Tosca Reno


Friday, January 20, 2012


There has never been a food substance so addictive as this powdery white stuff! It's like an illegal drug - but it's actually legal. As most of you know I call it the "white poison" or the "legal cocaine" as mentioned in the above video and in Just the Rules.

I've written pages and pages, spoken word upon word, and read book after book and study after study on sugar. I've shot a campy video about it and I'm even going to a 3 day conference, only on SUGAR. This stuff is a real problem.

Today I'd like to share with you a general overview on sugar, it's alternatives, and what to do about it. Here are the things you need to know:

1. Sugar is addictive! Check out any Google Scholar search on sugar addiction and the book Sugar Blues for more. Once you cut sugar out you'll be amazed at the natural sweetness of foods like apples, bananas, peas, sweet potatoes and more.
2. Sugar is in all of your processed foods and even in some "natural" foods. It hides under fake names on labels like HFCS, corn syrup, rice syrup, cane sugar, glucose, fructose, beet sugar, etc. For a more complete list check out pg. 84-85 of The Eat-Clean Diet Stripped. Be a savvy consumer and always read the labels.
3. Sugar substitutes like honey, maple syrup, Sucanat, molasses, fruit syrup, rapadura, stevia, yacon and any others I've mentioned over the years are good options, BUT they too must be consumed in moderation. If I haven't listed a sugar substitute that you use and want me to comment on it, please share it below. While they may contain more nutrients than the powdery white stuff, they can be just as addictive. Use them carefully and cautiously. For more see pg. 216-221 in The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged.
4. Agave nectar is a sugar substitute that is hotly debated right now due to its processed nature. I initially recommended it in many of my early books. Now, I am a little more cautious about its use due to its controversial nature. My concern is, that the way to get the Agave Nectar into a edible format requires so much refining that the result is a high level of highly refined fructose - similar to High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). I encourage you to do the research, share what you learn with me here on the blog, on Facebook or on Twitter and make the decision for yourself as to whether or not you will use it. I am choosing not to and will keep it out of all future recipes.
5. Fake sugars (aspartame, acelsulfane, saccharin, sucralose, etc) work against you just as much as white sugar does. Keep it out of your mouth. There are tons of papers out there nowadays proving the sugar fakes do not help in your quest to lose weight or maintain a healthy body weight. Goodness knows what else these chemicals do to your body! For a more complete list of sugar substitutes check out pg. 84-85 of The Eat-Clean Diet Stripped.

The bottom line: Get sugar (in any form) off your shelves and out of your food. It is working against you!


  1. As a fully recovered sugar addict, I couldn't agree more! I was a slave to that "stuff". Another resource that some may find helpful is a book called "Potatoes Not Prozac" by Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D. This book was the turning point for me and I never looked back.

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  2. I read a book called Sugar Shock and it opened my eyes to some of the behavioural affects of sugar. Now that I am clean eating (thanks to the Clean Eating Diet Makeover Challenge) I am a total convert, I have stripped sugar and sweeteners from my diet. I think splenda was the worst, it has kept me from my goals for years!!! I love the 'campy' video it is fun!!!

  3. I sit at a desk all day and found sugar to be what I craved in the afternoon. Sometimes I ate 2 chocolate bars in one afternoon. We have 'food' days once a month and everyone brings in goodies. Heck someone even brought fudge today. The fudge is so close to me I can almost smell the
    In the beginning I found it difficult to say no but not anymore. I kept thinking about everything I read in Tosca's books and made the decision to give up sugar when ever possible.

  4. Thank you for your blog today, Tosca. This is awesome and inspiring... I love your video, you and your girls are too cute! On the subject of Agave Nectar, I have to say that, I do utilize it in small quantities... by small, I mean that once a week I use 1 tablspoon of Organic Blue Agave Nectar in my "treat" oatmeal... I call it "Kaptain's Apple Walnut Pie Oatmeal Treat"..... the total recipe makes 4 servings that is shared with my family. Since signing up for the 4th Annual Eat Clean Diet Makeover Challenge a couple of weeks ago, I have eaten my once-a-week oatmeal treat 3 times. I have not felt any side effects or cravings after consuming my treat meal, and I have successfuly lost 8 pounds and counting.... HOWEVER... I'm thinking that I should not look at the lack of side effects of Agave Nectar consumption, and just do the right thing and switch from using Agave to using pure honey instead. I love using Agave in small ammounts from time to time, but finding out more about it as being a "processed" sweetener/sugar, I'd rather stick with something natural like honey. Thank you for always shedding light and truth regarding this subject and many others, Tosca. You have helped, and are continuing to help so many of us turn our lives into clean, healthy, happy existances. You ROCK! =) And we all love you! <3

  5. Tosca...everything you have written is true and not news to me. My one and only question is how to get off of it forever. I've tried and tried and tried again and each time I think I have put enough 'time' between me and the white stuff, one bite sends me off on a binge and the cycle starts again. How do I NEVER have it again when it's EVERYWHERE??? help us sugar addicts. If a sugar addict, one can't have dried fruits, bananas (as they are too high in sugar), etc. Does one stick to the low sugar fruits like apples and pears for the rest of ones life? This is my struggle and I'm sure the struggle of many others.

