The Bitter Truth About Sugar
Why is America so overweight? There is a great deal of conflicting information on the topic. I believe Dr. Robert Lustig—a professor at the University of California, San Francisco – is onto something when he shares the bitter truth about sugar.
The corn industry has recently launched a massive campaign aimed at convincing people that the cause of obesity is not related to sugar, but due to the amount of food we eat. They are doing this by attempting to show that, chemically, fructose and high fructose corn syrup are identical. Let’s assume their premise is true and just look at fructose?
Dr. Lustig is one of the main proponents of the concept that fructose and high fructose corn syrup are to blame for obesity in America. Here are a couple of videos with his thoughts on the issue – the first one is a piece that ABC News did on him with a short and, unfortunately, incomplete review of his theory. Its a good starting point, but the science is really laid out in the second video.
This second video is about an 1-1/2 hour lecture that Dr. Lustig gave entitled “Sugar: The Bitter Truth.” The lecture was given at UCSF and goes in depth about Dr. Lustig’s research and theories on how we arrived at this obesity crisis. This can get highly technical in nature, but his lecture shows how fructose is fundamentally different from other sugars, such as glucose and also shows how these different chemicals are processed by the body. His conclusion: “Fructose is a poison.”
A lot of people ask me about the use of fructose in Shakeology. First, it has a very low amount of fructose (9g of sugar as compared to 30g in a glass of orange juice). Second, Shakeology has fiber in it, which Dr. Lustig states essentially counteracts fructose.
So, now you have Dr. Lustig’s thoughts. It’s time for mine.
I agree. I believe that excess sugar intake is the primary culprit in the obesity of this country. It’s in nearly every processed food we eat. Just check the nutrition facts the next time you are at the store. Seriously – make an effort to look at what’s in the foods you are buying. You’ll be stunned to see how sugar [specifically fructose and its not-too-distant cousin, high fructose corn syrup] are added to foods that you would never assume required sugar [like bread, for example…particularly cheap bread like you might find above and below a fast food burger]. Sugar is everywhere and we are addicted to it.
How do I know this is really the truth about sugar — aside from the mountain of evidence presented by people like Dr. Lustig? Because I was addicted to sugar myself.
January of 2007 was when I decided to learn about nutrition as a way to change my life. One of the first things I did was cut out soft drinks and candy [I’m sure my assistant thought she was helping me by keeping a well-stocked candy dish]. The first month was awful. I seriously felt horrible, except when I would sneak a Mountain Dew, which made me keenly aware that there was something in there that my body deeply craved. What’s more, things like vegetables didn’t suit my pallet at all. I refused to eat raw or even cooked vegetables. They just tasted like crap to me back then. After a few months, and more information about nutrition, I started enjoying them more. It was amazing how I actually started craving vegetables once I got off the sugar. What’s more, I lost a lot of weight. At that time I was packing around about 195 pounds (probably higher in the days of scale avoidance). Today, I’m at 160. In fact, I’ve been 160 since I started significantly limiting my intake of sugar and other carbohydrates. Why? Because it works. It’s why I primarily follow the Primal Blueprint and focus not only on the amount of carbs, but the type of carbs I eat.
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