Sugar the bitter truth

Table of Contents

How This Helps

It’s evident that the current ailments around the world are chronic, inherently degenerative.  The associated etiologies may be narrowed down to pollution, pathogens, stress, and lifestyle choices. We are living in a global world where pollution from other countries becomes our pollution, Africa’s pathogens are our germs, and our fast-food franchises and large box processed food chains would be the world’s health issues. The focus of the talk is about a single gleaming variable in processed foods and fast-food restaurants that are driving the diseases of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and several cancers: added sugar.

Some facts are hard to ignore. America is the fattest nation in the entire world. Almost 80 million Americans over 20 are obese, and another 12.5 million children and adolescents are obese (CDC 2012). What makes us Americans so unique? Can we have less will power than the rest of the world concerning our private management of life design practices, i.e., in how we consume and exercise? Not at all! The truth is the rest of the world is quickly catching up with us. So, what’s the problem?


Sugar: The Bitter Truth by Dr. Robert Lustig

The short answer would be to watch this video: Sugar: The Bitter Truth by Dr. Robert Lustig, MD., a pediatric endocrinologist at UCSF. He’s a crusader against simple sugars being added to our meals. This extract is from a lecture by Dr. Lustig that scientifically debunks a substantial majority of the previous 30 years of nutritional information related to diets, weight loss, and obesity. Although the audience is mostly medical professionals, the science lecture is extraordinarily entertaining and enlightening for all interested in the impact of sugar on weight loss and detoxification. This video was made over 10 years ago and in 2019 we still have the same problems if not worse. Everyone should watch this video for understanding the effect of dietary choices on your health.

The truth about sugar

He explains why some types of diets work and why many others do not. It’s not just a matter of a low-carb diet or a low-fat. The actual culprits are sugars, possibly in the kind of processed sucrose, such as table sugar, or processed fructose, like the one from high fructose corn syrup.

He maintains they are poisons to our bodies and the prime causes for the pandemic of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and several cancers. They must be controlled like other products such as alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. If you are short on time, the following is a summary from the information from his talk for your convenience:

•  Mother nature blends sugars with fiber. Sugars like fructose, sucrose, and other simple sugars have been blended in with fibers and are thereby digested in a modulated fashion. That is as nature intended it and is helpful and necessary for our health.

• Dr. Lustig is not speaking about the carbs inherent in whole organic foods. They are our source of sugar – the energy of existence. The issue is the addition to our highly processed foods and beverages of sugars: sucrose and fructose (with an emphasis on fructose).

• The problem is with our industrial food sector, where they’ve put added sugar in each processed food you can picture. Sugar is present everywhere.

• Americans currently consume 150lb/year per individual of sugar. That’s one-third of a pound daily.

• The liver becomes overloaded with sugar and converts some of it into fat, causing fatty liver and obesity. A number of the fat ends up in the blood flow and helps create dangerous little density LDLs (VLDLs). These molecules can load inside the blood vessel walls and form plaques and are causative with heart attacks.

• sugar activates the brain like cocaine, and individuals develop a tolerance like they do with drugs.  The more you consume this substance, the less rewarded you feel. The end result is you consume more than ever.

• fructose doesn’t inhibit ghrelin, the hormone in the gut that says to your mind, I am hungry. Fructose also does not stimulate the leptin hormone that tells your brain that I am full. We only binge on sugar.

• Men should eat less than 150 calories per day of added sugars (remember we are talking about added sugars, not the regular carbohydrates which are natural in whole foods). And women just 100 calories. That’s less than the amount that’s in one can of soft drink.

• The solution is to get the additional sugar from our foods.

In summary, Dr. Lustig says it’s a battle we must all struggle with. The issue is that what’s been good economically for the food sector, including cheap sugar, is bad for us. There’s not any middle ground. If one takes a look at the mega food companies in the S&P 500 companies over the years, giant corporations have done amazingly well. Why? Because food tastes great with sugar and it is cheap, it’s that simple. We will need to take responsibility for a global shift, in our minds, and then in how we consume (especially if we go out), and in how we teach others about sugar and food.

