Welcome to 2017! Before you make the mistake of starting your New Year off with a sugar free or carb free diet take a minute to hear what registered dietitian Abbey Sharp has to say about the dangers of incorrectly dieting. Don't end up like Extreme Diet Debbie, make intelligent dieting decisions.

A common misconception among dieters is that sugar is the root of all evil. There is so much confusion surrounding sugar it's almost mind boggling. A lot of people think that sugar is a major contributor to cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, brain fog, tooth decay, and a whole host of other illnesses. Sugar is in bread, pasta, apples, milk, bananas, berries, pears, rice, and just about everything else you eat. Sugar is actually really important to the way your body, especially your brain, functions on a daily basis. Have you had a friend or relative go on a carb free diet and seen their overall ability to process things slow to a crawl? That's a lack of sugar in their body.

Sugar is basically just another form of carbs along with starches and fibers. There are a few types of carbohydrates dependant on how many sugar molecules there are in the compound. One or two sugar molecules are considered sugars, and more than two sugar molecules held together are considered starches and fibers. Aside from fibers (which we lack the proper enzymes to break down), all carbohydrates eventually break down into the most usable form for us, which are super simple sugars like glucose.

You can find sugars added to cupcakes and cocktails, but you can also find them naturally occurring in dairy and fruit. You don't actually need to be worried about naturally occurring sugars as much as you need to be concerned with what are known as "free" sugars. These are basically sugars that have been taken away from their natural source without any fibers or proteins around them to help our bodies slow their absorption. These are the sugars that will cause a spike in your blood sugar levels and send you crashing back down to the land of no energy in very little time at all. The World Health Organization recommends limiting your free sugar to no more than 10% of your daily energy intake, which means keeping tabs on added white sugar, brown sugar, honey, agave, maple syrup and even fruit juice.

Let me guess, you thought fruit juice was great for cleansing right? Think again. I'm afraid not, and if you’re looking to cut back on sugars fruit juice should be the first to go. Fruit juice is considered a free sugar because the sugars contained in it are completely isolated. They lack any of the beneficial fibers that help our bodies slow down absorption. Whole fruit on the other hand is perfectly acceptable because it’s got that built-in fiber that will help you avoid blood sugar spikes.

Natural sources of sugar like fruit contain fiber which is key to promoting regularity, weight management, and controlling your blood sugar levels as well as your cholesterol. Women need to aim for 25 grams a day and men 38 grams a day from foods that contains carbs. Your brain needs about 130 grams of glucose or sugar per day to function at full capacity actually. Ask some of the fittest athletes in the world if they’ve cut out sugar or carbs and they’ll all just laugh in your face. Even simple sugars can be imperative for certain pre and post workouts especially when you’re active. In addition to that there are a lot of carbohydrate and natural sugar containing foods that are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Cutting out this massive food group and adopting a super low carb diet can be not only dangerous but quite unpleasant as well.

New research suggests that heavily restricting certain food groups can lead to a variety of eating disorders including the newly popularized disorder, orthorexia. Cutting out carbs and eating clean may actually be the unhealthiest thing you can do for your body. When you adopt such a strict diet dining out with loved ones can become next to impossible. Obviously there’s sugar and carbs in wine, cocktails and dessert, but sugar is often lingering in seemingly savory foods too. Tons of sauces, dips, salad dressings and marinades are all packed with sugar. This isn't a scare tactic, just a straight-up, no holds barred reality check for 2017.

Make smart dieting decisions that will carry you through the New Year feeling better than ever. Take some advice from a registered dietitian who know exactly what she's talking about and don't even think about adopting a low carb or low sugar diet.

As always thank you for watching and stay tuned for more stellar content soon.

For more tips on staying healthy, recipes, dieting, and information fit for consumption by foodies everywhere stop by Abbeys blog.


