I wonder if you think sugar is a bad product? I think many health problems are related to how much sugar we consume.
Small amounts are fine. It becomes a problem when I do not get to control how much. SO many processed foods have had too much added. Give me unsweetened and let me "sweeten to taste" and I'll do just fine, thank you.
For example: When I make my own soda syrups from scratch, I end up using 20% of the sugar that commercial syrups contain. Mine still taste sweet enough without being sickeningly so. Also, a tsp in coffee only adds 15 calories. We simply don't need to overdo it.
Sugar has now been linked to depression, obesity, cancer and type 2 diabetes (and the list goes on).
Gary Taubes's The Case Against Sugar is quite good if you haven't read it. His book Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It helped me permanently change my diet.
I avoid sugar as much as possible and use stevia instead of artificial sweeteners (except in my one dietary "sin," diet soda). As many others point out, moderation is the key. Americans eat too much sugar, too many processed foods, eat too much red meat, too much fat, and too much salt.
Ever read "Sugar Blues" by William Dufty? It came out in 1975. It's been known for a long time that sugar greatly increases the risks of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and of course diabetes. It's linked to many illnesses. It makes the body acidic.
The average person has gone from eating about 5 grams of sugar a day (1,825 grams a year) in 1700 to eating over 227 grams of sugar a day (83,000 grams a year) in 2009. 5 grams a day would come out to about 4 pounds a year. The average person eats between 150-170 POUNDS (68,000 - 77,000 grams) of sugar a year now! We're pretty much eating in a week what we used to eat in a year in terms of sugar.
Even if you have just one 12 ounce soda a day you are consuming anywhere from like 20-60 grams of sugar.
People are being poisoned with sugar. I think it's the single most important issue of our time when it comes to food and drink and health.
I think it is more the quantities and kinds of sugar we generally consume tha tis bad. For instance porocessed sugars take at leas a dozen chemical steps to become useful to the body, whel natural sugars take only two to four steps. Thsoe extra chemical steps use up nutrients tht yur cody coudl use to rebuild and maintain itself.
In general, the more processed the food, the fewer nutrients it has, although the processed food will maitain virtually all of its clories. When you are hungry your body craves nutrients. If you eat processed goods you get calories for energy, but the body doesnt' get teh nutrients it wants, so you remain hungry and eat more. Thsi is why most Americns are overweight.
In nature, your body crves the tastes of sugar, fat, and salt. Processed food maker make sure that overly processed foods have those tastes that yoru body craves, but the processed foods lack actual nutrients. In nature, in a hunter/gatherer society those tastes would have you eatign foods that provide the nutirents your body craves.
So, we end up easting a lot of overly processed foods because it tastes good to us, bu those foods are just "empty clories" (calories with no nutriotional value), and so we end up eating too much food, includign processed sugar.
Now remember it takes at least an extra eight ehcimical steps for the body to break down processed sugars (see above), and this makes you pancreas work harder and can literally wear it out, which eventually results in diabetes as well as obesity.
So, eat unprocessed foods to remain generally healthier.
Unless I'm having the occasional once a week treat (usually able to stick to that ) the only time I have sugars or simple carbs is immediately after lifting. Anaerobic exercise depletes stored muscle glycogen and getting that insulin surge from sugars force feeds your muscles and replenishes your glycogen stores. It's also good to take some creatine and protein at the same time. Of course I am a meathead and am all about the muscle. Otherwise processed white flour, sugars and probably white rice should be avoided like the plague. There's a reason they're called 'The White Death' . You can Google metabolic syndrome for more info.
Yeah, it looks like that's the current consensus.
A few years ago, Health Care Triage, a medical news and info YouTube channel, covered WHY we didn't think that sugar could be bad for you. And it was because of the sugar industry, bought-off scientists and "Project 226". It's all sounds like a conspiracy theory. But they've got the paper trail to prove that it happened.
Here's the gist. Or just watch the video.
In the 1960s, there were two theories on nutrition's linked to coronary heart disease (CHD). One stated that fat and cholesterol were to blame. The other, that sugar was to blame. This was a war of money and profit.
The video explains a paper trail, from that time, between scientists and the Sugar Research Foundation (SRF), that suggests that scientists were "bought off" to provide counter claims debunking research that linked sucrose to coronary heart disease.
A quote from the video: "...At every stage, the SRF stressed that they wanted the attacks on carbs debunked. The 'authors' [scientists] made it clear they understood..."
When the final paper was released, there was no mention at all that it was funded by the SRF. And the paper "... consistently discounted findings ... that said fat reduction didn't work or that sugar reduction did."
The conclusion was that there was "no doubt" that the only nutritional interventions needed to prevent CHD was to reduce dietary cholesterol and substitute polyunsaturated fat for saturated fat."
Yup! It's honestly the worst. I can't resist soda some times because its so addictive. But even doing a similar calorie diet (I know, I know..) without the sugar has allowed me to lose a ton of weight. Soon as I start with the cokes though my weight skyrockets back up. Plus I feel better and feel like I have way more energy without the sugar.
Plus there's the mental effects and the other physical effects and cancer stuff already mentioned.
Also, I wouldn't trust fake sugar either. My brother drinks like 6 diet cokes a day because they're "zero calories" but uh..yeaaaaaa.
Sugar per se is not always as "bad" as other foods high in starch and low in fiber. Below are some excepts about the Glycemic Index.
Several lines of recent  scientific evidence have shown that individuals who followed a low-GI diet over many years were at a significantly lower risk for developing both type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and age-related macular degeneration than others. High blood glucose levels or repeated glycemic "spikes" following a meal can promote these diseases by increasing systemic glycative stress, other oxidative stress to the vasculature, and also by the direct increase in insulin level.
The glycemic index , or GI, measures how a carbohydrate -containing food raises blood glucose
. Foods are ranked based on how they compare to a reference food — either glucose or white bread.
A food with a high GI raises blood glucose more than a food with a medium or low GI.
Examples of carbohydrate-containing foods with a low GI include dried beans and legumes (like kidney beans and lentils), all non-starchy vegetables, some starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, and most fruit.