Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Video "Sugar: The Bitter Truth" with Robert Lustig MD

Worth watching is the (fairly long) video above, in which Robert Lustig, MD, discusses the evidence that the decades-long campaign against eating fat and cholesterol was based upon shoddy analysis, primarily that of Ancel Keys (1904 - 2004). Dr. Lustig believes that much of the danger attributed to the consumption of fat should actually be attributed to the consumption of sugar (particularly in the forms of sucrose and fructose as opposed to glucose alone), and that studies that were interpreted as showing the dangers of high fat in the diet were actually measuring the dangers of excessive sugar in the diet (the consumption of the two often go together).

The video presents compelling evidence that the entire modern approach to weight loss (based upon counting "calories in" and "calories out," without much examination of the different types of "calories in") is flawed, and that it ignores the different ways that the body processes and stores the calories that come in, some of which are stored in ways that are not harmful, and some of which are stored in ways that can be very harmful over time.

These arguments are consistent with the arguments presented in books we have mentioned on this blog before, such as Nourishing Traditions (discussed in this post) and Fat and Cholesterol are Good for You! (discussed in this post). Interested readers might also want to check out this previous post, entitled "Faulty theories can hurt you."

While Dr. Lustig's discussion is primarily centered around the prevention of obesity and specifically the rise of childhood obesity, the chemistry he is talking about impacts everyone, and is very important to consider carefully. It is likely that the factors he is discussing are a large part of a bigger problem which also includes a shift to different types of fats for cooking (discussed at greater length in the books and blog posts mentioned above) and other major changes to the food supply, especially in the years following the Second World War.

This subject illustrates the importance of good analysis and the dangers of uncritical acceptance of "conventional wisdom" around subjects that the general public believes have "been proven" and require no further examination.

Hat tip to my good friend Mr. D. Y. for bringing the above video to my attention (all the way from Japan)!