"If Lustig is right, then our excessive consumption of sugar is the primary reason that the numbers of obese and diabetic Americans have skyrocketed in the past 30 years. But his argument implies more than that. If Lustig is right, it would mean that sugar is also the likely dietary cause of several other chronic ailments widely considered to be diseases of Western lifestyles — heart disease, hypertension and many common cancers among them.
Some time ago, I posted on my old blog the link to the youtube video of Dr. Lustig's SUGAR: THE BITTER TRUTH. That and Gary Taubes first book on carbohydrates and their link to fat storage/obesity/diabetes/heart disease got me to start weaning off sugar, bit by bit. I think they are both onto something. And it's VERY scary.
Read the article. Even if you have doubts or disagreements, read it. If you're insulin resistant or diabetic, you had really better read it, especially the last paragraphs dealing with I.R. And if you eat sugar and HFCS, please, please, take a few minutes to read it. If you forget about this post, you'll find the link on my right sidebar for "Is Sugar Toxic?" If you want a hard copy, I believe it will be in this coming Sunday's NY TIMES.
I was diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome in 1998 (Syndrome X was the term I heard a lot back then for the syndrome). I have Insulin Resistance. Changes in my diet kept me from going full-blown diabetic in 2004 when I was at my highest weight. Thank God. As I lose weight, I hope to burn off the toxic fat in my liver. Yes, I have fatty liver (and I do not drink). Reading the part in this article about the possible correlation with cancer is terrifying. I have been I.R. for two decades plus. What the hell did that do to me?
Did I start to get fit in time? I ask myself this question a lot. I'm 51.
Like Allan says, "Sure, take your time. Being fat is no problem." This article says there's a time bomb and it may be well related to sugar/HCFS consumption and insulin resistance/diabetes/Metabolic Syndrome.
Yeah, let's keep stuffing down those sugary treats and justifying them as just "a little sweet something" cause we have a craving, we're stressed, or coworkers keep bringing them in, our period is coming, our in-laws bug us, the weather sucks, it's Christmas, it's Mardi Gras, it's Easter, it's Fourth of July, it's Halloween, it's Thanksgiving, it's my birthday, your birthday, his birthday, their birthday, my anniversary, his anniversary, the President's speech is on, the next Harry Potter movie is on, it's a blue moon, it's an eclipse, it's a meteor, it's Monday, it's Friday, oops, it's the PMS thing again, and another Friday, and it's ABCXYZ... ad infinitum...
It's just a treat. No biggie. A sweet something that makes us feel good.
Only that treat is being used often, every day, twice a day. How many treats are in our food journals each day, day by day? Sugar-including treats? HCFS-riddled treats? A cookie or two here. A Skinny Cow there. A chocolate VitaTop (sugar--third ingredient) here. A 1/4 can of Pepsi there. A frozen yogurt here. A 1/2 cup of Ben and Jerry's there. Oh, look, a handful of M&Ms and a Pop-Tart slipped in that uber-stressful day. Maybe a 90-calorie Quaker granola bar get snapped up for an in-the-car breakfast. (Count how many times sugar comes up in the list of ingredients. Gasp freely.Go look at your granola's ingredients. I dare you. )
I can't do those justifications anymore..not with any amount of ease. I'm too scared of the damage already done and the damage that would be yet-to-come if I went back to sugary ways.
Note no one is talking about an occasional, special treat. We eat this crap daily in the US. A lot of us eat it several times a day in all sorts of foods....
See if you can do sugary treats and foods and sodas with mental ease after reading the article. After watching Dr. Lustig's video. See how calm you can be handing that second slice of birthday cake, side of ice cream to Juanito, that bag of lollipops or that Three Musketeers bar to lil Emily, the candy apples and cotton candy at the fair to Jenny, or the couple Oreos or Froot Loops breakfast to Caleb, Jr?
What are they eating in school that you can't control readily? Do you even know? (Watch the recent Jamie Oliver program on the LA area's school food. OMG! ) Sweetened chocolate milk. Sugar-added pancake syrup. Sugar-fruit yogurt. Sugar laden pizza sauce. Danishes. Brownies. Sugary cereals. The chocolates for fundraisers for the band. Any vending machines nearby? What do they have?
Then maybe the young ones are on the way home, and they pick up some treats--gum, chocolate bars, ice cream cones, milk shakes. Then while doing homeowork, some trendy new treat gets munched on. Maybe hit some jelly beans when it's time to watch tv. Or caramel popcorn. Or a few Nilla Wafers washed down with some "fruit juice beverage" that's essentially sugar water. Or a Coke or a Dr. Pepper.
Maybe dinner has meat drenched in bbq sauce (HFCS second ingredient) or they use up a 1/2 cup of ketchup on that burger with fries (HFCS # 3, corn syrup #4 ingredients) or there's sweet-n-sour Chinese or a honey-mustard dipping sauce for the nuggets that's more sugar or corn syrup than actual honey. And what are they drinking with dinner? Sugary fruit punch? Sugary lemonade? Hawaiian Punch? Regular soda? Flavored/sugared milk?
Just see if maybe you don't think twice...three times...about what mainlining all that sugar's gonna do to your babies....what it already is doing...
Me, I regularly call sugar-- online and offline-- "da debbil". I do believe it is the devil in the human diet. One of them, for sure. The Big One, perhaps. It's pervasive in the US (read labels). It's addictive. (Take away a kid's--or PMS woman's treats--and try not to get killed.) It's fattening.
The devil in the diet.
"Isocaloric" is not "Isometabolic", says Dr. Lustig. (See the article for definitions.) We forget that, I think.
Here are the concluding paragraphs:
Most of the researchers studying this insulin/cancer link seem concerned primarily with finding a drug that might work to suppress insulin signaling in incipient cancer cells and so, they hope, inhibit or prevent their growth entirely. Many of the experts writing about the insulin/cancer link from a public health perspective — as in the 2007 report from the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research — work from the assumption that chronically elevated insulin levels and insulin resistance are both caused by being fat or by getting fatter. They recommend, as the 2007 report did, that we should all work to be lean and more physically active, and that in turn will help us prevent cancer.
But some researchers will make the case, as Cantley and Thompson do, that if something other than just being fatter is causing insulin resistance to begin with, that’s quite likely the dietary cause of many cancers. If it’s sugar that causes insulin resistance, they say, then the conclusion is hard to avoid that sugar causes cancer — some cancers, at least — radical as this may seem and despite the fact that this suggestion has rarely if ever been voiced before publicly. For just this reason, neither of these men will eat sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, if they can avoid it.
“I have eliminated refined sugar from my diet and eat as little as I possibly can,” Thompson told me, “because I believe ultimately it’s something I can do to decrease my risk of cancer.” Cantley put it this way: “Sugar scares me.”
Sugar scares me too, obviously. I’d like to eat it in moderation. I’d certainly like my two sons to be able to eat it in moderation, to not overconsume it, but I don’t actually know what that means, and I’ve been reporting on this subject and studying it for more than a decade. If sugar just makes us fatter, that’s one thing. We start gaining weight, we eat less of it. But we are also talking about things we can’t see — fatty liver, insulin resistance and all that follows. Officially I’m not supposed to worry because the evidence isn’t conclusive, but I do.
Now I'm going to bed (this will be published hours from now) singing a bit of an old Randy Stonehill song: "Shut de do'. Keep out de debbil. Shut de do'...keep de debbil in de night...shut de do'...keep out de debbil...light de candle...evvything's all right..."