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The Natural Sweetener Worse Than High Fructose Corn Syrup (& The Truth Behind Eating “Natural” Sugar)

Natural Sweeteners

All sugars are not created equally.

Natural sweeteners like honey, agave, or cane sugar are not any better for you than “other” sugars.

There is a widespread belief that “natural” is better – and that natural things can’t be bad for you.

Sugar is one of those very wrong assumptions.

Many, many times I’ve heard people in the supermarket remark that agave or honey is better for you because they’re “natural” sugars.

Unfortunately, this is completely untrue.

Your Body On Sugar: Natural Sweeteners 101

Glucose is the main energy source of your body. Your brain requires glucose to function, and in fact, a huge percentage of your daily calories go to powering your brain. Pretty cool huh?

So there’s glucose – the “sugar” in your blood that gives you energy.

Your body generally gets it from eating carbohydrates (although the body can make it from other sources if it has to).

Then there’s dextrose - glucose produced from plant sources (like corn).

Then you’ve got fructose – fructose is the form of sugar generally found in fruits and honey. (Think F = Fruits)

Then there’s sucrose, which is half glucose, half fructose – following me? Sucrose is table sugar, the white grainy stuff you usually associate with being sugar.

So here are the general rules:

Glucose = from carbs.

Fructose = from fruits, honey, agave, and high fructose corn syrup.

Dextrose = usually produced commercially then added to food to sweeten it.

Sucrose = white table sugar, produced from the sugar cane plant (& other sources).

Natural Is Better Is Not Better – The Truth Behind Brown Sugar, White Sugar, Raw Sugar, Agave, Honey, High Fructose Corn Syrup

Natural Sweeteners

Sugar in its varying processing phases: White refined, unrefined, brown, unprocessed

People mistakenly have the idea that natural sweeteners and natural sugars are somehow different from “other” sugars, so they go ahead and load up on raw cane sugar, honey, or agave and aren’t worried about dumping it in everything they drink or eat.

The problem is that, metabolically, they’re basically the same in your body (with one exception, see below).

So where in the heck do all these sugars come from?!

Here’s a quick 101 on what you’re eating:

Cane Sugar

Cane sugar comes from the sugar cane plant. It then goes through a refining process in order to turn it into the nice white sugar you’re familiar with.  Cane sugar is table sugar.

Composition: Sucrose (50% glucose 50% fructose)

Raw Sugar

Raw sugar is just cane sugar that has been processed less – it’s harvested earlier on in the processing/refining process when the sugar is taken from the plant to the final product. This is just table sugar earlier in the process.

Composition: Sucrose (50% glucose 50% fructose)

White Sugar

White sugar is just refined through the process I described above (taking it from plant form to smooth and grainy), and then washed several times (or sometimes bleached) to give it that extra white appearance. One of the reasons they do this is that it gives it a more neutral (flavorless) taste and allows it to have a longer shelf life.

It’s the same as cane sugar just further down the refining process – this is still natural and comes directly from a plant.

Composition: Sucrose (50% glucose 50% fructose)

Brown Sugar

Brown sugar is just white sugar that has molasses added. The darkness of the brown is related to how much molasses is in there.

Composition: Sucrose (50% glucose 50% fructose)


Honey is made up of fructose and glucose (like high fructose corn syrup).

Composition: 20% water, 30% Glucose, 40% Fructose

High Fructose Corn Syrup

HFCS comes from corn and consists of glucose and fructose – which depends on which version of high fructose corn syrup is being used.

If you’re drinking it in soda, you’re probably getting a variety that is 55% fructose and 42% glucose (the rest being water).

Why do we use it? Fructose is many, many times sweeter than normal white sugar, and it’s cheaper for companies to use it.


Agave is made from the same plant that we get Tequila from.

Composition: Agave is 70%+ fructose – which is actually more than high fructose corn syrup.

[Side note: Honey, brown sugar, sugar in the raw and sugar in general provide little to no nutritional benefits.]

All Sugars Do Not Have the Same Effect On Your Body (Lay Off That Agave, Folks!)


In one study, scientists gave people a beverage that was sweetened with either glucose or fructose. The drink was 25% of their daily total calories, and they were told to drink it for 10 weeks to see if there would be any differences in weight/fat gain.

At the end of the study, the weight gain was similar in the two groups, but what was interesting was that only the fructose group had numerous other negative effects.

For example, in only the fructose group, fat synthesis in the liver increased, in addition to abdominal fat gain.

