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ANARIE Posts: 13,185
9/5/13 2:11 A

Russell, the problem here is that you're assuming that everyone who eats a high-carb diet is getting half of their carbs from sugar. (Not just assuming it, but stating it.) That's like me saying that everyone on a low-carb diet eats nothing but butter and steak.

People who are eating 150g of sugar every day are people who don't care what they eat (or who have no knowledge of nutrition, or both.) You said something about "Unless some people are sipping sugar water like hummingbirds..." Well, some people are. Some people drink soda all day long. Some people let their nine-year-old children buy a 40-oz Coke on the way to school. But those are the same people who eat corn dogs deep fried in hydrogenated vegetable fat.

It's true that someone who gets ALL of their carbs from nutritious foods will be better nourished than someone who gets twice as many carbs, but with half of them coming from junk food. But that goes without saying. I could say the same thing about fat; if you got most of your fat calories from margarine and Crisco while I got all of mine from salmon and walnuts, I'd be healthier than you even if I only got 10g of fat a day.

As for the low-fat craze of the 80s leading to a sugar avalanche, it sounds rational, but it's not true. Overall calorie consumption has increased a LOT since the 70s (on the order of 300 calories per day on average,) but most of the increase has been from fat. We do get way too much sugar, but it's not *the* thing that has made us fat. What's making us fat is too much food, period. (Believe it or not, we even get more calories from vegetables than people did in the 70s!)

A lot of it has to do with food politics. Remember who was President in the early 70s? When you're one of the least popular Presidents ever, you make sure people have cheap food to eat. Food prices dropped like a rock under Nixon, and once food has gotten cheap, you can't make it expensive again without causing a revolution. (Seriously. Just look back two or three years; the "Arab Spring" started as a protest over the price of bread, remember?) People in the US spend less of their income on food than in any other country in the world, and we spend less of our income on it today than we did 30 years ago. It's only about 10% of our disposable income, on average, compared to almost 20% in the 60s.

We could largely solve the "obesity epidemic" by reducing agricultural subsidies/price controls and letting food prices rise until they reach natural levels, but that will never happen. Just listen to people around here complaining about how "expensive" food is-- and listen to them scream when you say lentils only cost a dollar a pound and cabbage rarely goes above 60 cents. People don't want to be told to eat beans and bake their own bread, even though if you do that you can live happily on $75 a month.

(By the way, why do you think corn is so heavily subsidized? Hint #1: you can make sugar out of it. Hint #2: What country's economy was almost totally dependent on sugar at the time we started subsidizing corn sugar?)

So what it all boils down to is that it doesn't so much matter what kind of diet you follow, as long as you follow something. Just caring what you eat and avoiding what you know for sure is junk will get you 90% of the way to a healthy diet.

HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
9/5/13 1:02 A

I made the experience this summer that only adding about 2 pieces of fruit to a low-carb (under 50 grams) diet was enough to put me back in the pre-diabetic range. For people like me who are carbohydrate-intolerant the nutrients in fruit need to be largely skipped, except for a few berries. Fruit was bred to have a lot of sugar in it, most wild fruit has a lot less sugar and much more fiber.

JLKL1980 Posts: 1,151
9/4/13 6:34 P

I took a look at Algebra Girl's calculator link, and it just didn't fit my situation. No way do I eat 2,200 calories a day to maintain my current weight. To lose, it said to cut 500 calories off of that, which would be 1,700 calories. But I can't lose at that level - I have to stay around 1,400 and then it is a very slow weight loss. It's fun to play with, but not much help for some of us.

Thanks anyway.

9/4/13 6:09 P

I wouldn't eat Raisin Bran 46g of carbohydrate with 19g of sugar per serving is way too much sugar and refined carbohydrate for me at one sitting. And no fat to slow down the absorbtion of all those carbs. My blood sugar would test through the roof after a "balanced meal" of cereal and milk.

