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Sugar: Open-source software learning platform for children (sugarlabs.org)
185 points by geogra4 52 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 105 comments

For all the adults moaning about it on here, I showed it to my 5 year old (British/Brazilian) son and he loved it.

I also threw sugar on a stick on some old throwaway dell laptops my company got rid of and let my 3 sons do whatever they wanted with them. They were around 6/8/10 at the time They had a blast and made all sorts of cool stuff, despite the limitations. Possibly because of them

Our middle son even did up a full squeak/etoys extra-hours project for his grade 4 class and got extra marks

That said, I think the OLPC project only ended up being a shadow of what it could have been, and is one of the great squandered opportunities of human history.

The amount of mindshare the OLPC project had was astonishing at the time, and either through mismanagement or being overly ambitious, it never fulfilled their vision

It would certainly be nice to hear from the kids that had them in their schools in the developing world circa 2006+ and what kind of impact they had

This is the most relevant comment here this far! Sugar wasn't designed for western adults, their prejudice and office work but for children's learning in pedagogical scenarios within developing countries.

Not trying to compete in developed countries was probably a mistake. That could offer them more exposure and welcome funding.

But, then, they'd need to offer support they weren't ready to. Working with governments has some advantages.

I absolutely love the mission of OLPC, and I hate literally every decision they made. I think they sucked all of the oxygen out of the room, and I think Sugar is possibly the worst part.

It's really beyond belief that they insisted on reinventing the wheel with so much of the system. How much more sane would it have been to just ship a regular Linux desktop with a curated selection of libre applications and established programming environments/repls?

RPi is the learning computer that OLPC never was.

Keep in mind it was meant to be hackable by young, non-English speakers with limited literacy. Starting with Linux and heavy suites of apps meant and built for/by technically inclined westerners would not have been a better fit, IMO. Especially within the resource and budget constraints they had to work with. A mid-oughts, sub-$200 device just didn't have the capacity for layers of legacy software.

I was just playing around with Sugar in a VM and it reminded me so much of how the earliest GUIs on a Mac as a kid felt. In general I've been kind of struggling to how to introduce my kids to computing. They're at the age now where they ask about it and see me on the computer and want to be part of it.

Sugar seems to be a good introduction - one of the best that's just not just a normal linux distro with a bunch of edu apps thrown in.

How do you feel it compares to "just a normal linux distro with a bunch of edu apps thrown in"?

Other options with more 'kid friendly' UIs like UKnow4Kids, Educado, DoudouLinux, or Leeenux Kids just seem to have stopped development many years ago.

Something like Edubuntu isn't really appropriate for small children - it's a little too complicated.

I don't think the UI is perfect, fwiw

I think the standard Linux Gnome or KDE UI is probably better for kids to learn than Sugar, primarily because the learning curve to transition to any other computing interface is pretty high because Sugar's UX is really poor.

I'm kind of betting on EndlessOS.

I promise I'm not trying to be flippant, but is this still actively around? I see there have been two seemingly-minor releases this year, the first project activity since 2017.

I had insomnia a few weeks ago and was re-reading a bunch of "whatever happened to OLPC" stuff to remember that utter disaster, and AFAIK, the Sugar project is basically just a few people, its now under the auspices of the SFC and its really barebones with almost no hardware support (the last OLPC devices were sold years ago). Even the base image of Ubuntu it offers for the USB stick reached EOL more than 18 months ago.

We can all say this was a nice idea -- but this certainly isn't an active project in the sense that there is developer or monetary investment.

Interesting stats (on the bottom of the page[1])

3,000,000+ Users 11,531,321+ Activities Downloaded

Significant numbers altogether.

[1] https://sugarlabs.org/

"To date, OLPC has distributed more than 3 million laptops to children around the world."

Not quite 3 million active users, but 3 million machines that came pre-loaded with this


Wasn't that the original environment of the OLPC computers? IMHO nowadays an X220 with a Debian and a KDE/Gnome/xfce environment goes a long way for me.

This was part of the One Laptop Per Child program, and the '3 million users' stat comes from the fact that this was preloaded on every one of the 3 million+ laptops distributed.


Looks nice; name makes me cringe.

If I'm crazy and names don't matter, then why not call it "Cigarette: open-source software learning platform for rug-rats ... from Tobacco Labs!"

