Weight Loss News and Current Events - Sugar, the bitter truth.

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03-02-2014, 08:51 PM

You've probably seen some of this before. But very well done article that just came out.

03-02-2014, 09:00 PM
I want to read this later. So i'm subscribing now.

03-04-2014, 04:54 PM
In early Feb 2014, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study showing a connection between excessive sugar consumption and heart disease. Sugar, not fat, has become the enemy of weight loss and good health.

03-04-2014, 06:09 PM
In early Feb 2014, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study showing a connection between excessive sugar consumption and heart disease. Sugar, not fat, has become the enemy of weight loss and good health.

Studies are good, consecutive studies are better. The study actually was studying the correlation between added sugars and those who already had heart disease and their mortality rate. So everyone in the study had heart disease to begin with.

They showed a correlation between a higher mortality rate for those that consume 10% or more of their calories from added sugar. The added sugar mostly came from drinks. Those with 10% and under daily added sugar had no correlation. They also weren't looking at any other aspect of general eating habits which is a bit of a shame. Not that I think added sugars are a good thing, but generally I would assume if someone is drinking a lot of sodas, then maybe their diet isn't too hot to begin with. Although they did show excess calorie consumption in general among those that had 10% or more of their calories from added sugars.

Anyway, I think the overall message that the particular study tried to show is limiting added sugars in the diet, especially for those with existing medical issues. That overall is pretty sound advice.

03-04-2014, 07:35 PM
I hope everyone who likes studies got that free ebook I noted in carb counters while it was free.

Yes long term RCT studies are best. But Dr. Lustig has very powerful evidence sugar is behind spike in diabetes.

But at some point we just have to use 'educated' common sense. America is getting sicker, bigger, more diabetes, more cancer, more heart disease. We've actually cut fat, especially saturated fat. Red meat down, butter down. Sugar, carbs, and vegetable oils up.

I've junked vegetable oils, grains, added sugars. Embraced meats, veggies, saturated fats, full fat dairy. And I am thriving. Best health ever at 48. And I am far from only one.

03-04-2014, 07:59 PM
Well I think we know excessive calorie consumption and consuming large amounts of sugar are issues. I think blaming sugar and only sugar is an issue though as health and weight issues are due to multiple factors.

Anectodally, I can say I ate very few added sugars growing up, no fast food, lots of vegetables, etc, etc and yet I was obese. As an adult, I did let some added sugars creep in, in the form of ice cream but even cutting added sugars didn't reduce my weight. For me, exercise and movement is the thing I credit most to my weight loss and maintenance (and lack of movement resulted in a gain while I was trying to maintain). I have started adding in more plant based oils (avocado especially) and have noticed that helps with my weight loss and satiation.

03-04-2014, 08:26 PM
Avocado is fine. I am talking corn, soy, canola oils.

The thing is to know if you are insulin sensitive to some degree or not. If you are, limiting sugar and non veggie carbs can go from a good idea to life transforming. In a wonderful, awesome way.

03-04-2014, 09:06 PM
I am insulin sensitive, lovely package that came with PCOS. I think that is one reason exercise and movement has helped me a lot. I don't personally limit carbs, but I try to keep a balance and generally my diet is considered on the higher carb end (60%)

03-04-2014, 09:22 PM
Many people who are insulin sensitive will not do well on 60% calories from carbs. Especially if more than a small amount are from anything other than non starchy veggies and some fruit.

I was 60% carbs and it devastated my health.

03-04-2014, 10:21 PM
I think it is part of experimenting and doing what you feel best with. Personally, I do fine with 60% carbs. Also, an interesting book to read if anyone cares about high carb diets and diabetes would be Dr Neal Barnard's program for reversing diabetes. He had a lot of success in improving diabetes or completely reversing it for those that tried it. Again, it depends on the person, their goals, their tastes, etc, etc. I don't want to get too far off the path of discussing sugar, but I also read an interesting study presented at a diabetes conference last year where diabetics in the study were able to get off of insulin by taking short walks after their meals. Not being diabetic and not being as devoted, I don't achieve that but it is interesting to see that happen. When I'm able to, I do try to work out after my meals.