If you can eat it that's great but a lot of people can't eat things like that. My Dad as a type 2 diabetic has been eating cereal with low fat milk for years because that's what the nutritionists have told him to do. Guess how that's going... The MD suggested that he should start thinking about going on insulin at his last appointment.

Using my glucometer has really opened my eyes as to how my body reacts to certain foods. I highly recommend for anyone interested to try one out for a while.

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
9/4/13 12:54 P

'We increased our sugar intake as we cut fat, to make our foods taste better. So a cup of Raisin Bran, and a cup of milk for breakfast has 30 g of sugar.'

A cup of Kellogg's Raisin Bran has:
Calories 190

Calories from Fat 9

Total Fat 1.0g 2%

Saturated Fat 0.0g 0%

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0g

Monounsaturated Fat 0.0g

Cholesterol 0mg 0%

Sodium 210mg 9%

Carbohydrates 46.0g 15%

Dietary Fiber 7.0g 28%

Sugars 18.0g

Protein 5.0g

Vitamin A 10% · Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 2% · Iron 25%
Calcium, Ca 28 mg

Iron, Fe 7.53 mg

Magnesium, Mg 74 mg

Phosphorus, P 215 mg

Potassium, K 335 mg

Sodium, Na 342 mg

Zinc, Zn 2.05 mg

Copper, Cu 0.247 mg

Manganese, Mn 1.677 mg

Selenium, Se 2.1 mcg

Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid ~ mg

Thiamin 0.658 mg

Riboflavin 0.944 mg

Niacin 8.644 mg

Pantothenic acid 0.544 mg

Vitamin B-6 1.047 mg

Folate, total 150 mcg

Folic acid 139 mcg

Folate, food 11 mcg

Folate, DFE 248 mcg_DFE

Choline, total 17.1 mg

Vitamin B-12 3.02 mcg

Vitamin B-12, added 3.02 mcg

Vitamin A, IU 868 IU

Vitamin A, RAE 261 mcg_RAE

Retinol 261 mcg

Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.44 mg

Vitamin E, added ~ mg

Vitamin D 40.12 IU

Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 1.4 mcg

(got these numbers from

There's lots of nutrition in milk, too - but I don't think I have to 'sell' dairy sources of calcium, protein, and vitamin D!

I'm pretty sure the Raisin Bran/milk combo was presented as a bad example of a sugary breakfast. For me, these are not 'empty calories.'

Eating too much dessert or making sugary desserts a large portion of your caloric intake has been a bad idea - as far as weight control goes - since I was a wee tyke. That has not changed. Making Raisin Bran and milk look bad is a new thing!

Would a bowl of steel-cut oatmeal be 'healthier'? Not even sure about that. That's another breakfast I've enjoyed, but I wouldn't throw out either of these breakfast choices. Staying within a calorie limit for a day gives me lots of flexibility and I can choose either, as long as I am responsible for knowing what I'm eating. Both Raisin Bran and Oatmeal will have the nutritional information on the box.

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
9/3/13 4:22 P

'What I want to ask about, and would love to hear from any of the site's experts on is the carbs... 250 grams a day. I am reading that we consume as Americans 135-180 lbs a year. For someone eating near the top of this range, lets say 1/2 a lb a day ( 182.5 lbs a year). That works out to 770 calories a day. One lb is 1,540 calories.'

You are talking about a recommended 50/20/30 diet with a 2000 calorie intake per day limit. That is where you get your 250 gram number for recommended carbohydrates, when 250x4=1000 (there are 4 calories in a gram of carbohydrate, any carbohydrate).

What I don't get is where the 1,540 calories = 1 lb comes from.

In order to lose 1 pound of body fat, the rule-of-thumb has been to cut 3,500 calories from your diet. This works pretty well for most people, whatever food you put in your mouth, macronutrient-wise. But even at Weight Watchers, when you lose weight, you also reduce the calorie limit you've been using to lose weight. Your body adjusts as you lose weight, so your diet does, too - otherwise, you see a plateau in weight loss. Weight loss is not perfectly linear.

