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recommended sugar intake
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recommended sugar intake

Dr. Tarman,

what's the recommended daily sugar intake (in grams and calories)? Does it differ by adult/children, female/male, weight/height/BMI, ethnicity, and also weight loss goals?

I want to limit sugar intake in her daily diet, do you recommend a cold turkey approach to the recommended intake or a gradual decline approach? what are the likely symptoms one would have once "sugar detox" starts?

Also, what's the difference between a low-carb diet and Atkins diet? what's your recommendation on tracking carb intake in general -- a straight sugar tracking or more granular breakdown (e.g.. complex/simple sugar, high/low glycemic index). Any resources that you would recommend to look up these more complicated nutritional information (glycemic index)?

thank you!
rebecca


Tags: sugar, Sugar intake, Weight Loss, Sugar addiction
2169060_tn?1337634832
Sorry, I just noticed this question now.

Forgive me in not answering your question. It may be that you are not a food addict, and thus wil successfully be able to eat sugar in limited quantities. What is the safe amount of sugar is beyond realm of what I wish to address here. I think that following the principle of avoiding refined foods and sticking with fruits, vegetables and 4 to 6 oz  of proteins is the foundation of a healthy diet.
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2169060_tn?1337634832
These are great questions.

You ask first what are the daily recommendations for sugar.  I do not recommend ANY daily sugar intake. It is simply not necessary to eat sugar. You will get all the sugar you need to fuel your body through natural foods such as fruits and vegetables. If you are asking what are the daily requirements for carbohydrates, this will depend on what type of food plan you wish to follow (see below). I would recommend a lower carb, moderate protein and moderate to higher fat diet.

How to best limit your sugar intake really depends on if you are a food addict. If you are not addicted to sugar, you may find that you can gradually reduce your intake until you have reached the amount that you are comfortable eating. However, if you are addicted to food, or have an emotional dependence on it,  and want to stop eating sugar completely, I would suggest cold turkey. A gradual reduction only prolongs the withdrawal period and will make it harder to stay quit.  A quick stop, and you will find that in three to four weeks, you will no longer crave sugar.

Many people do experience withdrawal symptoms from a sugar detox. These are irritability, fogginess, lethargy, cravings, restlessness, insomnia, dizziness.

The Atkins diet is just one example of a low carb diet.  It is perhaps the best known because it is the first low carb diet that caused a media sensation in the 1970s and 80s.  Against popular medical advice that stated that we should cut fats and proteins, Atkins advocated a diet rich with proteins and fats and very few carbs.

There are now many other popular low carb diets available - many are very similar to Atkins. There are the Paleo diets (Caveman diets) that emphasize primarily proteins, fats and vegetables. There is the Glycemic index diet that does not limit carb content but does recommend complex carbs over simple carbs. There are the higher fat diets, that recommend low carb, moderate protein and high fats. All of these would benefit a food addict. I would recommend that you find the one which suits you the most.

Here are some links, amongst many available:
GI Index:  http://www.gidiet.com/
Paleo:  http://robbwolf.com/what-is-the-paleo-diet/
Low carb, high fat:  http://www.dietdoctor.com/lchf
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1756367_tn?1400887964
Thanks so much for your help, Dr Tarman! Should one limit the amount of sugar from fruits as well? I have heard 20g of sugar for adult woman and 40g of sugar for adult man as the guidance from American Heart Association. I'm asking from the perspective of someone focusing on wellness rather than sugar addiction. Should one put a restriction on total carb intake as well (10-15% of daily calorie intake?)

Some have indicated risks associated with high protein diet and recommend restricting the amount to 20-25% of daily caloric intake. Is it warranted?

I have started a low-sugar, low carb diet several weeks ago, but have experienced some leg and foot cramps that seem to be higher than normal. Could this be related somehow?

thanks, Dr. Tarman!
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2169060_tn?1337634832
Sorry, I just noticed this question now.

Forgive me in not answering your question. It may be that you are not a food addict, and thus wil successfully be able to eat sugar in limited quantities. What is the safe amount of sugar is beyond realm of what I wish to address here. I think that following the principle of avoiding refined foods and sticking with fruits, vegetables and 4 to 6 oz  of proteins is the foundation of a healthy diet.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi.  I was just wondering if you could tell me the difference between regular sugar and the sugar that is in fruit.  I have been trying to cut back drastically on my sugar intake but find that it is still quite high because of the amount of fruit that I eat.  Should I be limiting that sugar as well or does my body process it differently that regular sugar.  Thank you for your help.
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