In the fructose (not glucose) group, it also led to:

  • Increased triglycerides levels
  • Increased levels of apoB, LDL Cholesterol, and a half dozen other biomarkers of heart disease risk

Fructose and insulin sensitivity

When your body is insulin resistant, the natural processing of sugars and regulation of blood sugar is impaired.

Chronic insulin resistance leads you down the road to diabetes (and you’re generally overweight a long time before this sets in).

In this particular study, fructose totally whacked out the body and started showing signs of insulin resistance. In men, it lead to more fat gain, and in women was linked more to insulin resistance.

Fructose actually promotes the elevation of cholesterol and triglycerides much worse than glucose.

Fructose has been proposed as one of the implicating causes of nonfatty liver disease.

Another study showed that fructose, not glucose, provokes increased food intake.

There’s also loads more evidence showing that one of the main reasons why drinking soda is making you overweight is because of the insane amount of fructose in it (thanks High Fructose Corn Syrup!)

And in another study done, this time on Agave, the researchers concluded:

“Even moderate consumption of fructose-containing liquids may lead to the onset of unfavorable changes in the plasma lipid profile and one marker of liver health, independent of significant effects of sweetener consumption on body weight.”

Agave is actually worse than high fructose corn syrup because of its insanely high fructose levels.

It’s easy to think “Oooh, Agave comes from a plant, so that must be healthier than this chemical high fructose corn syrup crap!” Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the genius marketers behind Agave wanted you to think. And it worked.

Sugar (Any Kind) = Early Death

Don’t fall into the trap thinking that natural sweeteners and natural sugars are somehow better for you. Consuming sugar (of any kind) in excess is one of the main players in weight gain, heart disease and diabetes – which then dramatically raises your risk of dying from everything else – like cancer.

Being overweight raises your risk of more than a dozen types of cancer, and for some specific cancers, 50% of the cancer cases were attributed to being overweight. (Cancer.org)

I Gotcha. Sugar is Bad. Blah Blah …So What Sugar Should I Add to My Morning Coffee!?

If you’re not consuming that much sugar in general, a tablespoon of honey a day obviously isn’t going to kill you especially if you are eating healthy otherwise. Just remember that honey and “raw sugar” are not any better than any other sugar – and that agave seriously rivals high fructose corn syrup in terms of how bad it is.

Reducing how much sugar you eat (from any source – natural or otherwise) is craaaaazy important.

Thoughts? Hit me up below

Alright, that’s it folks!

Share some scary sugar stories with me below and leave a comment.

– Alex

P.S. Stop by Facebook and add Modernhealthmonk.

Images: Ant via wikipedia, honey via freedigitalphotos.net

79 comments… add one

  1. Alex,

    the reason why wise nutritionists push on “natural sugars” is that they come packed with other useful nutrients in foods, not because they are any better than processed refined sugar. It’s the case of fructose, found in fruit with plenty of other useful minerals and vitamins. In my opinion there’s no point in showing that all sugars are the same, as sugars…


    1. Hey Paolo,

      Yeah I totally agree that if you’re consuming sugar in the form of fruit – that’s fine. This was mostly in reference to added sugars (like those we put in coffee, tea, etc.).

      You’re right though – natural sugars (again, found IN the fruit) comes with tons of other nutrients and important vitamins and minerals.

      I think it’s just misleading that certain sweeteners (like Agave) give people the illusion that they are naturally much healthier.


      1. Very mislaeding article full of propaganda and misinformation there! It is common myth that sugar is killer,evil and gives you diabetes. It is wrong to think all sources of sugar is the same and same effect on body. Sugar is not evil. People don’t get diabetes from consuming sugar ! People get fat because they consume more calories than burned, period.

        Your body’s main fuel is glucose, your liver regulates your sugar (liver glycogen) and your muscles store glycogen to be used for energy. People on average are eating far more than what they can store and so the rest is converted to fat stores. Also the high glycemic index and high carb diets people have also encourage fat storage ! If you are a very active person, work out and eat well, sugar is not evil it is essential ! This is when your body is most sensitive to insulin and the best times to consume carbs (post workout) and even pre-work out. You will get more nutriants from natural sources than refined / highly processed sources. Yes the body ends up converting to glucose anyway, BUT it’s not the whole story. You are getting FIBER with fruit, some meals with carbs also contain fiber, starch, which take longer to digest and therefore the raise in blood sugar is slower, than consuming raw sugar or a high glycemic source! The big evil here is the constant high rise spike of blood sugar and insulin spikes.