If you have Java on your computer, you can see how the predictive power of calorie reduction has been refined a bit:

There's an entire book you can download at the National Academies press:
'Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (Macronutrients)'

The PDF is free to download (you don't have to belong or register or subscribe, etc.) even though the paperback is $99!

According to this text, the median (not the average.. the median is smack dab in the middle of the range) dietary carbohydrate intake is 220-330 gram/day for men and 180-230 grams/day for women. That information is found between pp. 291-295. This data tells me that Americans (also Canadians, I think) are already eating carbohydrates in the % recommended, or at least, close enough.

Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 9/3/2013 (16:27)
LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
9/3/13 3:17 P

While the lowfat craze of the 80s did lead food manufacturers to produce a lot of lowfat products, people were starting to eat out more (more fast food, more meals at restaurants). Then, came super sizing. These days, the average American eats a lot more McDonalds, Taco Bell, Burger King, Pizza Hut,etc. than they ever did in the past. Fast food really started exploding in the 80s (there has been a huge boom in fast food over the past 30 or so years). The explosion of fast food has led to an increase in BOTH fat and sugar consumption.

Yes, it's both fat and sugar. These are the cheap ingredients that fast food/food manufacturers use not only because they are cheap but also because people find them tasty and so will be enticed to buy/consume more of their products (thus they make more money). Yes, they benefit when we eat too much. Let me repeat that shocking fact in a different way--the food manufacturers and fast food corporations are benefiting from the obesity epidemic. It's good for them when we eat extra calories because this means they are selling more product. The explosion of fast food/eating out at restaurants has occurred right along with the obesity epidemic.

Fast food is low quality (few nutrients) and high in both added fat and sugar. A fast food meal can easily provide more calories than an average person needs to consume in a day (and a lot of people eat fast food multiple times per week). A lot of these calories can come from sugar if people drink the large, refillable, sodas, but a LOT of the calories come from fat. Has anyone else noticed that you cannot even get a regular hamburger at a fast food place anymore? No, they are all cheeseburgers and you have to special order a cheeseburger without the cheese if you want a hamburger (yes, you have to pay for the cheese). Overall, people are gaining weight not because they are eating too much of one macro and not enough of another but because they are eating too many calories.

People are eating too many calories because it's easy to go to McDonalds and get a quarter pounder with cheese, a large fry, a refillable soda (and don't forget the apple pie) and then eat the whole thing and refill the soda a few times (and how many of us think along the lines of, "don't forget to refill the soda before you come home so you can maximize how much soda you get for the money"). A fast food meal can easily amount to 1200-1500 calories. We are also pretty trained to finish what's on our plates and it's easy (and makes us feel good) to finish what we've paid for. The average person is trained to finish what's on their plate and this means, to many, that they need to finish that cheeseburger/fries that they ordered or the plate of food that came to them at the restaurant. When you're eating food made at home, I think you tend to eat fewer calories because your food is less calorie dense and also because you tend to put fewer calories on your plate. So, anyway, people go out to eat fast food (or they take out a pizza with a cheese-loaded crust because somehow, the regular crusts of the past weren't good enough and needed to be filled with cheese in addition to the cheese on top of the pizza) and people feel like they should finish their food. Of course, the food is made to be tasty with all the added fat and sugar. People are also eating at least a couple of other meals per day along with their fast food meal (no one says "I've eaten all my calories for the day in this one meal, so I'll just skip food for the rest of the day and eat tomorrow"). Finally, more people than you can imagine are eating out more than once per day.

People are also consuming too many calories in the form of sodas and JUICE. When I was a kid, I got sent to school with a small thermos of milk and I drank water from the drinking fountain. At home, we drank a small glass of milk and also water with our meals. These days, it's juice and soda that kids and adults are drinking. The amounts consumed are staggering and the limited quantity of nutrients in these drinks is also shocking. Somehow, a majority of people have been convinced that juice is good for kids and, instead of it being an occasional treat (like it was when I was a kid), people are giving their kids glass after glass of juice on a daily basis (and drinking it themselves too).