03-05-2014, 01:54 AM
For me the problem with sugar is not sugar per se but that you want to eat more of it and then you have a problem. And that's not a problem every one has.

If it doesn't affect you in that way, then you probably won't and don't have a problem with refined sugar.

I have a problem with refined sugar but i don't have a problem with carbs. Its only sugar that gets me binging but then when i am binging, its not just sugar that i will binge on. If sugar is not available or i run out, then i will eat a lot of almost anything so long as its easy to put together or in your mouth. That is to say, if i'm in binge mode, i won't really want to prepare a proper meal.

Nelie, were you always insulin resistant? Are you a type 1 Diabetic? If so, then that would mean you were never subject to the same responses to food as those of us who didn't?

If you aren't diabetic or have not always been insulin resistant? What did you eat to get obese? Or why do you think you got obese?

I hope you don't mind me asking.

Incidentally, not many people on these boards talk about themselves as being diabetic. Or if they do, i'm probably not reading the right threads.

03-05-2014, 07:40 AM
Lustig is more down on fructose than on carbs in general. Fructose is found in HFCS, table sugar (aka sucrose, chemically one glucose molecule bound by an oxygen to one fructose molecule) fruit, honey, agave, etc. Natural corn syrup is all glucose and starch is broken down into glucose without any fructose.

Fructose has a low insulin response and Lustig has argued that the lack of response (which also results in no leptin) also results in less satiety (but I haven't seen any study support that). Fructose is metabolized differently from glucose and Lustig believes that fructose is particularly harmful because it produces triglycerides and results in "advanced glycation endproducts" (AGEs) which are harmful over time. This metabolic pathway does look particularly fraught with peril, but although Lustig claims this pathway is unregulated, everything I've read seems to indicate that the liver is only capable of processing a small amount of fructose this way.

Generally avoiding added sugar (except for my 2 squares of dark choc) is a good idea for me but so is avoiding starchy carbs. I'm not sure Lustig is right about fructose (as opposed to glucose) playing such an oversized role in deteriorating health trends but I don't yet understand how excess fructose gets processed by the body and I'd like to see more research (what I've seen has been pretty mixed on fructose).

03-05-2014, 08:19 AM
That is interesting yoyoma, I'm not sure how someone would hypothesize that a low insulin response would cause diabetes as you would expect insulin receptors to act normally to low amounts of insulin.

Pattience, sometimes PCOS (which I have) can cause a level of insulin resistance. Most of my weight gain occurred around age 12-13 and I was told later on that it was most likely due to PCOS mixed with some level of insulin resistance.

I do well with limiting added sugars myself but I have been practicing intuitive/mindful eating for the past few months which really means I don't restrict anything if I really want it. How often do I want added sugars? Very little. I add sugar to the bread I make (I've been using coconut sugar, molasses or sorghum syrup) and I will eat the bread sometimes and I do like having occasional dark chocolate. Not restricting though has completely stopped any binging I had even on what I previously thought of as trigger foods (namely bread). The result is I am quickly making my way back to my all time low weight by not restricting, exercising regularly and using a fitbit to maintain a minimum level of movement daily.

And I should say my comments in my previous posts above were just my way to say things aren't black and white. People definitely have to figure what works best for them. My methods may not work for everyone.

03-05-2014, 02:32 PM
For me my body basically has the same response to sugar or carbs. And the 'whole grain' media push..well it is just that a media push. Your body converts it to glucose just as fast as refined grains.

And mind blowingly whole grains might be worse than more refined grains. Both were bad for me and for other people deciding to go grain free for their health. On the surface whole grains have more nutrients. But when they measure people say eating brown rice and white rice the nutrients in their bodies get worse on brown rice. Whole grains have 'anti-nutrients' the bind nutrients up with them and prevent your body from absorbing them.

Interesting a lot of the long-lived Japanese for instance eat white rice.

Also with low carbs I truly do have a 'fat burning' metabolism now. I have more energy than ever...my body isn't getting a lot of carbs or for sure I can say it is getting a lot less than in May of last year. So what does it do? Slow down? Nope, stronger, more energy than ever.

So what is it doing? It is burning fat. So what is happening? I am dropping weight virtually effortlessly and it is from all the problem spots. I am getting more muscular almost without trying.