A parent that wants to reinforce a consistent "sugar is bad" signal to their kids will feel that such a thing undermines their message.

Funny you'd mention that. Philip Morris was a Media Lab sponsor in 2004 and 2005.



(Those are the years I happened to know of -- looks like there are more.)


I see a link for "How to get Sugar on an OLPC XO Laptop".

Is this going to revitalize my old XO laptop? (I would really love to be able to do that.)

Your XO shipped with Sugar. Assuming it's an XO-1, the latest OS and installation instructions are here: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Release_notes/13.2.10#XO-1

It may be a newer version, but Sugar was the initial environment on the XO.

Then there was Playpower, open source learning games for the $10 computer -- an 8bit 6502 Famicom clone


I gave my nephew an OLPC with Sugar on it. Must have been 10 years ago. He could not figure it out, seemed useless to him.

I thought one of the original aims was that kids could easily explore and modify the code behind the apps (python code I think).

I like that approach but couldn't find the "show/edit source button" (using the Sugarizer web based platform)

Perhaps a simplified Smalltalk environment would be better?

Sqeakland.org has that: eToys.

Not that the UI is very intuitive there, too.

That kind of saddens me as well. How can a GUI be this clunky and confusing? Why would an application mainly for children use the "put every option on screen and in the one uncontextual contex menu" atitude? I think it's low hanging fruit to create the best educational and entertaining environment for children, ask 4.99 on an appstore and be set for some time.

Those autoscrolling things are very frustrating. I start to read something or look at a screenshot then it goes away. I can't make it stop either.

I honestly don't get who thought this was a good idea but it makes me question the UX of the entire product when stuff like that gets okayed.

I figured it out by accident, after a whole lot of frustration: click on the image itself and the carousel will pause.


For those times when you want your child to learn about alcoholic beverages.

From a computer.

On the internet.

hah, that's funny. my wife is a montessori teacher. montessori likes to use kid sized things for kids hads. that means for example teachers like to use small glasses that the kids handle with ease.

so that means as a religiously non-alcoholic family we have shotglasses at home - on full display - on the kids toy shelf and so does the kindergarden.

i have to cringe every time i see that.

stupid typo: for kids hands...

A child being able to identify a martini glass doesn't seem like a terrible loss of innocence.

Agreed. However, that's not a just martini glass, that's a martini. Maybe they are teaching kids about olives? :)

Today we learn that most adults are addicted to drugs

The entire bottom row there is made up of treat items?

I really like this.

The concept resonates - even though I have no children.

One thing I'm not seeing is spaced repetition? It's one thing I'd really want if I DIY learning

1. Spaced repetition is for the end of the knowledge acquisition process. It crystallizes what you already understand pretty well. Sugar is for the very beginning: making kids aware that some subjects are interesting enough to learn.

2. Spaced repetition is boring, especially for kids.

Don't see why a tool can't actively manage both - introducing new concepts and re-inforcing them on the right schedule.

Yes you don't want a rigid spaced rep schedule...but I'd like to see some of that integrated in a soft fashion anyway

if kids choose to play an activity over and over again (not continuously, but every day or so pick it up and play for a while), is that not also spaced repetition? how would that be boring?

I'm going to disagree with you, but I'm actually very interested to hear your reasoning behind your comments on spaced repetition. It is a very interesting perspective that I haven't heard before so I'm quite keen to hear more.

Having said that, here's my point of view. Spaced repetition is not really directly involved with knowledge acquisition. When I say "acquisition" I have a very specific meaning in mind. In recent language acquisition theory there is a distinction between "learning" and "acquisition". Learning means to be able to go from not knowing something to being able to remember something. Acquisition means to go from not being able to use something to being able to use it appropriately without undue effort. Learning does not always lead to acquisition (something that's still not penetrated the organisations that do education, unfortunately).

Spaced repetition is wonderful for learning. You can go from not knowing something to being able to remember something for a very long time with minimal effort. Again, it does not necessarily lead to acquisition. From the perspective of language, to acquire language you need to be exposed to it in realistic contexts where you understand the meaning. Personally, I have found that learning can help with acquisition because it kind of gives you a super fast dictionary to look things up and allow you to comprehend things when you are exposed to them. You need a lot of exposure and comprehension to actually acquire the knowledge, though -- and spaced repetition alone won't get you there. I think the same is true of all skill acquisition, but there is a lot of research to be done to show that (as an example, imagine learning all the rules of calculus -- you still won't be able to write proofs easily, but it will help you to save massive amounts of time when you start studying proofs).

