10 things I learnt about Sugar at the FENS Conference 2015

by | Oct 31, 2015

I was lucky enough to attend the 12th European Nutrition Conference in Berlin in late October. Of course, I brushed up on my German history during my sight seeing…


…but I also made the most of the lectures from top speakers around the world. Here are my key learnings from the sessions on Sugar. (BTW, scroll down to the end if you want a 50% discount to the Sugar Reduction Summit).robustness of research

  1. Think about the robustness of the study you’re reviewing before you form an opinion. Meta-analyses and systematic reviews are top notch.
  2. Prof Ian MacDonald: Fructose in normal amounts doesn’t seem to be an issue.
  3. Prof Ian MacDonald: eating as much as 100g of fructose a day had no effect on insulin resistance.
  4. Prof Ian MacDonald: The SACN Report reviewed RCCTs that showed a link between high sugars and gaining weight. But we don’t know if this contributed to diabetes risk.
  5. Prof Ian MacDonald: a high GI diet doubles liver fat. Could GI be as important as sugars?
  6. There appears to be an association with sugar-sweetened drinks and certain conditions, but people who drink more of these tend to also be less active and have fewer healthy habits.
  7. John Sievenpiper: Sugar in many other foods, like sugar-sweetened yogurt, fruit, or whole grain cereals, don’t seem to show an association with diabetes. (So you need to consider the whole food, not just the sugar).
  8. Dr James Rippe: There is moderate evidence on lots of foods and their effect on the risk of getting heart disease, it’s a huge leap to say sugar is to blame.
  9. I liked Dr Rippe’s summary: “We’ve tried to take one thing out of the diet in past. It’s a noble idea & almost certainly wrong”
  10. Take home messages:Screen shot 2015-11-05 at 16.02.12

One of my most popular tweets of the session:

tweet fens 1

If you’re a dietitian or registered nutritionist working within the community or a private consultancy role, tweet to me for a discount code to attend the Sugar Reduction Summit on 7 Dec 2015.  I’ve managed to negotiate a 50% discount on the registration fee for the first 20 experts! This discount is not valid for industry nutritionists or dietitians.

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