Most people live on foods and drinks that are loaded with too much fat and too much sugar. Many of these foods and drinks are so lacking in nutrients that it's not at all uncommon to see overweight people (who consume a lot of excess calories every day) who have vitamin and mineral deficiencies. People are just consuming a ton of empty calories. It's not just the sugar that the calories come from. They come from fat as well.

Edited by: LOVE4KITTIES at: 9/3/2013 (17:43)
ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
9/3/13 2:07 P

'I am reading that we consume as Americans 135-180 lbs a year.'

I had to stop here - because I need to know where that figure comes from. Read from a blog or a website, they should be giving you a reference link (which would appear also in

What's the (fairly current, I hope) source?

9/3/13 1:03 P

While there where those no-fat pastries that were created by companies...
more of the reaction to low fat was the increased usage of foods like bagels and pasta.

Todays increase in sugar intake is strictly a "monster of its own"....supersized soda pop, muffins, cupcakes, candybars, pastries, etc.


FITKRIS Posts: 2,894
9/3/13 12:24 P

Not sure I agree with the statement that "I don't think our sugar intake occurred because we cut back on fat". I think that is exactly what the 80's especially, fat was the enemy and low fat EVERYTHING became the rage - remember Snackwell's?The low fat cookies where the fat was replaced with sugar, same with salad dressings - and this is still the case. If you look at a low fat salad dressing for example, the carbs are higher because of the added sugar. One of my biggest frustrations is trying to find food without added's everywhere now. When the fat was removed, it was replaced with sugar to make it edible! And at the same time it became less satiating because the fat was removed, and the sugar caused cravings for more, causing us to eat more. I make a lot of things from scratch now so I can avoid the added sugar, but let's face it, most people aren't going to take the time to do that. I think the biggest misconception today is that fat is bad.

Sorry, Russell, I got a little off track from your original post...I didn't follow all the math, but your premise makes sense to me.

9/2/13 9:13 P

I don't think our sugar intake occurred because we cut back on fat.
If anything both sugary foods and fatty foods have skyrocketed regarding consumption.
We take in too many calories---and usually it is not calories from "nutrient dense" foods. I don't see folks gaining excessive weight because of eating fruits, veggies, lima beans, milk, brown rice, oatmeal, etc.


RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
9/2/13 8:43 P

I didn't think it was that complicated of an idea. Half the carbs people eat ( minimum ), are sugar, which has no nutritional value. Therefore a person eating 130 grams of carbs, with 5 being from sugar, and someone eat 250, with 125 being from sugar, each eat about 125 grams of healthy carbs.

Hopefully that is simple enough for people to understand. It really explains our obesity epidemic quite well. Instead of adding healthy carbs to fill the increase in carbs, as our fat intake dropped, we added sugar. I am sure this was not the intention when cutting fat was recommended, but it is the reality we face today.

I understand that some sugar like lactose and fructose come naturally, but we are consuming a lot more sugar than in the past. We aren't consuming 150+ lbs a year of sugar from our natural foods.

I was just trying to look at things from a different point of view. I wonder if we had just added healthy carbs, instead of sugar, whether we would ever have had this obesity epidemic. I grew up in the 80's, so this diet change in the 70's had a huge effect on my life.

It explains a bit why low carb is so effective( cutting sugar ), but also opens up the idea that a higher carb diet isn't necessarily such a bad idea, but just the way we implemented it.

If we ate 10 lbs of sugar a year instead of 150+, the extra carbs might not be as bad??

9/2/13 6:36 P

It is true that not only is it important to look at the quantity of carbohydrates in the diet; but also the quality of those carbohydrate foods.
--a higher carb intake with a large proportion coming from sugar (and refined carbs) is a "bad eating concept", and so is...
---a lower carb intake with the majority of carbs coming from sugar (and refined carbs).


