my mind sprang the climate change debate of election past…

    [Reply]

  • http://facebook Helen Greenow

    Yep I watched it and now what to make of it…do I stop taking my medication for cholesterol, and watch it go sky high again? My doc believes I have inherited the condition. I exercise, eat healthy, a bit over weight but when I lost weight my cholesterol went up. The docs/scientists blamed SUGAR and not animal fats.

    [Reply]

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  • http://facebook.com/CritiqueofDavidGillespiesBigFatLies David Driscoll MSc

    Start with an ad hominem, then a strawman (I haven’t suggested that, just addressing the bits where it is) combined with a false dichotomy! Some namecalling, a few false accusations (that I’m being paid and I as masquerading as someone else). I didn’t post there – nice try!

    Weak, baseless and irrelevant response but I hope you feel better after it! Don’t worry, those types of activities are only scorned when I’m accused of them!

    [Reply]

  • Kelly

    David, it really points to something perverse in your nature that you feel the need to continue to poke and torment when its quite clear and obvious to all reading these posts that you are actually not contributing anything at all constructive. Despite your protestations that you are serving science, all you’ve really succeeded in doing is show that you won’t listen to anyone but yourself, and you over compensate for your lack of empathy & people skills with intellectual jargon that you use only to bludgeon the readers, not ease or accommodate communication. And no doubt your sheer bloody mindedness will see you continue to post your unwanted, & unhelpful comments in spite. So don’t bother protesting that you are interested in discussion, its clear you are not. You are a bore.

    [Reply]

  • lolz

    Dietician, Sports Scientist, and self-proclaimed Internet Marketing Expert… haha! Which one are you really, David? Speaking of vested interests making you laugh, I found this one a little bit funny: Could you name anyone who has greater vested interests in trolling the internet (sorry, marketing) to promote their own profile? (Whichever hat you decide to wear that day…) Go away and figure it out, you’re a joke.

    [Reply]

    David Driscoll MSc Reply:

    Hope you feel better after getting that off your chest!

    [Reply]

  • http://www.fitterliz.com.au Liz N

    I don’t think David should be blocked from the site. He is clearly not disagreeing that we need less junk/simple sugars in our diets and more whole foods. Same message as Sarah is giving. Sarah, I think that by sharing your anecdotal experience has encouraged many readers to ditch the junk and embrace a better way of eating, no two ways about it. Which is great. However, like David, I rail at the “science” being presented here. I haven’t read all of David’s posts, but from what I have seen – it’s about getting the facts/current research straight.

    In my own practice as an EP, I don’t know of anyone that does well on an intake of highly processed foods. Whilst there is a heightened focus on sugar and saturated fats, they don’t make up the bulk of a healthy diet – thus my belief is that we need to put these substances into the perspective of a total dietary intake…..

    [Reply]

    debs Reply:

    me too. I have actually enjoyed reading the banter today. It helps to inform.

    [Reply]

  • meg

    I read this today as well:

    http://healthimpactnews.com/2013/sweden-becomes-first-western-nation-to-reject-low-fat-diet-dogma-in-favor-of-low-carb-high-fat-nutrition/

    “Sweden has become the first Western nation to develop national dietary guidelines that reject the popular low-fat diet dogma in favor of low-carb high-fat nutrition advice.

    The switch in dietary advice followed the publication of a two-year study by the independent Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment. The committee reviewed 16,000 studies published through May 31, 2013.”

    ————————-
    Swedish doctor, Andreas Eenfeldt, who runs the most popular health blog in Scandinavia (DietDoctor.com) published some of the highlights of this study in English:

    For a long time, the health care system has given the public advice to avoid fat, saturated fat in particular, and calories. A low-carb diet (LCHF – Low Carb High Fat, is actually a Swedish “invention”) has been dismissed as harmful, a humbug and as being a fad diet lacking any scientific basis.

    Instead, the health care system has urged diabetics to eat a lot of fruit (=sugar) and low-fat products with considerable amounts of sugar or artificial sweeteners, the latter a dangerous trigger for the sugar-addicted person.

    This report turns the current concepts upside down and advocates a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet, as the most effective weapon against obesity.

    The expert committee consisted of ten physicians, and several of them were skeptics to low-carbohydrate diets at the beginning of the investigation

    [Reply]

    David Driscoll MSc Reply:

    Irony is that the benefits mention include increasing HDL and decreasing LDL, which goes against the Catalyst story. Cherry picking is rife!

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  • debs

    Well said Liz!

    [Reply]

  • debs

    Well said Liz!

    [Reply]

  • http://www.alldayheels.com.au Sara

    Katie, at the risk of stirring this up further than perhaps it needs to be how do you know she hasn’t got permission and/or paid for usage?

    [Reply]

  • http://www.alldayheels.com.au Sara

    Ditto what Debs says – well said Liz. You have expressed perfectly what I think is the best way to approach this blog – with an open mind and a desire to better our health and life in general. Last I checked it was a lifestyle blog, not a science blog albeit with a bit of science to guide us (and an open invitation to do further research if desired).

    The pedants who quibble the details may be correct but they’ve got the wrong audience. We’re not here to debate science, we’re here to explore and share life as a bigger picture. You seem right on the money.

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  • Monique Dalgleish

    Thanks Meg for the information on Sweden changing their guidelines, go Sweden. Apparently The ABC has been under enormous pressure not to put the second Catalyst program to air on Thursdday. Interesting to see the power of market forces and corporate bully boy tactics playing out so openly.

    [Reply]

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  • Genevieve

    Hi Sarah,

    Just about to finish our 3 month withdrawal! I have a question:

    Why is using rice malt syrup better than using dextrose/glucose syrup in cooking?

    Are there more benefits than simply being able to use less rice malt syrup to achieve desired sweetness?

    Thanks!!

    [Reply]

  • Kym

    I don’t think it’s about anyone being proved right or wrong. I enjoy reading the different viewpoints and opinions. The human body is so complex, with so many interactions, it is extremely difficult to do a controlled, randomised, replicated trial that definitively proves or disproves any particular theory. What people are looking for is what works for them – what can they do to feel healthier, happier, more energetic, sleep better, whatever their particular personal goals may be.

    It’s good to read a wide range of research of opinions and come to your own conclusions, and it’s also good to respect and appreciate another person’s viewpoint, even if it differs to your own.

    I’m personally very interested in the whole debate. I have been sugar free for three weeks now and feel great. My husband chose to cut out refined sugar but still eats fruit daily. We both feel better. Each to their own. I’m about to reintroduce fruit again next week and see how I go.

    Thank you to both Sarah and David, as well as everyone else here for their contributions. Actually, the most militant person I have encountered in Sarah’s blogs and comments is Jan, the anti-microwave Nazi. She really needs to relax a bit….
    ;-)

    [Reply]

    Claire Reply:

    I nearly choked on my lunch when you thanked both David and Sarah in the same sentence. This is Sarah’s blog not his. The general consensus around here (from what I have read), is that David is a verbose obnoxious bore.

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  • http://facebook.com/CritiqueofDavidGillespiesBigFatLies David Driscoll MSc

    Justbekind
    I must admit I find the ‘I’m not interested in the science but….’ comments interesting. That is all I am talking about, and it is direct response to Sarah, not anyone else’s claims. I don’t really understand that people might think I a having a go them directly, but understand that you may want to stick up for her or speak on her behalf – fair enough. Now let’s take that same concept and extend it, because I am doing the same for my colleagues, my profession and most recently for myself. I’m not sure how people say I don’t have the right to respond to false accusations and half-truths made directly at me, but think it ok to respond off topic regarding something I was never discussing nor stating?

    I’m not discussing how anyone feels on quitting sugar, not sure why you keep bringing it up – you keep misrepresenting what I’m saying and for some reason taking it personally (not to mention the name calling) – hey if that makes you feel better, who am I to tell you to stop?

    The science switcheroo is also hypercritical as stated before. Look science says we are right here’s the study – oh it doesn’t say that, who cares what science says!

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  • http://facebook.com/CritiqueofDavidGillespiesBigFatLies David Driscoll MSc

    Why, it perfectly demonstrates that the way the message is delivered is irrelevant – it is the dissenting position that is the issue. Again the fact that this was done privately is far from upfront considering what happened here ‘publically’! Still at no point did you address the questions for everyone’s benefit, just tried to discredit her by mentioning her sponsorships!

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  • http://facebook.com/CritiqueofDavidGillespiesBigFatLies David Driscoll MSc

    Well by all means keep posting questions and statements and then not expect a response. Keep up the name calling and character attacks because it somehow proves you are a better person!

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  • http://facebook.com/CritiqueofDavidGillespiesBigFatLies David Driscoll MSc

    Happy to leave it up, I don’t think it is much different from some of the other responses regarding personal attacks except for the name

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  • http://facebook.com/CritiqueofDavidGillespiesBigFatLies David Driscoll MSc

    “For me (added) Sugar free (and gluten free), means more energy, less bloating, less weight fluctuations & less moodiness & I came to this by listening to my body & making food decisions based on listening to my body’s reactions (I have only come onto Sarah’s book & blog recently)…. I exercise, believe in moderation & I will even still have sugar products and I feel like poo after so regardless of the science –”

    That’s great and that’s your experience, just as valid as someone else’s experience who has done the opposite. As long as you realise that your experience doesn’t negate nor invalidate others – think Paleo vs vegetarians)

    “everything in moderation believer?”

    Most things in moderation, but not if you can’t tolerate them. At the end of the day people need to find things that they can sustain – the evidence is clear that those people get the best long-term results.

