How Much Added Sugar is Too Much

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How Much Added Sugar is Too Much?

In 1776, at the time of the American Revolution, Americans consumed about four pounds of sugar per person each year. By 1850, this had risen to 20 pounds, and by 1994 to 120 pounds. Now, we’re closer to 160 (See How Much Added Sugar is Too Much?). Half of table sugar is fructose, taking up about 10 percent of our diet. This is not from eating apples, but rather the fact that we’re each guzzling the equivalent of a 16-ounce soft drink every day; that’s about 50 gallons a year.

Even researchers paid by the likes of the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and The Coca Cola Company acknowledge that sugar is empty calories, containing “no essential micronutrients, and therefore if we’re trying to reduce calorie intake, reducing sugar consumption is obviously the place to start.” Concern has been raised, though, that sugar calories may be worse than just empty.

A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that “the fructose added to foods and beverages in the form of table sugar and high fructose corn syrup in large enough amounts can trigger processes that lead to liver toxicity and other chronic diseases.”

Fructose hones in like a laser beam on the liver, and like alcohol, fructose can increase the fat in the liver. The increase in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is one of the most remarkable medical developments over the past three decades—the emergence of fatty liver inflammation as a public health problem here and around the globe.

These may not be messages that the sugar industry or beverage makers want to hear. In response, the director-general of the industry front group, the World Sugar Research Organization, replied, “Overconsumption of anything is harmful, including water and air.” Yes, he compared the overconsumption of sugar to breathing too much.

Under American Heart Association’s new sugar guidelines, most American women should consume no more than 100 calories per day from added sugars, and most American men should eat or drink no more than 150. That means one can of soda could take us over the top for the day. The new draft guidelines from the World Health Organization suggest we could benefit from restricting added sugars to under 5 percent of calories. That’s about six spoonfuls of added sugar. I don’t know why they don’t just recommend zero as optimal, but you can get a sense of how radical their proposal is given that we consume an average of 12-18 spoonfuls a day right now.

This underscores why a whole foods, plant-based diet is preferable to a plant-based diet that includes processed junk.

I’ve touched on the harm of refined sugars before in:

For healthful alternatives in baking, see The Healthiest Sweetener, and for beverages, Erythritol May Be a Sweet Antioxidant.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live year-in-review presentations Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death, More Than an Apple a Day, From Table to Able, and Food as Medicine.

Discuss

Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


67 responses to “How Much Added Sugar is Too Much?

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    1. If it is real honey, it is safe to use in small quantity. I consume a teaspoon of organic honey per day for my coffee. Other than that, I consume zero added sugar. But I eat plenty of fruits that have fructose but it has the fiber and the micronutrients that come along.

      1. Honey is no safer in any quantity than sugar… I do not understand the need for any added sugar so no need to try to explain your addiction to me.

        1. What total rubbish! Real honey is so safe it is used by hospitals to treat ulcers when pharmaceuticals have failed. Real honey is most definitely safer than processed sugar.

        2. Richard, I was talking with Matthew and not try to convince you of anything. And of all the sugars, honey is one of the safest and even beneficial. So if you want to indulge yourself with a little bit of sugar in your cup of Joe in the morning then honey and molasses are among the best choices. I did try erythritol recommended by Dr Greger but it is too expensive and it went stale on me after a while. So unless you want an austere life in the quest to live to 130, I would rather live an interesting life to only 100 and enjoy honey sugar and eating all I want with healthy foods.

          Speaking of honey, unless you know better than the scientists:

          http://www.webmd.com/diet/medicinal-uses-of-honey

          http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/264667.php

          http://www.medicaldaily.com/liquid-gold-7-health-benefits-honey-could-heal-your-whole-body-325932

          1. Jimmy, did you ever try blending some dates with water to make a syrup and use it instead of honey ? That’s what I do, with some almonds soaked all night. (I rinse them well before blending).

            1. Brigitte, that’s a good idea to make “healthy” sugar, I will try it to see how it tastes in let say coffee because blended dates have fiber and may not taste good in coffee but it may work in other foods where you need to sweeten it a little bit to make it taste better. I eat dried dates all the time but never use dates as sugar. Actually I bought some Turkish date paste from a Middle East store but somehow it is so sweet and I don’t think they add sugar but it comes naturally from the fruit itself. So I intend to use the paste to make cake but I haven’t got around to do it yet.

