Important Update: Calorie Count will be shutting down on March 15th. Please click here to read the announcement. Data export is available.
Health & Support
Moderators: tigermoth5, autopilotfrank193, nycgirl, bierorama, ksylvan, peaches0405

Sugar: The Bitter Truth

Quote  |  Reply

This is a talk given by Dr. Robert H. Lustig, MD, a UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth.”

Why is this valuable? First: the man’s a doctor at a prestigious university teaching and doing research in the field of endocrinology. If anyone is qualified to speak authoritatively on this subject, it's him. So, if your tired of hearing it from me or others on this site (or if you side with the corn refiners :), maybe you'll listen to him. Second: He tackles not just heart disease, but diabetes, obesity, and high-blood pressure. In other words, he shows the connection between dietary intake of sugar (specifically fructose) and the root causes of these diseases of industrialization.

It is 90 minutes, but very informative, including slides of exactly what sugar does in your liver.

*EDIT* Adding a good synopsis that is much shorter: p;feature=like-suggest

And here's a short text version: -and-metabolic-syndrome-driven-fructose-sugar -diet


20 Replies (last)

Sugar is energy.  If we eat more energy than we burn, we will gain weight.  Carbs get a bad rep because they're metabolized quickly and often leave people feeling hungry... hence weight gain.  And of course, obesity leads to other problems like heart disease, etc.  Simple sugars aren't exactly the most nutrient-rich way of getting your calories in, but they aren't poison either, imo.

ETA- in my defense, the title of this thread was something to the effect of 'sugar is poison' at first, which made me a bit defensive about the whole thing.  But I agree with the premise that certain forms of sugar are less healthy than others.

Dude, watch the video.  You might change your mind.

I understand you're trying to help, but come on; sugar is in pretty much EVERYTHING. fruit, veggies, healthy carbs, chicken, steak (in those, small amounts of it); you'd be dead if you didn't eat any sugar in your diet, because you wouldn't be eating anything at all. Artificial sweeteners that replace sugar aren't healthy, but sugar itself, is kind of unavoidable. 

Also, i'm not sure if you're aware of this, a lot of people on this forum are recovering from eating disorders. I understand you were probably trying to help, but something like this could really be triggering. 

Ok, so I just watched most of the video (slightly over 1 hour), and he does make a good point. However, you failed to say that it was fructose, not say glucose or lactose, that he was railing against.

I also want to second what mochacafe said. Sooo many on here already struggle with restrictive eating and to tell them something is "poison" and further scare them from eating foods is the last thing they need. It was my giving up sugar that led to my worst relapse of anorexia. I would rather eat some "poisonous sugar" any day over killing myself with anorexia again. Just saying... I'm sure you didn't mean for this to potentially hurt someone, but it sure could.

This is a lecture about the obesity epidemic by an endocrinologist.  I think a lot of people here will find it as fascinating as I did, and some may benefit from it, you included.

I understand your concern about triggering EDs, so I will change the title of the post to reflect the content more clearly.

The lecture is about table sugar and HCFS, just F.Y.I.  My hope is to debunk the "calories in/calories out" idea by providing this researcher's proof that it is false.  Many people have asked for this.


And I did specify fructose in the intro :)

So he's basically saying you can eat fruit and veggies (which both contain sugar) but limit added sugars, right? I read the article but am at work and cannot watch the videos.

I stopped eating fruit for a long time because I was afraid of the sugar and just this week began eating it again. I hope he is not saying that you should not eat fruit or I will be back at square one. Frown

Yes, fruit has very little fructose compared to table sugar and HCFS. This just highlights exactly what the body does with an excess of fructose.

I think if you eat fruit, that's great!  It's more of the genetically added sugars that are more harmful to you (i.e. not occurring naturally in the product).  Milk products have sugar in it naturally--different than what he was talking about.  As an ED recovery patient, I didn't find it triggering, but helpful--made me really think about the importance of what I put in my body (food) and why I need it (for fuel, energy).

Ah, I see that now. Sorry, there was about an hour lapse between reading your post and then posting myself. I guess going into the video I had the impression that you were indicating all sugars so that's where my brain stayed. You did say fructose. Silly me.

Oh, and I didn't find it triggering either, I just worry that others may. To me it kind of made me want to start eating more healthily - not cutting calories by using fake stuff because that's just plain bad (although fructose wouldn't be cutting calories, but I can only imagine what other calorie free sweeteners are like... that, and I shouldn't be cutting calories period...)

I didn't find it triggering either.  It was just the whole "sugar is poison" in the initial title that made me defensive at first, since sugar is in (almost) everything!  But I agree that certain types of sugars are less healthy than others.

Extremely misleading video that has been debunked. Lustig is off his rocker bitter-truth-about-fructose-alarmism/

'everything in moderation'
Original Post by onesunnyday:

'everything in moderation'

Seconded. Life's too short to worry whether I'm eating too much of the 'wrong' type of sugar. Once I get to a point where I CAN eat anything if I CHOOSE to, but know when my body wants or needs something in particular, that's fine by me.

If anyone wants some more heavy reading on the subject trospective-of-the-fructose-alarmism-debate/

The point is, yes, making sugar it's own food group is not healthy, and everything has different levels of "moderation", but creating a scapegoat is far too easy (and false) of a trap to fall into.

Everything is okay in moderation. Listening to what your body craves is what is healthy. People need to stop worrying about things so much and just enjoy themselves! :D

Well, to be honest, the problem with that is it can be dangerous when the persons. Cravings go overboard, or aren't necessarily conditioned very well

trans fats are not good in moderation. nor is smoking. nor is blood-letting.


Just a couple that come to mind.

Original Post by armandounc:

trans fats are not good in moderation. nor is smoking. nor is blood-letting.


Just a couple that come to mind.

Every (macronutrient) in moderation.

20 Replies