    “Fat is bad believer? ”

    Too much saturated fat, yes – evidence shows that monos and polys are better replacements but nothing is absolute ie cut it all out, eliminate it – that is a false dichotomy that hardly any professional or body makes.

    “Sugar is great?”

    Unfairly vilified, but a lot of people eat too much and should decrease their intake.

    “Basically I can see this is an “experiences” website/blog in that people compare notes based on what is happening to them so I am intrigued to learn what makes you tick in your responses on this site?”

    Almost all of my responses have been directly to misquotes of evidence or comments about colleagues and my profession. Don’t think I’ve spoken once about someone’s experience. Spent most of this week putting together complaint to ABC re that terrible Catalyst show on saturated fat, although people would like to claim my issue is with Sarah personally (or David Gillespie), it isn’t.

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  • http://facebook.com/CritiqueofDavidGillespiesBigFatLies David Driscoll MSc

    With all due respect, I think you need to read and understand the science to know which is ‘bad’ and which is ‘good’ is such a dichotomy can be made ;-)

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  • Jess

    Bloody hell! It’s not even 8am on a Sunday morning and Desperate Driscoll is at it again! Bombarding us with more of his verbal diarrhoea.

    He’s cut that no one is interested in his work nor visiting his sites. He had dreams of making it big in the blogosphere like Anthony Calpo and others, but alas it never happened and his little ego is now reduced to hijacking Sarah’s blog.

    [Reply]

  • http://facebook.com/CritiqueofDavidGillespiesBigFatLies David Driscoll MSc

    I think dominate is an exaggeration, but all is fair in love and war heh? Maybe when posts stop directly addressing and telling half truths. I’ve been blocked before – and strangely then had questions asked of me – such as my alleged conflicts of interest!

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  • H

    I’d eat whole stevia leaves if I could get them. I wouldn’t eat the refined, processed version of stevia. Same as I’ll eat whole brown rice, but definitely not the refined, processed version, which is rice malt syrup.

    Over a hundred years of research and evidence tells us refined, processed foods are bad for us, especially sugars. The research about fructose is fascinating but I’m not about to suddenly start eating refined sugars because of it.

    That’s my two cents.

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  • H

    Although it’s true that the science on this topic is growing, to say “the science is in” is a gross overstatement. First of all, the scientists do not agree with each other about fructose. Secondly, if you understand scientific method then you understand that scientists
    are only ever making theories, and that they fine tune, adjust and change their theories all the time. Thirdly, it seems crazy to place all your faith in some very recent research which, at best, fills in a couple of new pieces in a puzzle with more gaps than a net curtain.

    Our current understanding of obesity and sugar metabolism is patchy at best. It is a work in progress. What if the next couple of puzzle pieces shed a completely different light on fructose? I mean, thirty years ago, “the science was in” about saturated fat, but it’s turned out they were mistaken.

    Scientists change and amend their theories all the time. I think it is intelligent to view these discoveries about fructose the same way scientists do: as new theories and a fascinating new development, but definitely not the whole answer.

    It takes about twenty years of huge, expensive, controlled studies to conclusively prove a theory, and fructose research is nowhere near that stage. On this topic, the science is most definitely NOT “in”.

    The evidence is very strong indeed that refined sugars and refined carbohydrates are bad for us. We’ve got about a hundred years worth and so that science probably could be called “in”.

    However, the evidence is not nearly strong enough yet to start choosing between different refined sugars and saying, “This one’s bad, but this one’s OK.” How do you really, really know for sure that rice malt syrup – a refined sugar – is OK? You don’t.

    You’re placing all your bets on a couple of new puzzle pieces in the vast, unsolved mystery that is the human body. I just don’t think it’s smart.

    [Reply]

  • Bambi94

    This is the most uninformed piece of shit writing I have ever read.

    [Reply]

  • Mucksm

    Hi anyone know if rice malt syrup with sprouted barley in it would be ok?

    [Reply]

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  • Elaine8

    Sarah, could you start including references for the statements you make surrounding the fructose/ glucose debate? It would greatly improve your argument if you could substantiate the things you post with evidence from scientific papers!

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  • DakotaNZ

    Hi Sarah, I am quite new to this and have been looking around your website to try to find some answers to a couple of things I am curious about but I haven’t seen them yet, so thought I’d just ask. I live in New Zealand so am not sure if the names I use will be the same as the names you use for products, but we have something called Malt that I believe is extracted from Barley, it is only 1-2% fructose, would you consider this OK for someone trying to quit sugar? I add it to smoothies for extra energy and a health kick. Also I am a type 1 diabetic so normally have Jelly Beans if I am experiencing low glucose levels, I am thinking of getting some glucose tablets to use instead but wondered if you had any other easy solutions for when I need a quick hit? Thanks for your help :)

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