How Much Daily Sugar is OK?

A friend of mine recently emailed me.  She wanted to know, “What is the appropriate amount of  simple or fruit based sugar for a healthy, active, non-diabetic adult to consume each day?”  I answered that it’s best not to eat more than three daily servings of fruit, avoid fruit juice, even fresh-squeezed, avoid processed sugar and only eat desserts twice a week.  She wasn’t satisfied with my answer and asked  “Isn’t there a more concrete measure in grams, like what they use on food labels?”  I replied, “No, there’s not.  It depends on how many other carbs you’re ingesting.  The Institute of Medicine recommends you get between 45 to 65 percent of your daily calories from carbohydrates. For example, if you consume roughly 2,000 calories per day, you should get between 900 and 1300 calories from carbohydrates. But most naturopaths recommend no more than 40% of your calories from carbs so if you have a 2000 calorie per day diet, no more than 800 calories should be from carbs. The RDA for carbohydrates is set at 130 grams per day.  So naturopaths would say no more than 115 grams daily.  The problem with simple sugar, fruit based or not, is that there’s no nutritional value in it.  We only eat it for taste and for a feeling of satisfaction and satiety after a meal, but we don’t need it.  There are no minerals or vitamins in sugar – those are in the fruits, veggies and whole  grains.  And there’s no fiber in sugar to slow down it’s digestion (unless it’s inside fruit), so it taxes your pancreas which has to throw high doses of insulin at it to break it down, thus, it causes insulin resistance, hypoglycemia and later diabetes.  Sugar is acidic, and tends to cause UTI’s (urinary tract infections)and Candida (yeast) infections, especially in people who are not well hydrated. Sugar also suppresses one’s immune cells, so it  increases susceptibility to colds and infections (bacteria, viruses and fungi thrive on sugar).”  So, if any of you have the same question, now you understand why my answer is:  as little as possible.

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