              I indulge myself in a little bit of vice such as eating a little bit of sugar and salt and fat but I choose natural sources as much as possible and the additive has to have some benefits going along. So for instance sugar is from honey or molasses, now dates paste, salt is from miso paste, butter is from pressed fresh peanut or almond…

              My “theory” is to eat healthy but at the same time having fun, and to give the body a little bit of stress sometimes. After all, I would rather live to 100 and have fun than live to 130 and have no fun :)

              1. Jimmy, that’s what I do too, but I indulge Just on occasions, once in a while.
                On an everyday basis, I stick to healthy habits … and my taste buds have changed with the new habits.

                1. Me too, during the week, I indulge with nothing except for a teaspoon of honey or molasses in my cup of Joe and that’s it. I eat all I want but with healthy foods. My co-worker jokes that I “eat all the time”, just to meet the Daily Dozen. It’s on weekend when I am with friends and relatives then I indulge myself with foods that have a little bit of salt or sugar, I call it “stress test” for my body. But I still eat my Daily Dozen no matter what.

    2. I prefer local raw honey, especially for it’s anti-allergy properties. I have heard of many health benefits of honey, such as it being good for the skin, and even helping with sleep. I know even foods that are safe to eat are to be consumed in moderation. I have heard all about the benefits, but nothing about the recommended amount of honey.

        1. You clearly are a troll. Olive oil that is not processed has the backing of numerous health bodies, including mainstream medicine.

          1. Thai is a ridiculous accusation. And of course olive oil is processed. It is simply processed olives. Whether the processing is cold pressing, refining, heat treating or whatever, all isolated and concentrated oils are processed products.

            1. Pedantic to the last. Some “processes” of oils are ruinous, whereas properly extracted oil, bears no relation to a disastrous “process”.

              1. Even the “purest” EVOO is just the caloric waste product left after the nutrients and fiber are squeezed out of the real food, what’s the point?

      1. I, too, enjoy honey in small ocassional amounts, preferring local honey from organic orchards. However, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but honey does nothing to reduce suffering from allegies. The reason being that the pollen people are reacting to when suffering from seasonal allergies like hay fever, those pollens are from plants pollinated by the wind, light airborne pollens. The pollens you find in honey are different plants, those pollinated by bees, which gather large sticky grains of pollen which stick to their bodies. In order to build up a tolerance to an allergen, you’d have to expose yourself to that precise pollen (airborne) not the pollen of another plant entirely (pollinated by bees).

    3. Honey is chemically equivalent to high fructose corn syrup. It has the same ratio range of fructose to glucose. If your goal is to avoid fatty livery disease, you should limit all refined sugar consumption, even if the refining is done by bees.

    1. Consumption stats are generally found taking total sales from the big suppliers and divided by the population. It doesn’t say we’re all the sugar ends up. So if the ingredients list includes sugar under its many names, then yes the stats include those foods.

    2. The sugar content on the labels is total sugars from all sources, which is the problem. Since you cannot tell what is naturally in the food and what is added you have no idea what the sugar listing on the label means. It often lead some people to only buy no sugar foods since the label might show sugar even when none is added.

      If they labeled everything then some people wouldn’t buy any fruit, veg, legumes, or grains even if they have no added sugar simple because the label would show sugar in those products….even if all the sugars are natural. Example – some carb avoiders wouldn’t buy the frozen fruit that I have in the freezer that is only fruit since they all, per the label, contain the evil sugar.

      The source and quantity is the problem and even if your diet contains the “average” sugar intake of the standard American diet but all your sugar comes from whole plant foods and not added sugars you are fine.

      Just try to remember to only use the grams of sugar as a possible red flag then look at the ingredients list. If you see ingredient ending in’-ose’ or ‘-ol’ you can avoid much of it. Other added sugars are just obvious by name.

      They need to clean up labeling a bit.

      https://consumerist.com/2007/09/18/30-code-words-for-sugar/

        1. “99% of the food I buy do not have labels. Sounds like you need to change the sources of your food!”

          Um…The problem with food labels that I pointed out does not mean that all, most, or even some of the food that I buy has labels, i.e. processed prepackaged foods.

          I was pointing out the obvious problems with food labels, specific to sugars.

          For the record, nearly everything I eat is purchased in its whole plant food form. However, since pasta doesn’t grown on trees and even the oats that I buy in bulk has a label on the outside of the container. The fruit and veg that I buy in the frozen section comes in bags you cannot always avoid labels.

          Cripes, even buying a simple bag of potatoes the bag, in most cases that I see, has a nutrition label printed on the bag.