Comments :

luna li

luna li . 6 days ago

sugar is good! it is guys. dont be afraid of it. i used to have a normal relationship to sugar prior to my history of dieting/restriction and eating disorder. i didnt have sugar cravings .. like almost at all. i never had a sweet tooth. but now that im recovering from my ED i crave sugar so much more than i did before. im one month into my recovery right now and its getting better - i crave more savory/salty food now compared to the beginning of my recovery but i remember when i started my recovery i craved sugar ALL THE TIME. so if you have sugar cravings and crave sugar a lot its probably due to a history of dieting and restriction. just never go down that rabbit hole and you will be fine

jason pontious

jason pontious . 2 weeks ago

0 carbs caused extreme sleeplessness, as soon as I put 2 bowels of oat meal back in my diet with a spoon of honey. this did not effect my sugar, and I slept 12.25 hours that night

Jessica Barboza

Jessica Barboza . 4 weeks ago

I appreciate this as general advice but if you've ever experienced having actual insulin resistance even whole grains can make losing weight hard. Even beans, quinoa, organic sprouted grain bread with natural nut butter on top left me hungry 2 hours later like when a normal person eats a pop tart for breakfast. I thought I was just an emotional eating jerk and then went on a whole foods keto diet and it changed everything. I'm satiated for hours at a time and have no cravings for junk. I get 20-25 grams of fiber a day on my keto diet so whole grains aren't absolutely necessary if you incorporate vegetables, avocados, and nuts. There are some diets that work better for others which can often be low carb diets. Most women looking to lose 15 lbs do not need to do more than you're saying but saying a one size fits all sometimes can keep people like me stuck and it did! I heard as long as I ate whole foods in their natural state I wouldn't be hungry and my blood sugar would be stable but that's not true for all.

David Coomber

David Coomber . 4 months ago

Sugar is the only food cancer can eat, carbs are sugar. vegetable and fruit are carbs but they contain fibre to off set the glycemic hike, by the year 2040 its estimated most of the world will be type 2 diabetic

Jamie Sp

Jamie Sp . 4 months ago

You would get all the carbs and fibers you need from vegetables and salad. That should be a huge part of a low carb diet.

Ellis Lin

Ellis Lin . 4 months ago

Thanks Abbey for making these informative videos! Can you make a video about "metabolic confusion" or "carb cycling"?

Eddy Weddy

Eddy Weddy . 4 months ago

Thank you, scaring people from eating fruits is really stupid and evil, Fruits are healthy as part of an healthy diet.

Tori A

Tori A . 4 months ago

No matter how hard I try I cant stop drinking juice. Lol I tell people it's better than drinking pop when they try to shame me as they eat thier no carb no sugar meal. ( like if u dont like what your eating dont take your aggression out on me) Cause at the end of the day I eat a balance meal with the one exception of juice.


Morticia147 . 5 months ago

The sugar for the Brain doesn't have to come from sugar or carbs, the body makes glucose from almost everything....

Emily Durkee

Emily Durkee . 5 months ago

Debbie choking on the fruit juice was so funny

Rebel Weasel

Rebel Weasel . 5 months ago

hi. so I'm trying to eat more nutritional food to help me burn fat and make muscle. my previous diet was carb galore like literally carb and processed meat that's it. would love some advice on this lifestyle change - breakfast vitadiet shake (will change to home made smoothie but too lazy atm)- lunch soup sometimes small portion of home made egg fried rice aswell - dinner depends will have vegs and meat my go to is salmon roast potato steamed vegs. snacks cucumber and carrot sticks. and maybe fruit in the afternoon. is that a balanced diet? then of course if I'm social or at work I can have processed food like cake every once in a while so not deprived.


Saadya . 6 months ago

I love this

bre ruth

bre ruth . 6 months ago

im 5'2 98 pounds. I feel horrible whenever I dont eat carbs. tired, low blood sugar. (no I'm not diabetic, either).

Taylor Caldwell

Taylor Caldwell . 6 months ago

What are your thoughts on elimination diets and safe ways to do them if trying to determine your body’s reactions to potential allergens?

Andrea Pinell

Andrea Pinell . 6 months ago

Can you make a video on the ketogenic diet?

