Suger Reduction and alternates - Restless Legs Syn...

Restless Legs Syndrome

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Suger Reduction and alternates


Hello, I am considering reducing suger intake. What kind of alternates do people use, I assume diet soda is not good, what about sweet and low? Also is it ok to have some suger intake but don't have any close to bed time. Is Cain sugar better then the processed suger in the U S. Will this cure RLS for some people, no meds? Also with diabetics, doesnt carbs trasform to suger in the blood stream, should I avoid carbs also?

10 Replies

Hi - I saw a functional doctor whilst I was living in the US because of stomach/digestive issues and was advised to eliminate sugars, gluten and dairy. She said they are the three main culprits to many health complaints, esp in the US. However, if you're just going to focus on the sugar element she said the only 'good' sugars are unrefined maple syrup and raw honey.

I think all cane sugars are processed, but if you are going to use one I suppose go for a 'raw' one. I think that of the 'alternative' sugars, monk fruit, erythritol, stevia and xylitol are the best, but these will also have been processed, so if you do go for one of these don't just go for the cheapest.

All artificial sweeteners (e.g. aspartame, acesulfame K, saccharin, sucralose) should be avoided for many health reasons (so that means no diet drinks).

Yes carbs turn into sugar, so if you're wanting to lower your sugar intake think of eliminating pasta, bread, pastries, potatoes, other starchy veg etc.

Eliminating or reducing your sugar intake may or may not help your RLS but chances are you will feel a lot better anyway and therefore hopefully in a better frame of mind to manage your RLS. Good luck.

Yodadog has pretty much said it all.

Nothing will eliminate rls. It may reduce the risk, entirely depending on why you are getting the jitters in the first place.

Low ferritin/ iron not passing through blood brain barrier?

Other triggers? And so on.

All we can do is to reduce the opportunity for rls to occur-- whatever that may be in our own personal circumstances.

Carb-- I find rice and spuds cause few problems for me.


"Sugar" usually refers to processed sugars that are "added" to foods. They are unhealthy in lots of ways, so generally speaking even if they don't affect your RLS one way or another it's a good idea to eliminate added sugars from your diet. Added sugars are, to a large extent, simply a matter of taste and aren't essential.

The main problem is that sugars are easily absorbed into the blood stream and are high calorie. They are a "quick fix" of calories.

Carbohydrates, on the other hand are a natural part of a diet. They are less easily and quickly absorbed because they need to be physically and chemically broken down by mechanical action and enzymes in the intestines to derive glucose, which is then absorbed.

They are still a source of calories however, so moderation, as in most things, is the key.

Largely speaking, there is no need to use "alternatives", you can get used to the taste of foods without added sugar. The alternatives added to some "dirt* or "sugar free" foods are in themselves risky.

Lapsedrunner in reply to Manerva

Also if you’re going down that road honey and “unrefined “ sugar is still sugar, don’t fool yourself!! Personally I don’t find that sugar has any effect on me (mind you I don’t add it to drinks, don’t have fizzy drinks very often etc)

Eryl in reply to Lapsedrunner

I agree with you on the unrefined sugars, but you say that sugar doesn't affect you but yet you sometimes have fizzy drinks. I wonder how many other sources of sugar you consume and excuse yourself by saying "this doesn't count". I have found that the only sweet food hat doesn't contribute to rls for me is the sugar in whole fruit. If you just dring juice without the fibre of the whole fruit, that's just as bad as drinking a fizzy drink.

Lapsedrunner in reply to Eryl

Eryl I’m not “excusing “ myself of anything!

I’m not diabetic, therefore my body adequately manages what I eat.

I don’t find that diet affects my legs so just try to eat a healthy (pescatarian) diet for my general health.

I cant seem to NOT have sugar altogether. i do have a sweet tooth, (chocolate. nom nom) but i have reduced my processed sugar some what. I use honey on my cereal, if i have toast i use honey instead of jam etc. I have reduced sugar in my tea/coffee by half. when baking from scratch, biscuits, etc, i use honey instead of sugar. Now toooo much honey can still be as bad as sugar, so i have to be careful, as i actually LOVE honey. All sugary foods have never made my RLS worse, it does for some. So, i was really TRYING to eat a bit more healthy rather than reducing the sugar for RLS. Here in the UK in the supermarket stores most food now have traffic light colours on the packets. red for high content of fat, sugar etc, orange is a little less and green the most healthiest. :)


If you want the sweetness, you can try stevia (Truvia and other store brands). I just made myself a pumpkin pie yesterday with whole cream instead of evaporated milk, and half the sugar in the form of that stevia product. Not bad! The more healthy fat you have in your food, the less sugar you need. Any processed food marked "low fat" probably has added sugar to make it edible. Natural fats are no longer considered bad, and increasing those can help you reduce your sugar.

Eryl in reply to Hidden

Yes, the whole low fat theory has been debunked. Taking fat out of processed foods meant that the producers had to add sugar to stop the foods being tasteless, and that has contributed to the modern health crisis.

Dr. GREAGER just presented research on "best" sugars at There were only two with some nutrition to use in baking or sprinkle on oatmeal, etc. One was molasses, high in iron, but too strong a taste for most people. The other was date sugar--you can make your own or buy at some stores. Supposed to be good for microbiome. His reports on diabetes research are also interesting. It is fat that is responsible for high blood sugar. More than naturally occurs in plant foods fills up cells building up insulin resistence so sugar cant get into cell where it is needed. Low fat plant-based diets with high complex carb intake has high success in reversing diabetes. The new Journal of Disease Prevention and Reversal reports on such things.

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