        I know people who consume sugar DAILY, all sources, they are perfectly heatlhy, normal BP, optimal glucose and HbA1c.

        Personally I avoid white sugar and refined / highly processed foods as much as possible. I stick to low to medium glycemic, and ONLY do high glycemic after a workout, where my body will make the best use of the sugar ! I avoid CARB only meals, I usually consume a proper ratio protein / carbs / fibers.

        In fact, getting carbs from the right sources can actually HELP your blood sugar. Keeping your blood sugar STABLE is key. Honey is not evil! But put honey on white toast and it changes a lot.
        Whatever you do sugar, whatever source, it still remains calories in and calories out. You want to eat natural sources of foods as much as possible, avoid refined carbs, processed foods, etc that have no nutriants and bad for you.

        Also different people react differently to sugar. Some people are healthy and have good metabolisms, other people are too carb sensitive, or insulin resistent, etc…… Sugar is NOT evil and is NOT a killer, it’s how people use it and consume it, in relation to genetics and how active of a life style people have.
        And BTW, I avoid any food that has artificial sweeteners or HFCS.

        BTW, honey is healthier than white bread and white sugar………. Glycemic index of honey is 55 compared to sugar, 68,, white bread, about 70, etc.
        Everything in moderation is ok. If you are healthy, active, have normal blood markers and don’t eat more cals than you burn you will be just fine ! There are times where it is beneficial to eat high glycemic as I stated above……… Carbs are not evil contrary to propaganda, sugar is not evil either, it’s how people use and consume them.
        Same shit for FAT……. FAT does not make you FAT, and not all fats are bad.
        Too much of a good thing can also be bad,
        too much protein is not good, too much fats, too much sugar, too much of everything.
        And sine the average diet is predominent in refined carbs and procssed foods, combined with a sedentary lifestyle, no wonder people are getting fat!!!!

        1. Glucose and Dextrose are the same thing dumbass.

          1. Hey dumbass calling someone else dumbass! Did you read the article? Glucose = carbs, Dextrose = from plants – no carbs. Chemically I guess they are the same but there is a clear difference. Dumbass!

        2. Alas it is you who are completely wrong. Read “Good Calories, Bad Calories” by Gary Taubes and you will understand that the “science” you are relying upon to claim that “calories are calories, period” is just plain flatly – disprovably – wrong. Furthermore the introduction of fructose, in the form of white sugar and other sources, is probably, through its effects on insulin resistance in the body going to eventually prove to have been THE cause of cancer, heart disease and diabetes which have wracked the Western world for the past 200 years and the rest of it for the past 50 years. No offense, but you couldn’t be more wrong and you need to read the book before your “advice” kills you or someone else.

        3. “Everything in moderation is OK”
          Darkstar has been brainwashed. Everything in moderation is not ok. A piece of fruit or two a day is about all the body is happy with. Eat more sugar that that in any form, and you are begging for cancer.

          1. A small amount of fruit is actually the ONLY thing the body needs to thrive. Research Arnold Ehret’s ‘rational fasting’ and you will soon know the truth about how insane our present system of nutrition is !!!

      2. Question…..I have a meal replacement whey protein shake that includes Fructose (10grams). However, it is sourced from apples, beets & pears. Is this something I should be concerned with? Thank you.

  2. Hi Alex,
    Where does maple syrup fall into this cateogry? Would you believe before I learned about fructose, I went out and bought a bag of fructose because I thought since fructose is in fruits, that was the best sugar to use!!!

    One of the best videos I have watched on sugar was by Dr. Lustig titled “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”. I learned a lot about sugar by watching this very informative video.


    1. Hi Lisa,

      Maple syrup is mostly glucose and water so it falls on the “better” side of the spectrum. But like any sugar, try not to eat too much ;)

      Haha well it sounds logical ! I don’t blame you, many of us have thought that at some point.


      1. Hi Alex,

        Can you tell me where you found the information that maple syrup is mostly glucose and water? Wikipedia seems to disagree, but I don’t trust that it is correct!

        “[maple syrup] consists primarily of sucrose and water, with small amounts of the monosaccharides glucose and fructose from the invert sugar created in the boiling process.”

        Sucrose is, of course, a glucose and fructose monosaccharide, therefore 50% fructose.

        1. Woops, Jacqui you’re right. Meant to say Sucrose, not glucose. Getting myself tongue twisted here !

      2. Maple syrup is not mostly glucose. According to this study Maple syrup is mostly sucrose, table sugar basically.


        1. Reply
  3. Hi Alex
    What about stevia?

    1. Hi Debbie,

      I generally avoid sweeteners including stevia. I would stick with straight up cane sugar – and just minimize consumption if possible.

