I was asked recently to comment on the current debate between Sarah Wilson’s ‘I quit sugar’ and Cassie Platt’s new release on ‘Don’t quit sugar’.
To be fair,I have read Sarah Wilson’s 8 week program and only seen a small snippet on Cassie’s philosophy on television.
Sarah Wilson’s concept for the average person trying to understand the role of sugar, addiction and metabolism in a fun and practical format is great. Although some of her theories herald from Gary Taubs ideas. I do not promote that all polyunsaturated fats need to be eliminated. Quite the contrary, all organic, good quality fats are important. These ideas are in the extreme as they are intended for a US based audience which is exposed to a high volume of high fructose corn syrup, trans fats and poor quality oils ( ie soybean oil, gmo canola oil) that have likely been exposed to heat and light rendering them as a poor nutritional source.
Cassie Platt from what I saw on television shares some similar philosophical points to Sarah Wilson in that some natural sugars are okay. Sarah only promotes avoiding all natural sugars ( including fruits) for an initial period, not ongoing. I would tend to agree with this as it is most beneficial to the individual who is trying to break poor behavioural habits and reset their metabolism to promote using fats and protein as energy. Fruit sugars are beneficial and do contain the added benefit of fibre and phytochemicals which you do not get from refined sugars in packaged, processed foods and sugary drinks.
Sugars are required by each cell of the body to function. However, additional sugar is not required to support this process. Your body produces enzymes to break down vegetables to simple carbohydrates including glucose, fructose and sucrose. A balanced diet with wholefoods and a focus on vegetables as the main source of carbohydrates, gives the balance.
For those with chronic illness ( i.e. diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, immune or endocrine disorders) it is important to understand that additional sugars can encourage inflammation ( via enhancing a more acidic environment at the tissue level). This can encourage disordered hormonal communication, poor absorption of nutrients into the cells and greater difficulty in removing cell wastes from the body. It can also encourage disordered use of energy within the cell ( ie some types of cancer cells prefer to use the glycolysis pathway for energy, or the ‘sugar’ pathway). It is always important to have this assessed by a qualified nutritionist or naturopath.
For those wanting to lose weight, try cutting out all processed and packaged foods and fruit for a period of 4-6 weeks. For those who do regular training and are concerned about including bananas and fruits into their post training work outs, keep doing this or seek advice on what is best for you.
For the average person, go back to the 80/20 rule. Work hard on your nutrition throughout the week and enjoy the 1-2 treats a week, that may include sugar.
When hearing all new nutrition information, remember that the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle of the extremes and is different for each person.
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