|By no means whatsoever could this be considered|
"too much sugar". Don't let silly people spoil your enjoyment
of nutritious & delicious foods.
What does "too much" mean, though? Well, according the World Health Organisation we should limit to no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar on a daily basis. Key word here is "added", as the naturally occurring sugars within nutritious foods are absolutely fine within the context of a balanced diet of appropriate total energy provision.
Another word for those naturally occurring sugars is "intrinsic". We're talking about the fructose in fruits and vegetables, the lactose in dairy products, and so on. Various unsavory characters out there are making a lot of money via fear mongering over carbs in general, sugars in particular, and in some cases fructose specifically. Rarely are they actually people with a medical or dietetic background. More often they are simply marketers (at best) or outright charlatans and con men (and women).
Again, to reiterate: intrinsic sugars within an appropriate total intake are of no concern whatsoever. Added sugars in less nutritious & more indulgent choices should be limited. No country as best I am aware has healthy eating guidelines to the contrary, all recommend that added sugars be limited. The suggestion you'll often read from Low Carb High Fat
However it is possible that people might be unaware of the amount of sugar in some choices of foods and condiments that wouldn't seem obvious. This may be a valid concern which That Sugar Film addresses, however, none of the other claims it makes about sugar should be seen as even vaguely accurate.
A few quick side notes:
- It seems apparent that anti-sugar quackitivists also similarly fear monger over artificial sweeteners and in some cases other plant based sweeteners such as stevia. There is ample and on going research to support the safety of non-nutritive sweeteners such as aspartame.
- Sugar is not addictive "like drugs are addictive".
- Be aware of how much "still sugar, but not regular cane sugar" is often in expensive "sugar free" products. In some cases more so than in the conventional brands they would claim to be "healthier" than.
Reviews of That Sugar Film:
This one might be my favourite.
Gameau’s panel of experts includes a supergroup of charlatans and cranks, [such as] the floppy-haired nutrition guru David Wolfe. A self-described “Health, Eco, Nutrition and Natural Beauty Expert” and “one of the world’s top authorities” on “chocolate and organic superfoods,” Wolfe spends his days touting the spiritual and health benefits of such things as deer antler spray (a “levitational,” “androgenic force”), baby-reflexology, and “earthing” (in which people plug themselves into the ground wire of an electrical outlet so as to “naturally discharge electrical stress from our bodies”).
Seen outside the context of That Sugar Film, the man appears to be a lunatic.
Thanks to Prof. Tim Crowe at Thinking Nutrition.
Damon claimed that his weight gain happened despite eating the same amount of food than before his high-sugar experiment. Yet only a very superficial attempt was made to estimate how much food was being eaten over the 60 days, making such a claim unreliable at best.
So, is there something insidious about sugar calories that can lead to greater weight gain? Not really. Sugar, including fructose, is not inherently fattening relative to other foods. Its effect on body weight is from the extra energy it adds to our diets, that’s all.
A great write up of this and a couple of other films about sugar, from The Nutrition Press.
Taking a closer look at the show’s talent, we find a lack of relevant expertise. The show’s chief sugar adviser, David Gillespe, is a former lawyer and founder of a software company. He has no scientific or nutrition qualifications and his book Sweet Poison, which supposedly reveals the true health effects of dietary fructose, has no scientific basis. It is certainly true that Australians are consuming too much sugar but Gillespe’s claim of 40 teaspoons as the average Australian’s daily sugar intake is an over-estimate by about 10 teaspoons. He also says that the average family of four consumes the equivalent of 6 x 1kg bags of sugar each week. Doing the math, based on his own figure of 40 teaspoons, a family of four would consume 4.48kg. Based on 30 teaspoons, this figure is 3.36kg.
Some of these processed foods that are referred to in the film are baked beans, containing the equiv of 1 tsp of sugar per serve. Using baked beans as an example, the beans themselves are highly nutritious and 1 tsp sugar is in the sauce, which also contains nutrients such as lycopene that we need to obtain from cooked tomatoes. That 1 teaspoon of sugar is not enough to spike your BGLs and baked beans do have a low glycemic index, so they’re a good option for us when we need a meal in a hurry.
There are also other processed foods such as tinned and frozen vegetables, some breakfast cereals, some grainy breads and dairy products that as a dietitian I regularly encourage people to use. If these products weren’t being recommended, then chances are that people might inadvertently choose something less nutritious in an effort to have a little less sugar. Learning to label read is so important here. Some of the healthier, lower GI breakfast cereals are really convenient options in our busy lives, as well as containing important nutrients that we need for wellbeing, despite containing some added sugars.
Damon consumes lots of liquids which have been shown to be easier to over-consume than whole foods e.g. apples vs apple juice. I’m guessing his intake DID exceed what he was eating before and these sweetened liquids were responsible for the fat gain in the abdominal region as well as the decline in liver function.
Who ever said flavoured milk or iced tea drinks are ‘healthy’? They may be healthier choices than sweetened soft drinks but they are not on any 'Must Eat Lists' or Pyramids.