#468: High Sugar Intakes Without Excess Calories: Harmful or Benign?

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Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Hosts
  3. Overview
  4. Related Resources
  5. Detailed Study Notes (Premium Subscribers Only)
  6. Transcript (Premium Subscribers Only)


There is almost universal agreement that excess added sugar in the diet is detrimental to health. However, much of this negative health impact clearly relates to the ability of high sugar intakes to drive excess calorie intake and fat accumulation, which cause health issues.

But what about situations of where there is not a calorie surplus (hypercaloric diet) or weight gain?

Some people claim that sugar is inherently damaging. While others push back and claim sugar is only a problem in the context of a hypercaloric diet. So which position is more accurate? What evidence do we have?

In this episode, Dr. Alan Flanagan and Danny Lennon take a look at situations of eucaloric (or even hypocaloric) diets, and what impact sugar has. Specifically, they investigate: in a situation where someone is not overconsuming calories or gaining weight, what health impacts do added sugars have? And if there are these calorie-independent effects, at what thresholds do they occur?



  • The impact of sugar on health in the context no hypercaloric diet being present.
  • Sugar and glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, and diabetes risk
  • Trials comparing whole grains to refined grains
  • Sugar intake and NAFLD
  • Sugar intake and blood pressure
  • Sugar intake and lipids
  • Fructose claims
  • Recommended limits & current intakes

Detailed Study Notes

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