          So, I don’t need to change the source of the foods that I buy as they are almost all in their whole form.

          That said, perhaps I shouldn’t have specified food labels as people can also look foods up online, nutritiondata.com and cronometer.com are popular, you might have someone ignorant about the sugar issue. They put in an apple and banana and it spits out 37 grams of sugar for that meal. Using the standard dogmatic attitude that people read about the evils of sugar would freak out because the apple and banana snack is more sugar than a can of coke. Now, clearly the can of coke and two pieces of fruit are vastly different yet food labels mislead those that do not understand even what they are telling you and the relevance of what you see.

          I eat fruit all the time but I never car about the sugar content of my foods. When it comes to ADDED sugar, different story all together than a whole food source.

  1. Dr. John Henry Tilden wrote the following in 1916:
    Sweets of all kinds are used to excess in the United States. Over eighty pounds of sugar are consumed per capita, per annum, by Americans. Those who do not injure themselves in eating refined foods – such as the finest white flour, made too often into bad bread, cake, and pastry; also sugar and candy – are prone to eat meat, bread and potatoes three times a day, neglecting fresh fruit, and raw and cooked non-starchy vegetables. Either of these styles of eating builds disease and early death.

  2. Dr Greger,
    I am personally very skeptical of Dr. Lustig’s work on Fructose. Especially after he credited Gary Taubes with totally opening his eyes about nutrition, appeared in multiple low carb propaganda documentaries, slandered and libeled Ancel Keys, lost a fight he picked with online blogger Alan Aragon, and failed to substantiate any of his work outside rat models where Fructose behaves very differently from humans-not to mention the unrealistic doses of Fructose involved (half the rats body weight). His comments about evolution and God’s intelligent design of foods to never contain fats and carbs together…. And his belief that Italians and the Japanese basically never consume sugar. I could go on. Is there any research done by a responsible researcher or lab you trust into this? I have seen other researchers take swipes at Lustig in their publications as well.

    1. I am skeptical too. There are cultures that eat rice and fruits for thousand of years without having any problem with health. Japanese eats heavily processed white rice and they have no serious problem. I agree that added sugar which is empty calorie should be avoided as much as possible but natural sugar from produces and honey should be OK. Of course overconsumption of sugar in any form is always bad. For instance drinking soda has so much empty sugar in there and should be avoided. But I read so many “health doctor” (not Dr Greger) recommending people to avoid fruits and that’s crazy. Avoiding carb is a different subject but it is as crazy as avoiding natural sugar from beneficial plant foods.

      1. Many of the Japanese that live to be over 100 grew up eating Japanese sweet potatoes, actually yams, and not rice. But they also consume little meat and dairy but lots of vegetables and fruits along with green tea and soy. Although white rice is lacking much fiber it still does not have “added” sugar so what exactly is your point when comparing to the US???

        1. Maybe he means that refined carbs (white rice or noodles) act like sugar in the body in that they digest quickly and tend to raise the blood sugar levels.

          1. I rather believe that what really matters is how much whole plant-based one consumes compated to the white rice. The rural Chinese eat lots of white rice and yet are very healthy likely due to the large amounts of vegetables and fruits they are consuming. In the average US diet white rice would be a large improvement but yes refined carbs do impact the body badly and not only sugar. I figure one can get away with 5% or so of calories coming from unrefined grains, animal products, processed foods or dairy even though I do not do it…

            1. Nobody ever recommends refined carb or sugar. We are all talking about natural sugar and carb from whole foods which are excluded by Dr. Lustig if you care to read what he said. The same thing goes with all the diet program to lose weight and most of them tell people to exclude those foods which is totally wrong.

        2. Geez you have a reading comprehension problem and a temper too. My point is that Dr. Lustig excluded all sources of sugar, including whole foods. So I am trying to make the case by pointing out that certain cultures eat polished and heavily processed white rice for thousand of years without any problems. Myself, I eat black or red or wild rice and that is considered whole grain by Dr Greger and he recommends 1 1/2 cup per day. And Dr Greger recommends sweet potato too that is loaded with natural sugar. If I go with Dr Lustig rec then I need to exclude rice, sweet potato, fruits which I don’t. And I consume honey too.

    2. For Lustig to say that God never put fats and carbs together is very wrong. All foods contain some fat. And nuts and seeds are fairly high in fat and carbs both. There are other examples also.

