Is Sugar Toxic For Your Bones? - Save Our Bones

Did you know that until the 20th century, table sugar, also known as sucrose, was considered a condiment? It's true! Most people consumed very little sugar back then. But that has drastically changed. According to the USDA’s recent data:

“Per capita sugar consumption in 2010 was 66.0 pounds, its highest level since 1999, while corn sweetener per capita consumption at 64.5 pounds was at its lowest level since 1986.”1

Besides all the known health problems caused by high sugar consumption, few mention its damaging effect on cartilage tissue. Cartilage is what gives bones their solid structure, so it is obvious that if you want healthy bones, you must maintain cartilage health.

I’ve already explained here one of the mechanisms by which sugar erodes cartilage, so if you haven’t yet, I urge you to read it. But unfortunately, there are…

More Bone Health Problems Linked to Sugar

Calcium Depletion: studies have shown that consuming excessive quantities of sugar caused a large urinary calcium excretion increase, both in healthy study subjects and in those who were prone to kidney stones.2 This is not surprising, since sugar is a highly acidifying food.

Increased Cortisol Levels: excess cortisol levels have a negative impact on bone health. And if you have the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, you already know the 13 best ways to lower your cortisol levels. While cortisol levels are typically increased by stress, a study by Dr. Yudkin, a British physician and sugar researcher, found that eating too much sugar also increases cortisol levels.3 His findings were later corroborated in a study on hamsters, where even with adequate calcium intake, they developed osteoporosis on a high sucrose diet.4

But Fruits and Some Vegetables Have Sugar!

When I refer to sugar, it’s about processed and refined sugar, such as sucrose and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). Fruits contain sugars, including fructose, but they are also rich in fiber, which slows down the release of the sugar molecules. It’s about both quantity and quality.

The bottom line is that to have strong and healthy bones, your best bet is to keep your processed sugar consumption to a minimum.

Here are three easy ways to use less sugar:

#1 – Retrain your taste buds

Yes, you can do that, and it’s easy. You see, our taste buds renew themselves every 10 days to two weeks, so once you start reducing the amount of sweets you eat, your “new” taste buds won’t remember that you liked sweets! I’ve done it, and now shun anything that’s really sweet.

#2 – Try honey

It’s alkalizing, delicious, and has nutrients. Use in moderation.

#3 – Use Stevia Or Monk Fruit Sweetener

Sugar and most other sugar substitutes are acidifying. Both monk fruit and stevia are plant-derived sweeteners.
and both are great-tasting healthy sugar substitutes.

And here’s a delicious and bone-healthy treat recipe which contains those sweeteners:

Cocoa-Covered Almonds

2 Servings

4 ounces almonds (about 1 cup)
1 egg white
pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Stevia or monk fruit sweetener to taste
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder


Preheat oven at 325º. In a small bowl, whisk an egg white until frothy. Add the remaining ingredients except for the almonds. Mix until well blended. Add the almonds and stir to coat them with the egg white mixture. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Spread the almonds on to the baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the coating has set and becomes crisp. Cool, then break apart before eating. Store in an airtight container.



1 Haley S. “Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: May 2011.” ERS. Outlook No. (SSSM-273). 26 pp, May 2011.
2 Lawoyin, S., et al. “Bone mineral content in patients with calcium urolithiasis.” Metabolism 28:1250-1254.1979.
3 Yudkin, J., Dr. Sweet and dangerous. New York: Bantam Books, 112. 1973.
4 Saffar, J. L, et al. “Osteoporotic effect of a high-carbohydrate diet (Keyes 2000) in golden hamsters.” Arch Oral Biol 26:393-397.1981.

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. aaaaaa

    “Use stevia”
    You’re joking right?

  2. isma

    Dear Madams/sirs,

    Nowadays there is a lot of misunderstanding about the best sweetener. Somebody could think that is Stevia but, this is far to be true; the main Stevia ingredient is Steviol that is a sugar-alcohol as etanol (whisky, beer, etc..). It is true that it doesn’t increase glucose in blood but, it has all the bad sugar effects; so, raised cholesterol, raised triglycerids, sticky blood and so on. Then, you shouldn’t believe all you hear although, I know there is a lot of advertising about stevia.

  3. Linda

    What about the sweetener, Truvia? That is supposed to be a derivative of Stevia also, isn’t it?

  4. colleen fortugna

    I just had my 2nd scan & found out that now I am at a -4 , they want me to take the new shot Forteo. I’m truly afraid, do you think your program can truly help without the medicine to re-build my bones.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Colleen, the Osteoporosis Reversal Program is all about drug-free options for treating osteoporosis! While I can’t predict exactly what the Program will do for you (there are just too many individual barriers), I encourage you to do your research and make an informed decision about your health. Here is a good place to start:

      The above link lists all the articles on Forteo on this site. That should help you get started in your research! Best wishes moving forward.

