The Sticky Truth About Sugars, Sweets and Your Health


Hi Sweet Friends,

It’s time we talked sugar. White powdered gold. Legal crack. Sugar is one of the most readily available and addictive foods out there—and you don’t have to be a Pixy Stix guzzler to overdo it. I was pretty floored when I began to really understand the abundance of sugars in food—did you know it’s in everything from pancakes to potatoes?

The average American eats an estimated 130 pounds of sugar per year. You might think “I don’t eat that much sugar,” but this stuff is sneaky. It doesn’t just hang out in the junk food aisle, it’s also in healthy foods (don’t worry, I’m not saying that a sweet potato has as much sugar as a Snickers bar!). Hidden sugar piles up fast, so you may need to budget less sugar in your diet—especially if you’re dealing with a health challenge.

Crazy Sexy Diet

I know how overwhelming this sweet beast can be, but we’re about to change that. The connection between sugar and health finally clicked for me while researching and writing Crazy Sexy Diet. That’s why I looked back at my trusty guide to diet and lifestyle for this blog. So grab your pencils, friends. Let’s go to sugar school!

What are sugars?

To understand sugars, you’ve gotta start with the basics. You’re probably familiar with carbohydrates and glucose, but do you really know what these guys are all about? Let’s learn more about these fellas and then we’ll explore our day-to-day food choices.


There’s a lot of gabbing in the news about good carbs versus bad carbs—but what are they, exactly? First and foremost, carbohydrates are the starchy or sugary part of foods. When we think about sugar, naturally we imagine all things yummy and sweet. But in actuality, all carbs (including those that don’t taste sweet, like pasta, bread and potatoes) break down into glucose—the sugar your body uses for fuel. (More on glucose in a sec!) From your body’s point of view, there’s not much difference between a spoonful of sugar and a slice of white bread.

Carbohydrates come in two varieties, complex (“good” or “unrefined”) and simple (“bad” or “refined”). Complex carbs such as whole grains, beans, and veggies are good for two reasons: First, they take longer to digest, therefore your blood sugar doesn’t spike. This means your energy levels stay on a more even keel—no sugar highs and no crashes. No frantic search for guns, no scraping your torn self (in fishnets) off the concrete. Second, complex carbs come with a lot of other good stuff, like vitamins, minerals, enzymes, protein, and fiber. They fill you up and leave you satisfied.

With the exception of fresh fruit, simple carbs are all the junky foods you already know are bad for you: white sugar, white flour, white bread, some whole wheat breads, cookies, sugary snack foods, candy, cake, muffins, crackers, chips, white pretzels, energy drinks, sodas and sweetened soft drinks, concentrated fruit juices, and all the other empty calorie fillers that today make up at least a third of the Standard American Diet.


When glucose enters your bloodstream, your pancreas releases insulin, the master hormone of metabolism. Insulin has lots of jobs, but most importantly it regulates glucose levels by shuttling it to cells to use as fuel. But if a cell has all the fuel it needs for the moment, insulin carries off the extra glucose to be stored as fat. So far, so good—because everyone needs a little cushion for the pushin’. However, a diet high in simple sugar and refined carbs dumps a ton of glucose into your blood very quickly. As a result, your pancreas is forced to barf out additional insulin, which isn’t good for you or your pancreas.

This is one vicious cycle. Over time you may develop insulin resistance, which makes your body less effective at regulating blood sugar. Insulin resistance also affects your ability to use stored fat as energy. In other words, you can’t lose weight as easily when there’s a bunch of insulin coursing through your body. But it’s not just about weight. Too much glucose and insulin are major culprits in many diseases (for more on the relationship between sugar and cancer, read this).

What foods have the least/most sugar?

I’m going to take a wild guess and say that you don’t have time to memorize how much sugar is in every piece of food that crosses your plate. Luckily, you don’t have to…

Glycemic Index

How can you learn to make better choices when eating carbs and sugar? Enter the dazzling glycemic index (GI), a measure of how quickly and how high a particular carbohydrate raises your blood sugar level. GI is a numerical ranking system that compares a given food to a pure sugar, such as white sugar. Because white sugar is all carbohydrate, it’s designated 100 on a scale of 0 to 100. The GI is a measure of carbs only; fats and proteins have no effect on the score.

Foods with a high GI value are almost always refined, simple carbs. Conversely, foods with low GI values tend to be unrefined, complex carbs. The difference between high- and low-GI foods lies mostly in how much fiber they contain. Fiber slows the digestion of sugars and keeps you even and peaceful. That’s why a plant-based, low-GI diet is one of the central tenets of the Crazy Sexy lifestyle.

Familiarize yourself with the glycemic index—it’s a terrific tool. As a rule of thumb, any food that has a GI rank below 60 is a good choice, especially if you need to watch your blood sugar. In fact, people who stick to a low-GI diet are less likely to develop diabetes and other medical life lemons. Speaking of lemons, they fall solidly into the low-GI camp, as do berries, apples, pears, citrus fruits and plums.

And guess what? Not only can low GI diets prevent nasty diseases, they can also help to reverse them. Amen, glitter explosion! If you want to learn more, The GI Handbook by Barbara Ravage and The New Glucose Revolution by Jennie Brand-Miller and Kaye Foster-Powell are both great books for self-study.

How can sugars fit into a healthy diet?

Sugar is a part of life, and my goal in bringing you this information isn’t to scare you, it’s to help you make the best choices possible. It’s important to think of simple sugars (cakes, brownies and ice cream, oh my!) as occasional treats. Use tools like the GI scale and plant-based cooking to help you make healthier, delicious, blood-sugar-happy choices the majority of the time.

My Sugars Ranking Chart

I’ve done a little of the heavy lifting for you by creating a ranking system for sugars.

  • Group A: Your best bets. These foods give you fuel, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Total package.

  • Group B: Sweeteners that have a little something to offer beyond just the glucose energy—for example, low-GI fruit that has health-boosting vitamins.

  • Group C: These are your worst options. They are high GI, and don’t bring anything but sugar to the party. One trick ponies!

sugars infographic

What about sugar cravings?

If kicking sugary treats to the curb is on your to-do list, here are a few ways to get the job done without going bonkers:

  • Cold turkey—sometimes, tough love does the job!

  • Brush your teeth, floss, close up shop.

  • Incorporate sweet veggies, like yams.

  • Have a snack that’s high in protein and some fat, such as nuts, seeds, and avocado.

  • Sip a hot herbal tea with a bit of agave or stevia.

  • Juice up a green drink or smoothie with some good fat in it, like coconut or avocado.

  • Enjoy a rice cake with almond butter or a baked sweet potato.

  • Go for a small piece (about 1 inch square) of good-quality dark chocolate

  • Change your environment until the crisis passes. Go for a walk, call a friend, take a bubble bath, do some sun salutations, cuddle your pet, have hot sex!

Treat your perfectly sweet body with respect for the work it does to power you through the day. Shocking your system by dumping a ton of glucose into your bloodstream doesn’t a good self-care strategy make. Powering your cells with glucose, vitamins, minerals and fiber, however, is solid sunshine gold.

Have you struggled with sugar? Any great tips for how to get off the dragon? Share all in the comments!