Edited by: DIETITIANBECKY at: 9/2/2013 (18:36)
DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,313)
Fitness Minutes: (15,545)
Posts: 9,713
9/2/13 4:23 P


This post made my head hurt. ;)

Personally, there's a point where you're crunching numbers, and in the end... our bodies aren't calculators. Perfection isn't something I'm worried about; unless my health insists on it, I'll never be cutting out sugar, lowering carbs, fat, or any other macro nutrient.

Then again, I'm not the target audience here.

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,145)
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
Posts: 3,765
9/2/13 1:03 P

"With no added sugar" is nonequivalent to "sugar free". Sugar, whether natural or added, hold no micro-nutrient content.
LC mealplans seek to enhance the entire quality of the individual's fuel choices, while simultaneously keeping BG levels steady, thus allowing the pancreas and insulin to operate more efficiently.
Unless a person has some severe condition, everything consumed will be broken down to glucose. By forcing the body to break down proteins and fats into glucose, the individual reaps the benefits of steadier BG, higher satiety, and higher content of essential amino acids (in the case of protein consumption).

Edited by: MICHELLEXXXX at: 9/2/2013 (13:10)
BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
9/2/13 12:39 P

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
9/2/13 12:33 P

Thanks Becky. I understand your point, and am not even pushing low carb today. I just find it interesting to note that one of the problems with our obesity epidemic is our sugar consumption. If we set aside the issue of the quantity of carbs for this post, then we still have the reality that the increase in carbs mostly came in the form of sugar. We average 150 + lbs of sugar a year. which is well over 50% of the carbs we consume.

I could easily just multiply the carbs I eat, and get to an acceptable level of carbs for any diet, but I think the point is that we didn't do that. The quality of our carbs matters as much as the quantity. We increased our sugar intake as we cut fat, to make our foods taste better. So a cup of Raisin Bran, and a cup of milk for breakfast has 30 g of sugar.

Two things I wanted to say, was that someone on a high carb, sugary diet isn't getting any better nutrition than someone on a moderate carb diet, and if so, then the average American is not getting any more nutrition than a person on moderate carb.

I get that we aren't supposed to be eating the SAD that people eat every day, and in a perfect world, we would all eat more vegetables, beans, brown rice, lean meats, healthy fats etc., but in practice no one is eating that way. I really have no idea why pasta makes me gain weight. It has almost no sugar, and no salt, but other than that I have no problem with someone on a healthy diet pointing out how a restrictive diet could be less nutritious. The problem is, those people are probably all What bothers me is that a bunch of people who eat 150+ lbs of sugar a year question the nutritious benefit of low carb. At least I have cut the sugar, and am struggling to increase my good carbs, without re-activating my cravings. I think low carbers are at least on the right track.

We AVERAGE 150 lbs a year, which is 158 grams of sugar a day for ALL of us. So unless someone is drinking sugar water like a hummingbird, there aren't many of us eating very healthy. I think we should be aiming for a happy medium. We should be eating more healthy carbs, and the average American should be cutting sugar. I think the reason low carbers get irked when people attack them on their diet, is that we know theirs is just as bad , if not worse. When you subtract that sugar out, they get about the same amount of healthy carbs as we do on a Maintenance phase. We just choose to make up that difference with fat, while they choose sugar.

I just think people should think about that the next time they see someone talking about low carb dieters eating 100 Net carbs. I don't think they look at how much of their " healthy carbs " are sugar.

Edited by: RUSSELL_40 at: 9/2/2013 (12:34)
9/2/13 10:57 A

I followed most of your post; but got lost with the pounds of sugar stuff.
Anyway, as a dietitian...
1. Yes, I can help someone develop a "lower carb" eating plan to meet nutritional needs.
2. I can also help someone develop a meal plan with 50% of calories coming from carbs and it would not be using 50% of those carbs from added sugar; and it would be healthy.