    3. I think you are being hard on Robert Lustig’s work. The biochemistry of the fructose in the liver is pretty well established – and not just by his group. Ancel Keys slandered and ruined the career of John Yudkin who advocated that sugar was a major problem and Dr Lustig is not alone in being unimpressed with Keys’ work. No evidenced based nutritional guidance (including Dr Greger and Dr Lustig) is advocating low carb, nor no fruit. The evidence is for no extracted sugars (including honey – except probably on wounds – and then it’s only ½ tsp every few days), and no processed carbs (along with other things, but this post is about sugars). The Japanese, who now consume high white rice and noodle based food are not faring as well as they used to and the main health benefits appear to be in certain small populations who eat a more traditional diet (high fish, less polished rice, etc). Given the influence of the industry in many researchers and publications (and the sugar industry is very good at hiding it’s funding streams), I am also skeptical about the ‘other publications’ you mention. The science is definitely still out – more research is currently being done, but both the hypothesis and the evidence we have to date are in line with each other. Eat minimal extracted sugars, processed carbs, processed fats etc. This isn’t a discussion about how much fruit to eat….. (Marion, Specialist Physician)

      1. Of course I am hard on his work. Lustig is the kind of bloviating imbecile who claimed that his YouTube popularity was sufficient evidence for him to believe in his ideas when he was unable to back up an of his claims with evidence! You can’t make this of stuff up. The part about fats and carbs not existing in the same foods was followed with “That’s Nature. That’s Evolution. God did that” Lustig makes crazy absolute statements that are easily disproven.
        John Yudkin was one of the first low-carb “cholesterol denialists”. Ancel Keys called Yudkin out for being biased, and using shoddy methodology to support his claims. Yudkin was “destroyed” in the scientific community because he couldn’t back up his work with evidence. The literature showed he was wrong, his own studies didn’t say what he concluded they said. The Miasmatists were similarly discredited when John Snow finally beat them over the head with ironclad proof that the germ theory of disease explained the cholera epidemic, an not ‘foul airs’ that gathered in slums. People whose theories don’t hold up in the literature tend to get discredited, and ‘ruined’. When an old researcher who dedicated their life and their legacy to a theory that turned out to be wrong, things don’t end well. Keys was very scrupulous, and careful researcher who followed the evidence where it lead him, and his beliefs evolved with the evidence he found. Between fat and sugar, fat was the dietary element linked to heart disease. Between types of fats, saturated fats were the ones linked to heart disease. That’s not a controversial thing to say, because it what the literature shows. Ancel Keys didn’t fool anybody into believing that, he did good science, and the data he gathered matched what others found, and backed up that prevailing theory. The attacks against Ancel Keys were started by low-carb fundamentalists like Uffe Ravnskov, and other defenders of low carb heroes like Viljalmur Stephanson (another early low-carber) who can’t defend their fringe beliefs in the face of the scientific evidence, so they create a conspiracy theory that a multinational, multi-generational coordinated shadow campaign has been waged behind the scenes to fool scientists into thinking that saturated fat is bad for you. Smearing Ancel Key’s good name was continued and popularized by Gary Taubes and more recently by Teicholz. They of course waited for him to die of old age (at 100 I might add) before attacking him; so the man couldn’t defend himself. They have been be pretty successful since their specious claims are now everywhere and people like yourself seem to accept them uncritically as a fact. You say that no evidence based nutritional guidance advocates low carb and no fruit- but John Yudkin did, and while Lustig has recently backed far away from those claims, you can watch him on camera supporting people who say those very things, and occasionally saying them himself. So I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be hard on him when he has said and advocated for those very types of things.
        As for the Japanese diet, The traditional diets in japan (like the rest of Asia) were pretty whole-foods plant-based, and the small populations who eat a more traditional diet would be those like the Okinawans who eat overwhelmingly sweet potatoes (as covered on this very site) they don’t eat a high fish diet at all.
        You claim to be skeptical of the “other publications” I mentioned… I know for a fact the sugar industry backs the researcher I alluded to who swiped at him. That doesn’t really but a damper on the in vivo studies I alluded to that have shown that while Rat livers convert 50% of fructose into fat, human livers only convert 1%? You claim the Biochemisty of fructose in the liver is ‘pretty well established’ So I would love to know why Lustig fails to mention or account for this. I have seen lots of raandom controlled trial studies in metabolic wards that failed to find any difference between high and low fructose diets on disease markers for heart disease and diabetes. It looks to me like a High Fructose AND High Fat diet is required to cause the NAFLD. If the sucrose is neither necessary nor sufficient to cause the problem but the fat is, that doesn’t support Lustig’s theories at all-he claims the opposite!
        Lustig himself was presented several studies that contradicted his views by Alan Aragon and was asked to refute them in their debate. Lustig was unable to provide any evidence of human studies, or even rat studies using normal metabolism subjects given physiologically relevant doses of fructose that would support his claims. Since basically all the NAFLD work I have seen (and is quoted in the blog) blaming fructose is from Lustig, and Lustig has repeatedly demonstrated he is a foolish ignoramus at best, I am skeptical. His work is predominantly conducted on western subjects who are already obese with metabolic disorder if not diabetes, and a clearly damaged glucose metabolism. This is a typical group for low-carb supporting studies to focus on, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good place to learn about how healthy humans with normal functioning metabolisms respond to carbohydrates. I have read an awful lot of very poorly conducted, unethically designed research papers by low-carb supporters (and industry shills-many of whom have fancy titles at prestigious universities) lots of them are talked about on this very site. I would love to see Dr. Gregor look into Lustig’s work with a similarly critical eye. That doesn’t mean I don’t think processed sugar is good for you, I’m fairly sure it’s not-even on the basis of ’empty calories’ alone. I just don’t think I buy the Fructose-NAFLD angle on Lustig’s work/word alone. I want to see some evidence form a trustworthy source. Does high fructose corn syrup really have special properties that make it extra bad for you over regular sugar? Aren’t they both just equally bad? The Australian paradox (they have non-HFCS added sugars but the same problems attributed to HFCS sugars seen in other countries) seems to suggest they are basically the same and equally bad.
        So to conclude, I agree with you about eating “minimal extracted sugars, processed carbs, processed fats etc.” But I have no idea why you think I’m asking about how much fruit to eat. I also think you need to check your facts about John Yudkin and Ancel Keys, then take a good look at Lustig’s public record of comments, statements, and his behavior in general. I think you will find that you are mistaken about Yudkin and Keys, and that Lustig easily deserves all the skepticism I am giving him, on the basis of his unprofessional behavior, and his inability to defend his work from the skepticism of a popular nutrition blogger (which apparently was far more critical than anything he ever faced during the expert peer review phase when getting his work published in major journals!). Meanwhile, the science may be out as to whether or not fructose, or sugar in general is actively detrimental to health, or more benignly simply not beneficial to health but I would love to see a deeper dive into that literature and one that doesn’t feature the work of someone who I have no faith in like Rob Lustig. Thanks