Peace & peaches,

Kris Carr

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135 responses to The Sticky Truth About Sugars, Sweets and Your Health
  1. Awesome guide thankyou!
    I have to politely disagree with agave use though – it’s 90% fructose which bad news for our liver + overall health. Whilst it’s a better option than white sugar it’s still very bad news. It’s also packaged up + sold as a health food when it’s basically liquid fructose.

    • Ditto that. I have read a bit about sweeteners for our diabetic patients. The marketing of agave makes it look like a great substitute for sugar. However, lots of research is coming back that it still raises blood sugar to unhealthy levels. So far, the verdict says that stevia is the only sweetener that doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar. You have to be careful though, some stevia products include other sweeteners and nasty chemicals.

      • A lot of studies seem to point to the fact that Stevia is actually not as good as some claim. Our bodies are not designed or evolved to handle calorie-free sweeteners–be it natural or artificial. Experiencing a sweet taste from a food that is not going to provide glucose confounds our body’s sugar-handling process (source: http://empoweredsustenance.com/is-stevia-bad-for-you/).

        I think the best way to cut down sugar is to stick to foods you would naturally find in nature or to cut it out completely. Sometimes you realize you don’t really need it.

        • I have heard that Stevia and Agave are very bad for us. I’m just so confused (sigh). But, I do know that Kris, you inspire me. :) xo

        • Agave is so processed before we get it it is just like buying a processed sugar.

          So is most Stevia. If it is white powder it has anti-caking agents, bleached, etc. I could buy the plant version which is green leaves that have been either cut up or turned to powder from my Co-Op, and let me tell you that is completely different. It tastes like, Plants! Grass, but sweet! If you get things in their natural state and eat them, you understand what they are ACTUALLY like. So at the Optimum Health Institute in San Diego they grow Stevia in their garden (they don’t use it for anything, but you can go pick and eat it) and if you want to know what fresh Stevia actually is, it looks like a cross between Mint leaves and Cilantro sort of. It is mildly sweet when you munch on it. Dry it, and strip the water and it tastes like a mildly sweet version of powdered Wheat Grass, bleach it and process it and add a liquid or alcohol and you get some bastardized version that looks like table sugar, or a dropper liquid. But do you want to remove the fiber, remove the water, add alcohol and odd de-cakers and chemicals so it lasts forever in little sugar packets? Just munch on the plant someday and see what you think, or try the GREEN shredded or powdered kind. I am not saying the powder tastes good (it doesn’t), but you get an idea of what it naturally tastes like, or what is closer to nature. Eating sugar cane is way different from eating supposed Raw Sugar even. One COKE takes 8 feet of sugar cane for the amount of Teaspoons worth of sugar in it after it has been stripped, dried, and turned to granules. Try eating 8 feet of sugar cane instead of having a Coke!

    • Hi Jenny,

      Thanks for your comment clarifying about Agave. Could you also please give your opinion about organic maple syrup as well as raw honey used for sweetening? Also, what about coconut nectar/sweetener?

      I sadly have been on the agave bandwagon, believing all the health claims, and thinking I was choosing a better sweetener for myself and my children. Unfortunately we really are not fans of stevia, I think the after taste is what gets us! So I would love to know which alternative is the next best.


      (As always, I Love all Kris’s newsletters/blog entries and am so grateful to her for sharing all her wonderful knowledge and tips!!!!)

      • sure Angie.

        i think that honey, maple syrup and coconut nectar are all quality sweeteners. i also think coconut sugar is a great substitute for the refined white stuff too.

        i think the same rule of thumb applies to the use of sweeteners as with most things in life – moderation.

        yes it’s difficult raising children with the plethora of sugary childrens food out there. at a birthday party on the weekend my 5yo son was intent on devouring all the fairy bread and chocolates and was less interested in playing with his friends because of the sugar on offer!

        jen x

      • Could someone tell me if erythritol is a better option than agave or stevia. I love it for a low Gi sweetener. It doesn’t have the after taste that stevia does

    • Yes agave is definitely not a good option; highly processed, and much higher in fructose than high fructose corn syrup. Honey is higher in calories than sugar and its nutrient level is actually very low, though it is at least natural.

      From my reading organic blackstrap molasses seems to be the most nutritious sweetener because of its mineral content. After taking a teaspoon of blackstrap molasses each day (dissolved in hot water to make a tasty drink) a friend of mine once had her periods return (perhaps because of the iron molasses contains).

      But when it comes down to it they’re all sugar and it’s even better to enable your taste buds to revel in natural flavors. The longest I’ve gone without sugar (including honey etc), without a “break”, has been four years, and I’ve currently been happily without it for 2 1/2 years – my definitely body needs this degree of care and love at present.

      My tastes definitely change and the natural flavors of real, simple, whole food become very satisfying. I recommend eating meals with fat and protein regularly through the day, taking a chromium supplement, and sticking to small or modest amounts of fruit.

      Eat in a way that feels nourishing, loving and satisfying, without getting hung up about eating non-nutritious food now and then (if your health can tolerate it).

      IMHO having a healthy mind – and healthy thinking about food – is just as important, if not more so, than having a healthy body. >See the work of Byron Katie.

    • The only “sugar” that I have found that does not result in a physiological catastrophe would be 100% Barley Malt Syrup… It is expensive, but is the least likely to have an effect on your system overall and includes vitamins and mineral.s

  2. Its so crazy/insane/scary the amount of sugar in almost EVERYTHING! I want to reduce my sugar intake to minimum, keep the body temple well oiled, but its just so overwhelming! SuperKris to the rescue! Thank you, this post really simply puts things into perspective.. And I’m (just a smidge) more confident about dealing with the sugar monkey! Woot woot! Thank you.. This was just what I needed to hear from the magical Universe 😀

    • I agree with you whole heartedly about how frightening the amount of sugar (and salt) is in prepared foods, as well as agreeing with the comments about agave and stevia. Not just “everything in moderation,” but really, LESS is MORE. The truth about sugar and hidden sugars in so called healthy foods are important converstaions to have on and on and on!

  3. Good morning!

    Dates are a compassionate source of “sweet stuff” that has transformed how I snack. I learned that they are the most nutritious source of weetness around and are actually GOOD for you. I like to top each medjool date (so soft! – careful of the pits, though!) with peanut butter for a special treat. I also use them to make homemade protein bars! YUMMO!

    So much of spirituality and “doing the right thing” can turn into a deprivation-fest. I like to think of balance as my innate ability to respond to the moment with appropriateness. Instead of simply doing away with something — I make sure to add something in. That way I send a signal to myself that says “hey, you matter. I’m looking out for you. It’s not all about what you can’t do and can’t have.”

    What fun is that?

    I hope this helps. Thanks for initiating the conversation, Sweet Stuff!
    ♡Joy♡ @kindnessville.com

    • Ha! The proofreading star meant “sweetness” — not “weetness.” Although I’m sure dates are pretty weet!

    • I have so many amazing recipes that call for dates, but I can never find them in the store! Where do you get them?

    • One way I love to enjoy dates is to insert a pecan into the center where I retrieved the pit. Tastes better than Turtle candy!!!