For example:
2000 calories
50% from carbs = 1000 OR 250 grams

3 servings from dairy group = 45 grams
3-4 servings fruit = 45-60 grams
7-9 servings of whole grains/starchy veggies/beans/lentils/legumes = 105-135 grams
4-5 servings of non-starchy veggies = 15 grams

TOTAL: 210-255 grams (with no added sugar) and filled with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber, etc, etc.

There are many style eating plans that can bring about overall health and well-being.

Your SP Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,259
9/2/13 10:45 A

250 carbs and half from sugar? Egads! I don't think they are getting any better nutrition and maybe even less than we low carb unhealthy ingredients, such as sodium, sugars, and trans fat sort of say it all......

...When you are choosing which vegetables and low sugar fruits to the ones with the most color as they often offer the highest nutrients. Same with leafy veggies...the darker the green the better.

I know you have heard to eat a "rainbow of colors"...why because they have a variety of nutrients and antioxidants.....most nuts and seeds are low in carbohydrates...beans have lots of mineral and fiber and phytonutrients...if a person eats a variety you can increase the nutritional value into each and every gram of carb you're eating.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
9/2/13 10:05 A

Sunshine.. my focus is on the nutrition. As a low carber, I hear about the lack of nutrition for people who consume lower carb intake. If half of the carbs in the standard diet is void of any nutrition, how is someone who has 250 grams of carbs with half being from sugar, getting any more nutrition than someone eating 125 grams of carbs coming from vegetables, fruits, and beans?

Edited by: RUSSELL_40 at: 9/2/2013 (10:05)
SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,259
9/2/13 9:54 A

In short sugar is linked to diabetes, cancer, candida, obesity, and heart disease.

In fact, research from Harvard University says that sugar adds a 20% risk of heart attack among men that drink one sugary drink per day...

further research suggests high blood pressure and weigh gain among others) increase with our sugary diet, so to do diseases that affect the mind like Alzheimer’s...We get fat because sugar and excessive carbohydrates store fat....Less sugar means that the body now can burn fat... The body will use fat as energy only when you cut off the supply of glucose

Eating more vegetables and cooking at home are key (how we cook our food
is just as important), as well as, adding fiber, protein, healthy fats, and low carb fruits. (Healthy fats provide balance for inflammation) Sugar causes inflammation and inflammation causes disease.

I recommend reading this book for all the naysayers and as Russell said If anyone here is arguing that sugar is good for you, I can't really discuss anything with you" they should read this book.

Suicide by Sugar: A Startling Look at Our #1 National Addiction
by Nancy Appleton/G.N. Jacobs
Explains how the sweet white stuff represents one of our biggest dietary hazards and is around $12.95

Nancy Appleton, PhD, earned her BS in clinical nutrition from UCLA and her PhD in health services from Walden University. An avid researcher, Dr. Appleton is the best-selling author of Stopping Inflammation, Healthy Bones, and Lick the Sugar Habit. Written as drawn from medical journals and her clinical experience.

As far as all the math is concerned...I'm not into it.....all I know Russell is that I stay around 100 carbs per day as a woman, and that keeps me in balance....if I have an unexpected difference in carbs my body reacts negatively...I am sluggish, constipated, bloated and aches and pains return. I beat the diabetes but I still watch every day.

Just remember a person can eat the same quantity of protein, carbohydrate and fat and get different results from the molecules...not just quantity, but it's quality that matters...carbohydrates, like glucose or sucrose (table sugar) are quickly digested and turn to sugar rapidly whereas the larger carbohydrate molecules, which include fibers & starches, are composed of at least 10 mono saccharides.....Complex carbohydrates are considered to be the “good” carbohydrates...not all carbohydrates are treated the same by your body so always make a conscious choice....that's all I can say.

