Has Our Sugar Fixation Gone Too Far?

Has Our Sugar Fixation Gone Too Far?

Johannah Sakimura, RD has expressed her view on the above topic as below.

Johannah Sakimura is a registered dietitian and nutrition communications expert based in the New York City metro area. Johannah first joined the Everyday Health team as a health editor covering diabetes news. Prior to working at Everyday Health, Johannah served as Editorial Director of Health and Nutrition at Joy Bauer Ventures, where her work spanned broadcast, print, digital, and social media. She developed content for more than 200 nutrition and health segments on NBC’s She has contributed to numerous bestselling nutrition and weight loss books, includingThe Joy Fit Club: Cookbook, Diet Plan & Inspiration and the revised edition ofJoy Bauer’s Food Cures. Her work has also appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine. Johannah has a master’s degree in nutrition from the Columbia University Institute of Human Nutrition.

Sugar is enemy of the hour in the nutrition world. While the recommendations to limit added sugar (and especially sugary drinks) are now being heard loud and clear, some people are taking this healthy advice to potentially unhealthy extremes, cutting out every last gram of sugar in their diet, or avoiding healthy foods .

That’s nothing new, really — the public’s approach to diet and nutrition tends to border on fanatical — but it does obscure the issue and distract people from other equally important health goals and those who drastically slash their sugar intake may have trouble sticking with these changes permanently; making moderate cuts is probably the smarter solution in the long run. Here are three signs we are taking the anti-sugar campaign too far:

•We’re demonizing healthy foods that contain natural sugars. When experts advise people to cut back on sugar, they’re referring to the added sugar found in processed foods like sweetened beverages, cereals, and baked goods, not the naturally occurring sugar found in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.

•As a nutritionist, it’s frustrating to hear people say they’re avoiding carrots, or pineapple, or bananas — perfectly nutritious foods with vitamins, fiber, and plenty more to offer — because they’re “too sugary.” When we should all be angling to eat more vegetables and fruits, not less. The same goes for low-fat dairy products like plain milk and yogurt. Sure, they provide a few grams of sugar (in the form of lactose), but they’re also delivering high-quality protein, calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and other key nutrients. On the other hand, foods high in added sugar, like soda, flavored coffee drinks, desserts, and other sweets tend to provide mostly empty calories. Focus on limiting these and other foods high in added sugar, and forget any concerns about the natural sugars found in healthy whole foods.seems a better approach.

•We micromanage every last gram of added sugar. There’s a lot of talk about the “hidden sugars” found in unexpected places like salad dressings, peanut butter, and spaghetti sauce. It makes complete sense to shop around and select brands that have less sugar (as long as you consider the overall healthfulness of the products as well), but many of these products contain just a couple of grams of sugar.

•Rather than fretting about the 2 grams of sugar in a serving of peanut butter, it is wise to focus on the most concentrated sources of added sugar in your diet, especially those you eat most often. Replacing these foods with better choices will have a much greater impact on your daily sugar intake…and your health. Skipping dessert one night (or even replacing your sweet fix with a bowl of fresh fruit) could spare you up to 10 teaspoons of sugar in a single day. That’s a much bigger savings than the 6 or 8 grams of sugar you might get from a barbecue sauce you eat a few times a month. Cutting back everywhere is best — but make your primary target the sugar in foods you eat nearly every day, including your morning coffee and other beverages, breakfast cereal, and favorite snacks. And remember, adding just one sugary treat, like a syrupy cocktail, second scoop of ice cream, or a few handfuls of M&Ms from your co-worker’s candy bowl, can do far more damage to your daily added sugar allowance than the few grams in your salad dressing.

•We focus too much on sugar, and not enough on everything else in our diet. Obsessing about sugar can be dangerous if you fixate on that aspect of your diet to the exclusion of everything else. After all, the backbone of a healthy diet should be whole, unprocessed foods like vegetables, fruits, beans and lentils, whole grains, and lean proteins — none of which should contain added sugar. You should give just as much consideration (if not more) to the foods to eat more often as you do to the foods to eat less often. Consuming a diet of packaged, processed food that’s low in added sugar isn’t the solution for optimal health.



17 Replies

  • Great, then reply just why the indian sub continent is in worse trouble than the west? If you are of Indian origin you are at far more risk of T2 - 4 times more!