      Stevia seems to be OK in the research – meaning there isn’t any glaring evidence that it’s bad for you that I’ve found. Having said that, I personally don’t like the taste. It reminds me of the “not quite sugar” taste of other artificial sweeteners.

      – Alex

      1. Alex. A comment about Stevia. I have read Stevia is a pure and natural sweetener. Your comment about the taste. I innocently bought a container with the name of stevia on it thinking I’m buying something that had nothing bad in it. Did I have it wrong. I also didn’t like the taste and it also reminded me of the not sugar Sugarine taste.
        Eventually I did check the ingredients and guess what, it contained only 1% stevia. The rest was some kind of fillers of which after some research I found have worse consequences on our health than sugar. And who do you think produced this product? The same who make the artificial sweeteners. No wonder it had that taste. I’m sure natural stevia doesn’t have that taste.

        1. Wow – Jeff. That’s pretty scary- I’ve actually never bought Stevia before, but this is pure manipulation. What company made it?

  4. Hi Alex!
    I ‘stumbled upon’ your site searching for answers & solutions to back pain that is different from any that I’ve ever experienced. I kept reading…saw this post…
    how about xylitol, stevia,…??? You may have posted about these already…I’m just getting started!!! :)
    Have a great ‘4th’!

    1. Hey Nancy,

      Awesome, I’m glad you liked the back pain post!

      Re: xylitol and stevia – I generally avoid sweeteners. I would stick with straight up cane sugar – and just minimize consumption if possible.

      Stevia seems to be OK in the research, but I personally don’t like the taste. To me it tastes like an artificial sweetener which doesn’t taste as good as sugar anyway ;).

      – Alex

  5. Hi Alex,

    There is one type of sugar we produce here in the Philippines called coco sugar, which is from the coconut sap. Its claimed that its good for diabetics because of its low glycemic index. Care to comment on that?

    1. Hi Cha,

      To be honest I don’t know anything about coco sugar. Sorry :( . If it truly is low GI it’s probably better for diabetics, but overall reducing sugar intake is ideal for everyone.

      – Alex

    2. Hi,
      After reading your comment about coco sugar I decided to find out.

      Wikipedia says “Coconut sugar consists primarily of sucrose[4](containing glucose and fructose). “The major component of coconut sugar is sucrose (70–79%) followed by glucose and fructose (3–9%) each.”

      That sounds good until you think that sucrose is a glucose and a fructose molecule, therefore half of that 79% is fructose really. I would think that sucrose is broken down into the glucose and fructose before being processed, but I am not sure.

      One reason it may be said to be good for diabetics is that fructose is processed by the liver and has no affect on insulin, therefore higher fructose = better for diabetics but fructose is more easily stored as fat.

      As Alex says it seems we should just cut out as much sugar as possible.

      1. No, fructose is NOT better for diabetics. It does influence insulin level — it decreases insulin sensitivity of our cells.

  6. Hello, thanks, this was useful. I’ve been researching ‘raw sugar’ for so long today (part of my job…) and got conflicting information. But I’ve also found out that ‘rapadura’ and ‘sucanat’ sugars are good and unrefined. Personally, I keep sugar in the house only for my guests who can’t do without :)

    1. Hey Alena,

      No problem :)

      Hopefully this clarified it for you. It wasn’t easy for me to figure out, so I figured others must be confused too!

      I agree, keeping sugar just for the guests is a great idea ;)

  7. I live in Sweden and they make sugar out of beets. I was born in Canada and was used to cane sugar and my sister and I did a comparison taste test. Cane sugar is VERY much sweeter than sugar made from beets and if you cook with it, say, make a cake with beet sugar, the cake isn’t nearly as sweet as if you used the same amount of cane sugar. Beet sugar also smells… kind of bad. My question though is, what is the composition of beet sugar? Is it 50% glucose and 50% fructose too? Despite the fact that it is weak on the sweet taste meter? Is it good to use beet sugar if you want to cut back on sugar? Or is it the same as the other sugars? On the other hand, sometimes you might have to add extra sugar to make up for the lack of sweetness. That can’t be good. I am really puzzled by beet sugar.

    1. Hi Beverly,

      … To be honest, I’m not sure! I would treat it like sugar though – rather than trying to find better sources of sweet stuff, try reducing consumption overall. I personally don’t think I’ve tried sugar from sugar beets, maybe I’ll have to try it soon !