  4. This is perfect for me! For the last 5 years I’ve been dealing with quite severe fatigue issues and changing my diet didn’t help me at all. (I tried to eat more meat, less meat, no meat, vegan, yeast-free, no sugars etc.), so I went back to my regular way of eating giant loads of Sugar to get through the day. It’s just really hard to kick the habit, but this makes me a little more optimistic! Thanks! :)

    • It sounds like you could use some adrenal love. When the adrenals become fatigued so do we. To compensate we crave sugar and caffeine – chocolate, coffee; which unfortunately stress our adrenals out more. Start adding b12, holy basil (tulsi), less stress, and adequate sleep (especially through the 8:00 hours), and you may find you have more energy, and you no longer crave sugar. Kris has done an article on adrenals, there is also helpful info at renegadehealth.com search adrenal. Good luck!

  5. After eating 2 chocolate bars to combat my tiredness today, this was exactly what I needed to get focused and make healthier choices around my sugar intake.
    Thanks for the info & motivation Kris xx

  6. WHAT we eat is important, but for me, how much is the key!! I have diabetes and am 74 yrs. old. I am addicted to sweets and it is the worst thing ever. When I eat desserts, I feel very bad. I have discovered that if I eat just a little of the good stuff every 3-4 hours, I feel great, my readings are better and I have more energy. For instance, when I can’t stand it any longer I have 2 White Castles, not 4-5 as usual. I am losing weight, so important and on a good trail.

  7. Thanks Kris, this is a great article and I like your checkbox guide. The key for me has been to keep an eye on my total fructose consumption. I was addicted to the sweet taste so reducing the appeal of that taste and increasing my sensitivity to it was what worked. I did a little gradual reduction and some colder turkey periods. It’s important for people to understand the difference between carbohydrates and sugars and your explanation is great around this.

    For me the tough part was the emotional and social side of it all. Dealing with friends, family, finding my own sugar balance and harmony where I felt in control and happy with my overall lifestyle and 80/20 approach on health. I’m really passionate about helping people with this particular issue because changing your sugar identity can be a really tough one at times, especially if you were know as Miss Sweet Tooth, which I was!

    • That was really nice to read about having to deal with the social issue of cutting out sugar as well. I am better than I used to be, but still have some rows to hoe – though I definitely had the title of Sweet Tooth and sometimes family members don’t remember that I’m not doing that anymore and send the worst tempting treats, which I almost always fall prey to. Ugh. Anyway, it was validating to hear that someone else recognizes this is another aspect of moving beyond the sugar spoon, and it isn’t always in our control. Thanks!

    • Surely imagine evnyrthieg you explained. Ones most liked approval have also been with the web the most convenient factor to adopt directly into accout regarding. My partner and i tell a person, I undoubtedly find irked whilst individuals consider conditions many people obviously don’t realize with regards to. Anyone managed to strike your nail bed upon the superior as well as described away the whole lot with no need unwanted effect, other people can require a indication. Might be again to obtain additional. Thanks a lot!

  8. I’m in the midst of kicking the white devil, I’m (trying) to follow the Wahl’s Protocol and am eating vegetables and omega3s like my life depends on it – because it does! Today my total sugar count will be just under 11grams for the entire day. Next on my hit list, so called “sugar free” items, which still lurk in my pantry. Unfortunately for me, I cannot have the grains or legumes that you have in your A column. :(

  9. Does anyone have an estimate of how long it takes to stop having the intense cravings once you cut out excess sugar? I feel like I might be able to go cold turkey if I knew I would feel better in a week or so, but the cravings are so intense that when I have no end in sight it feels like I can’t do it so I give in.

    • Hey Stephanie. When I go off the chocolate.. takes about a week. First 3-4 days is a hell :)
      But as I mentioned I have never gone off the sugar completely.

    • I am on a cleanse right now, no sugar, among other things. The first 3 days weren’t easy, headaches and all, might also have been the lack of caffeine. Feeling way better now. :)

    • Hi Stephanie, I had severe sugar cravings before getting off sugar.

      For me cold turkey worked best. You get it out of your system and thus get off the cycle of sugar high followed by sugar low (which causes the craving – the body is signaling to you that it needs something sugary pronto to regain the same high sugar level).

      I tried being more “flexible”, having a croissant now and again, but that immediately triggered (either psychologically or physiologically, I don’t know) cravings.

      Getting bad sugars out completely leaves you with a more refined palette – you truly don’t crave the obnoxiously glorious mind-blowing birthday cake, you taste food differently, and you enjoy your very calm low blood sugar state, which translates to a calmer you.

    • I agree. It takes a few days of feeling deprived and irritable. After that you start to not miss it too much and other foods start tasting sweeter. Fruit tastes amazingly sweet and sugary sweets become “too sweet”. I was off for 6 months once. The key for me is not trying to have sweets in moderation. I’m like an alcoholic. If I have a candy bar one day, it turns into a binge and the whole thing falls apart. If I swear off refined sugars, I don’t miss them once I’m past the first week or so. 3 weeks is supposedly how long it takes to form a new habit. Diane Sanfillipo’s 21 day sugar detox is another resource.

  10. This article was right on time. Today I was detoxing. And I really really wanted something sweat. Maybe it wasn’t a complete detox as I had fruit. I don’t eat sugar as such, and don’t like candies. But loooove chocolate. Especially dark raw chocolate. But in general I like deserts.
    I know that I just need to wait and that I can be off the chocolate (and better not to start eating it again!) But I have never really been off the sugar completely… That would be a very interesting experience I guess.

    • Alya, I had to laugh, you have addictions to something “sweat”. I know what you meant tho, just thought I would comment….

  11. thank you, thank you, thank you
    been sugarfree for 2 years
    been green juicing for 1 year
    you have helped all along the way

    • Would like to hear more from how Gena has kept on track for two years, that is amazing, what do you do at events, my issues also involve eating food that is “free” ie. included in training although I know it is not free. What strategies did you find success in for getting sugar out ?

  12. Kris, I was a chocoholic for years!!! I hid chocolate in a kitchen cabinet and generally devoured it when I was alone. I finally had to go cold turkey. I am still a chocoholic, but I no longer eat chocolate in any form. I think this sugar binge often hits people when they are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. Remember HALT. I like your hot tea suggestion best. I will have to try Stevia. Thank you, Kris, for this blog and have a blessed day! K xxx

    P.S. fibi & clo shoes and accessories are designed in NYC with Southern Love. The company was founded in 2001 and are sold exclusively in in-home parties, trunk shows, and now ONLINE. Please visit my website at http://fibiandclo.com/kayjones

    • Carob is a pleasant alternative to chocolate. And it’s naturally sweet, whereas the cacao beans are naturally bitter and have to be blended with sugar to create chocolate.

  13. Thanks for very timely post-I’m a new mum battling sleep deprivation and finding a friend in sugar! I know/want to kick the habit, think cold turkey and change of environment are my best chances of doing this. I want to be healthy for my family and for myself…thanks for the motivation xx

  14. Sugar..mmmmmmmmmm
    And so addictive yes…. And so bad….And so fattening.. and..
    Am going to try coconut sugar, will let you know how that goes!! That darn sweet tooth.Dates are a go-to when the sweetie demon sneaks in. Thanks for the ratings post, love clarity!

  15. What are you thoughts on blackstrap molassas? I’ve been substituting it in when making things like granola for the added calcium and iron. Curious to hear your thoughts.

