Ultimate Guide to Nutrients: Sugar



to know more, visit www.naturefund.com

As a continuation of my “Ultimate Guide to Nutrients”, today I’ll discuss sugar. So, just what is sugar? Sugar is considered a “simple carbohydrate”. Here is a refresher on simple carbohydrates, from my previous carbohydrate article:

SIMPLE CARBOHYDRATES-consist of monosaccharides and disaccharides.These carbohydrates includes glucose. The function of glucose in the body is to provide the cells of the body energy. Other energy sources can be used, but it is the preferred fuel for the nervous system/brain and the sole energy source red blood cells. In other words, carbohydrates are a very important part of any healthy diet.

Here’s a breakdown of simple carbohydrates.

  • Monosaccharides-1 sugar molecule
    • glucose
    • fructose
    • galactose
  • Disaccharides-2 sugar molecules
    • lactose-made up of galactose and glucose…found in milk and dairy products
    • sucrose-made up of fructose and glucose…simple table sugar
    • maltose-made up of 2 glucose molecules…not found in many food items, but instead made from the breakdown of starch, such as the production of beer.

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 2.37.47 AM

As stated above, sucrose (table sugar) is 50/50 glucose/fructose. While glucose plays a huge role in the body, fructose plays no role at all. In fact, fructose is considered toxic by some doctors and nutritionists. We’ll get into why (via a video) in a minute. First, let’s talk how much and types of sugar.

HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU EAT? You should be consuming 6-9 teaspoons of sugar per day. (FYI-the average intake is 22 teaspoons per day!)

WHAT TYPE OF SUGAR SHOULD YOU EAT? Below is an infographic I’ve put together, detailing the types of sugar. The best type on the list below, is DATE SUGAR,  RAPADURA AND RAW HONEY. I’ll cover these in more detail in a future article. Suffice it to say, these are the least processed of the sugars, and considered a whole food, which means they contain most of the original vitamins and minerals available in raw sugar and honey. Keep in mind that sugar is sugar, no matter what form, and should be consumed in moderation.

Here is a free PDF of the Glossary of Sugar (1).


Glossary of Sugar (2)Glossary of SugarGlossary of Sugar (3)

Instead of trying to explain how sugar is digested in the system,  and just how bad it is for you, (which would take too long) I found some phenomenal videos to explain it.

This first video gets a bit scientific and technical, but, does a phenomenal job explaining the in’s and out’s of sugar digestion. It explains how fructose destroys the liver in the same manner as alcohol, creating fatty liver disease, which can lead to cirrhosis.

WHY Sugar is as Bad as Alcohol

(Fructose, The Liver Toxin)

These next two videos are by Dr. Robert Lustig. Dr. Lustig is an endocrinologist, and expert on childhood obesity and sugar. Here is a clip about Dr. Lustig.

From Wikipedia:

Robert H. Lustig (born 1957) is an American pediatric endocrinologist. He is Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he specializes in neuroendocrinology and childhood obesity.

Sugar — the elephant in the kitchen:

Robert Lustig at TEDxBermuda 2013

Sugar: The Bitter Truth

(Full length lecture/documentary)

Robert Lustig at the University of California-2009

You wouldn't think twice about

I couldn’t find this next documentary for free, however, you can rent it from youtube for $3.99. It’s a wonderful documentary, which investigates what so-called “healthy”  food does to the body. Damon Gameau runs an experiment, in which he ventures to consume the equivalent of 40 teaspoons of sugar (the average currently consumed by Australians) by only eating processed food.  He was not allowed to eat sweets, candy, granulated sugar or soda. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the dangers of processed food and sugar. (UPDATE: I did find this on AMAZON PRIME-if you are a member of Amazon Prime, it is included in your membership)


Rent on youtube.com for $3.99

(full length documentary-very informative and worth the watch)

download (2)

In closing, I wanted to update you on some changes I’ve made to my 2 blog series: How to eat healthy and Ultimate guide to nutrients. These series are very time consuming to do properly, therefore, due to the increasing difficulty of my master’s degree coursework, I have been forced to cut back on the frequency of the articles. Each series will be cut back from 4 times per month to two times per month as follows:



SOURCE: https://portal.hawthornuniversity.org/Course_ReadingMaterialDetails.aspx?id=1590

55 thoughts on “Ultimate Guide to Nutrients: Sugar

  1. Love love love this post!

    Since going keto, I don’t even miss sugar. I feel like I have so much more energy, no afternoon crash. With eliminating almost all sugar (except for fiber, because fiber is awesome), I’m taking in much more nutrient dense food such as avocados, asparagus, squash, spinach, kale. Also, after realizing how much sugar and crap is in restaurant food, I’ve saved a lot of money not eating out.

    Also, losing 20lbs in 8 weeks is pretty awesome too.

