A few patients and I had the opportunity to see Robert H. Lustig, MD, known informally as “The Sugar Guy,” in San Francisco last night. It was a remarkable presentation at the Commonwealth Club. I invited all of you via Facebook so I’ve gotten a few follow-up questions from people who couldn’t make it. Here are the take home points if you missed his talk:

  • A calorie is not a calorie. The food industry wants you to believe all calories are fungible so you’ll fill your body with junk that’s cheap to produce and easy to mark up. 
    • Eat real food, not processed food. Cut sugar and boost fiber.

  • High fructose corn syrup is not more dangerous than sugar for a biochemical reason. It just made sweetening cheaper so now more processed foods contain sweetener than ever before. 

    • Of the 600,000 items in the American Food Supply, 80% have added sugar.

  • Because of all the added sweeteners (that we don’t realize we’re eating), Americans eat 22 teaspoons of sugars or sweeteners a day.

  • Because we get more than three times the sugar we should, we develop an insulin resistance that causes our bodies to hoard fat and make us feel lethargic. 

Reposted from February 2, 2012:
This is an must watch video on sugar.

Robert H. Lustig, MD, UC San Francisco 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.