        1. I give credit to Dr Lustig for being the first person to be very vocal against sugar and he brought attention to the danger of sugar. But his “good work” stopped there.

      2. I am sorry but the story you tell about Ancel Keys and John Yudkin is simply nonsense peddled by charlatans and cranks. Yes, it is told all over the internet and in fad diet books but that does not mean it is true. Too many people simply repeat it because it suits their agenda and they want it to be true. Perhaps they cannot be bothered to fact check. Or perhaps they do not care to. The rest of the story you tell here also seems to be false. You provide no references but I am sure that you found it on the internet somewhere but I am pretty certain that it did not come from credible researchers or health authorities,

        Yudkin’s arguments disappeared because they were disproved. Attributing the failure of his theories to some kind of plot orchestrated by Ancel Keys is sadly typical of the saturated fat apologists who are reduced to using absurd conspiracy theories to explain why researchers and the evidence do not support their beliefs. I apologise for being so blunt but I find the lies told about Keys and Yudkin to be frankly appalling as well as ludicrous. The idea that researchers all over the world were hoodwinked by one man and they then proceeded to ignore the “truth” is preposterous and insulting to several entire professions.

        I would strongly recommend that you watch some of PlantPositive’s videos of this. You could start here:
        http://plantpositive.com/5-the-journalist-gary-taubes-5
        http://plantpositive.com/blog/2012/3/25/tpns-36-39-the-infamous-ancel-keys.html
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unH-AEDKV8s

        There are also some other discussions about Keys etc that you might find informative
        https://thescienceofnutrition.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/fat-in-the-diet-and-mortality-from-heart-disease-a-plagiaristic-note/
        http://www.thenutritionwonk.com/#!Ancel-Keys-and-the-Seven-Country-Study-A-Response-to-The-Sugar-Conspiracy/cmbz/570ed1910cf20b4e25a4d9f2

  3. This is off topic, but I’m realizing I don’t share Dr G’s topics as much as some others because his buttons are only for liking and following on Facebook, Google+, etc. I’d love it if he added Share buttons.