03-05-2014, 04:53 PM
I'm wondering about the effect of eating a lot of protein, about 175g/day per MFP, in the presence of low fat, about 25g & low carb 40g net. I do not feel like I'm in ketosis and wondering if my body is converting the protein overload into glucose. And, if so, is there a negative effect on health? I would appreciate any input-thanks in advance!

03-05-2014, 05:51 PM
I don't know if this is a problem for the amounts that you are eating, but too much protein without enough fat can be hazardous. Please google "rabbit starvation" and "protein poisoning" if you haven't heard of them, just so you know about what can happen if it is taken to the extreme.

Most low-carb diets use fat as the staple nutrient. I think that's why Atkins didn't work well for me in the long run. I was too used to eating low-fat. To be honest, I think my problem may have been that I was eating too much protein, which is what you suspect might be happening in your case (if you want to be in ketosis).

Since you know about gluconeogenesis, you know that protein can be metabolized into glucose (plus nitrogen-based portions which are used or excreted). It looks like it's pretty inefficient in that you only get about half the amount of carbs as the amount of protein you start with. But we only need on average about 50 g protein a day, so you could be metabolizing a significant amount of glucose (over 50 g) from the remaining protein.

You might want to post in one of the low carb forums for more information. I limit my carbs, but I'm not trying to stay in ketosis. I'm just trying to avoid eating too much, which I do when I eat more carbs.

03-05-2014, 06:20 PM
Thank-you SO MUCH yoyoma. This is exactly the info I'm looking for. I'm only aiming at ketosis in the hopes of controlling my hunger and carb addiction, so not married to it. I'm like you in being used to low fat. I also think I'm a little carbaphobic, but using protein to get glucose is expensive. Thanks again!

03-06-2014, 12:05 PM
Good morning!
Having been low carb for over 1 yr, I'm realizing 2 things: 1) mental functioning is much better with the right amount of carbs. The right range remains to be determined. I have a fear of the nagging hunger from the carb/insulin roller coaster. But my thinking and ability to do mental tasks are markedly improved with 40 net carbs rather than the 25-30 I've been eating.

2) Sucralose and high protein (e.g., 150-170g from tofu and chicken) can enter into the equation. I noticed some fat deposition coming back to my abdomen & thighs, despite good scale #s and clothes still fitting. Cutting way back on Mio water flavoring and all my other artificially sweetened go-tos has helped me to eat less and feel satisfied. I'll get measurements today.

Yesterday, with trepidation, I ate kidney beans and a small avocado before bed. It was alarming to see my calorie & macronutrient count on MFP! Yet today I lost 1.5 lbs, and finally made it below 145 lbs. Today, I am going to add quinoa and see what happens. Time to lose the fear of carbs and fat!

03-06-2014, 06:54 PM
Go easy on the avocardos mars. You don't need to eat the whole thing. when i was growing up it was normal to eat a half an avocado but we didn't do it very often. When i moved in with some other people in my adulthood, i learnt that avocado can be made to last several days. Just cut out a slice at a time and cover the remainder with cling wrap to stop it going brown.

03-06-2014, 07:04 PM
I eat 1/4th to 1/2 avocado every day. Generally, I try to make meals that are 1/4 'protein' (usually beans but can be tofu, tempeh, seitan, etc), 1/4 grains or starchy vegetables and 1/2 non starchy vegetables. I add various fats to my meals. It varies though based on what I might want to eat.

03-06-2014, 10:37 PM
Pattience & Nelie: Thanks for watching my back re avocados! I picked the smallest one I could find because I have never in my life been able to leave avocado over. I will literally wake up in the middle of the night and eat the rest like a robot. The edible part weighed 4 oz--200 cal! And I thought I just had a sugar addiction, lol.

Nelie: Your eating plan sounds maintainable and healthy (and sustainable, too).

I'm reading The Sugar Addicts Total Recovery Program by Kathleen Des Maisons. It's been around for while, I think 2001. She talks about sugar addiction in terms of a trilogy of traits that can be hereditary: sugar sensitivity in which blood sugar and insulin responses to sugar are more than other people so we are perpetually eating to chase hunger and that starts the cycle all over. Then there is a low level of serotonin and beta-endorpin in the brain so they/we are prone to depression, SAD, and tend to be impulsive.