  16. Great post! Personally, going completely cold turkey has never worked for me. I get migraines anyway, and abrupt dietary changes with migraines can actually increase the frequency and intensity. With that said, I know when I basically switch the source of the sugar, it helps a lot. (So instead of candy, I’ll allow myself to have more fruit in it’s place to wein myself off). I’ll be the first to admit I’m a girl with a sweet tooth. For me, telling myself I can’t have something just makes me want it more. Like chocolate for example. I know I”ll never remove chocolate from my diet completely, so I allow myself to have a small square of super dark chocolate (70% or more cocoa) each day. If i know I’ve got that coming, it’s easier for me to ignore other cravings. And if I give in to them at any point during the day? I don’t get my chocolate that night.

    I’m not big on cakes, cookies, things like that. For me it’s more chocolate than anything. And Ice cream. So I’ve learned to make better alternatives to ice cream (one of my favs is 2% greek yogurt with a touch of honey, cocoa powder and a dash of vanilla extract; dip berries in it and I promise you won’t be missing the ice cream!), and I simply don’t allow it to come into my house except for special occasions like birthday.

    Bread is one of the hardest for me, honestly. I can largely go without pasta, and only really want it on occasion, but bread is a bear. The only thing I’ve found that works on that is to allow myself to have it at one meal a day, and then I don’t crave it as much. Anyone have any good ideas on this one?

  17. Great article Kris! I’ve used the cold turkey method many times over the years and have found that 3 days is all it takes. The first day has intense cravings — and for me I can count on them coming roughly 24 hours to the minute of the previous days’s sugar indulgence. Getting through the first day is really the only tough part. It is a lot less difficult on day 2 and relatively easy on day 3. By day 4, I no longer crave sugar — it literally becomes EASY to take a pass on the dessert that everyone is eating right in front of you! When you do not crave it, you no longer “need” it. Works every time!!

  18. If you are truly addicted to sugar, it doesn’t matter which form it comes in, you will want it, crave it and most likely go overboard..That being the case, it’s best to avoid it altogether…I spent years of my life binge eating healthy snacks like ground date and nut concoctions only to develop an unhealthy gut flora and a zillion issues that go with it…

    • Hi Foxy!
      You described me perfectly…I am the epitome of the “sugar addict.” I went from white sugar to cane sugar, to coconut and agave and maple syrup and stevia and dates….!!!….all with the same result. I will binge on any form of sugar. Have you figured this out? Have you any helpful advice? I am at my wit’s end! The thought of eliminating all sugars completely sends me into despair and panic which then makes me binge… :(


  19. I wasn’t interested in what I ate until I was diagnosed with MS at the age of 26. Now I actually care about what goes into my body and I’ve been taking care of myself for quite a while. One of my early revelations was that I was addicted to sugar. I realized I had to fix it!

    I knew I had turned the corner with my sugar addiction when I could look at a cupcake (simple carbs) with all the icing and think, “This is just going to make me crash, and give me a headache. I think I’ll pass.” Of course I indulge from time to time, but it’s so empowering to think that you really can change your tastes and preferences after a while.

    It’s even more empowering to have these tools that you’ve given us Kris, because the most overwhelming part for me was knowing where to begin! Thank you so much.

    By the way: Ditto to everyone who is singing the praises of using dates as a sweetener–they’re wonderful in smoothies for a nutritious sweet treat. :)

  20. I am kicking sugar,caffeine, alcohol, gluten and animal products starting today.

    Can anyone offer tips as I detox? What’s the best way to get through the first week?

    Thanks and blessings!

    • An awesome network of support is the online forum over at mycrazysexylife.com

    • make sure you’ve done a complete overhaul of your fridge & cupboards. it’s much easier not to have the bad stuff around. also, planning your meals really helps so you have the right food when you need it & you’re not left to stand in front of the fridge and say “what am i supposed to eat?” that’s the behavior that fosters bad choices. there’s a section in crazy, sexy diet that prepares you for this very thing. good luck!

  21. This one really ticks me off–the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation sponsoring the Montreal Cake Show!
    Can we all get together and send them a message–or am I overreacting? http://eatandbeatcancer.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/anti-cancer-outrage-let-us-eat-cake/#more-2712

  22. Kris,
    What a great article! I am a huge sugar addict! It’s a battle every day. I juice every day and really don’t have a problem until about 5:00 and then the she devil comes out and that’s when I start tapping. I do it wherever I am and it really helps get me over the hump.
    Sweet Martha

  23. Can you tell us more about the Crazy Sexy Miracles even on 1/17/14? Thanks :)

  24. Brilliant and easy to digest info, thank you so much! I am attempting to study nutrition and you just made it sound so simple…sugar in a nutshell!

  25. Kris – my goodness how I needed to read this – I woke up thinking “today is the day” and your email arrived. Thank you! I was diagnosed with chronic Lyme earlier this year and have been working off of an anti-inflammatory diet but still fall down on the job when it comes to sugar. Here’s my question for you: how do you feel about the master cleanse to jumpstart this process? I am toying with the idea but need our beloved guru to give me some advice. Please help!! Thanks and happy Monday – !

  26. Great guide. Thank you for the reminder. It is also something you have to keep working at. I have eliminated sugar from my diet, went through a mini withdrawal, including headache, crankyness and just general pissy. It takes about three days. And then you feel great! But just when you think you’re doing really well and you can have a few cheats and then a few more, boom! sugar creeps back into the diet and you have to start all over again. So, thanks again for the reminder. Hello sugarfree Monday! Beast by Wednesday happy on Thursday.

  27. How timely for me! In August I got in the habit of eating sweets every day and have been trying to break that habit ever since…so hard!! I will try some of these strategies and remind myself why it’s so important. Does anyone have tips on how to avoid Halloween candy? I have 3 big bags in my pantry:(. Better yet does anybody have alternative ideas on what to pass out?

  28. It’s a really hard habit to break but if you do it slowly and make simple swaps over time its totally worth it – my taste buds have changed for the better. If I let myself have a ‘treat’ now I don’t feel so good afterwards. But a little dark chocolate every week is a must for me. I make chocolate out of my chocolate so melt it down and put goji berries in and other treats!

  29. Thank you for this! Yes, but what about dates? I now use them all the time. I know they are super sweet, yet they always show up in healthy recipes…

    • Hi Sarah,

      I couldn’t help but jump in on the conversation here to provide all of you lovely Crazy Sexy community folks who may not know about the website NutritionFacts.org with a link to this information about dates: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/are-dates-good-for-you/

      This site is a TREMENDOUS resource filled with scientific studies that keep pointing back and proving that a whole food plant-based diet rocks. If you’re new to it, please start with his two big videos: “Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death”” and “More Than an Apple a Day.” Happy viewing!


  30. I don’t have the regular sugar habit in the form of goodies, but I do struggle with alcohol now, which is loaded with sugar. After having breast cancer 5 years ago and they told me to stop drinking alcohol I, of course, craved it more. Kris, I love your articles every week and I would love it if you would do one on alcohol to give me (us) the extra incentive and inspiration to reduce consumption. I always get inspired by the scientific approach to health, which you bring to the discussion to help educate.

  31. Would love some tips to help me quit Dr. Pepper! I don’t drink or like coffee or tea so I drink the Dr. Pepper for the caffeine fix. If I do drink tea its an herbal one with sugar from Starbucks. Takes the sugar for me to be able to tolerate it. What is there to replace or calm down that craving for Dr. Pepper?