    Thanks so much for posting this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome. 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. I appreciate your kind words. You are so right, eliminating sugar, eliminates the crash and thus the lack of energy.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve heard that the brain/nervous system actually prefer to run on fats (the healthy ones of course.) What’s your take on going ketogenic?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “One man’s food is another man’s poison.”
      This phrase is a good illustration for my personal beliefs when it comes to nutrition. I believe there is no one right diet for all humans. Rather, each individual is unique, and requires unique micronutrient and macronutrient percentages. For example, you might thrive on a high fat, keto diet, while I might thrive on a low fat, vegan diet.
      My research (and my professor-a microbiologist from UCLA) indicates that the brains PREFERRED fuel is glucose. The brain, which takes up only 2% of our body weight, uses 20 – 30% of the calories we consume.
      See the article below, from the professional journal “Biochemistry”. Here are a few clips from the article:
      “Glucose is virtually the sole fuel for the human brain, except during prolonged starvation”
      “The brain lacks fuel stores and hence requires a continuous supply of glucose. It consumes about 120 g daily, which corresponds to an energy input of about 420 kcal”
      Now, that being said, I have done a SMALL AMOUNT of research into the ketogenic diet, AND followed it myself for a short time. I see the ketogenic diet as an extreme diet, just like the fat-free diet. I think society has gone from one health craze to another (low-fat high carb to high-fat low carb-Both are extreme-A good balance is needed) It is not necessarily unhealthy, but I don’t think either diet is sustainable in the long term.
      I firmly believe that the ketogenic diet shows lots of promise as a therapeutic diet. Epileptics have been using it and research shows it can help in the treatment of brain tumors.
      I do, however, believe in a high fat diet. As a society, I think we consume far less healthy fat than we should. Every cell membrane is made up of BOTH UNSATURATED AND SATURATED FAT…the body uses fat to make hormones. A healthy diet could, theoretically, consume 30 – 50% of calories from fat. I do believe we consume far to many carbohydrates, which should be held to whole food sources and minimized to 100 to 150 grams per day.


      1. You know, right!! The whole cholesterol thing is so misunderstood it’s not even funny. We need it and if we don’t get it in our diets, our liver has to produce it (which is incredibly taxing especially if it has to pump out enzymes as well!) I think a vegetarian diet is very healthy while a vegan diet is dangerous. Any diet that can’t possibly provide all necessary nutrients (B12 anyone?) is not sustainable!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. While vegan/vegetarian diets are difficult and definitely not for everyone, they show promise in different therapies. Take the Gerson Diet as an example. Charlotte Gerson is helping people heal from cancer using a vegan diet/and LOTS of freshly made juice initially. When the patient gets healthier, they are given yogurt and cottage cheese. You can find her website here: http://gerson.org/gerpress/
        A few documentaries:



        Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so glad to see this expose on sugar on your blog. I eliminated sugar, honey, syrup, and any artificial sweeteners (I still use stevia) from my diet a couple of months ago, and, with no other changes, have dropped 10 pounds and lots of belly fat. I can now wear my nice summer clothes that have just been hanging in the closet for 2 years. I am working up to eliminating cow dairy next to see what happens.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. As of today I am off dairy. I will give it a month, and if I see/feel a difference, I will stay off. Your blog inspired me to take the next step. Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. A great topic and post! Recently I’ve been cutting sugar from my meals completeley because I noticed a huge positive difference in my life without it (weight loss, muscles and more energy). You can check my “what I eat in a day” series on my blog if you want! I’d appreciate. There I post most of the things I’ve eaten so far. Great article btw, keep going!;)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. I commend you for giving up sugar. It’s not easy to do. I looked at your bog and followed you via the reader. I would suggest adding a follow button to your page, to make it easier for ppl to follow you.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. BTW, I just looked at your blog. It looks very nice, but I couldn’t find a follow button. To make it easier for ppl to follow your blog, either through email or the reader, I suggest adding those widgets to the top of your blog page. Otherwise it’s a wonderful blog, with a clean look.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post and thanks for bringing this info to light! I’m curious your thoughts on the transition to get off sugar…i.e., do you think it’s better to go cold turkey or to try substitutes like Stevia?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a personal choice. I always tell people to do what’s right for them. There’s no one right way to get off of sugar. Everyone is unique. However I personally believe in going Cold Turkey, especially if the person is a sugar addict. I compare it to alcoholism, after all, fructose harms the liver in the exact same way. An alcoholic can’t occasionally drink, and a sugar addict can’t occasionally eat sugar.
      Using Stevia is fine. Just make sure to use a pure brand, not the stuff in the grocery stores, such as Truvia-which are so highly processed they barely contain real stevia. I am personally allergic to Stevia, and can’t use it. I use Monk Fruit occasionally.
      I struggle with sugar myself. The only thing that works for me is to stay away from all forms of sugar, with the exception of raw honey. I advocate and use Manuka honey. There are so many health benefits to using Manuka honey, that it’s more of a supplement than a sugar. (Still a sugar so use it sparingly)
      Here is a youtube video from Dr. Axe, discussing Manuka Honey:

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Great info here Tamara. I’ve been taking strides to kick the sugar habit over the past few years and have really noticed a big difference (lost 40 lbs so far) by cutting that out, limiting carb intake from grains and the like, and really cutting back on the booze.