Where I think you might be coming from is that there is a period when learning something where you just can't remember it for a significant amount of time. In most spaced repetition software (like Anki), you go from a 10 minute review spacing to a whole day -- and even going from 1 minute to 10 minutes can often be a jump.

What's interesting about that is that there is a different concept called "spacing" (which is unfortunately very similarly named to "spaced repetition"). With "spacing" the idea is that you will reduce the slope of the forgetting curve faster if you forget something. This is a crazy idea, but it seems to work very well. If you want to read a tonne of papers on the subject, google "desirable difficulties".

So my idea is that you initially want to space a repetition longer than you would for spaced repetition so that you have to struggle to remember it. This will help you learn it faster. At that point you should switch over to spaced repetition. I say "my idea", because there are very few (or possibly none ;-) ) papers that discuss mixing spacing and desirable difficulties with spaced repetition.... If only I were a psychology prof...

Anyway, there is another concept called "Interleaving". With interleaving, what you do is intentionally change the subject frequently while you are learning something. This makes it difficult to remember and potentially reduces the amount of spacing you require to get the "spacing effect". Many papers suggest changing subjects every 10 minutes (which seems crazy -- imagine 10 minutes of math, 10 minutes of English, 10 minutes of Foreign language, 10 minutes of geography, then back to 10 minutes of math, etc, etc, etc -- but the studies I've read show really incredible rates of learning)

But again, the key is that learning is distinct from acquisition -- so while learning is useful it doesn't necessarily lead to skill acquisition.

As for #2 I don't think spaced repetition is boring at all -- especially for kids. Give a small child a cartoon on a DVD. Watch as they repeat it over and over and over and over again. Watch at they view the video today, the same video tomorrow, the same video the next day. It's really incredible. Kids love that kind of repetition.

I get your point that Anki might be boring ;-)

> If you want to read a tonne of papers on the subject, google "desirable difficulties".

I do. I memorize a lot of stuff (I'm a medical student) and my life will be way less stressful if almost remembering something means you're on the right track.

You probably aren't reading this, but thanks for the pointer.

This is really cool. Usually on HN the top post is some "controversial" contrarian opinion and people always fall for it.

One of the coolest things about the OLPC was that adults couldn't figure out how to open it but little kids could.

Agreed that that is one of the coolest things about it. Two other features I loved: The screen -- great for coding outdoors. The DC-input -- the original Hardware Specification was for "10 to 20 V usable, -50 to 39 V safe, one- time fuse for excessive input" but changed to "11 to 18 V input usable, –32 to +40V input tolerated" ^0 with mine working fine from just below 11V up to 18V.

0: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Hardware_specification

for years an XO testing device was my primary portable laptop for work. every time i ran into someone who hadn't seen it before, i let them try to open it. it was funny to see what people tried and how long it took for them to figure it out. sometimes i had to stop them as they would pry with force in the wrong direction and i feared they'd break it.

Not to be confused with SugarCRM, which also goes by Sugar sometimes.

“Nicotine – a learning platform for adults”.

I'm not 100% sure, but I think this might be the first thing I've seen on HN front page, in all my time on this site, that actually motivated me to jump right into criticism. Usually I just stay quiet if I don't have anything positive to say.

First of all, before even clicking through, my reaction to the name was negative. To quote henrikberggren's comment: "Naming a learning platform 'Sugar' is like naming a rehab clinic 'Heroin'."

Second, those stick figures look like skull-and-crossbones.

Third, your sample "fun activity" looks less fun than anything a kid with a computer has access to.

Fourth, creating a new user in your Sugarizer demo is an awful experience. It asked me to pick a name first, then let me go through the rest of the steps -- including "choosing" a new avatar color by clicking to get random colors until I just gave up -- and then, at the end, told me the user "foo" already exists.

Fifth, I don't find the UI intuitive at all. When I'm inside an activity, if I want to go back to the activity selection page, I have to click on an octagon with a square inside it. No idea how I'm supposed to associate that with "home" or "back" or any of the verbs I could think of.