    • Melanie,
      Soda was my dirty little habit too. Some years ago I stopped drinking them by drinking soda water with lots of lemon and lime wedges squeezed in. It isn’t sweet and takes a bit to adjust but the “fizz” factor soothed my cravings with no sugar. I would get the glass bottles of San Pellagrino and savor it in a “rocks” glass with citrus, really looked forward to this. Soda is horrible, usually it doesn’t even contain traditional sugar in the U.S., but High Fructose Corn Syrup is probably the first or second ingredient…pure poison!! Plus other preservatives and chemicals. I know it’s very hard, but it will be worth it!!

    • You may also want to start adding green tea and holy basil tea to your routine. Both of these (especially the green tea) will help to satiate cravings for sugar and help your taste buds change. I like to sweeten with raw honey or high quality maple syrup. Good luck! : )

  32. I have gone cold turkey on sugar for about a week now w the exception of alcohol-I think I can give up sweets, and cut back on alcohol, but not totally give it up- will this be enough for me to see an improvement?

  33. Where does coconut sugar and dates rank in the chart?

    • Yes, I too am interested in learning where coconut sugar fits into your chart. I have switched to that for some baking. Thank you, great article! : )

    • I would also like to know where coconut palm sugar fits.

  34. Great post Kris! I quit sugar over ten years ago, starting with cold turkey for four years as part of an anti candida that gave me my health back after being bedridden with Fibromyalgia. It taught me just how dangerous sugar can be. Although in the last five years I have had some here and there I no find that the cleaner my diet the less my body will tolerate it and even a tiny bit of sugar gives me a terrible ‘hangover’ and now I just don’t even want it, which is amazing!
    I’m always educating clients on the difference it can make to remove it from your diet and love the great round up in this post.

    For everyone trying to quit, it’s worth it and will change your life! xo

    • I wish i was as succesful as you were! i try to go cold turkey EVERY DAY literally. I hate myself when i eat those sugery and SAD foods but cant do anything baout it, i am like a drug addict, any tips how i can get rid of my addiction ?

  35. When I have a sugar craving it is usually because I have forgotten to eat some REAL food. At work I pop in a prune to feel better – I am not tempted to overdose on those because I KNOW what will happen if I have more than two. Then I go find the yoghurt, fruit or veggies that I try to always have stocked in the fridge. Or I go for a hot bowl of soup to fill me up.
    Something else I enjoy is a whole avocado. Just cut in quarters around the pit, twist to loosen and peel the skin off. You will have four sections to eat whole. The good fat and creamy texture seam to help fill me up. That plus an apple could make a whole meal! It makes a great snack on those days I feel deprived. Nothing better than a full stomach to take the sugar cravings away. (Okay, a good friend you can phone or go for a walk with is necessary too!)

  36. I use coconut sugar as it has 4 grams of sugar but only 4 grams of carb…a wonderful flavor and bakes well instead of other sugars.

  37. Hi, did you mena glycemic load vs. index- or do you prefer index?

  38. Lovely article. Hope I can print it up, definitely sending it to some special people in my life. I just wanted to add that GLUTEN FREE doesn’t mean GOOD FOOD. It’s every bit as bad/carb/sugar/junk filled as any other iced cinnamon bun, aromatic French Bread temptation. I see so many Celiac familiies and I watch as they concoct all sorts of gluten free breads pastas etc as their insulin resistance rises.
    Thank you for all the good work you do!

    • Agree whole heartedly! We are gluten free and don’t replace the past gluten that we ate with gluten free products except on special occasions. Thanks for the reminder!

  39. I quit sugar about 1,5 years ago and it wasn’t easy! actually in the same time I stopped smoking and to quit smoking was easier than laying off the sugar…I’m sure then you can guess how addicted I was. In the beginning I would allow myself to binge on sugar every saturday but then I started craving it less and less and now I can barely stand the taste of candy, cookies and all that other nasty stuff, your palette doesn’t reckognize it! Now if I would eat any of it I also get these terrible sugar-hangovers where my head hurts, stomache, skin so it’s just not worth it. Honestly, the only way to go is cold turkey.

  40. I have been working to “get off” sugar for 2 months now with varying degrees of success. Some weeks I am amazing and feel great without cravings. Then BAM! the cravings start and I am a crazy person. I was shocked to really see all the sugar my family was eating. And I really considered myself a healthy eater.

    Thanks, Kris, for posting this guide. I really enjoy learning about food and food choices and how it affects my life.

  41. Its like you wrote this for me. I love candy. I admit it…. I don’t eat alot but when its around I eat it! I was at a Halloween party of the weekend and woke up with a hangover, not alcohol related… It was a sugar hangover! Ugh.

    Thanks for writing this. Its a big wake up call for me to get back on track to loosing weight and being healthy!

  42. Do you know how coconut sugar is fitting into this? I have a friend that turned to coconut sugar because it has a lower GI. Is this true or just a result of the coconut oil craze.

    • I am also wondering about raw coconut sugar and coconut nectar. I imagine they would both be a “B” because they have a little more nutrients and are lower GI than most but are still just sweeteners. Coconut sugar is very similar to sucanat in my opinion.

  43. Does anyone know the GI of coconut sugar? Is it a healthy alternative? Many thanks in advance for answers.

  44. i’m so glad you are finally posting this. this is one of the biggest problems with america’s diet as far as I’m concerned. one more important point is that eating fats and proteins ALONG WITH your carbohydrates helps to regulate blood sugar much better than just eating the carbs alone. for example, have your banana with almond butter instead of by itself. or your toast with cheese or peanut butter.

  45. Stevia Chocolate oh Yes!
    I stay away from most forms of sugar, save some berries and pears now and then, but I do love a little bite of chocolate now and then. So I found this dark chocolate by “Lilly’s” at my local Natural Foods Store. I love the coconut version. They have several flavors and it’s stevia sweetened!… and also has Erythritol (I just noticed! much to my chagrin), an alcohol sweetener that is not absorbed very much by the body, but still not great for us. It’s fine in small quantities, as in a small square of chocolate, but I wouldn’t bake with it or anything. This chocolate is not organic, but is Non-gmo. Anyway, if you’re trying to kick the sugar habit but can’t quite let go of the chocolate yet, this is a good little transition treat and it’s the real deal when you just need what you want. They also make milk chocolate, if you’re not avoiding dairy.

  46. Correction on my note about Stevia chocolate:
    It’s by” Lily’s Sweets” out of Santa Barbara. Also it’s supposed to be good for diabetics too.

  47. Very interested

  48. Absolutely love all your blogs and read and re-read your books! I also had to cut down on sugars (even though I already ate healthily) because my family is riddled with diabetes for 5 generations. I find incorporating cinnamon (a lot!) in either powder form, or chewing on a quill of cinnamon really hitting the sweet spot, as well as adding fennel seeds (whole) to teas to sweeten them or making candy with those in stead of even the coconut sugar I’m using.

  49. You did not mention pineapple in your sugar guide – I suspect it is loaded with natural sugar!

  50. L-glutamine (an amino acid tablet) taken in the morning has cut all cravings for this sugar addict.

    • I was going to suggest the the same thing. I haven’t tried it yet, but I have read it helps with sugar cravings. Happy to know it works!