    2. Most sugar beets are genetically modified so for that reason alone, I would stay away from that type of processed sugar. Sugar from organic sugar cane plants is a better option. I stress “organic” because it is becoming a common practice that non-organic sugar cane is saturated with glyphosate just prior to harvest because it starts a die-off or drying of the plant that makes it easier to harvest, but at the same time it’s going to contribute more toxic herbicide residue going into the end product.

  8. Great post, very informative, I learned a lot. I know some other people already asked about artificial sweeteners, but no one mentioned splenda. Would you recommed that over natural sweeteners? Is it as safe as stevia? What about those people who use splenda as their sole sweetener in baking?

    1. Hi Sol,

      I personally avoid Splenda and stick with real sugars as much as possible. Many people think that because these sweeteners are low calorie or sugar-free they are somehow healthier… but science is really only just beginning to understand how they really work in our body.

    2. Regarding Splenda, I had a really bad experience with it. The gastrointerologist explained that because the body doesn’t process it in a normal way, it can reach the large intestines and feed the bad bacteria there. And whatever eats excretes. So, you can end up with excess waste from the bad bacteria basically pooping in your guts. Plus, there are other problems people have with Splenda. Stinks cuz I used to love that stuff.


  9. Hey Alex,

    It would seem that the “safest” sweetener to use would be to use glucose (or as it’s sold, dextrose). I don’t trust the various other artificial sweeteners – you can fool your taste buds maybe, but not your metabolism. Glucose I think is something that we know is relatively safe.

    1. Hi Chris,

      Personally I try to keep it simple: I just use real sugar, and use it sparingly. Doesn’t leave any confusion. If I want maple syrup, I get real maple syrup. But I know it’s sugar so I don’t have it for breakfast every day ;).

      If you’re going to use sweeteners I would just use raw sugar or something along those lines.

  10. What are your thoughts about maple syrup?

    1. Hi T,

      I treat it like eating any other sugar – e.g. use real sugar if you have to, and use all sugars in moderation.

      – Alex

  11. I just found “Swerve Sweetener” that is suppose to be up and coming and safe. Please tell me you have heard of it, I just ordered some online after spending the entire morning reading about the sweeteners and side effects, etc. Thank You!

  12. Sooo, sugar is NO different than honey ( a medicine in it’s own right), Stevia ( a dried and powdered herb with other health benefits), and coconut sugar with very low GI which acts differently with our body’s processes), you seem new at this…

    1. Hi Em,

      Where or when did I say that?


  13. The biologically active form of glucose is d-glucose, or dextrorotary glucose. The food industry often refers to this chemical as dextrose.

    Put more simply: Dextrose and glucose are precisely the same thing. There is absolutely no difference between the two, both names refer to the same molecule.

    Also, Chris has the right idea. Fructose is the real trouble maker. You can actually buy powdered glucose and use that as a sweetener instead. You’d be much better off doing this, in my opinion. Bear in mind it’s not as sweet as fructose, so you might be tempted to use a bit more of it at first. Even if you did that, you’d be better off, but making an effort to use less would be optimal. Another huge problem is that we’ve all been conditioned to expect super sweet. Cut out all of the junk food, give your taste buds time to adjust, and a little bit of powdered glucose will go a long way for you.

  14. Alex,
    This is such helpful information. I’ve been trying to do research on different types of sugar and you have laid it out quite well.

    Do you happen to have another blog written about aspartame, or do you have any thoughts on it?


    1. Hi Jessica,

      I don’t yet, because I’m trying not to become SUPER research oriented, but I will dig up someone who has and will send it your way :)


      1. That would be great. Thanks!

        1. The best resource for Aspartame is Cori Brackett’s site http://www.sweetremedyradio.com/pages/aboutcori.html and a documentary called “Sweet Misery”

  15. Very informative article, my only criticism, for what it’s worth, is that (re: raw and processed being the same) processing and bleaching is not good at all, so out of the gates, raw definitely gets the point.

    In it’s own class should be Honey, not that I contest your point concerning metabolism, but when sourced from regional hives, has shown to increase resistance to “local” allergens and has been used as an inflammatory and antibiotic for centuries. I realize that your point is more toward cautioning the reader on haveing a diet high in sugar (any form) and to that end I absolutely agree. note…The “HONEY” from China and India et al. that has been filtered is not the honey I am defending.