        I’m a big fan of stevia if you can handle it cause it doesn’t cause that spike in blood sugar or generate the same insulin response as regular sugars do. That said, I’ve come across some literature that notes that some of these substitutes will still create a similar response as sugar, so they need to be used in mindful ways.

        I haven’t personally used Manuka Honey yet, but I keep hearing great things about it and will certainly pick some up soon. My colleague swears by it when she has a cold.

        Keep up the great work!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, manuka is great stuff.
        ANY sugar free sweetener, including stevia, can cause carb cravings. For example, if you use stevia to sweeten coffee or tea, and consume no other calories, your body will continue to crave carbs. When it tastes something sweet, your body chemically prepares to digest the oncoming sugar. However, with stevia and other calorie free substitutes, no calories come. So, the body continues to crave sugar until it comes. Studies show that people who repeatedly use calorie free sweeteners typically weigh more than other people. (Stevia is included in this group.) If you use stevia, make sure you consume some healthy carbs with it.


      3. Thanks for the note on this. You mentioned a few studies that support these findings and would appreciate some direction on where to find them.

        My understanding though, isn’t so much that it’s the body preparing to manage a carb intake after consuming sugar-free sweeteners (as you could make the argument that veggies would be in the pipeline, but are metabolized differently than a complex carbohydrate), but rather signaling which triggers a response in the pancreas to release insulin from beta cells. The intake of complex carbohydrates creates this reaction in the pancreas in order to breakdown and metabolize these carbs, whereas the intake of sugar-free sweeteners (such as stevia or monkfruit) cause a signaling to occur but doesn’t necessarily manifest as long as you aren’t consuming said complex carbs.

        From personal experience, I use some stevia in my coffee in the morning rather than maple syrup or honey as those will cause a spike in blood sugar where stevia doesn’t. I also have not personally noticed an increase in cravings for carbs, but again…this is an n=1 scenario. At the end of the day though, I believe it is the individual’s responsibility to practice mindfulness in their diet and to exert their will-power to offset those cravings.

        Thanks for the insights and please do correct me if I’m mistaken on some of the science…always looking to learn more!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. The sweet taste on the taste buds stimulates the release of amylase in the mouth. This triggers a whole set of reactions in the body. The body prepares to metabolize and distribute the carbohydrates by releasing several enzymes and chemicals into the body, insulin is just one of those things. It is a complex process.

        Most research is currently done on artificial sweeteners as apposed to non-nutritive sweeteners such as stevia. If you are familiar with doing research and reading scientific articles, there is often conflicting reports, as is the case with non-nutritive sweeteners. Here are 2 scientific reports that indicate problems using zero-calorie sweeteners. On the scary side of things, there are dozens of articles purporting the positive effects of using artificial sweeteners such as nutrasweet and saccharin. (which we know are toxic-read the following book for more info-https://www.amazon.com/Excitotoxins-Taste-Russell-L-Blaylock/dp/0929173147/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=)


        “Preload experiments generally have found that sweet taste, whether delivered by sugar or artificial sweeteners, enhanced human appetite.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2892765/

        “The research reported here provides an answer to the question “Can consuming non-nutritively-sweetened foods or fluids promote increased energy intake and body weight gain compared to sugar-sweetened foods and fluids?” In principle, the answer clearly seems to be yes. ”

        I did find an article purporting some of the wonderful effects of stevia on insulin/glucose receptors. Here is a quote:
        ” In conclusion, Stevia extracts, commercialised as zero-calorie natural sweeteners, are involved in insulin regulated glucose metabolism. These findings suggest that the use of Stevia extracts goes beyond their sweetening power and may also offer therapeutic benefits, supporting the use of botanicals dietary supplements to improve the quality of life.”

        As I have stated on numerous occasions throughout many of my articles-everyone is biochemically unique. You may not personally be affected by consuming zero-calorie sweeteners. However, that doesn’t mean others won’t be. I agree when you say everyone must be mindful of their own diet. Very true.

        Also, Stevia is a member of the Compositae or Asteraceae family – like chrysanthemums, marigolds, ragweed or daisies. People allergic to these items, like myself, will want to avoid stevia altogether.

        As I always say…one man’s food is another man’s poison. You can use stevia and benefit from it. However, to my body and anyone else allergic to it, it becomes a poison.

        I use manuka honey in my tea everyday without any sugar spikes. (I have a blood glucose monitor and have tested this on myself on multiple occasions) This is because intense amount of nutrients in the honey itself. (as stated in the above video by Dr. Axe) Again, this is just what works for me. Others will have to experiment for themselves.


      5. Perfect summary! I wasn’t in tune or had just been ignorant to the fact that some folks were allergic to Stevia and other plant based herbs of the like. You are spot on that everyone is different and I believe we need to experiment to determine what will work for us individually. There are no cookie-cutter diets or magic pills that work for everyone…we all need to navigate slightly differently.

        Thanks for the great post and insights!

        Liked by 1 person

I'd love to know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.