  51. Hey guys! I have real issues with sweets and SAD foods… I can more or less say that i am addicted to them and feel like a drug junkie whenever i get out of control, eating wise. Anyways. Do you know how i can ‘detoxify’ myself from that or prevent myself from emptying the foods of others (i have gluten btw, but i dont even care enough about how bad i will feel after – it is real bad) or the fridge??
    Is there a way to treat myself , kind of like a ‘drug withdrawal’?

    And last question: are fresh figs okay to eat? I mean, i know they are super healthy but are they too high in GI or why aren’t they listed?

    • I consider myself a sugar addict to for many reasons-
      I joined an addiction recovery program, which has helped. I did do a cleanse, which worked wonders on cutting the sugar cravings for the time, but it did nothing to deal with the “why” of the addiction, so the first stressful event after the cleanse and I was all over the local cupcakery! Good luck!!

      • thanks treisha for sharing! my addiction is really bad, I would crave for everything carb and sugar loaded. day passes that I don’t chew and eat sth of those things even though I don’t want to!!! the addiction recovery program you did- was that a normal one or exclusively for sugar addicts? I am in Germany and we don’t have sth like that here :((

  52. My number one most successful way to beat the sugar cravings is taking it one day at a time… if I look any further than today, I think of all I will miss out on and than I go berserk and indulge, thinking I need one last fix before I cut sweets out! One day at a time and all of a sudden its been weeks since I’ve given in to a sugary sugar coated sugar bomb delight!

  53. I love this article – especially your sugar guide! I quit sugar 6 years ago as recommended by my doctor after a steady weight gain of 5-10 pounds per year. Remarkably, the excess weight vanished rather quickly, plus I feel much better! And although I was as addicted as to sugar as you could possibly be and thought giving it up would be impossible, it was much easier than I ever expected (once I got through the first few days)! Once I got past the addiction, being around temptations never bothered me. And it didn’t really take all that long. I’m saying all this because if I could do it, anyone can do it!

  54. hi Kris,

    Thanks for another informative blog email. I am seriously struggling daily with my sugar cravings and am really having a hard time. I am going to use this information to make tomorrow the start of a new day and fingers crossed a sugar-craving-free day!


  55. Hello! Great post and just in time, since I am trying to decrease my intake of sugar….the thing is I read that apples and pears are one the most highest fruit with fructose….and here they are on the A (best) list? Can somebody help me with that?
    Thank you Kris! <3

  56. Hi Kris :)
    Where do dates fit into this? I love sweet things and have been taking refuge in dates lately because they seem the least offensive, and have even been wanting to make date syrup to sweeten coffee and tea because I think maybe it’s better than agave?
    Love to hear your thoughts!
    XO, Sharon

    • Whoops, Just read everyone’s info and dates and looks like they are good to go! Yay! On Saturday at the farmer’s market in SF there was a guy selling 10+ varieties!

  57. Sugar Blues by William Dufty was released in 1975 and quickly became a commercial success. According to the publishers, over 1.6 million copies have been sold. William Dufty makes the case that sugar is an addictive drug, that it is extremely harmful to the human body, and that the sugar industry conspires to keep Americans addicted to sugar.

    In the summer of 1985, there was some discussion among devotees at the San Diego Krishna temple about finding substitutes for white sugar, which many of the guests attending the weekly dinner program (often New Age and/or vegetarian for health reasons), said was unhealthy. (A few of the guests were vegan, and would politely decline the dishes containing dairy.) Fructose and honey were discussed as alternatives to white sugar.

    “Who cares what the karmis (nondevotees) think?” commented one female devotee. “We should please the Deities.” (All food in the temple is offered to the Deities before eaten, and — note that plural! — we worship the images and expansions of a plural Godhead, like that of Trinitarian Christianity.)

    In 1986, I lived briefly with a group of Jewish students. My roommate John Anklow, a Reform Jew from New York visiting California, asked me if there was an equivalent to the Sabbath in the Hindu religious tradition. (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are the days of rest for Muslims, Jews, and Christians respectively.)

    I told John that the closest parallel I could think of to the Sabbath is Ekadasi: (Sanskrit: एकादशी, ekādaśī, “Eleven”), the eleventh lunar day (Tithi) of the shukla (bright) or krishna (dark) paksha (fortnight) of every lunar month in the Hindu calendar (Panchang). In Hinduism and Jainism it is considered a spiritual day. Scriptures recommend observing an (ideally waterless) fast from sunrise on the day of Ekadasi to sunrise on the day following Ekadashi.

    Two Ekadasis occur in one month according to positions of the moon. The progression of the moon from full moon to new moon is divided into fifteen equal arcs. Each arc measures one lunar day, called “tithi”: The time it takes the moon to traverse that distance is the length of that lunar day. Ekadasi refers to the 11 tithi, or lunar day. The eleventh tithi therefore corresponds to a precise phase of the waxing and waning moon: In the bright half of the lunar month, the moon will appear roughly 3/4 full on Ekadasi, and in the dark half of the lunar month, the moon will be about 3/4 dark on Ekadasi.

    But as my buddy Randall (Ratha Yatra dasa), raised Catholic and an initiated (ordained) disciple of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupda, serving as a lay person or congregational member, later pointed out, the Sabbath is a day of rest, whereas Ekadasi is a day of austerity (asceticism, penance).

    In the ’80s it was reported that Hindu spiritual master Satsvarupa dasa Goswami made it a point to abstain from sugar on Ekadasi, since white sugar is processed through animal bones and thus isn’t even vegetarian.

    In the ’80s, I wondered why the Jains abstain from honey, which I naturally assumed at the time as an animal by-product (like dairy and/or eggs) would be cruelty-free and wouldn’t involve taking the life of a fellow-creature.

    One of initiated (ordained) devotees at the San Diego Krishna temple, Yudhistira dasa (Curtis Kribbs), understood the Jains’ rationale as nonviolence toward other living entities, rather than as asceticism. He said bees are often killed in obtaining honey.

    In 1987, Krishna devotees were informed about Sucanat, a sugar product which is strictly vegan and differed from white sugar (processed through animal bones, and thus isn’t even vegetarian!). Ads for Sucanat appeared at the time in Clarion Call, a Krishna periodical published by followers of Tripurari Swami, out of the San Francisco Bay Area, and aimed at New Age spiritual seekers.

    In the late ’90s, my friend Gopisvara dasa (Tom Dudek), raised Catholic and initiated by Tripurari Swami, made it a point to abstain from sugar. When I brought up the subject of veganism, as opposed to the lacto-vegetarianism of Krishna temples, he was sympathetic, saying he was vegan for a few years himself.

    In 2000, Gaverick Matheny of Vegan Action told me that Vegan Action had started a campaign to have products in supermarkets labeled as vegan, but they weren’t sure how to proceed with products containing white sugar, since white sugar is processed through animal bones, and thus isn’t even vegetarian.

    Gaverick said there was debate among the vegans as to whether or not honey (even if obtained humanely) could be labeled vegan (as an alternative to products containing white sugar), since honey is derived from insects.

    My friend Anantarupa dasa, who took his present birth in Ireland, and came to Krishna Consciousness from an Irish Catholic background, commented, “Honey isn’t vegan. Not by any stretch of the imagination.”

    Anantarupa dasa, who had made his own soymilk before and was sympathetic to veganism, said around that time as well that it’s doubtful if Krishna would accept milk or dairy products from factory farmed cows, subject to torture and abuse.

    Anantarupa dasa, sympathetic to veganism, still saw veganism in the late ’90s and early ’00s as an extreme form of vegetarianism (like Dick Gregory’s fruitarianism!), rather than just being realistic about nonviolence.

    When I told Anantarupa dasa I wanted to sponsor a Sunday Feast at the Berkeley Krishna temple, but insisting it be a strictly vegan Feast, and invite SF Bay Area vegans to attend, so they could be purified…

    (we believe anyone taking prasadam, food offered to the images of the Supreme Lord and His various incarnations and expansions, is blessed by the Lord with a human birth in his or her next life, and the opportunity to progress further in their relationship with the Lord)

    …Anantarupa dasa replied with mild sarcasm:

    “Why not sponsor a raw food Sunday Feast, and invite all the raw food faddists, so they can be purified?”

    In 2002, a Southern California judge ruled animal activists cannot claim to be exempt on moral grounds for refusing vaccines tested on animals…

    (like pacifists or conscientious objectors during wartime, or pro-lifers refusing vaccines containing aborted fetal cells)

    …because, the judge ruled, veganism and animal rights are a secular moral philosophy…

    (like democracy and representative government in place of monarchy and belief in the divine right of kings; the separation of church and state; the abolition of human slavery; the emancipation of women; birth control; the sexual revolution; LGBT rights, etc.)

    …and not a religion!

    Wait a minute! Isn’t the United States really a secular society?!

    “This country wasn’t founded by Christians,” said Ron McClellan (Sarva Satya dasa), a fallen Prabhupada disciple who really ought to just step down and serve in FOLK (“Friends Of Lord Krishna”), the laity.

    The judge’s ruling is another reason animal activists should be courting the religious community for the inspiration, blessings and support of organized religion.

    The judge’s ruling has prompted some animal activists to now claim Jainism as their religion!

    One animal activist reported that when he visited a Jain temple and was offered herbal tea sweetened milk and honey, he politely declined, explaining that with modern factory farming, even animal by-products cannot be obtained nonviolently.

    The person wanting to serve him tea said, “You are a better Jain than I.”

    Sugar might be a health hazard, but so are alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine. And sugar can be obtained nonviolently, whereas meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products cannot be obtained without animal slaughter. Unlike products tested on animals, sugar doesn’t scream in pain if you experiment on it, etc. The vegetarian, vegan, and animal rights community has more pressing concerns.

  58. Sugar sure is addictive! Whenever I eat some I just want MORE. Lately I’ve managed to reduce my intake right down and I do feel much better. Now just eating fruit or drinking cows milk tastes incredibly sweet. If you don’t over saturate your palate with the refined stuff you can actually taste the yummy natural sugars in fruit, veg, nuts, etc. What’s even better is that once you reduce sugar, you become very aware of what it does to your body when you eat it.
    If you like to sweeten your drinks you could try coconut oil? The extra virgin, cold pressed stuff is actually quite sweet and creamy and goes well in green tea!

  59. Wonderful article!
    I have been on a low sugar diet since a cancer diagnosis. Check out my website for alcohol free and low sugar drink options for the holidays.

  60. Dear Kris,

    As always, it’s so nice to get your newsletter. Thank you.

    Can you write some more about enzymes, please? I am an anglomaniac vegan nerd from Germany who would appreciate some help. I don’t understand why enzymes are always mentioned separately from proteins when nutrition gurus and health cookbooks talk about the food we eat (or have to eat or shouldn’t eat). Because all health nuts keep mentioning enzymes, I read stuff about the function of enzymes in an organism. I now know that enzymes are vital catalysts. No enzymes, no life. But I also learned that almost all of them are proteins. That means that our bodies have to take enzymes apart, just as they take all proteins apart, and then use the amino acids and other whatsits that make up these creatures to make whatever substances they need. Right?
    Here are some direct questions: Do our bodies always make enzymes from enzymes or do they also make other proteins from them? And if they do make enzymes from enzymes, do they always make the same kind? (Why are we sold specific digestive enzymes, for instance, since our bodies have to take those apart as well? If the selling of digestive enzymes is not just a scam, then that must mean that our bodies can make their own digestive enzymes from the digestive enzymes they ingest.)
    Why are people more concerned about cooking and thereby “killing” enzymes than they are about cooking and killing other proteins or other nutrients? Does the cooking process modify the amino acids contained in a particular enzyme (or other protein) at the atomic level in such a way that it then becomes unfit for use as a building block inside the body?
    I guess I sometimes worry too much about nutrition and obsess too much. :) And at those times, the general guidelines you offer are extremely valuable. What I extracted as good for myself: Always vegan, as much green stuff as possible, keep junk food to a minimum.
    Thank you so much for all you do.

  61. Hi Kris, this is probably the best article I’ve read about sugar in a long time. I will read it again when I feel like polishing off a bag (or three) of gummy bears for no reason. I’ve been struggling to eat less sugar for a long time, but most people don’t see this as a problem as long as you’re slim.
    Thank you!

  62. This is great information. I keep a mostly vegan diet and am very cautious about the quality of my produce, buying organic when I can. Despite all of this, I know I consume far more sugar than I should. I will definitely be replaceing some of my food with more grade A foods!

  63. ” No frantic search for guns, no scraping your torn self (in fishnets) off the concrete. ” Thanks !! You made me laugh this morning!

  64. You might want to check out what Dr. Mercola says about the evils of AGAVE sweetner. You’ll never want to use the stuff again.

  65. High blood sugar is associated with numerous metabolic disorders, including: obesity, impaired glucose tolerance, pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance syndrome and heart disease. As far as diet and food is concerned, the best way to maintain optimal control over your blood glucose is to choose sugar carbs with a lower GI value.

  66. The GI is a great tool for evaluating carbs, it is a measure from 1-100 that indicates how high and how fast a certain food can raise your bloods glucose. Foods that have a lower GI are much better for keeping blood sugar low and has other good health benefits.

  67. Yup, Agave isn’t too kind to the body, as far as quality of sweeteners is concerned. I bought some cheaply (and likely unwisely too) at a Costco, a while back, and became quite sickly affected after only just a few additions to my ordinarily breakfast cereals. I’ll take Stevia instead, and certainly well avoid Agave. I would rate Agave – C, on the list of Sweeteners.

  68. Execellent info! Kicking sugar has been quite a journey of ups and downs (literally). But now from the other side, sugary stuff is so gross!

  69. Kris Carr’s Sugar Guide chart is worth its weight in gold, and is getting printed and pasted onto my pantry door so everybody in my household, including and especially myself, can be reminded about what’s good, bad and ugly in the Sugar stores there. But, it’s not only a good list to keep close by to help inform your sweetener choices, it’s also a great list to figure out what needs to be dumped and avoided~! Thanks, Kris~!

  70. Kris, I love your work, love your inspiration! I’ve been addicated to sugar for a while, but it’s getting better! For me, a little bit of dark chocolate twice a day works wonders! :)

    Much love and many blessings,
    Mary Jane xoxo

  71. Thanks for being such an inspiration to me, I met you in Washington in September at the hay house conference, I had that awesome long red dress on, you passed me in the passage earlier in the morning before the conference started. I am back home in South Africa, and reading and following your knowledge and changing the life of my family and community for the better. I can’t wait to see you again. Yvette

  72. hi this is a great article im so glad people are relooking at the dangers of sugar. I read a book many years ago called sugar blues by gloria swanson and due to this book i was extremely careful to what i gave my kids when babies and the most amazing thing happened ..they didnt teeth. their teeth came through naturally and i didnt get the up all night crying my friends did, it was hard at times making and finding alternatives and not using any processed food but to me it was worth it. but i have been banging my head in a brick wall ever since as no one believes me and they say i was just lucky. i know different :) also my 2 daughters now 17 and 18 yrs old have both hadly had any dental work and they have had periods where they havnt flossed as they should and i beleive this is due to their few yrs sugar free when babies.

    Also looking on this site at few other comments i tend to agree about stevia and agave, they have been processed if i do use sweeteners i stick to maple syrup and honey, if you buy the least processed of both these products you know they havnt been overly messed around with and depending on what you are making you can add shredded coconut or oats to the recipe to add a bit of substance.

  73. Reading this could not be more timely for me. Having gone through stressful times at work, I’ve recently realized I turned to sugar as a coping mechanism and it’s now taken over my life! Sweet, sugary goodness has been my go to for far too long. Cold turkey seems tough & may just be the way I need to go….lots of sipping tea in my future! Thanks for this easy-to-read guide and the simple tips Kris!

  74. I really encourage you to read Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson. Ground breaking research into the nutrition of our modern varieties. Fruit for the most part besides dark berries contain none of the nutrients found in their wild counterparts. Most fruit is just a fructose delivery system. I am waiting for health bloggers to get on the same page about fruit. It is not the benign food we think it is. Also shipping fruit around the world is an extreme stress on our world environment. What is the carbon footprint for that banana that has as much sugar as a snickers? Avocado has sooooo much more potassium. It also can be grown up to zone 8!

  75. So is Truvia bad for you?

  76. One very important thing you didn’t mention!! Beet sugar, GMOs in all sugar that’s not pure cane sugar. That’s a huge piece of info. to leave out!!! Time for you to watch Food Inc. and most important Genetic Roulette.

  77. Hi Kris,
    Your site, work and passion for motivating change are awesome, and your recent blog on sugars is timely and excellent.
    One comment: I believe agave should be rated a ‘C.’ Current pop mythology claims it’s healthy, when, in fact, it contains more fructose than the dreaded HFCS. True agave nectar is almost impossible to find in the US.
    A simple google search will offer you plenty of reasons to knock this bad boy down into the sugar straw category!
    Thanks for your energy and dedication – you’ve helped so many people!

  78. Very good post, but you’re wrong about honey. Yes, there are high GI honeys, but there are also low GI honeys, such as acacia honey which has a GI of 32. In addition to being low GI, quality honey (not most multi floral blends found in the supermarket) has the added benefits of being anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-fungal, boosts the immune system, and it increases your iron levels. In studies on rats, it also did not cause obesity even when the honey fed rats ate more calories (they ate honey in addition to their usual diet) than controls. Honey is awesome for sweetening deserts (made with wholemeal flour and other good things, of course). I just did a presentation on honey for my food science class at university, and I was amazed at all the good things I found out (from scientific papers) about honey.

  79. Hi Kris,
    I love your sugar-introduction, and have tried to live by these principles for two years (with other dietary changes as well) since I wanted to fight my candida albicans which was in “outburst”. I still follow the diet as well as I can, even though I am on the other side of disease now, because I see the great health benefits and the well-being it brings.
    I have some questions though. First of all, in your GI-chart I’ve noticed you put “citrus fruits” in the A section with low GI, and then on the picture orange juice is under the B. I’ve always thought that Orange juice was high GI, but what does the “citrus fruits” entail? Is it lime and grapefruit?
    The other thing I wondered about is that I thought that Xylitol actuallay had great health benefits? As far as I know it helps prevent cavities and oral health in general, it should also increase bone density and reduce occurences of middle ear infections. This is of cours not chemical xylitol, but birch-xylitol. Can you confirm this? I realize, of course, that you can’t fit all of this in your chart, I just wanted to ask because the chart might make it seem like Xylitol is a bad choice compared to maple syrup or something like that.
    I love that you try to tell the world the life changing truth, though!
    Thanks from Anna, Denmark

  80. Great list! One thing though about brown rice syrup; although it’s low gi, it can be high in arsenic as it concentrates in syrup:


  81. Hi!! I have a question about dried fruits…how is their GI?? I know they are high in fiber but I am not sure about the “quality” of their sugar.

  82. Hi Kris!

    Looooved this artcile. Feeling confident that I can be mostly low-GI :) I think it’s so important to get a refresher course every now and again as to why sugar is so icky. I know that once I have lots of sugar, it’s just a downward spiral and before I know it i’m two handfuls-deep into my favorite candy bag (the family size!) Haha.

    Love you Kris, thank you for this easy to follow guide. <3 <3 <3

  83. Kris,
    Love your blog, your books, your message.

    Really object to your use of the phrase “legal crack.” It minimizes actual drug addition and the struggles of those who live with addictions. Yes, sugar is addictive, but let’s be honest: it doesn’t ruin lives the way, for instance, actual crack cocaine does.

    I really expected a more balanced, compassionate and respectful approach from you.

    Thanks for reading,

  84. Love this – such a great read. Sugar and I have a LOVE – HATE relationship and I did the cold turkey thing a few years back. However, every now and then I notice a small craving and I’m always working to understand the triggers as well as where else sugar is hidding in my foods which ultimately is what typically causes that craving to come back – It’s hidding everywhere.
    This is a fantastic guide to help not just people like me that try to keep it FAR FAR AWAY but also for my use with my family. We can all be more aware of what we are cooking for our families, what we are packing in our kids lunches, etc.
    Thank you for this amazing Guide to sugar. I love it and will definately be using this in my home :)

  85. Thank you so much for this, Kris- I just love your graphics!

    It’s becoming increasingly difficult to avoid sugar- you can give yourself a bit of a shock when you really look into it!

    Thanks again- xx

  86. I gave up glucose sugar 2 weeks ago because my dentist said my teeth are in trouble. I am 39, pretty healthy, mostly vegetarian and don’t eat “junk food” except for dark chocolate.

    Coming off glucose was like coming off a hard drug. I was foggy, vague, grumpy, muscle aches, headaches and weak on and off for about 5 days. I took one day off work but kept parenting and doing the chores, just very slowly.

    Now, two weeks later I feel absolutely fantastic. I also feel really empowered, like if I can give up sugar I can do anything!!

    Tips: I still eat bananas, a few dates and a teaspoon of xylitol in a hot cacao ” hot chocolate” if I have a huge craving. I have baked a few cakes using banana’s and dates to sweeten to take to parties. They were tastier than when I used to add sugar.

    I am also on the green juice and in the last 3 days gave up dairy! Thank you Kris Carr! Now I am through the worst of the detox I am bouncing off the walls with energy and my sinuses are clean and clear!

    Next stop – Kris’s 21 day detox diet. :) :)

  87. You’re so awesome it’s not even funny. I’m just jealous.

  88. going to try making date syrup today for my tea etc…
    Been using agave but have been reading more that it is not as good as once claimed