  16. Hello
    What do you think about the “MONK FRUIT SUGAR”… ?
    It is the Extract powder of Fructus Momordica.
    It is 300 times sweeter than cane sugar, and I was told that it is healthy and fights diabetes.


  17. @Hamza: Found this about Monk Fruit (it’s like stevia)
    Monk fruit Monk fruit is a type of small melon found in the tropical and subtropical regions of South East Asia. Its sweetness comes from antioxidants called mogrosides, which are found exclusively in monk fruit. It is said to support the immune system, digestive tract, glands, and respiratory system. As sweet as: Monkfruit is 150-200 times sweeter than sugar Calories per serving: 0 calories per tablespoon May be better than sugar because… Like Stevia, monkfruit is an all-natural, calorie-free sweetener with zero glycemic index. And, since it is so much sweeter than sugar to taste, you can use a lot less to achieve the same level of sweetness.

    Ultimately, when it comes to sweeteners, your goal should be to eat as little as possible—or none at all. See, when you sweeten food, even with some of these more natural options, your body will continue to crave sweets and you just may eat more later in the day.

  18. It is a nice and informative article. However, placing honey by the HFCS is really stretching things and dumbing down products to sugars only. Unfiltered, unprocess, raw, natural honey in moderation boosts your immune system. It’s easy to identify such honey, it is not transparent and has pieces of bees wax in it. HFCS in moderation does not do anything and just adds to insulin resistance, since it is mostly fructose. So please give honey a bit more credit.

  19. I think saying refined bleached white sugar is equal in health and your body then honey or cane sugar it a very ignorant statement. Hilarious.

  20. What about dextrose? You didn’t dwell on that much at all. I’m looking at a snack food company that says they have no “artificial sweeteners” but they add dextrose. I don’t want ANY added sugar if at all possible in the foods I buy that don’t really need it.

  21. Hi Alex,
    What about maple syrup? Anything good there? Obviously, minerals, but as far as the fructose/glucose content, I imagine the same as for honey, agave, etc? And breaks down the same in the liver? So just as bad, right? How about whole fruits? At least they have the fiber. Thoughts?

  22. Hi there, I’d agree with alot of what ‘darkstar’ says above.
    I am diabetic, the genetic not the fat type, and developed it aged 15 and was super fit, school football, hurling etc.
    The issue with sugar for me is, how quickly they’re absorbed into my bloodstream, the slower the better, I’d expect everyone should look to this also as it gives you time to burn it off too.
    I’d walk rather than drive and I’m only 14lb heavier, and 2″ taller than when I was 15 so not overweight.
    Be careful with fruit, the riper the faster sugars will be absorbed, my own bs can rise from 3.4 to 17.4 with a mildly ripe banana or apple, this then requires additional insulin, which assists weight gain, I’d expect non diabetics are in the same predicament.

  23. Where does cane SYRUP fit into your analysis of the various available sugars? What about golden syrup? Molasses?

  24. I am recently looking at everything for it’s sugar content and, being 61 years old, I should’ve started at age 0! The insidious use of anything that generates profit (and also cuts corners, avoids any regulation, and blindly intones the “It isn’t personal, it’s just business” motto of criminals of any collar) by manufacturers is frankly disgusting and and kind of a “drive-by murder” if you ask me. GM gets bailed out of bankruptcy and 4 years later they are recalling millions of cars for defects – some leading to deaths – the American “businessman” is really something – er, terribly . . . awesome. Ahem. So – ripening bananas (and other fruits) have more sugar? And – anything out there to counter-act insulin in the blood that has been released to counter-act sugars, which were placed there secretly to counter-act our health?
    Pull the wagons up into a circle!

    1. A fruit begins with much starch, which, when consumed is broken into fructose molecules. A ripened fruit has fructose which comes from the starch. It has the same amount of carbs. Starch is complex carb, fructose is a simple carbohydrate, however. As I said before, eating one or two fruits is not too much fructose. Especially if it is eaten after a meal. It makes a great dessert!

  25. You failed to mention date sugar and coconut sugar. Where do they rank at on your list??

  26. There isn’t a whole lot of fructose in fruits. If you eat two to three after a meal – you’re getting vitamins.

  27. Just eat Stevia you can grow it in your own backyard and studies say it’s harmless

  28. Thoughts on isomalto-oligosaccharides? They’re mostly fiber, so my initial instinct is to trust the info!

  29. Have you ever thought about publishing an e-book or gguest authoring on other blogs?
    I have a blog based upon on the same ideas you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my
    readers would enjoy your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free
    to shoot me an e mail.