Živa Smodiš

Živa Smodiš . 6 months ago

Debbie for the win


Camille . 6 months ago

Most days, I don't eat grains (and added sugar and honey obviously), precisely because I want to reduce the amount of sugar I eat. I only eat those on special occasions, like holidays, birthdays, going out (doesn't happen all that often). I also don't eat a ton of fruit other than berries (which are obviously limited to summer, and I buy a small quantity for the week). I eat a bit of potatoes once a week max (not a huge portion, but it's satisfying). What I do eat is veggies, legumes and animal products.

Cara Frey

Cara Frey . 7 months ago

Can you do a video on orthorexia? I’d like more information I keep hearing about it. Thanks!

Thomas Musso

Thomas Musso . 7 months ago

Yep .. M O D E R A T I O N .. is the name of the game 😊. Since cutting the so-called 'free' white and brown sugar (I still use honey in my morning cooked oatmeal .. love an occasional piece of dark chocolate) and moving to a lower carb, higher fat eating lifestyle (I lost 20 kg in 3 months), I have never felt better. My Blood Pressure has stabilised at 120/80-ish with no increase in (an already-medicated) cholesterol. Every time, on my annual medical check-up, my Doc tells me how proud he is of me .. and (at 69) jokes (a standing one) as to how I continue to look better inside than out 😊. For what it is worth .. if I may .. please .. YOU MEN OUTTHERE .. IF YOU ARE 50+ AND ARE NOT BEING TESTED REGULARLY FOR PROSTRATE CANCER .. THEN DO IT .. PLEASE. I was diagnosed at age 60 (with absolutely no prior symptoms) .. my readings were off the chart. After being radiated back into the dark ages (I'm sure that, at the time, I glowed in the dark) and hormone-medicated to the extent that I was eyeing out women's lingerie in the shop-front windows 😨😊. 'Hot Flushes' if any Lady going through menopause tells me that I do not appreciate what she is going through .. believe me, I DO 😀. Seriously guys .. put the ego's and macho-macho away and get tested .. you may save your life (and your Family's). If this ramble can save just one family, then mission accomplished 👍.


Berendo4ever . 7 months ago

Click bait title. There is no danger from a sugar free diet. Staying away from added sugar or foods with lots of natural sugar poses no danger.

Blood Cotton Candy

Blood Cotton Candy . 8 months ago

Free sugar. Wow. Why not call it the friendless sugar? Maybe the single people's sugar? Puritan sugars. Nazi sugars. These cutesy names are diabolical.


3377ftw . 8 months ago

while your brain uses 130g of glucose per day, it doesn't care if that comes from exogenous carbs or not. It will use glucose from neoglucogenesis. carbs are not an essential nutrient, it's just a fact. however, that doesn't mean they are not needed for an optimal diet.


ACE ABDUL.M.A . 9 months ago


Hayley Crose

Hayley Crose . 9 months ago

Can you please review the plant paradox diet? I would love to hear your thoughts ☺️


Anna133199 . 10 months ago

2:05 The WHO said we should aim for a max of 10% of our calories from free sugars, but they also stated that there are added health benefits to getting a max of 5% from free sugars. That's 100 calories and 25 grams of free sugars a day for a person who eats 2000kcal a day. It would've been good if you'd mentioned the 5% max in this video. https://www.who.int/elena/titles/guidance_summaries/sugars_intake/en/

Keto Nazi

Keto Nazi . 10 months ago

LOL more than two years worth of videos and your average number of views are 40k haha. Go against Keto and thou shalt fail. LOL

rudolph le roux

rudolph le roux . 10 months ago

What you’re missing here is that all human diets never used to be natural sugars ALL YEAR round. Fruit was seasonal and tubers were consumed during winter. Never near the amount we consume now. Please don’t make it seem that natural sugars are healthy.

Lydia Chong

Lydia Chong . 10 months ago

But so much sugar exist naturally in meat and....you wouldn't believe it...it's in our DNA as well. Literally have a sugar backbone to our DNA.

Lesli Lounsbury

Lesli Lounsbury . 10 months ago

Hi. Great video! What about dairy? Milk mostly. Aren’t humans allergic?