You should also understand that this sucrose and fructose are often found in many processed food in the grocery store like bread, pasta, canned items, condiments, yogurt, sauces, cereals, and protein bars. So if we talk about sugar we mean all sucrose and fructose.

Yes, fructose is a problem also. Fructose is naturally found in fruit. It is always supplied with excessive amounts of fiber, which reduces the rate of intestinal absorption of the sugar. So while it’s suggested to consume a whole lemon or orange, having canned orange juice or apple juice can be harmful as they are without the fiber and other nutrients that have been removed.

Many who preached counting calories will tell you a calorie is a calorie.  This statement is not entirely true. Calories from sugars are more harmful due to the way that your body will metabolize them. The calories from sugars should be removed from your diet for the calculations. 

Sugars are an added burden on the liver like alcohol. Anyone wanting to detoxify or with a chronic illness must remove this burden from their immune system. The toxicity of glucose is discussed at length.

Why is sugar harmful?

Main Points from the movie:

1. Sugar (equally as sucrose or fructose) is NOT the same as glucose. Early skeptics and critics should hold their comments until they see the science in the biochemistry slides.

2. Sugar raises insulin in the blood, which triggers hunger.

3.  Sugar disrupts leptin and ghrelin, two hormones that signal satiety in the brain, thereby lowering your hunger, and in effect, makes you eat more unneeded calories.

4. Sugar is a chronic liver poison since it can’t be adequately metabolized and eliminated by your liver. Sugar is metabolized like alcohol.

5. Biochemically, sugar consumption is equal to fat consumption. A high sugar diet is biochemically equivalent to a high-fat diet due to de novo lipogenesis. The sugar is converted into fat. 

6. Sugar causes inflammation at the body. 

Sugar also contributes to other chronic conditions such as Heart Disease, Diabetes (Metabolic Syndrome):

• sugar will increase the tiny dense fat (bad fat) in your blood LDL(b).

• sugar will boost your triglycerides precisely the same as alcohol.

• sugar will increase your blood pressure by blocking nitric oxide.

How to fight the sugar harmful effects

So, what can you do?

1. Read Labels

Read the food label to search for hidden sugar. Do not be fooled by marketing labels like “all-natural,” “fat-free,” “100% juice,” or”whole grain.” Start looking for the branded sugar content that’s usually given in grams, which is a unit of weight. Divide the amount found on the tag by 4 to get the number of teaspoons of granulated sugar. For example, a 12oz. Soda comprises 44g of sugar, which is 11 tsp! Lastly, read this link about the best way best to understand the Nutritional Facts Label.

2. Eradicate all sugared liquids Including juices and sodas. Keep only water and natural drinks in the house.

3. Other sugar culprits should be avoided, like cakes, sodas, candy, and sweet foods.

4. A nutritious diet & meal plan should include healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, complete proteins, low sodium, low sugar, and sufficient fiber.

5. Exercise:

The Real advantages of exercise: Exercise improves skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity. Your body will produce less insulin, and that’s a good thing. Exercise will reduce stress and the resultant cortisol release, thus lowering your appetite and also the conversion of sugar to fat.

Exercise “speeds up your metabolism.” Sucrose or fructose is burnt before it strikes the liver and is converted into fat.

Exercise can lead to increased muscle mass, which then increases the number of calories you burn even at rest!

The calories burned during exercise is trivial. As an example, you would have to run 20 minutes to burn off the calories from 1 chocolate chip cookie.

6. Take fiber with sugar and other carbs.

Fiber reduces the rate of intestinal Vitamin (and sugar) absorption, thereby decreasing insulin reaction. A few of the calories are being passed through your system. Recall many starches in your diet are quickly converted to glucose and then fat. Fiber increases the rate of intestinal contents. The satiety hormone signals are triggered quicker, so you eat less. Wait 20 minutes for moments. Fiber increases the creation of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) from the colon, which suppresses insulin.

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