  5. Diane

    I have had IBS for many years and discovered that all the sweeteners except for sugar are deadly for me. Xylitol, Sorbitol, Malitol, and even honey and anything with Inulin in it are very bad for me. I don’t use any sweeteners and don’t even like sweet foods any more. Many veggies that are good for your bones I can’t eat either, like broccoli, as a result I do have Osteopenia. Any advice for me Vivian?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Diane, I am sorry you’re dealing with IBS, but good for you for identifying some of the “culprits” that set it off. There is such a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and other foods on the Osteoporosis Reversal Program that there should not be a problem if there’s a vegetable – or class of vegetables – you need to avoid. 🙂

  6. Lilia

    Sandi: Xylitol is a healthy sugar sttbtisuue. Made from birchwood. It is a processed product, but our healthy dr. is fine if used in moderation. It doesn’t effect blood sugar or have any of the horrible side effects of sugar. If you go to the Where To Find section in the menu of my website there are lists of products that I use and where to find them.

  7. Linda

    Oh m
    y gosh I am SO addicted to sugar. It is such a strong craving at least once a day. Wish I could quit. It must be as bad as trying to quit smoking! ugh

  8. mahia

    loads of thanks,for all your beneficial TIPS.GOD BLESS YOU for your hard work.I wish if can get foundation food and drink to prevent diabeties so to keep away from so many drugs everyday.

    • ida

      If you like to really help yourself with diabetes I highly recommend … The 30 day Diabetes cure…. you get all the help you need.. please try you wont regret it. Ida

  9. Nu Ly

    Because I have hight blood presue, I seldom eat sweet food, even for some fruits, thank you for your artile.

  10. Nicole

    Vivian, I’d like to know more about the benefits of honey on our bones. I heard that one can derive the maximum benefit only if honey is produced locally. So, please let us know the benefits & downside of honey. Thank you for all your hard work. We need you – Nicole

    • Laura Houle

      What about Xylitol as a sugar substitute? I have been using it for years.

  11. Leonard Green

    Hi Vivian,
    Your book and information are amazing, brilliant!
    May I get answer to my question? Is there any limit for sugary fruits consumption? Can I eat 2-3 bananas a day to get more Mg and energy?
    People who have diabet tell me that watermelon is not good for them.
    How about watermelon?
    Thank you

  12. almas

    I have hypothyroid and despite of working hard I cant loose weight and
    recently I am being diagnosed with osteoarthrities in knees both of them
    and Dr.told me to loose weight please give me advice .

  13. margarita chapman

    About sugar. I am doing the Visalus Diet and losing weight. Yet, the big bonus is that ever since I started using their nutritional powder, I have more energy, the bonus is that I do not crave sugar, I simply do not want desserts. Unbelievable for a dessert crazy person like me.
    And, better yet, I am an ovarian cancer patient in some sort of “remission” and cancer cells thrive on sugar, maybe that is why the cancer may be at a standstill in my body.

    • Annie

      Its not a good way to advertise coming into websites like your doing.
      The Visalus Diet is Very Unhealthy..Its just a shake everyone, and do not buy into it.

  14. Marc

    My father put me on the right track when I was a boy. He use to call sugar ‘white death’. I haven’t had sugar since.

  15. Leslie (Ms. L.)

    Hi! Vivian,

    They Have Been VERY HELPFUL!


  16. Macca

    Can you tell me if using baking soda in drinking water to make it alkaline can be harmful. I use about a third of a teaspoon in 750 mils of water and drink at least a litre a day

  17. Razia Sultana Siddiqui

    I have read a lot about all kinds of alternatives to sugar and I used Stevia when I was trying to wean myself from Sugar. But I have found the best way is to wean yourself of the sweet taste itself. I loved Indian sweets, but now I do not like them. Just by not using any sweetener, I have been able to stop liking sweets. That is what I think is suggested by Saveourbones also.
    Thanks for the program. I think it is the BEST.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Yes, it’s easy to stop liking sweets, especially if you follow the Program. And thank for your kind words about my work, Razia 🙂

  18. Annamay Brown

    As a Senior who has been Diabetic for 20 years, I have tried just about everything. The sweetener that I use is called “Lo Han Guo”, it comes from a fruit grown in China. It is ten times sweeter than sugar is and it does not put my Blood sugar up at all or cause any of the adverse reactions that some “sweeteners” do. It is sometimes difficult to find a store that sells it though. I’m lucky that we have a “Chineese Supermarket” in Edmonton, Alberta where I can get it. It is sold in the U.S. as “Slimsweet” I have done a lot of research on it and it has passed with flying colors. Thank you for all the tips, I’m very gratefull that you care.

  19. Ann Chambers

    You haven’t actually commented about honey….I get buckwheat honey at my health food store and have it with toast most mornings…so….need to know if that’s not good! Are small qualtities OK??

  20. Edy

    Dr. Mercola says: “The closest analogy I can think of is the tobacco industry seeking to sell WHO initiatives to help people stop smoking. The only problem here is that I believe that sugar is more dangerous to your health than smoking.”

  21. Edy

    What about Truvia for sweetener?

  22. Dee

    Hi Vivian, I like your recipe and was thinking xylitol wasthe way to go until I read your comments. I might try a little maple syrup.

