A frequent question is if one needs to watch their sugar intake. Does my sugar intake matter? For body weight and body composition, as  long as you stay within your calorie and carb goals, sugar doesn’t  matter. For general health, try not to go around eating pounds of sugar  at a time.

Like carbohydrates, sugar  gets a bad rep. We do not promote demonizing food groups.  There is nothing toxic about sugar. If a person has a disease which  warrants they need to watch their sugar intake, such as diabetes, that  is one thing. However, for a normally functioning person without health  problems, sugars are not bad.

Some links:

  • The Science of Nutrition:  http://www.simplyshredded.com/the-science-of-nutrition-is-a-carb-a-carb.html
  • Is sugar toxic? http://youtu.be/BMc0_s-M08I
  • The bitter truth about fructose alarmism:  http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/01/29/the-bitter-truth-about-fructose-alarmism/
  • A retrospective of the fructose alarmism debate:  http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/02/19/a-retrospective-of-the-fructose-alarmism-debate/
  • The Science of Nutrition:  http://www.simplyshredded.com/the-science-of-nutrition-is-a-carb-a-carb.html

Note:   Alan Aragon has over 20 years of success in the fitness field, and is  one of the most influential figures in the modern movement towards  evidence-based information. He is a continuing education provider  for the Commission on Dietetic Registration, National Academy of Sports  Medicine, and National Strength & Conditioning Association. Alan’s  work has been published in the popular media as well as the  peer-reviewed scientific literature, including the Journal of the  International Society of Sports Nutrition. He lectures at national and  international conferences, and maintains a private practice designing  programs for recreational, Olympic, and professional athletes, including  the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Kings, and Anaheim Mighty Ducks.  Alan is the nutrition adviser of Men’s Health magazine.

Furthermore:  Sugar  is not the issue, it’s fructose . Sugar is 50% fructose if you’re lean  and athletic you should be able to get away with 100g of fructose a day,  so that’s avg 200g of sugar and fruit carbs combined, not including  fiber.-Russell Taylor, Taylored Physiques Are Artificial Sweeteners Harmful?:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mf82FfX-wuU&feature=player_embedded&app=desktop “The carbohydrate-free diet produced a 21 percent decline in resting metabolic rate (p less than 0.005) as well as a decrease in circulating triiodothyronine (41 percent, p less than 0.02) and insulin (38 percent, p less than 0.005) concentrations. Plasma norepinephrine levels also tended to decline (10 percent, 0.05 greater than p less than 0.1). However, when sucrose was substituted, resting metabolic rate rose toward baseline values even though total caloric intake was unchanged and weight loss continued. The sucrose-induced rise in resting metabolic rate was accompanied by a rise in serum triiodothyronine values, but not plasma insulin or norepinephrine concentrations.”

On March 5, 2016 we had a thread in the group about artificial sweeteners. Alan Aragon shed some more light on the subject for us:

“I saw you post the Suez et al paper on artificial sweeteners affecting glucose control to support your claim that artificial sweeteners are “bad.” Keep in mind that there are serious challenges to the relevance of that data. First of all, humans are not rodents. One of the studies within that paper was done on rodents fed high doses of saccharin. Think about that — saccharin. Only one major commercial beverage uses saccharin, and that’s Tab. Anyone here a Tab drinker? Serious question. The other product that uses saccharin is Sweet ‘N Low (the pink packet at your local greasy spoon diner).

In the human study within the paper, subjects were given – you guessed it – saccharin. So, if you’re a Tab drinker (LOL), you’d have to drink four 12-oz cans a day to achieve the study dose. You can also hit this dose by consuming 10 packets of Sweet ‘N Low per day. Sound far-fetched? It is. External validity of the data (real-world relevance) matters. Once again, other major brands (including Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, Fresca, Barq’s, and Sprite) do not contain saccharin. But, the saccharin scare is actually an 80’s thing; it’s been largely phased out. The overwhelming majority of non-beverage diet products do not use saccharin to sweeten them. Most of the major beverages even offer aspartame-free alternatives due to consumer demand (saccharin has already been ostracized decades ago).

This has been already said by many here in this thread, but if you *personally* don’t feel good eating certain foods, this in no way means that they should be universally banned or viewed as “bad.” It’s all in the dose and the context. Many people are allergic to nuts, eggs, milk, wheat, soybeans, and crustacean shellfish. Should the folks who cannot tolerate, or have severe medical emergencies from those (or any food) assume that they are universally intolerable? Of course not. And then there’s the practical end of things, as well as the scientific evidence as a whole. Artificial sweeteners can be used as an effective tool to solve larger, “umbrella” problems such as excessive caloric consumption, which leads to obesity and all of its comorbidities and complications.


Per your questions about insulin/glucose control, sucralose (Splenda) has no adverse effects on blood glucose control, even in a sensitive population – type 2 diabetics:
“This study demonstrated that, similar to cellulose, sucralose consumption for 3 months at doses of 7.5 mg/kg/day, which is approximately three times the estimated maximum intake, had no effect on glucose homeostasis in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Additionally, this study showed that sucralose was as well-tolerated by the study subjects as was the placebo.”http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14647086

Furthermore, acesulfame potassium and sucralose, either alone or in combination, have no acute effect on glycemic responses in healthy humans: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24265374


The scientific concensus on artificial sweeteners is that they can be an effective tool, and part of a healthy diet when used in moderation. As for artificial sweeteners making you crave more sugar & lead to adverse consequences on overconsumption – this idea has been examined and does not stand up to systematic scrutiny of the research. Don’t take my word for it, have a look for yourself:

Then there was this:

There’s consistent body of scientific evidence that a rigid, all-or-nothing approach to dieting is associated with not just greater failure at weight control, but also a higher tendency toward disordered eating. See:

You may also be interested in gaining a balanced viewpoint of processed foods: