Everything in moderation: 1


You might already have a good idea which of these two groups you belong to. If in the past you’ve only been able to lose weight by cutting down on all carbohydrates, you’d be in the latter. Or, if you get tired after eating sugar or starchy carbohydrates, and especially if you notice an improvement in your energy levels when you don’t eat them.

Johnson says that fructose isn’t just a calorie; for most people it’s biologically active in a way that leads to metabolic syndrome and autoimmune disease. And that’s why he says not eating sugar regularly would have “a huge, amazing impact on health.”

According to Johnson, a moderate amount of fructose is no problem for our health or weight. However, his idea of moderate is the fructose naturally contained in a couple of pieces of fruit every day.

(In case you don’t know, table sugar is half fructose and many sweeteners are mostly fructose. Once considered the healthiest sweetener because of its low Glycemic Index, much more has now been learned about fructose.)


So do our problems with overeating all boil down to the metabolism of fructose? Not at all. You see, some people will come across this information and feel inspired to improve their health and energy, while others will run screaming towards the cake tin. And others will decide, “that makes sense but I don’t have time right now to do anything about it.” It’s the ways in which you think that make the difference.

Are you fed up with being told to stop eating the things you love most? This will depend on the beliefs that support your overeating. The good news is that you can change the way you think. Not only can you change, but it’s likely you won’t be able to update your idea of moderation without challenging your addictive thinking.

Please don’t shoot the messenger! If it were up to me, pizza and ice cream would be health food! In Part 2 I’ll describe one solution that’s been part of my relationship with food for years, has research to show it’s effective – and yet many caution against it.


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  1. Gillian K

    I found this very interesting. Increasingly these last two years I have learned to listen very carefully how I feel after a range of foods which at one time my mind automatically labelled Very Bad but it never stopped me eating them after a period of deprivation! But now I’m in a place where I don’t eat mindlessly, and consciously choose as often as I can what makes me feel as great as it’s possible to feel. I have pretty much eliminated sugar from my everyday diet through choice now. I don’t like how it reduces my resistance to good choices the following day and I hate how it kills my appetite for vegetables and good things. I feel great on loads of non starchy veg, but less good on most starchy veg and grains. Occasionally I have these things but I no longer like them as I once did. They disappoint after one bite. I don’t spiral down afterwards because I know what to eat the next day. I accept what’s ok for others may not work so well for me and that’s ok.

  2. Nicola

    I have a quick question about the fructose metabolism info which was fascinating! Is there a group of people who absorb the fructose eaten directly but don’t create it from starches. you only mentioned 2 scenarios?

    • Yes, Nicola, absolutely. This would be by far the largest group (pun intended!) and I was thinking it would go without saying… but thanks for helping me to be more clear with that.

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