  6. What about erythritol (found in Truvia)? And dextrose, which I see on the shelf beside supplements? If I eat sugary garbage only once a week as a treat meal, is it still dangerous? Thanks Tosca, luv ya!

  7. So interesting that this is your blog today! Because I have been trying to read as much as I can about sugar! This morning, I read an online article that said "Agave is falsely advertised as "natural," is typically HIGHLY processed and is usually 80 percent fructose. The end product does not even remotely resemble the original agave plant." I posted that on KT looking for info. Kaptainmorgan led me here... Crazy coincidence! Thanks for the info!

  8. I started Eating Clean this year and I feel great! I have a question though, is it better to drink a cup of black decaf in the morning or green tea with a teaspoon of local honey? Thanks for the info and inspiration!

  9. I would also be interested to know what you think of Truvia because I use a pack every day in my oatmeal to sweeten it, as well as when I drink tea.

  10. Tosca, I blog on about food and fitness....eating clean. I've written about you. I admire you and what you've accomplished. I'd love to give away an autographed copy of Just the rules on my blog site if you'd send me one. I think it'd be one way to get people into eating clean (buying your book) and into my blog site of course! I eat clean 80% of the time, sugar being one culprit I'm still trying to overcome! I hope you check it out, like my recipes and can send me a book to give away, of course, I have two of your books already, the recharged book and you best body now book. Love you! Keep it up!

  11. Tosca, so glad you revised the Agave nectar. I stopped buying it. I too am a true Sugar addict so I only use honey, once in a long while (mostly when I'm sick).
    Keep up the good work.


  12. I always challenge my clients to go 72 hours without refined sugar. I tell them they can abuse me all they want in those 72 hours - they can yell, curse, send hate mail.. whatever. But after 72 hours of being refined sugar-free their cravings will stop. It almost always works!! I 100% believe that sugar is addicting.

  13. Your words and insight are always REFRESHING!!! I'm the baby of 6 to a woman (Mama) that has done everything she can to be a true example, guide, and light amidst all the darkness ;) I have told her time and time again she should be featured in the Oxygen magazine because she truly is A-MAZING!!! The mother of 6, grandmother of 15, wife, physical education and health teacher, and sooooo much more! We both love reading the magazines and always look forward to your articles and words of wisdom the most! Thanks for the continued InSpIrAtIoN!!!!

  14. What's your take on evaporated Cane Juice?

  15. I've tried so hard to rid my diet of the dreaded white stuff- and I've been successful with the exception of my morning JOE! I'm down to 1TB total for 2 cups of coffee and now I don't even finish the 2nd. I'm trying to cut caffeine too. I'm thinking sugar or sugar in the raw are probably better than the chemical stuff that's out there until I can give it up. Is that true??

  16. I would say it took me about a week to get over the sugar cravings and then a month to start embracing life sugar-free.
    I like using stevia in my beverages. The best thing getting off sugar did for me was get me off processed foods. That's when I really started caring about what I put in my body. Now I bake everything from scratch. I have two teens. One is sugar-free now too and the other is not taking this well, but I'm constantly baking good treats with yummy goodness. So many people can't handle going sugar-free because they deny themselves and make sugar this thing they crave. Stop eating refined sugar processed crap because it's awful. Start eating all the beautiful foods that we can eat. Bake awesome with added fiber and pureed fruits and use a tiny bit of sucanat or honey to sweeten. I try to keep all our baked goods to under 2 grams of sugar per serving.
    I've found amazing chocolate, breads, cereal, etc....all with low-sugar and clean ingredients. It just takes a bit of work. Be a food detective...not a diet follower, I say.

  17. In 1973 the US Senate hearings on "Nutrition and Disease" known as the McGovern report (named after Senator George McGovern), the topic of Sugar and health was front and Centre. Dr. John Yudkin of Queen Elizabeth College of London (author of "Pure White and Deadly") provided testimony that the common factor among the causes of Diabetes, Coronary Heart Disease and many other conditions is the excess consumption of sugar. He also stated "I believe that the high blood cholesterol in itself has nothing whatever to do with heart disease." Again --1973!!!,

  18. Tosca - I've just bought your family eat clean diet book and a lot of your recipes use Agave. Can i substitue the sugars substitutes from point 3 above 1:1 in those recipes?

  19. I'm also interested in your review of TRUVIA since I use that everyday to sweeten my coffee.

  20. Hi Tosca,

    What are your thoughts on Xylitol?

    Cheers, Melissa

  21. no expert says that sugar leads to any disease, even obesity.

    sugar industry

  22. so interesting, greats video, thanks for your explanation...

  23. Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. I can't wait to read lots of your posts
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  24. Amazing post.Thank you very much for this important post.

    Sugar Addiction


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