Lastly, I tried out a few of the activities and I have no idea how any of that is supposed to help kids learn or collaborate. The "clock" activity just displays a clock. That's it. The "tam tam" activity has a confusing UI, but once you overcome the confusion, you can just pick different instruments to hear their sound. The most confusing was the "maze" activity, because I pressed one arrow key and it solved the whole maze. Later I realized that it follows the path until a decision point and then waits for input, but it's really weird.

I appreciate that this must have taken substantial effort, but I have no idea just how this is supposed to be useful. And let's face it, I gave it more time than an average visitor probably would.

Sugar is the original UI of the OLPC XO[1], circa 2006 - it's like a snapshot from a different world to us now. To be fair, lots of the activities are only fun when there are multiple users in the mesh network.

1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OLPC_XO

Is OLPC still active? I remember it being a big deal for a few years and then never really heard anything about it since.

Yes and no, so far as I'm aware.

The project has lost a good deal of its funding, from what I've heard, and now has a lot less backing from the technical community (I think Collabora are the only backers now), placing the project's overall management mainly into the hands of educators, who don't tend to be the best at that side of things.

So you end up with things where various parts of their various websites are broken, and there isn't as much well-handled PR going out.

However, they are still somewhat active [0], but at a much smaller scale. Focusing on individual classrooms as goals, rather than the massively ambitious target of One Laptop Per Child in entire nations.

[0] http://planet.sugarlabs.org/

It was a good idea, but probably too ambitious. I like better the idea of installing hardened kiosks in public areas - way easier to build and maintain with commodity parts. Portability is nice but it's honestly not critical.

This reminds me of the "hole in the wall" kiosk, installed in a slum in New Delhi in a way that was supposed to be accessible only to children: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimally_invasive_education

That would be a completely different project, with totally different outcomes, though.

I played around with it for a bit. It's frustrating to me as there is alot of really cool stuff in the platform, but it is such an opinionated interface that it distracts from the overall mission. Some of the apps are too complex for very young children, but the interface feels too primitive for 6-9 year olds who aren't living in a cave. 5 year olds are adept on awful UI like YouTube, this is too simple.

There are some really cool apps that would be better served in a more traditional Android/iOS style tablet interface. OLPC is/was very pushy about their point of view.

At least for me, a Sugar-based was extremely beneficial as a child (12 or so years ago). My Sugar-based OLPC XO-1 introduced me to programming and Linux, and gave me a system to use for experimenting with my UNIX SVR5 and C++ books.

Sugar is mainly built for kids that never had access to a computer before a Sugar-based one (kids in developing countries; so I'm not the target audience either), so that might explain some of your complaints.

I thought that calling out the stick figures looking like skull-and-crossbones seemed really nit-picky, but then I went back to the website and allowed JavaScript to run and was immediately put off the by all the 3rd party hosted JavaScript libraries it demands, then saw all the skulls and cross bones that loaded and I realized that not only did I agree with you I was being far worse for being offended at the web design.

They do a bit like skulls and cross bones but also they clearly are not. If anything kids could pretend that that are cool pirates.

It's not that skulls and cross bones are so bad inherently as much as it is that it's just so unnecessary. It's just a really questionable design decision.

There's no clear benefit to visually alluding to a near universal symbol of danger and poison. Especially considering that we really try to reinforce that association in young children. I certainly don't think it's going to cause kids emotional trauma or cause them to later drink whatever bottle of "Sugar game juice" they find under the kitchen sink, but with an nearly endless amount of alternatives why use that one?

> There's no clear benefit to visually alluding to a near universal symbol of danger and poison.

I haven't thought of this. Makes sense.

I agree with your comment, in its entirety.

> have to click on an octagon with a square inside it. No idea how I'm supposed to associate that with "home" or "back" or any of the verbs I could think of.

I believe it's "Stop". Stop sign and the square is the stop symbol common for media.

Random or ambiguous icons without text is a huge UX failure. You can’t assume people will know what it means aside from very obvious ones like the floppy disk save icon.

The floppy disk save icon might be “very obvious” to you. But how is a kid of this era who has never seen a 3.5” floppy disk supposed to know that that means save?

