Dr David Unwin, a good friend of the team at Health Results, talks about how he often comes across patients who can’t understand why their diabetes hasn’t gone into remission, even though they have cut out all sugars. He then has to explain that while they may have removed the obvious sugars, like sweets and sodas, they often aren’t aware that starchy carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta, rice and potatoes, digest down into surprisingly high amounts of glucose.

David realised some time back that many people struggled to visualise the GI (glycemic index) and GL (glycemic load) charts and began to research what effect certain popular foods had on the bloodstream. To get the message to really sink in, he had the idea of comparing the effect of popular food choices to eating spoons full of sugar. David’s Spoonful of Sugar infographics have become so widely appreciated in medical circles, that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), a government body which provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care, has now formally adopted them.

As you will repeatedly hear us talking about at Health Results, when excess sugar enters the bloodstream, our body views it as poison and releases insulin to usher it to our fat stores. Too much insulin is associated with cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and many more chronic illnesses that we today face in Britain.

Before they went to school each day, I always fed my young children what I thought was healthy cereals and apple juice and I am furious that nobody told me that these turned into sugar! Please use these charts to avoid making the same mistakes as I did.

Breakfast Sugar equivalent 

Breakfast sugar teaspoon equivalent

Dinner Sugar equivalent

Dinner sugar teaspoon equivalent


Avoid deadly sugar 

It is thought that primal man developed a bit of a sweet tooth by occasionally finding fruit, and in some regions, honey. When he did, he gorged on them. Remember, he didn’t have a way of refrigerating food, so he just sat there and scoffed down as much as he could. It is therefore our early ancestors’ fault, if you like, that we are programmed through our DNA to enjoy gorging on sweet things. But before you start thinking that it is therefore primal to eat loads and loads of sugar, remember that for our ancestral caveman, the fruit would only be available once a year! When we eat sugar, we are not consuming anything helpful. Sugar does not possess any of the vitamins or minerals our body requires. Zero! Although we don’t count calories when living primally, l shall use them here to highlight a point. Let’s say we have on average six cups of coffee a day, with two spoons of sugar in each. Chances are each spoon has 30 calories heaped upon it. So that’s 60 calories per cup, multiplied by our six coffees a day and all of a sudden, we are consuming 360 empty calories a day.

Avoiding sugar

Now, even the largest person who will ever read this book will have a limit to the amount of calories they can consume in a day, but to keep it simple, let’s assume we consume above average and that we are currently ingesting around 2,880 calories a day. That means that one eighth of our intake is from empty calories. That means that one eighth of our intake, even if it wasn’t doing us any harm (while of course by now we know it’s wreaking havoc inside our body) isn’t providing us with any of the vital stuff we need. Now let’s add on the cakes, biscuits and fizzy drinks and before we know it, more than half of what we are eating and drinking is having zero positive effect. Plus, if you like the idea of intermittent fasting to lose weight (which we will discuss the merits of later), on the days where you are eating, you are going to need to bank some vital vitamins and good nutrients. We simply can’t fast if on the days we eat normally we are eating empty calories.

Just like cigarettes and booze, sugar is addictive. Just like cigarette manufacturers stuff their cancer-causing products full of addictive nasties, food manufacturers put sugar into almost everything these days. From baked beans to canned meats, from sauces to even bottles of supposedly healthy water. Make no bones about it - food manufacturers attempt to get us addicted to their products by adding sugars.

While these food manufacturers are really clever and have all sorts of marketing spins, with a little knowledge we can spot the deadly white stuff even if it has been well hidden. On food packages, pretty much every word that ends in ‘-ose’ is a sugar. Maybe it’s a subliminal acronym for something like ‘other sugar exposed’, or buyer beware, ‘obesity sugar exists’.

Dextrose, fructose, galactose, glucose, lactose, maltose and sucrose are all simply different types of sugar. As well as watching out for the deadly ‘-ose’, treat all syrups with the same contempt. They are all high in sugar, with heaps of calories that offer minimal nutritional value.

How about this for an analogy. It is said that if a frog is put into a jar of boiling water, it will jump out immediately, but if the frog is put into cold water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive any danger and will be cooked to death. It’s the same with sugar. It doesn’t kill you immediately, but both poisons and ages you, just a little bit every time you eat it.

Sugar Explained

Let’s look at the three sugar groups. All the sugar groups are a type of ‘saccharide’ – the Latin word for ‘sugar’.

  • Monosaccharide (pronounced moh-no-sack-a-ride): a single molecule. These simple sugars include glucose – found in fruits and grains – and fructose (found in fruit).
  • Disaccharide (die-sack-a-ride): a double molecule. These include sucrose, such as table sugar, and lactose which is found in milk.
  • Polysaccharides (polly-sack-a-ride): including glycogen, which is how humans and animals store energy in the liver and muscles. Also, starch, which is how plants store energy. The indigestible form of polysaccharides is fibre, which the human body cannot break down and is therefore not detrimental to our health.

99 Names For Sugar

  • Agave
  • Agave nectar
  • Anhydrous dextrose
  • Barbados sugar
  • Barley malt
  • Barley malt syrup
  • Beet sugar
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Brown sugar
  • Buttered syrup
  • Cane juice
  • Cane juice crystals
  • Cane juice solids
  • Cane sugar
  • Cane syrup
  • Caramel
  • Carob syrup
  • Castor sugar
  • Coconut palm sugar
  • Coconut sugar
  • Confectioners' sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Corn syrup solids
  • Crystalline fructose
  • Date sugar
  • Dehydrated cane juice
  • Demerara sugar
  • Dextran
  • Dextrin
  • Dextrose
  • Diastatic malt
  • Diatase
  • Dried oat syrup
  • Ethyl maltol
  • Evaporated cane juice crystals
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Evaporated cane syrup
  • Evaporated sugar cane
  • Florida crystals
  • Free-flowing brown sugars
  • Fructose Fructose crystals Fruit juice
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Fruit juice crystals
  • Galactose
  • Glazing sugar
  • Glucose Glucose solids
  • Glucose syrup
  • Golden sugar
  • Golden syrup
  • Granulated sugar
  • Grape sugar
  • Gum syrup
  • HFCS
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Icing Sugar
  • Invert sugar
  • Invert syrup
  • King’s syrup
  • Lactose
  • Malt sugar
  • Malt syrup
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltol
  • Maltose
  • Mannose
  • Maple sugar Maple syrup
  • Malasses
  • Muscovado sugar
  • Nectar
  • Palm sugar
  • Pancake syrup
  • Panocha
  • Powered sugar
  • Raw sugar
  • Refiner’s syrup
  • Rice syrup
  • Saccharose
  • Simple syrup
  • Sorbitol
  • Sorghum
  • Sorghum syrup
  • Sucanat
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar
  • Sugar (granulated)
  • Superfine sugar
  • Sweet sorghum
  • Syrup
  • Treacle
  • Turbinado sugar
  • White sugar
  • Xylose
  • Yellow sugar


Alternative names for sugar