Is Sugar Actually Toxic?

I was in Bootcamp earlier and we got on to the topic of sugars and what the real problem is with them because a few of the girls had watched the below video and asked some questions about it. It really is interesting stuff if you haven’t already watched it.

I’ll break it down below if you want to skip through it.

Keep in mind that Dr Lustig is an Endocrinologist, not a GP or ‘normal’ doctor. In general, GP’s know very little about nutrition and its effects on our endocrine (hormonal) system.

If you are stuck for time I will go through the first 10 minutes (the most important part) of the video below.

2:30 Is HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) worse than table sugar? Nope. They are essentially the same thing.

Sugar and HFCS are the same

It’s not covered in the video but there is only a small difference between the two.

Table sugar is a 50:50 mix of glucose and fructose. HFCS is also a mix of glucose and fructose but it is slightly more fructose than glucose. I.e. It’s sweeter due to the extra fructose but to your body it is essentially the same.

3:10 Fructose is natural so therefore it is good right?

Well, No…

Fructose is treated/metabolized in the liver. Most things that need to be overly processed in the liver are classed as toxins.

Therefore by definition fructose is toxic, at least in the amounts we are currently ingesting it.

I’ve said for years that the juice companies aren’t lying when they say there are 10 oranges in each glass because there are literally 10 oranges in there. All the calories and sugar of 10 oranges, minus the fibre might I add.

4:30 Is a calorie a calorie? Studies are proving time and time again that calories are not all created equal.

Carb calories suck for fat loss and will most likely lead to fat storage unless you plan on doing some high-intensity exercise before or after you eat them.


Because carbohydrate is a fuel and must be utilised or stored. That’s it. It has no other benefit to the body. Neither do most of the foods that contain it in its sugary form.

If you have just performed intense exercise, hopefully, you will have used some of your carbohydrate stores up and if your lucky any ingested carbohydrate will go back to your glycogen stores and not to your waistline.

If you eat carbohydrates and you haven’t exercised (sugar in particular) then you had better exercise soon and use some of it or you will start storing those calories as fat.

If your goal is to get bigger, or if you are naturally thin and have no problem with excess fat storage, be my guest. Carbs and sugars are great for getting in the extra calories needed to build muscle not to mention all that insulin ?

Please don’t email me saying something stupid like ‘I eat carbs and I lost weight… bla bla’

Not every smoker dies of lung cancer but we still know that smoking causes it. Some people are lucky and their body manages to deal with the toxins better than others.

Chances are if you are reading this you aren’t one of the lucky ones and you simply cannot tolerate the sugars, deal with it and move on. I’m not lucky in that department either so we’re on the same page.

I’ve seen guys skew the science lately too in an effort to prove that carbs don’t cause fat storage. The only reasoning I can think of is that those guys are telling their clients what they want to hear so they will go to them for advice and training. This is wrong and should be frowned upon.

Let me just clarify that some low carb advocates will tell you can eat as many calories as you want once you avoid sugar but that’s also BS. Calories count in the long run but don’t bother counting them too strictly because you will definitely go insane way before you
achieve your goal. Simply eat clean whole foods in the order below and the rest will almost assuredly look after itself.

6:00 Two weeks of eating too much sweet food causes heart disease in a controlled study.
Sugar intake causes the small dense lipoprotein (let’s just say ‘bad cholesterol’) production to increase.

Note that I said ‘production’, as in, your body is making it as a result of eating/drinking sugar.

It’s not from eating too many eggs or cheese.

9:30 – Your body reacts to sugar as it would drugs or alcohol. I.e. you feel good eating it and it essentially becomes an addiction and your satiety mechanism (what tells you that enough is enough) stops working and you eat/drink more.

If you watched the entire video you will notice that Dr Lustig recommends less than
100 Kcals/ day for women to come from sugar and less than 150 kcals to come from sugar for men.

He also recommends that sugary foods be put into the same category as cigarettes and alcohol.

Initially, I thought this was a bit drastic but it got me thinking…

This way people could still enjoy them sparingly but the knowledge that it is bad for you would hopefully reduce their consumption.

Avoid the following 80-90% of the time:

  • All wheat products.
  • All white fluffy processed carbohydrates as they are pretty much sugar already.
  • Sweets and chocolate
  • Sugary drinks
  • ‘Low fat’ products that are labelled as being healthy.

I’m not saying you should give up sugar or bad foods altogether. I enjoy eating the stuff too. I would be very sceptical of somebody who doesn’t enjoy some chocolate or a cheat food now and again.

This method would be fine and nobody would be ill/ dying/ fat. Well… except chocoholics.

If you feel like you’re going to crack have a blowout once per week in the form of a cheat meal or two i.e. have carbs on a Saturday or Sunday in the cinema or at a meal with friends or family but reduce the amount of processed crap you eat on a daily basis.


The post Is ‘Sugar’ Actually Toxic? appeared first on The ABS Gym.