Is Sugar Good for You?


If you read the Facebook responses to a Dr. Mercola article I posted recently you would think that sugar is good for you. I was really surprised that posting what I thought was a simple article could produce such a huge response. The internet nutrition experts were out in full force, bashing Dr. Mercola, Gary Taubes, and Dr. Lustig as fear mongers and pseudo scientists. One even seemed to go so far as to say that diabetes could be caused by protein if I read correctly.

The truth is, I don’t know nearly as much about nutrition as the guys who blew up my Facebook page but, I still think still think sugar is bad for you. I also think that sugar may just be an addictive substance like alcohol and opiates. I don’t think our sugar problem is pure science? Or maybe it is? Is addiction/ overconsumption of any item a scientific issue, a psychological issue or a little of both?

In any case the “don’t vilify any food item or food group” folks will probably bash this post. I will play it smart and not take the bait this time. I will say that in my experience people who have problems with weight loss also seem to have problems with sugar? I know, the “experts” will say they have a calorie problem. I’m not so sure?

11 Responses to “Is Sugar Good for You?”

  1. What I’ve been reading here in the comments is “excessive sugar consumption is not good for health”, on that we can all agree. The amount of processing in food is excessive and a big focus of the article, which I picked up at least, is that there is a heavy reliance on high fructose corn syrup in most American diets. If people in general are aware of where the sugar in their diets comes from I believe change will result. Articles like the one that Mr. Boyle shared (not wrote, but shared by the way) are drawing attention to this as an issue. Brent – your long winded, wordy comments have some good points, but are ultimately boring, argumentative and a waste of time. Thanks for sharing Mr. Boyle.

  2. Sorry, I should rephrase that. We have MORE of a psychology issue with food. I would say we have most of the physiology down. Obviously genetic differences are huge and which is why I pointed out the difference in how some people digest starches, and of course we still are learning a lot but the big picture (veggies, lean protein, water etc.) is still solid advice that most rational people will promote.

    “If know something is bad for my clients I try to minimize it.”

    I think you just made my point. You try to MINIMIZE loaded spinal flexion which is a good idea, just like you probably MINIMIZE sugar consumption, even though you stated you think sugar is bad and should be avoided. Vilifying sugar completely though doesn’t make sense from a practical and physiological standpoint (very difficult to avoid completely and there isn’t a single study out there that shows sugar is inherently dangerous to consume…that I’m aware of at least).

    I think people just get upset with the scaremongering (as do I) about particular foods, w/o any evidence to back it up. The problem is consumers want answers, so the media will give it to them (with scary headlines to get website hits). They don’t want an ‘it depends’ diet. That is too confusing. It’s like someone asking you if cleans are good to do. That’s a loaded question w/o a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer because it depends on lots of things (injury history, assessment goals, age, etc).

    If someone asked me ‘is sugar good for me,’ my answer wouldn’t be a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ it would be a ‘it depends.’ If I said ‘no’ its bad, and my client then goes on some sugar detox diet and avoids all added sugars, BUT then slips up and has soda, what does this do to them psychologically? Will it make them feel like a failure? Does this affect their entire diet? (i’m a failure, this diet is too hard, screw it, I’ll eat whatever I want)

    The reason people bash on people who vilify certain foods, or who promote certain diets is because long-term adherence to diets and abstaining from certain foods is notoriously bad.

    Whenever anyone asks me if they should do P90X, my answer is always ‘what do you do on day 91?’ Do the program over? Did you enjoy those 90 days? Would you like to do it over again? Same thing with eliminating foods like sugar. Moderation, not elimination. But apparently moderation is a swear word now in nutrition, unfortunately.

  3. mboyle1959 Says:

    Brent- below you said we don’t have a physiology issue but in this comment you site an enzyme issue? Is that not a physiological difference? Just FYI, I strongly recommend that my clients don’t do spinal flexion either. If know something is bad for my clients I try to minimize it.

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