Because every other website uses that or the down arrow. It can be not only objects seen in real life but also icons consistent with other sites.

Anecdotally I’ve never seen a floppy disk in real life.

I avoid things like spot on, great comment etc., but yeah, this comment is exactly right.

I was going to write a similar comment. Including the intro..

Naming a learning platform "Sugar" is like naming a rehab clinic "Heroin"

FWIW, I am indian, and sugar is never a bad thing in our culture. The firsts thing that comes to mind is just 'sweet'. It's got positive connotations for me.

I don't think he meant sugar in the sense of being bad when he compared it to heroin. The comparison was to highlight the similarity of addictiveness of sugar in children and heroin in adults. Addictiveness isn't necessarily always bad.

> and sugar is never a bad thing in our culture

Sugar IS bad, scientifically speaking. I wouldn't be surprised if sugar is an important reason for the high levels of obesity and heart diseases in India. In the end, I think we need to move ahead from traditional values and selectively and logically think about the parts of our culture we want to retain.

In half jest, how do you feel about "Slack" then? One can argue it makes the product more memorable.

I don't use Slack, but from what I gather it's general slowness and the way it aids constant distraction means it is a pretty good productivity killer, so calling it 'Slack' is actually Truth in Television.

"Slack" has multiple meanings including nautical-- adding or cutting slack into a line, which gives it capability to do more...

It's an aptly-named productivity distractor.

Just like actual slack, it makes people less productive. Without the creative benefit of slacking. ;-)

It really is an irresponsible name. Sugar (and more specifically fructose) is easily the unhealthiest aspect of processed food: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjttsybt2NM

It is not sugar per se. It is being able to concentrate and crystallize it and then eating it in a completely non natural way.

Fructose in nature , on fruit, has lots od fiber(celulose), that makes release of sugar in the bloodstream slow, that is Glycemic Index low.

Refined sugar on the other way, specially in dissolved water, like with milk, coffee or soda, release enormous amount of fructose in a very short amount of time.

In nature, only honey does that. Refined sugar was a luxury until 200 years ago.

US by the way produces the worst sugar of all, because it is not fructose, but something they could produce from corn, way cheaper than brown sugar that comes from tropical places.

Fructose usually comes as part of fruit. Fruit is extremely good food for humans (as long as you have not eaten fatty foods before it).

Fructose also has the best ability to be absorbed by muscle cells without the need for insulin, compared to other sugars.

I think you mean high-fructose syrup, which is not fructose but a glucose-fructose. Contains the same word but is verrrry different in health profile.

> Fruit is extremely good food for humans

It is most certainly not. The soluble and insoluble fiber in fruit is good for humans because it prevents rapid absorption of fructose, which is most definitely toxic. (Paracelsus was right when he said that the dose makes the poison! It just so happens that even small doses of fructose have an outsized impact on appetite.)

Fructose is toxic because it is primarily metabolized by the liver. It has been shown to be at the root of overeating because of its effects on satiety signaling via leptin and ghrelin.

> Fructose also has the best ability to be absorbed by muscle cells without the need for insulin, compared to other sugars.

This is simply false. (Google it!) When used by an athlete after strenuous activity, it is true that fructose replenishes _glycogen_ in the liver, which is released as glucose, which muscle can use. But most people haven't just finished running a marathon when they gulp down a liter of Gatorade. So the effect 99% is to just fatten you up.

I recommend a few educational videos to bring you up to speed on a great deal of science that has been discovered in the last 15 years or so. Dr. Lustig (endocrinologist at UCSF) lays it out:

"Processed Food: An Experiment That Failed": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvgxNDuQ5DI

"Fructose is a poison": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgTlFFWMNy0

https://robertlustig.com/fructose-restriction/ https://robertlustig.com/fructose2/

Fruit is absolutely healthy for humans - physiologically we are frugivorous apes, after all. Hence why nearly all evidence-based nutritional guidelines from all around the world encourage whole fruit consumption, as part of a diet with other whole plant foods like grains, legumes and vegetables.

> gulp down a liter of Gatorade. So the effect 99% is to just fatten you up.

This could not be further from the truth. Humans are notoriously inefficient at de novo lipogenesis - the process of turning sugar into fat. The myth that sugar causes weight gain (on its own, not accompanied by a high-fat diet) is just that - a myth. Not to say gulping down Gatorade is a good idea, but it isn't nearly as harmful as consuming a steak, or a stick of butter, when it comes to weight gain.