    I just noticed that the word Share appears above (never saw that before!), but it would be more noticeable with all the buttons.

  4. I recently switched to a blueberry juice that contains some organic sugar from another with benzoate sodium (with forms benzene with Vit C).

    I think the problem with sugar is the amount (too much of it), and how much fiber and fat is consumed with it.

  5. It really helps psychologically to fight against the temptation to eat sugar when you understand the physiology of how sugar damages the liver. The more we understand nutrition, the biochemical dynamics, and physiological functions of food in our body, the easier it is to eat correctly and to fight off temptation. And thanks to Dr. Greger he is equipping us with this knowledge.

  6. What about glucose? My understanding of this issue is that fructose, and polymers such as sucrose, which is half fructose, are the liver culprits. Of course, the calories would still be empty, but could the case be made that substituting glucose for fructose is somehow better? Can we expect the industry to transition to using pure glucose to avoid this liver problem and demonization?

  7. Fat vs Carbs is about ideology and not about research.
    Obesity/NAFLD/T2D/HT/CVD are generally the result of a caloric surplus (and yes, I’ve heard the “not all calories are created equal” claim as well – if some of the ingested calories are flushed down the toilet with the adjacent fiber – they’re not actual calories ,,,).
    That being said, most westerners eat way too much and move way to little – and much of what they eat is crap …
    The reason that many calorie counting diets fail is that well … most people simply cannot count (both calories in and calories out).
    Once you get the math correct (and you don’t cheat yourself) and refrain from going into a starvation mode diet – a varied, mostly WFPB, caloric deficit diet will in the vast majority of cases, lead to results very close to 7700 cal/kg.
    The rest is simply ideology.

    1. I hope you are right. A large proportion of my calories (typically 40%) comes from fats (mostly nuts and seeds) and I’m concerned this might be a problem, but I don’t seem to be able to reduce my consumption.

  8. The sugar intake suggested at 160 lbs a year is roughly a half a pound a day, or 275 gr. That’s a lot of sugar. I’m a long time vegan and when I get pretty stressed, I can get up to 50 gr. a day of organic sugar and if I stay with that can gain enough weight to grow out of my clothes in a month, so it’s hard to imagine that much sugar daily. Sure you see everybody fat and sick, and I know that sounds bad, but realistically everyone up here in the Seattle area is truly overweight, but still that’s a lot of sugar at 275 gr. a day.

      1. pretty close to a 1/2 pound a day. I said 275 and meant 225 which is approx. 1/2 the grams of 454gr./lb, which is 225. You have to admit though, that seems really high, a half a pound a day of sugar is the norm now?

        1. The statistics are very problematic – to say the least.
          Euromonitor’s numbers from 2015 have the US at 125g/day, so perhaps 200 is including fruit and veg (although one would have to eat a lot of fruit and veg to hit 75).
          It also has Israel @ 14.5 – which is ridiculously low (we love our pastries and ice-cream) – the numbers I know from local research talk about 65.7 kgs/year or 180 grams a day …
          From personal experience – staying significantly under 100 (mostly from fruit/veg and milk) is extremely difficult.
          The problem with nutrition sites (i.e. Cronometer) is that they do not differentiate added sugars from WF sugars – so one has to do the analysis alone …

          1. I find on Cronometer the rankings you get when hovering over the bars for each nutrient helps a lot when analyzing intakes.

    1. Thanks for your comment Mark.

      Please find a link to the short summary on fruit:

      “Whole fruit raises fiber intake, which helps slow the rate of fruit sugar absorption into the bloodstream—a key reason why whole fruit is almost always better than fruit juice. Smoothies made from whole plant foods helps boost fruit and vegetable intake, although eating whole fruit may be more filling than consuming the same amount in a smoothie.”

      I also recommend you watch these videos:

      How Much Fruit is Too Much?
      If Fructose is Bad, What About Fruit?

      Hope this answer helps.

    1. Coconut sugar is still sugar–instead of being extracted from sugar cane, it’s extracted from coconut flowers. Coconut sugar contains about the same amount of liver-damaging fructose as sugar. It is touted as brimming with B vitamins and minerals, but really only contains these in negligible amounts.

  9. The bro-science guys at work would say this proves that I shouldn’t be eating so much fruit (usually bring about 500kcals of fruit or a big green smoothie). I’ll just keep shrugging my shoulders at them and pointing out that I look, and my health tests assess me, 15 years younger than the rest of the folks my age at work.

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