    Therefore if you eat what a westerner might normally it will be 4x more damaging. So, stick to your prejudices in ancient remedies that we just don't understand (and the sugar guys). You are big boys now and it's your choice!


  • what is the source of your information?India is much better than West specially USA and UK

  • India "WAS" better as long as there was no serious screening/monitoring of diabetes, metabolic disorders.

    As screening/monitoring PICKS up, it's getting FAR WORSE, with slum dwellers around Chennai also being declared diabetic and even pet dogs and cats being detected with diabetes and hypertension.

    80% of CVD cases have been coming from Developing (or even poor) countries -- ie countries including India. And, remember, the current stats are also when 65% of population doesn't even get a good primary healthcare -- forget about monitoring or screening for diabetes.

    As per a news out recently (somewhere around in last 2 months in Danik Bhaskar), Indore (where I am based at) with a population of around 33 lacs has 6 lac diabetics, with diabetics as young as 8 years. Now these numbers don't sound any better than US or UK for sure.

  • hmmmmmm confusion....made more by a confused.... MikePollard says..."indigenous means nothing when it comes to human physiology"


    and here he says Indians are different....

    Why are you so much confused mike???

  • If only , we as a nation stick to our remedies , food habits , our values , we would not end up with any of these modern day , maladies . But globalisation introduced all the evils along with some good things .There was diabetes in the olden days also , but not at this gigantic scale , Some of the percentage could be attributed to the awareness with constant monitoring and testing . But the increase in the incidence is something beyond the diet . It is the total invasion of the imported culture with drastic changes in food habits ,life styles , radiation ,depletion of ozone layer , afforestation , indiscriminate use of chemicals , release of nuclear waste in to the seas ,many more .Aiming at organic produce ,Cleaning up of all rivers and water bodies ,lesser use of vehicles run by petrol and diesel ,lesser use of cell phones ,planting lacs and lacs of trees are some of the measures which can be taken to reduce the problem.

  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macau...

    "Macaulayism" and modern India

    See also: Business process outsourcing to India

    In the independent nation of India which emerged in the second half of the 20th century, Macaulay's name has become emblematic for the ills of colonialism. Macaulay and the British education system have been blamed for producing a generation of Indians not proud of their distinct heritage.[3]

    Speaking at a national seminar on "Decolonizing English Education" in 2001, professor Kapil Kapoor of Jawaharlal Nehru University declared that one of the byproducts of mainstream English language education in India today has been its tendency to "marginalize inherited learning" and to have uprooted academics from traditional Indian modes of thought, inducing in them "a spirit of self-denigration (heenabhavna)."[4]

    Author Rajiv Malhotra has bemoaned the "continuation of the policy on Indian education started by the famous Lord Macaulay over 150 years ago" for the virtual banishment of classic Indian literature from the country's higher academic institutions and the emergence of a "new breed" of writers professing a "uniquely Indian Eurocentrism."[5]

    Vestiges of Macaulayism are also seen by many Hindu nationalists as a mechanism of British neocolonial control in India.[6]

  • And with Teesta Setalvad writing history textbooks for schools, things only got worse.

  • thousands of Diabetics have reversed their D with Dr. Pramod Tripathi's and Sharan's diet.

  • And millions have done it on LCHF without paying a penny to any Tripathi's and lacs to Sharan's. They have done it FREE OF COST.

    Promoting commercial ventures like Tripathi and Sharan is allowed here? Just asking.

  • There is no doubt that LCHF helps more than anything....

  • And best part is you paid absolutely NOTHING for dietary changes to achieve what you achieved. Tripathi charges Rs 10K and SHARAN in few lacs. And, haven't heard of any two or three or five year follow ups on their cases from them :)

  • Yes @anup I am really thankful to you for changing my life....

    Its life time help......and for which I am just giving you just four words...THANK YOU VERY MUCH...

  • So let's plan Rann in December 2016. I am planning a 3N/4D trip and will drive down :)

  • just tell me date....I will be there....let us have one full day....I will travel back same day night from either GandhiDham or Anjar.

  • Cool. Let my plans firm up. This year Leh got cancelled due to work pressure but Leh trip by road will happen next year for sure.

  • yeah....I guess you will have great opportunity to understand the LCHF of ladakhis....which they are following or forced to follow for generations...

    And you can also have opportunity to enjoy yak butter.

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