Edited by: SUNSHINE6442 at: 9/2/2013 (10:19)
RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
9/2/13 9:13 A

Nirerin. I got 77% from the 1/2 a lb of sugar a day..or 770 calories. 50% carbs X 2000 calories = 1000 calories from carbs.. 770 is 77% of 1000.

My point is that while I am not saying carbs in general are bad, I will argue that sugar is empty calories, with no nutrition at all. If anyone here is arguing that sugar is good for you, I can't really discuss anything with you. We just disagree on that.

I did jump around a bit on percentages, cutting it down to 50% of your carbs coming from sugar, which would be less than 119 lbs a year .. WAY below average, but it still makes my point( I thought 77% would be too controversial.. 50% is undeniable ). HALF of the carbs we eat are garbage, so in reality, we eat 125-150 grams of healthy carbs. Maybe not you NIRERIN, but the other 300 million Americans. Examining our diet in a vacuum is great. We can say, eat 250 grams of healthy carbs, but in practice, almost every carby food is loaded with sugar, so we eat sugar along with our carbs. We can choose healthier carbs, like fruits, beans, and vegetables, but even most cereal is a sugar bomb.

Based on the two diets lined up next to each other, if we count a low carber in maintenance, and an average American diet, we get about the same intake of healthy carbs. We have further proof of this by all the posts of people struggling to get 5 servings of fruit/ veggies. They aren't eating the healthy carbs.

We can argue over whether to replace those 125 grams of sugar with healthy carbs , or fat, but if both diets get you 125 grams of healthy carbs, how are they that different? In reality we are choosing 125 grams of fat vs. 125 grams of sugar, to go along with out 125 grams of healthy carbs.

I see that the argument can be made to eat 125 MORE grams of healthy carbs, but we just don't do it as Americans. We consume a bunch of sugar. I am sure that this is why dietitians are being driven insane with low carb. They know that all that sugar is the problem, while many low carbers demonize carbs in general.

I think that we should just cut out the sugar, and eat the 125 grams of healthy carbs. The next choice would be how to replace that 500 calories.. with 125 grams of healthy carbs, or 56 grams of fat. Either way, we need to cut the 125 grams of sugar first, and I think if we did so, we would all be healthier, whether on low fat, OR low carb.

Hopefully that cleared up my thoughts a bit

NIRERIN Posts: 14,251
9/2/13 8:48 A

you're kinda jumping around here.
with a 200 cal diet, 50% carbs would be 1000 cals from carbs or 250 grams of carbs a day. 250 grams of carbs is .55lb of carbs per day.
150lbs of carbs per year breaks down to .41lbs of carbs per day, assuming a 365 day year. half a pound a day comes to 182.5 lbs of carbs per year. i'm right with you til this point.
half a pound of carbs per day is 226 g carbs per day. 226x4 is 904 cals per day from carbs. a full pound of carbs would have 1808 cals, though i'm not sure why we're mentioning this because we haven't been talking about eating a full pound of carbs, except on a yearly basis around 150 of them.
where you pulled the 77% number from is a mystery to me. because if you had data that that was the percentage of carbs that were sugar, why would you use 50% and not 75%? but assuming that data has validity, 50% of carbs coming from sugar would be 125 g coming from nutritious sources and 62.5 g coming from nutritious sources with 75% sugar.
if someone were eating that 125-187.5 g of sugar a day, then cutting it out would be a good thing, especially if we're talking added table sugar type sugar. but not eating that kind of sugar in the first place would be the most beneficial part whether those carbs were eaten back as nutritious carbs or as protein or not at all.
though now you have me curious as to how much sugar i am eating. i've got one gram for breakfast and 8 grams for my midmorning snack.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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9/2/13 8:24 A

Your presumption is that "all sugar is bad". When in it's natural form (we're not talking all the sugar injected cereals and other heavily processed foods) it is the body's favourable source of energy. Well we can agree that our societies have a very unhealthy relationship with unnaturally occurring concentrated sugars, I cannot agree that sweepingly "sugar is bad" across the board.

