The re-evaluation of sugar in the blogosphere continues as evidenced by the recent post by Stephan. All this is starting to remind me of the de-demonization of carbohydrates, in particular, white rice that occurred not so long ago under the guidance of the PHD. Why was white rice brought back into the sphere of acceptable foods? It was shown to be non-toxic and non-obesegenic as shown by both historical and epidemiological trends as well as an analysis of its chemical make-up. Is the same thing now happening to refined sugar?
What is the popular view of white rice nowadays? That it is more or less a pure carbohydrate that, because it is refined, should not form the basis of a diet due to nutritional lack, however, it is non-toxic and acceptable. White rice, being a polysaccharide will, of course, break down to glucose so the big difference between sucrose and white rice is that white rice breaks down to glucose whereas sugar breaks down to half glucose, half fructose.
There is general consensus as to the possible harm that fructose can inflict, however, it appears to be conditional upon PUFA consumption in my opinion. According to the PHD, the optimal breakdown for glycogen replenishment is 70% glucose, 30% fructose. This would make an all starch diet suboptimal at 100% glucose and a high sugar diet suboptimal at 50/50.
All these issues I think together point to the possibility that a diet with a relatively large amount of refined sugar could be just as healthy as a diet with the same amount of white rice with the possible qualification that because refined sugar is half fructose one would have to take care to limit PUFA as much as possible.
What do you think? Any experience with a very low PUFA, high refined sugar diet? Are there any populations out there who consume a high refined sugar, low PUFA diet or any diet experiments done with this diet composition? Do you think refined sugar is the new white rice?