> Fruit is absolutely healthy for humans - physiologically we are frugivorous apes

I agree, and it's incredible how much vitrol I've seen in response to this biological and physiological fact.

Here is an example source

> The dietary status of the human species is that of an unspecialized frugivore [1]

[1] https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00545795/document

Claude Marcel Hladik, Patrick Pasquet. The human adaptations to meat eating: a reappraisal. Human Evolution, Springer Verlag, 2002, 17, pp.199-206.

There is a huge discussion amoung evolution scientist if we can even adapt that fast. It usually takes muuuuch longer to adapt. We certainly did do selective breeding to ensure that the current population of humand is "better" at surviving meat/dairy/grain/extracted-fat consumption. But adapted? That's much contested.

And yes, high meat is one thing in modern diets. But dairy/grains/extracted-fats certainly also need to be considered as "foreign to our original diet"

Sorry, I'm confused where you stand on the issue - do you agree that we are originally physiologically frugivorous? It's possible to get all necessary nutrition through fruits, leaves (greens), nuts/seeds (and may have once required the addition of insects for which we can now supplement) but it's very time consuming and tedious to do so. And in fact, I don't believe we are well adapted to eating animals.

> do you agree that we are originally physiologically frugivorous?


> It's possible to get all necessary nutrition through fruits, leaves (greens), nuts/seeds (and may have once required the addition of insects for which we can now supplement)

I totally agree. Except apes are not known to eat nuts, and are known to eat insects (when a tasty one craws by). So I expect us to be adapted to that as well. As a vegan I refrain from eating insects (although I find it a lot less offensive than eating mammals), so some selected nuts/seeds and a B12 supplement do the trick for me.

> but it's very time consuming and tedious to do so.

Given that we can buy tropical fruit (yay for mango) by the box, and have knives, I'd say it has never been easier.

> And in fact, I don't believe we are well adapted to eating animals.

Obviously. It causes us a lot of diseases. Animal product industry trying to spread FUD in order to stay in business a few months longer, but the end is near for them. And good riddance. :)

> As a vegan I refrain from eating insects (although I find it a lot less offensive than eating mammals), so some selected nuts/seeds and a B12 supplement do the trick for me.

Hey cool, I'm vegan too! I agree, supplementing B12 and eating nuts and seeds is way nicer (morally and taste) than eating bugs.

> Given that we can buy tropical fruit (yay for mango) by the box, and have knives, I'd say it has never been easier.

That's a good way to look at it and I agree. However in my own experience, it is still a lot of work. I live in the tropics where it's easy to buy a huge box of papayas, mangos, etc. I did this for about 3 months, eating only raw food and mostly only fruit, and some greens and soaked seeds. My body felt very strong and refreshed, but I spent a lot of time preparing and even buying food to keep it in stock and fresh. I slowly went back to more cooked foods like rice and lentils. It doesn't feel as good, but it's a compromise of time at this point.

> I'm vegan too!

massive respect, srsly.

> than eating bugs.

would not know. and something bad needs to happen for me to try :)

> I did this for about 3 months

well done. I'm also experimenting with this. Just not so consistent per day (eat on average about 1.5 non raw meals per day), but managing to keep it up well (1+ year now).

> eat on average about 1.5 non raw meals per day

A helpful way I've heard this described is "high raw" Also I think it may be easier to maintain long-term, which maybe you'd agree. In any case I'll always be vegan, no matter how much raw or cooked food I eat. Too many "raw vegans" I've seen revert to eating carcasses.

Same fore me. "I don't eat no meat, no dairy, no sweets. only ripe vegetables, fresh fruit and whole wheat." — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTAhSJt_8x8

I tend to call it "borderline fruitarian", sounds better. Finally I can also flaunt my borderlines. :)

Where're you from? Spraak sounds Dutch...

Thanks for chiming in. The anti-fruit (and then usually pro fat/ meat/ paleo) team is very confused yet very vocal.