She has a dietary plan including protein in the am and a potato at night, among other things. These are precursors to serotonin. I've only just started the book but she sounds very credible.

03-07-2014, 12:29 AM
Mars when i can't control my intake of a certain food, i leave it out of my diet until i can manage it. That's my latest strategy anyhow.

First time i did specific food restriction, i kept all of them off limits that included not just sugar stuff but also, nuts, cheese, dried fruit and i can't think what else right now and most fatty goods - not avocados though.

Now on this current diet, i have found i can eat cheese in moderation, nuts also (but i don't eat them on their own, only as part of a meal with other things). If i saw i was having trouble with my cheese or nuts, then i'd have to think about chucking them off again. Same as avocados.

but then i'm not doing a high protein diet. My diet isn't about changing the ratio of proteins fats and carbs which would make it more complicated.

i have certainly noticed a link between mood and appetite. So now i think if you are on a diet, one should work hard also on the mood .

03-07-2014, 04:29 PM
I haven't read the article yet (I will) but saw Lustig's video and it was life transforming for me. I'll never view sugar the same- now I just see "poison". Especially now that there is some theory that Alzheimers may actually be "type 3 diabetes" I think it's especially important to eat whole foods and avoid the processed crap and sugars particularly.

03-07-2014, 04:46 PM
Do you have scientific articles about alzheimer's being a form of diabetes? The reason I ask is the only thing I've seen is questionable theories without any evidence.

We are learning a lot more about Alzheimer's and dementia in general. The things I've read seem to indicate that vitamin B-12 malabsorption (which is not only genetic for those of all ages but widespread among the elderly) and exposure to aluminum throughout life both seem to play a role in Alzheimer's.

03-07-2014, 11:09 PM
Do you have scientific articles about alzheimer's being a form of diabetes? The reason I ask is the only thing I've seen is questionable theories without any evidence.

We are learning a lot more about Alzheimer's and dementia in general. The things I've read seem to indicate that vitamin B-12 malabsorption (which is not only genetic for those of all ages but widespread among the elderly) and exposure to aluminum throughout life both seem to play a role in Alzheimer's.

I don't, and don't claim to know for sure, just that I've seen this theory floated around. The first link below is the most authoritative, the other two are just articles. Googling "type 3 diabetes" will bring up a plethora of results.




Again, I'm not saying it is for sure but the concern is there. We already have plenty of reasons to avoid sugars, this for me just adds to it because Alzheimers is a pretty scary disease.

03-08-2014, 09:01 AM
It is interesting that they noticed less insulin receptors in the brain of those with Alzheimer's after an autopsy. I'm wondering if there is an easy way to track insulin receptors while someone is alive and be able to do a long term study. I think it would be difficult because it is dealing with the brain though and couldn't be an easy blood test to see.

Could sugar play a part in less insulin receptors? Yes, no maybe? They do show a link between uncontrolled blood sugar level (aka diabetes) and alzheimer's but there could be other things as well. I think overall diabetes causes havoc on the body and is something to be avoided. I had 2 great grandparents and 1 grandparent who had diabetes. They all lived to be in their 90s but their last few years were rough, my great grandmother went blind my great grandfather had his leg amputated and my grandfather, well he was fairly healthy until the last couple years of his life but it seems diabetes weighed him down.

03-08-2014, 11:00 AM
Up until the 1850s sugar was almost unheard of for the masses anywhere in the world.

Anyone can chalk up surge in diabetes, heart disease, and cancer to anything they want. Me I think the evidence is crystal clear. And I am walking the walk. Carbs almost all from non startchy veggies, no grains, little to no added sugar, more saturated fat.

I have the best health of my life, by far, at 48.

My beloved uncle got diabetes and dementia and followed standard dietary advice his whole life. It is devastating to me.

03-08-2014, 11:52 AM
I volunteered for an Alzheimer's center when I was in high school and it was pretty sad. Luckily, I've never had anyone in my family with dementia/Alzheimer's but it isn't something I'd wish on anyone.