It is exactly comparable to the mentality we had in the 80s about "all fat is bad". Sugars play an important role in the body, just as fat does. So instead of educating the public in the way we failed them in the 80's by stressing "all fat is bad" rather than unnaturally occurring, laboratory fat is bad causing the lean to on unnaturally occurring, laboratory sugars (carbs)... It is important to distinguish *how* those macros are being delivered to our bodies.

My philosophy is that in its natural occurring form... both fats and sugars are essential to our bodies. It's when we use modified, highly concentrated deliveries of the two, stripped of nutritional value, altered in ways that make it difficult for our bodies to use efficiently... that we experience dire health effects.

I am not brave enough to tackle your math in this one, lol... but I will address the philosophy. Personally, my carbs tend to fall in the bottom range of the gov't recommended amount... 40-45%. However, from personal experience there is a HUGE difference in how I feel when those carbs are delivered by natural sources as opposed to highly refined/concentrated sources.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 9/2/2013 (08:32)
CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
9/2/13 8:14 A

How or where did you come up with this:

If we are only getting nutrition form 100-150 grams of the carbs we consume, then how is cutting the sugar out dangerous. We would still be eating 100-150 grams of carbs. How would this be any different than a lower carb diet? Both a plan to eat 125 grams a day, and a 250 gram a day diet with 50% sugar give us the same nutrition, but without 125 grams of sugar.

I'm not quite sure how you see it as dangerous, or is that someone else's opinion who has expressed it to you? Perhaps I missed something in your narrative.

KKKAREN Posts: 12,754
9/2/13 8:07 A

too much math for me! if I have to eat strictly by the numbers all the time it would be no fun at all. eating should be fun too!

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
9/2/13 7:50 A

First of all, let me say I eat low carb. I still have a question about the carbs we DO eat as a nation ( America, sorry to others, although you may be similar ).

Okay, I am looking at the standard eating plan put forth. I assumed a 2000 calorie diet. Not a weight loss diet, but what we eat normally. Plus round numbers are easier I break that down into the macros.. 50% carbs = 1000 calories, or about 250 grams.. 20% protein = 400 calories or about 100 grams.. and 30% fat = 600 calories or about 67 grams. These are rough numbers and we eat in ranges, but if pushed, a 50/20/30 diet is what is generally recommended, and in a healthy range for most people.

What I want to ask about, and would love to hear from any of the site's experts on is the carbs... 250 grams a day. I am reading that we consume as Americans 135-180 lbs a year. For someone eating near the top of this range, lets say 1/2 a lb a day ( 182.5 lbs a year). That works out to 770 calories a day. One lb is 1,540 calories.

So 77% of their carbs comes from sugar? Let's say it is just 50%.. that works out to 500 calories being from sugar, or more importantly 125 grams. So this is from a nutritionless substance.

We all know sugar is bad, but that isn't my point. If we eat 125 of our 250 grams of carbs from sugar ( a low estimate ), then we are only getting nutrition from 125 grams ( the remainder ). At 75%, we are only getting nutrition from 67.5 grams of carbs a day.

If we are only getting nutrition form 100-150 grams of the carbs we consume, then how is cutting the sugar out dangerous. We would still be eating 100-150 grams of carbs. How would this be any different than a lower carb diet? Both a plan to eat 125 grams a day, and a 250 gram a day diet with 50% sugar give us the same nutrition, but without 125 grams of sugar.

I know we aren't supposed to eat 50% sugar, but we do as a nation, so the increase in carbs has been from that source. Most of us don't claim to eat 2000 calories, or to limit ourselves to just 118 lbs a year ( 500 calories a day ), so the % is even higher. So if we are eating 125 grams of nutritious carbs a day now, how would switching to a 125 gram a day total carb intake, and getting rid of sugar not be beneficial?

I welcome any challenge to my thinking, or proof that I am wrong. More importantly, I think this needs to be discussed.. hopefully calmly, but probably

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