  30. The negative health effects from the sugar fructose ,which is part of all the sugars except pure
    dextrose/glucose , are great and many . On the other-hand dextrose/glucose has a much much less deleterious effect on our heath , though it is still not healthy.

    1. you need alittle sugar too servive…. what should i and how much of it, should i eat…(p.s. im a vegan)

    2. According to Paul Jaminet, glucose is needed for human bodies. He gives two reasons:
      1. To fuel the frontal lobes of the brain.
      2. For structural purposes. The are a lot of proteins that our bodies make that are functional only when combined with glucose.

      So he recommends getting about as much glucose as needed for those purposes, which is about 2o to 4o per cent of daily calories. Most of the rest of calories should come from fats. That is if one aims for optimal health.

  31. I think you need to educate a bit more on honey, especially Manuka Honey. It has significant nutritional properties and is even used in hospitals for burn patients in healing. The only food that has been known to cure disease including MRSA is Manuka honey and it is sold in grades for healing even at Whole Foods markets. It heals. Please educate yourself, your page is old. And as far as Asparatame which is anything in the blue packets? Also added to some drinks? Causes neurological disorders and triggers diseases such as Parkinsons and MS>

    1. As far as I know honey is used TOPICALLY to heal consequences of burns.

  32. Interesting post and comments. Left unaddressed maybe is WHY someone wants any additional sweetener to begin with. And whether they really want a sweetener or is it just because of tradition. And whether one should be eating or drinking whatever it is they want a sweetener for in the first place. Or so much of such.

    Like do you really want sugar sprinkled on your bowl of corn flakes? I used to put sugar on cornflakes as a kid. But as an adult I cut that out because I realized how much sugar already is in corn flakes. And how much milk-sugar (lactose) is in milk to begin with. And I tried cornflakes and milk without any sugar sprinkled on, and liked it better that way. Now the thought of sprinkling sugar on cornflakes is actually kind of repulsive.

    And do you want a sweetener for coffee? If you do, try coffee with milk or cream in it, no extra added sugar mixed in. Cuz again there is milk-sugar in cream and milk to begin with. And try putting in maybe a quarter teaspoon of cinammon in. Or if you’ve become accustomed to putting two or more teaspoons of sweetener in your coffee, try putting only one in and see if that doesn’t turn the trick for you. Or try green tea instead of coffee. I drink coffee with cream in it, with one teaspoon of sugar per one liter thermos for work. Over a period of time I found myself putting three and four teaspoons in. Then backed down to only one, and now that one teaspoon of sugar per liter tastes ‘just right.’ I also drink green tea but can’t imagine putting sugar in it. I tried green tea with a teaspoon of sugar in it and it didn’t taste ‘right’ to me. Green tea with no sugar did taste ‘right.’

    Then someone mentioned maple syrup. And that made me think of pancakes, which are traditionally doused with maple syrup. If that’s the case, you want maple syrup for pancakes, have you tried pancakes with just some whipped butter on them, no additional sweetener? I used to automatically put some kind of syrup on pancakes then wondered why after trying them with just some butter on them. Now, like sprinkling sugar on cornflakes, putting syrup on pancakes is kind of repulsive to me, in a sickeningly-sweet way.

    I think I’m kind of lucky in that as a kid, sure, I wanted sugar on my cornflakes. And candy, and cake. But over a forty-year or so period, I lost most of the desire for something sweet in exchange for a preference of tart, as in plain yogurt. Last week somebody baked a cake and brought it in to work for everyone. And to be polite, I had a piece, the first such piece of cake I had since I can’t remember when. Eyuck! I politely ate it since she made it and brought it in and ‘insisted’ I have a piece. Insisted because deep down she really just wanted to do something nice for everyone. But, again, eyuck. I didn’t get sugar-shaky over eating it, it just tasted so sickeningly-sweet.

    A large part of losing the desire for something sweet was realizing how sweet whatever I was eating already was without additional sweeteners. Like strawberries. It’s mind-boggling to me now that I used to always sprinkle sugar on strawberries, which are sweet to begin with. So maybe instead of engaging in pissing contests about what fructose, sucrose, glucose, etc. are chemically – and which one is ‘better’ for you – maybe take a step back and reconsider your whole reason for additional sweetener in or on whatever you’re eating or drinking. I mean if you are guzzling say a gallon of iced tea per day and want the ‘best’ sweetener for such, shouldn’t you first think of scaling back your iced tea consumption?

