Sugar – Health Enemy Number One

October 10, 2010

Poison in a CubeWhile I’ve written on this topic a couple of times, a recent conversation with a family physician at the Health 2.0 conference sealed the deal for me. It’s time to write about sugar for real.

The first thing I’d like to say is I’m grown a little weary of the back and forth among the proponents of the various diets. Yes, I have an overall approach that I believe has a lot of merit. Yes, I think much of what is considered conventional wisdom is just plain wrong and we will come to know it as such in time.

That said, I’m also convinced that much of the jibba jabba is about egos and the need stake a claim on what’s ‘right.’ It’s also true that one can’t very well ‘sell’ a diet unless you make it the be-all and end-all. When you look at them all, however, there are a few simple things that pretty much all dietary approaches agree upon. One simple and straightforward one is the reduction of or complete elimination of sugars from the diet.

Some might be tempted to read that and say ‘Duh! everybody knows sugars are bad for you.’ In a sense, you’d be right. There’s practically nobody (except the sugar refiners, soft drink makers and the ‘Sweet Surprise’ people) saying sugars are harmless. From my perspective, though, there’s still a long way to go.

As I mentioned in a recent high-fructose corn syrup post, many people are actually doubling up on cane sugar drinks thinking they’re better than drinks sweetened with HFCS. Also, I’d bet the vast majority of people who would say ‘Duh! Any moron knows sugar is bad for you’ would also say ‘Fruit juice is good for you.’ To say nothing of the fact that most people don’t have a handle on how much sugar they’re actually consuming in bread, sauces, drinks, etc.

So consider this a down payment with more to come. In this installment I’ll recommend you take a look at a great Reader’s Digest version of a now legendary lecture from Dr. Robert Lustig (Pediatric Endocrinologist at UCSF). The original is here in all it’s 89-minute glory. If you want the essence of the video (fructose = toxin) in under twelve minutes, take a look at the video from Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness. Got to love the way he just breaks it all down.

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6 Responses to “Sugar – Health Enemy Number One”

  1. Paul Goade Says:

    Go Health Man! Sugar kills.

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  2. Mitch Straus Says:

    I use honey and agave to sweeten things now. No more sugar and no more artificial sweeteners! Great article Health Man! I take the same approach to holistic wellness as you!

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    • KMT Says:

      Thanks for sending the link to your blog, Mitch. Keep up the great work.

      Although I’m still a little wary (in that it hasn’t been in wide use for very long), you might want to see if stevia is another option for sweeteners you might want to consider.

      As with everything regarding sweeteners, though, ‘as little as possible’ is probably the best policy (whether it’s honey, agave or stevia.

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  3. […] I mentioned in a previous post, I committed to continuing down this path on sugar. Given there are so many books on the subject, I […]

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  4. […] in October 2010, I authored a post entitled Sugar – Public Enemy Number One. The main takeaway I intended for the article was to argue that if all the diet books and nutrition […]

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