Summer Severson

Summer Severson . 10 months ago

I freaking love u

Kayla Corcoran

Kayla Corcoran . 11 months ago

LOL, I'm not low carb, but I'm pretty sure even the most ill informed, low carb follower knows fruit juices have sugar in them.


MARY LEBEAU . 12 months ago

Is a Keto diet a good style of eating for diabetics? Please let me know.

Bethany Moyer

Bethany Moyer . 1 year ago

I’m thinking about cutting out real butter and using plant butter instead. Thoughts??

Erica Quint

Erica Quint . 1 year ago

Anytime I have ever tried to dip below 130-140 carbs I have wound up with a massive panic attack!


eweliyi . 1 year ago

I would like to point out that properly done keto doesn't cut out all carbs, and actually calculates net carbs, meaning sugars minus fibre; so fruit is a ok and fruit juice isn't, seeds are perfectly fine and full of fibre. I'm in keto right now (urine test confirms) I have not suffered the keto flu and I would have noticed as I work in high pressure IT enviroment as a system engineer and if my brain gave out shit would go wrong almost instantly. I still eat starchy veggies, fruits, berries and dark chocolate, so exercise if ok, because I eat the fruits and chocolate before and after that and I have been under 50g of net carbs, so about 100-150 total carbs a day. The only thing I did cut out completely is white flour baked stuff, I never liked sauces other than mayo and olive oil, so there was nothing to cut out there as I never ate it anyway :) I'm tracking my macro nutrients such as potassium, fiber, folate, and all vitamins via app called Cronometer, and I hit all RDA recommended targets. My cholesterol is very low, blood pressure low to normal (it has been always like that since I was a kid) I'm not going to stick with keto forever as I do like a good pasta, but I will keep of free sugars as much as possible and even when I upp my total carbs to about 200g (net carbs about 80g) and will come out of keto I will be fine with that. So as all diets one needs to do them smart and understand the pros and cons, I avoid keto desserts full of artificial sweeteners as that in my mind beats the purpose of eating keto to be healthy. It just tells me, you are doing your keto wrongly as you go way too low on carbs and your body suffers. I like to eat clean whole foods, veggies and fruits and berries with the occasional (about 4 times a week... so a bit more than occasional :) ) dark chocolate with unsweetened whipped cream. I would like to know what you think Abbey. I am not any crazy proponent of keto, it just works for me the way I described above right now and I enjoy my food and will probably reintroduce pasta in about a month with some home baked wholemeal sourdough bread and step out of keto sphere. :)

Zarish Arshad

Zarish Arshad . 1 year ago

I usually avoid sugar on days where i eat at home but when i go out I usually have a small amount and that has helped me overcome my sugar addiction as well i do keto once every other month And also debbie! I’d like to point out that the sugar in fruits is fructose sugar which is not absorbed by the muscles so it’s basically instant amount of energy and if u don’t end up using that energy, it converts to fats. I mostly have my fruits before lunch since i do consider it’s important to eat them at times since they have nutrients and fibre

Brittany 2H

Brittany 2H . 1 year ago

Would you be able to review different diet plans? Say, Weight Watchers or Bernstein diet Etc. Not for recommendations, just for whether or not they're nutritionally sound

Adam Lamm

Adam Lamm . 1 year ago

First of all only 25% of the brain have to get carbs,the rest he can run on ketones. secondly, you will not "run out of sugar" if you don't eat carbs.the body knows how to make glucose from different resources like amino acids,glycerol, etc.Its called gluconeogenesis. thirdly cholesterol isn't bad,you should educate yourself.

Mira Tarnish

Mira Tarnish . 1 year ago

So how do you feel about ketogenic diets? In their more extreme forms, they are tailored to create weight loss in sedentary individuals, and the main rules are to get 60% calories from fat, 30% from protein, and 10% from carbs, basically recommending to eat less than about 20g carbs a day. But then, the diet also makes a rule to exclude grams of dietary fibre from that limit, because it's all based on minimising glucose spikes (which fibre doesn't have a severe effect on), and the ketosis process.