> physiologically we are frugivorous apes, after all

If one does not (cannot) accept this fact, I'm not sure I even want to discuss the nitty gritties of diet that person.

you are literally claiming the opposite of almost everyone else. could you back that up with some evidence please?

for decades the word has been that fat is bad, now the narrative is slowly changing to sugar. now you are either turning it around again, and if so, i'd like to see the evidence for that. (and by that i mean current studies that prove that other studies about sugar are false) or you are simply repeating what we have been told for decades which has been shown to be false.

One cannot say any diet component is absolutely bad or good. It needs to be compared to something else, quantities/quality needs to specified, bodily condition needs to be considered.

If you're interested see Greger, McDouggal, Esselstyn, Fuhrman, they are evidence based "meta study" doctors, that try to bring all evidence together. They also (each) have videos showing how to spot a paid for study (like the one showing butter is not bad by comparing it to huuuuge intake of coconut oil, which no-one does, but then "butter is back" get's printed on TIME mag).

i was under the assumption that it was simple calories such as pasta/bread/rice/candies etc

is that then not true? if not, what is the cause of weight gain?

Fat has more calories and is more easily stored by the body than carbohydrates. Processed carbs, simple sugars give a greater rise in the hormone insulin, which basically puts fat into fat cells. It is not carbs' conversion to fat which causes weight gain, but their consumption in the presence of a high-fat diet.

interesting... would that mean, it’s easier to gain fat by eating pasta + lots of olive oil vs pasta with just tomato sauce?

(i have a terrible olive oil addiction ^_^)

Yes. In case both meals are calorically equal, yes.

The excess in cals from carbs are only marginally turned into fat (lipogenesis is not something humans are good at) and thus the excess is mostly burnt up by heating your body a bit higher (forgot the scientific term for this).

So the fat you eat is pretty much the fat you wear.

If you eat fat and carbs together (almost everyone does that) then your body will choose to use the carbs energy directly and store the fat. As fat is good for long term storage (unlike carbs, that get stored as sugar for short term use in muscles and liver), and carbs not bee efficiently turned into fat (as mentioned) yet can very efficiently be stored.

i see, very interesting

so low fat, in the end is actually good for you... sometimes i really feel bounced around by all of these diets that come and go... but i’ll read up on those links and other info you shared.

thanks for the detailed reply

One can only gain weight when over eating calories.

But if one over eat calories but NEVER takes high fat foods it becomes A LOT harder to put on weight.

If one overeats but eats a lot of fats (especially saturated fats) COMBINED with sugars (the softdrink at the snack meal) and COMbINED with inflammetory foods (all animal drive foods and processed foods) then putting on weight is super easy.

Making fat out of carbs (sugars+starches), lipogenesis, is something humans are not good in. Eating low fat is healthy, but do the math because you will easily think you eat low fat without even going under 10cal% from fat (which is like the cut off value for actually a low fat diet — I dont reach that usually, but then I'm not gaining weight).

thanks for the reply

so if i wanted to prevent gaining fat, the best bet is to keep fat under 10% of carbs, then if eating carbs with say vegetables and (non fatty) meat or fish, i would not gain weight vs a carbs + fatty meat + other oils type of meal (even if calories were equal) ?

> the best bet is to keep fat under 10% of carbs

You mean cals, not carbs i guess.

If you are interested in this you may want to read "80-10-10".

> and (non fatty) meat or fish

The tiniest bit of fish/meat/oil will likely get you over 10cal% fat. Because there is a little fat in all veg/fruit/etc, which will bring you to 5+cal% without nuts/seeds/avocado. Half an avocado a day, or a small hand of nuts and you already cross the 10cal% in most diets.

You can use cronometer.com to do your research on this. It's fun and enlightening.

> The tiniest bit of fish/meat/oil will likely get you over 10cal% fat. Because there is a little fat in all veg/fruit/etc, which will bring you to 5+cal% without nuts/seeds/avocado. Half an avocado a day, or a small hand of nuts and you already cross the 10cal% in most diets.

wow, that sounds difficult!

> If you are interested in this you may want to read "80-10-10".

thanks, i’ll definitely read up on that!

I think you got it wrong. Fructose is more inflamatory than glucose (which is not good in high concentrations as well). Fructose-Glucose would be saccharine, the most common type of sugar extracted from cane and beet.

It leaves an impression that the portended motivation behind the platform is disingenuous.

Could be worse. Could have been called Corn-Syrup.

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