I have long wondered why I cannot seem to stop my sugar intake. I’ve known for a while that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is the culprit (aided by sodium), but today I have seen the logic behind. I have seen the why.
If you are fat; if you cannot lose weight and if you have tried every diet under the sun and wonder why the hell nothing is moving; if you exercise like a fiend and still aren’t seeing the results you want and all the calorie-counting and carb cycling are doing no good whatsoever; if you suffer from overweight and obesity, Type II Diabetes, hypertension, and other Metabolic Syndrome-related diseases; if you cannot break the addiction to soda or sweets or bread; if you hate bad-tasting food; if you are confused by or tired of the corn industry ad campaign about HFCS; if you really do believe that all of this USDA/FDA Food Pyramid hoo haw is a government conspiracy, please take the time to watch the reason WHY!
Dr. Lustig, one of the leading experts in pediatric obesity epidemiology, is engaging, knowledgeable, and easy to understand. And, if you get lost, do as he suggests: count the arrows. Yes, I know it’s 90 minutes but this 90 minutes may save your life.
Here are some of my favorite quick notes (they may not be worded word-for-word but the idea is there):
1. 30 years of nutritional advice is based on a study (The 7 Countries Study) that has a hole as big as the USS Cole.
2. Americans (referring to teens but also each of us, as of 2008) consume 112 lbs. of sugary carbohydrate (mostly in the form of HFCS)…and it may be as much as 140 lbs. No, sucrose is not different. HFCS = sucrose.
3. Fructose is not glucose. It is a hepatotoxin, meaning that it can only be processed by the liver. Anything that cannot go through the body’s natural energy cycle is a poison.
4. Fructose is ethanol without the buzz.
5. There are no good sugary drinks on the market. Get rid of them. Drink water and milk (and not chocolate milk either). (Step 1 in a four-step process to combat childhood obesity and promote weight loss. The other three are as follows: eat carbohydrates that have fiber, as it is an essential nutrient; wait 20 minutes before eating second portions; buy screen time minute-for-minute with exercise, which is the hardest to do.)
6. The Food and Drug Administration only regulates acute toxins (i.e. ethanol). It does not regulate chronic toxins (i.e. fructose).
7. The USDA does not want to know about it. It’s job is to sell food to other countries.
8. Fructose is a carbohydrate that acts like a fat.
9. Glucose (and glycogen, its storage form) is the energy of life.
10. It is up to us to combat bad food.
Here is another article, done by the American Council on Exercise, about Stevia. My personal opinion still is that the less processed sugar you consume, the better off you are. (Besides, it really is more expensive than fruit and vegetables!)
If you would like to do more research on those items Dr. Lustig mentioned, here are the particulars:
Pure, White, and Deadly by Dr. Yudkin, 1972
The Paleolithic Diet:
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. No, he did not mention it but after reading the book (political issues aside, and there she isn’t all wrong either), it changed the way I look at food. It is a personal favorite of mine.
Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Mary G. Enig, PhD (recommended by a girlfriend of mine and on my to-buy list):
Clean Food: A Seasonal Guide to Eating Close to the Source with More Than 200 Recipes for a Healthy and Sustainable You by Terry Walters (another on my to-buy list…if you end up liking Kingsolver’s book, you might look at this too):
Let’s face it, folks. We’ve got to take charge.