Emily Nielsen

Emily Nielsen . 1 year ago

What about fruit smoothies? If you make fruit smoothies at home is it as bad as fruit juice? Also what about cutting out any starches that don’t contain fibre, ie. white rice, white pasta, white bread etc.


Abigail . 1 year ago

I’ve done it before but I’d now never cut out anything fully bc you’re body need at least some of everything. What I’m doing/wanting to do more of is cutting down my unnatural sugar intake to say one small snack a day (I have a sweet tooth) and, to combat it, have some more natural sugars when craving it.

Daé J

Daé J . 1 year ago

Everyone on this feed needs to remember: before being rude to Abby, please realize that what works for someone may not work for someone else. I know, it's revolutionary isn't it? Do what works for you and call it a day.


Psychwriteify . 1 year ago

I am concerned with the sugar in fruit, it makes me painfully bloated, gassy, and plauged with diarrhea. Also some of the fibers do that too.

Callum Ty

Callum Ty . 1 year ago

Terrible advice


X YZ . 1 year ago

I found the ketogenic diet calming to my brain, it helped me focus, and it reduced my average blood sugar. However it is definitely very hard to do though, even if you live by yourself and don't socialise around food much. You're absolutely right that it is very restrictive. If you can't do dairy (me), you're even more restricted. I therefore think unless you're struggling with chronic health conditions, and can't find anything else that works, it's unlikely to he worth it. N. B something I did find interesting on keto was that it was very hard to gain weight (and I need to). I initially thought it'd be easier, because fat is fantastically calorie dense and easy to swallow (im chronically ill with neuro so tired a lot). But no, all that fat made me satiated so fast and for so long. And I have to admit, after a year on keto I was fed up with fat and wanted carbs. Ok... Carbs and fat... They do make for the tastiest combination. So, I've recently switched back to higher carb, lower fat. 55% cals from fat, 25% from carbs, and 20% from protein. Almost entirely unprocessed food. E. G carbs come from fresh fruit, vegetables and bread. Well, now I'm hungry all day long and late into the night. I've easily gone from 1500 cals a day to 2500. At first I thought "great! The weight is going to pile on". And it has. But... It's *entirely* on my belly, a baby beer belly. My hands and arms are still rail thin. And I mean "are you wasting away?" thin. Even my doctors frown at my skeletal hands and arms 😕. So, although higher carb makes it easy for me to feel hungry, and much easier to eat out, in my case it also has big drawbacks. I feel quite a lot more anxious and angry on higher carb too. No easy solutions it seems 😬. But I hope my experience will help others decide if keto is worth a try or not. My current conclusion is that keto does help some neuro patients, and lower insulin levels, but it's an incredibly hard diet to stick to year after year. And it really does crush hunger, which is not what all of us are looking for.

sophie m

sophie m . 1 year ago

People get so mad when you insult their unsustainable fad diets. Just eat a balanced meal it isn't rocket science.


marcelkat . 1 year ago

Wow there's such a difference between this video and the videos against certain fad diets...interesting

Rita Váradi

Rita Váradi . 1 year ago

I like Debbie! She is like the crazy version of me.

Laura Flora

Laura Flora . 1 year ago

I have really bad stomach cramping and pain, I think a lot of it is related to severe anxiety but cutting out dairy also seems to help. I would not recommend it though if it isn't necessary. It's surprisingly hard to find dairy free options when eating out or eating at a friends house and I hate being difficult. I definitely notice if I accidentally eat dairy now that I've cut it out though. I really miss cheese and surprisingly yogurt and sour cream I had no idea how much I used them in dips, sauces and dressings.

Megan Sommer

Megan Sommer . 1 year ago

I would like to see more information showing exactly how ketone bodies are NOT also usable as "brain food". There seems to be research supporting this and many doctors and researchers who are pointing this out (ie. Owen's article at https://doi.org/10.1002/bmb.2005.49403304246) not to mention research done by Dominic D'Agostino. With so much apparent research behind ketone bodies being useful and beneficial brain fuel, I think simply saying that our brains NEED carbs needs to be backed up with more science. At the end of the day, one may be better than the other, but the field needs dieticians who provide scientific proof these days.

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