  23. Ann

    What about organic cane sugar. I have been using this since I could not find stevia. Only use it in my tea but thought it was better than the granulated white sugar. I try to use stevia but it is so expensive. Thanks for all the information you give us. Bless you.

  24. Patricia Harding

    Your articles are the best. They are very informative, well written so that they are easy to understand. I keep a copy of each one of your articles. Thank you so much. Pat

  25. Peter

    What about Agave? I have been using it to sweeten my tea. It has an interesting taste and the consistency is slightly thinner than honey.
    Also many natural and organic food products, such as cereals, have been using evaporated cane juice or evaporated cane juice crystals as a sweetener. Is it really any better than sugar? It seems a little sneaky to advertise the healthiness of a product that has added sweeteners. Especially products like cereal and soy milk that are intended to be eaten, daily and by children no less.

    • Annie

      I notice these are older posts..That said.
      I eat mostly Organic..Just because something says it is Organic does not make it healthy.

      Organic Agave has been proven to be like eating,
      High fructose Corn Syrup. Not healthy.

      Read the , Whole Soy Story. (think that is the name of the book), and you will Not
      be eating soy again..
      Asion people eat very little soy. They use it as a condiment , and it is Formeted soy.
      Formented foods are healthy.

    • Madeline Raymond

      What is Agave made from and is it better than sugar?
      Is honey ok to use in place of sugar?
      Thank you for your advice.

      • Karen

        Oh thank you so much. This recipe sonuds AMAZING. And again, I love your site and am blessed to have it. I love how God works through others. Your recipe for eggplant parm? wow. when i can actually eat, that may be the first thing i make.God Bless to you and your Husband!!Sandi

  26. Joan

    I use Stevia for everything that calls for sugar. Just remember less is better. Sooner than later your taste buds adjust.


    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA


  27. Jean

    The Slimtevia sounds interesting, but I’m a bit turned off by all the extraneous marketing I find on your website. Since I don’t use charge cards on the web, I can’t order these products anyway. And if I chose to order everything that someone says would be beneficial for me, I’d be spending thousands annually. Nevertheless, I do have your program and I appreciate your emails and advice; very helpful. I won’t have a followup dexa scan until sometime this fall, but I’ll let you if the osteoporosis has improved.

    • Maureen

      I totally agree with Jean

      • Linda

        I agree. For instance, the advertisement for a free book to stop arthritis. It had a count down of the books that were left. I exited the site and then went back in and the count down was back to the original number. That turned me off to ordering the book.

  28. Celestina Marie

    Great info as always. The recipe sounds good. Thank you for sharing.

  29. Eileen

    Xylitol also has anti-microbial properties. It acts like soap, so the staph can’t stick to your teeth and cause gum disease. I use xylitol in my drinks, and toothpaste. As a result, my pockets are gone. About the only thing I use sugar for is building a crud in the pan when I want to caramelize something. Sugar look alikes like xylitol don’t do this (I tried).

  30. Yaelah

    Stevia is controvertial and the taste is not great either. The best sugar replacemnets, which agree also with the digestive system are date honey and mapel syrup.

  31. penelope

    Love your program and all your info, Vivian.

    People, have you tried Xylitol? It is sensational!
    Looks like sugar, tastes like sugar
    but in my opinion tastes better than sugar. Feels cool melting on
    your tongue, but delicious.
    NO AFTERTASTE! Amazing, and apparently healthy for you, unlike
    sugar. A little on the expensive side. Can be bought at health food markets. A pound is about 10 bucks,
    but well worth it!

    • kg6267

      xylitol is poisonous for dog and may cause diahrea in humans. Maybe dogs too.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      See my answer to Ela, Penelope.

  32. Julie Woodman

    I use two drops of stevia and 1/4 teaspoon of Xylitol to overcome the taste. It’s not bitter, but has a sort of ‘liquorice’ taste I don’t like. I would raher use this than add fructose.

  33. Ela Gabriel

    Hi Vivian, what about xylitol, this is also a plant derived sweetener with no impact on insulin in the system, but hasn’t got that bitter taste as Stevia has, especially in cooking. Would you not recommend it too and I believe it is also an alcalizing food, not acidi.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Ela,

      There’s a reason why xylitol a sugar alcohol, is also known as wood sugar: it was initially typically made of birch wood chips. Lately, a lot of it is made from corn. Not surprisingly, the largest manufacturer of xylitol is Danisco, owned by DuPont. The latter produces genetically modified corn seeds.

      That aside, when used in large amounts, or for those who are sensitive to it, xylitol can cause intestinal distress. To produce xylitol, manufacturers use chemicals, such as sulfuric acid, calcium oxide, and phosphoric acid.

      • Liz Marsh

        Thanks for the info on Xylitol. I will stop buying the gum and mints. However, I will continue to brush my teeth with Spry which is sweetened with Xylitol because that sweetener combats caries which is what causes decay. In the years I have been using it, I’ve had no decay and the dental assistant can’t find any plaque buildup to clean off. Thanks Vivian for all you helpful advice! I don’t mind that you’re pushing a few products as I know that you wouldn’t sell anything that you didn’t believe in. Besides, as hard as you work, you should be paid wherever possible.

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