    Another thing that probably helped me lose the desire for additional sweeteners is that I long ago gave up orange juice in preference for whole oranges, and guzzling grape juice in preference for sipping wine (sangria, sherry, port). If you are really into additional sweeteners I’d bet five bucks you drink fruit juices, which are just plain bad for you because of all the fruit sugar in them. And that sort of sets the ‘bar’ up high for what level of sweetness you prefer in other stuff, like coffee or cornflakes or pancakes.

    The desire for additional sweeteners of whatever sort – that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Maybe take a peek below that waterline to see what else is going on between you and already-sweet stuffs that may drive your desire for additional sweeteners. For instance, I look at an orange and think, HOW COOL!!! They’re sweet as is, love the taste, and they already come packaged. And a hundred years ago, getting an orange or two in your Christmas stocking was a real treat. Nowadays, everyone can have an orange any time they want! Here’s another thing while I’m thinking about it. I’m a big lemonade fan. But along the way I realized the more lemony I made it, the more sugar I had to put in it. To the point where I had to put two or three SCOOPS of sugar in a pitcher for it to taste right. So I backed off the number of lemons I used and consequently I backed off the amount of sugar for it to taste right. Now I wouldn’t call what I make lemonade but more like lemony-water, with only two or three TEASPOONS of sugar per pitcher. And that lemony-water hits the spot better than the lemonade did when I want some summertime refreshment.

    1. Amen to all you’ve said here, my story word for word! I was a sugar junky until the day it dawned on me that ‘I was a sugar junky’…all those things actually do taste so much better now with VERY little or no sugar. Thanks for sharing!

  33. Incredible.
    I couldn’t agree more with your perspectives on health & particularly “added sugars.” Currently working on an infographic comparing all added stars just to show everyone that there really is no difference between all those “natural” and processed sugars. Your page is wonderful – thank you!
    – Olivia

    1. Cheers Olivia!

  34. Glucose and Dextrose are the same thing…

  35. Maybe we could put this poor, dead, badly beaten horse to rest. If you don’t get it by now you ain’t gonna get it. Let me give it one more beatin. Sugar bad… some worse than others… but some necessary… get it naturally.

    1. Amen coop!

  36. Stevia is related to the ragweed family I am allergic to ragweed. I am type 2 diabetic so they say I also have acid reflux. Sweet & Low not good either on my morning oat meal. So I am stuck with sugar. After reading your article I think white sugar is better than brown.
    Or do you have something else in mind I can try?

  37. Hello. I just found out that I have fructose malabsorption, and I am struggling to find out which sweetener is best for me. I have read several conflicting articles/websites. Just wondering if you can help confirm which sweetener is best. Also, is maple syrup alright for people with FM?
    I appreciate your insight and time.

    1. So, I would say you should probably limit ALL fructose in your diet, or at least in moderation. When it comes down to it, that means sugar. Sucrose or “table sugar” is 50% fructose, and other sweeteners are generally worse than that.

    2. So, I would say you should probably limit ALL fructose in your diet, or at least in moderation. When it comes down to it, that means sugar. Sucrose or “table sugar” is 50% fructose, and other sweeteners are generally worse than that.
      Found a chart that lists fructose content based on the grade of the syrup!

  38. HI

    I’ve been a “sugarholic” all my life and as one person said even put it on already sweet stuff. I had a breakdown at age 17 and often wonder if a sugar free high nutrition diet could have prevented it. After the breakdown i went into severe depression and insomnia my whole adult life with “mental fog”. Wake up just as tired as when i went to sleep. I discovered this video which is starting to turn things around. Not overnite as this has been going on for years. Chromium at 1mg is helping the carb cravings and 5htp and folate the insomnia. Check out this link. Mainly for anxiety and depression but also for other problems like diabetes, etc Best of health


  39. Dear Monk, praise be to God you are trying to help other people. I’m sure you help people, too. However, please research honey properly. May God guide you to the right path. Honey is a noble food that has healing properties. Nutrition is not all there is to it. The path of processing is not the same for honey and plant-derived foods. The Noble Qur’an mentions that there is healing in what bees make.

    I bear witness that Muhammad was a messenger of Almighty God like Abraham and the prophets. Believe. Save yourself from Hell and go to Paradise. I removed all the fillings from my teeth about 15 years ago and I have had to go through a lot of struggling to maintain my health but it has all been worth it. I don’t have any inorganic dental attachments (like fillings) and I can’t say that everyone ‘must’ go the same way, but it’s best to, if you can.


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