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Sugar: The Bitter Truth March 17, 2010

Filed under: Nutritional Wellness — aprasek @ 5:55 pm

A friend led me to a very interesting lecture about sugar… and I’m not gonna lie, it’s hard to watch– it will make you question what you’re eating. Here’s a quick summary about the video from UCSF:

Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, explores the damage caused by sugary foods. He argues that fructose (too much) and fiber (not enough) appear to be cornerstones of the obesity epidemic through their effects on insulin.

And the lecture (which is actually pretty entertaining– I watched it in 2 parts):

The convincing research on the negative health consequences of excess sugar in the diet and my own personal experiences have made me a believer. About four years ago, I began experimenting with the elimination of sugar from my diet. After only a few days of eliminating sugar, I noticed positive changes in my eating patterns, mood, mental clarity and more balance in my energy levels. This was enough evidence for me to remove all white sugar and artificial sweeteners from my diet at home. We now use small amounts of maple syrup, honey, fruit juices, pureed fruits and sometimes agave to sweeten our food. Of course, I still need my local ice cream shop fix and an occasional dessert when I visit one of my favorite restaurants (Birchwood Cafe, Sen Yai Sen Lek, Spoonriver, Red Stag… I could go on). Oooh, I also have a hard time passing up a pumpkin bar… and a freshly baked cookie…  🙂

How about you? What are your beliefs about sugar? Do you have any tips to sweeten foods in a more healthy way?

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10 Responses to “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”

  1. Chorlton Says:

    I discovered this presentation a couple of weeks ago (I think it is a couple of years old). I found it to be very convincing, especially with the volumes of data to back the claims up.
    I’ve actively avoided artificial sweeteners ever since I learned about the dangers of saccharin and aspartame. Since then, I’ve managed to cut out HFCS and reduce my sugar intake. Like salt, once you’ve become used to not having it in food, its no longer as enjoyable when you eat it again.
    I still make the occasional dessert using turbinado sugar, and like you I still enjoy a treat when eating out, but it has to be worth the calories.
    Decades ago, sugar marketers encouraged parents to feed sugar to their kids as a source of energy. Naive or cold blooded? We could ask similar questions of tobacco and asbestos manufacturers.
    One of the greatest benefits to me of keeping in shape is that I think about the fuel I put into my body. Its about quality as well as quantity. If a product contains added sugar or salt (or fat), was it any good to begin with?
    Since The Bitter Truth was released, the inevitable debate has ensued, but the fact remains that added refined sugar is unnecessary and harmful.

  2. hannah Says:

    Such a great video. As we continue to have this crazy low fat vs. High protein vs. Whatever fad diet, we ignore one of the most important culprits in our diets, sugar & artificial sweeteners. I got rid of HFCs too & the fake sugars… Workin on the white stuff, but already feel better than ever with just lessening the amt.

  3. Vladimir Says:

    Of course I’ll let you know my side of the story about sugars.
    Well, lets see… Sugar is a Sweet Road to Death.
    What else…
    Sugar feeds and promotes Cancer, but Vitamin B17 prevents and cures people from cancer. To get Vitamin B17 try finding Apricot Seeds and eat them, also try eating the seeds from apples. Yes, they are bitter, but they were designed by God to support our health, especially in today’s poisoned world.
    If you want to find out more about topics like Vitamin B17, white sugar, cancer, sweeteners, then search for them on my website GenuineAid.com

  4. Bryan Says:

    So bad, I kind of wanted to eat a snicker bar durring that presentation. Good info thanks for sharing. I’m fully addicted to sugar, I need to defeat that dragon, or at least tame it.
    B

  5. Aimee Says:

    LOL. I hear ya Bryan. It’s a huge challenge. Maple syrup, honey and dates got me through the transition and my withdrawal symptoms 🙂

  6. Joanne Says:

    Great presentation. I’m curious if there are recipes out there which use maple syrup/honey, etc. to make baked goods.

  7. Joanne Says:

    OK, so I’m a bit confused. The only fructose that was discussed was HFCS. What about fruit? Are we still able to consume fruit because it also contains the fiber??

  8. TL Says:

    so I had the same question as joanne…

  9. Joanne, and TL- We do hear a lot about the dangers of HFCS these days. Fructose from fruit can cause blood sugar imbalances as well. While everybody is a little different based on their metabolic type, we CAN overeat fructose from natural sources.

    I have seen many vegetarians and even ‘fruititairans; who have extremely unstable blood sugar because of too much fruit. While there is a lot of fiber and antioxidants in fruit we can also get that from our veggies. Some people can eat a lot more fructose then others but if we avoid most forms of sugar, after a couple of months we become more ‘insulin sensitive.’

  10. Davide Says:

    @Joanne:
    Some fruits contains high concentrations of fructose, such as; rasins, dates, figs, etc., and some fruits are higher in sucrose than others such as; papya, appricots, pinapple, etc. (remembering that sucrose contains about equal amounts of fructose and glucose, just like HFCS).


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