Be careful not to eat too much salt or sugar.

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brian&me

Senior Member
Chinese - China
Hi, everyone.

The following is from an English textbook (Project English, Wang Dechun):

When Kangkang was a child, his mother often told him, “Be careful not to eat too much salt or sugar.” She said it might cause illness.

People can say be careful not to drop your glass or not to slip. I wonder if people could say be careful not to eat too much salt or sugar.

Thanks a lot in advance.
 
  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    It's perfect. The construction is '(not) to+infinitive + noun/to + infinitive + complement.
    Be careful not to eat sugar or salt.
    Be careful not to slip on the ice.
    Be careful to say 'Thank you' to grandma.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    As a rule (in American English) we would not use "eat" with "salt" or "sugar".

    We would probably use "consume". Or "eat ______with too much salt or sugar".

    Do not eat that hamburger with too much salt.

    Do not drink that coffee with too much sugar.

    Make an effort to limit your consumption of both salt and sugar.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    It basically means, "Watch out for the urge to eat too much of those things!" Your rational brain needs to keep control over the other part of your brain that would let you eat too much.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    It basically means, "Watch out for the urge to eat too much of those things!" Your rational brain needs to keep control over the other part of your brain that would let you eat too much.
    Yes. But we don't "eat" sugar or salt. We add it to other foods which we do eat.

    In the Americas salty snack consumption far exceeds sweet snacks; the opposite is true in Europe. So Americans need to reduce the consumption of salt and Europeans need to reduce the consumption of sugar.

    But we don't need to eat less salt; we need to eat food with less salt on it. In other words we need to use/consume less salt.

    Europeans don't need to eat less sugar; they need to eat food with less sugar on/in it. In other words they need to use/consume less sugar.


    http://www.nielsen.com/content/dam/...sen Global Snacking Report September 2014.pdf

    Confections—which include sugary sweets, such as chocolate, hard candy and gum—comprise the biggest sales contribution to the overall snack category in Europe ($46.5 billion) and the Middle East/Africa ($1.9 billion). Salty snacks contribute more than one-fifth of snack sales in North America ($27.7 billion), refrigerated snacks comprise almost one third of snacks in Asia-Pacific ($13.7 billion) and cookies and snack cakes make up more than one-fourth of total snacks in Latin America ($8.6 billion).
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    There is nothing at all amiss with “Be careful not to eat too much salt or sugar” in BE. It's no different from saying “Be careful not to eat too much fat.” If we eat a food, we eat its constituents. Very few foods are pure fat, pure protein or pure carbohydrate.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    There is nothing at all amiss with “Be careful not to eat too much salt or sugar” in BE. It's no different from saying “Be careful not to eat too much fat.” If we eat a food, we eat its constituents. Very few foods are pure fat, pure protein or pure carbohydrate.
    Maybe it is a cultural difference. We would not say, "Mike eats too much sugar". We might say "Mike eats too many sweets" (which contain a large amount of sugar).
     

    Scott AM

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    Maybe it is a cultural difference. We would not say, "Mike eats too much sugar". We might say "Mike eats too many sweets" (which contain a large amount of sugar).
    In my experience, both "he eats too much sugar" and "he eats too much salt" are used; conversationally, at least. And it's understood that the subject is not literally eating piles of sugar or salt, but they are ingredients in the food he eats.
     
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