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Anyone who has spent any time thinking about their diet, has put thought into the topic of sugar. And if you have paid attention to recent industry marketing, it is hard to avoid seeing how the sugar and processed food industries are trying to convince everyone that High Fructose Corn Syrup is "natural" and just as healthy as table sugar.

And they are right, both are deadly.

Dr Robert Lustig Put on a presentation a while back called "Sugar: The Bitter Truth" and a copy of this was posted to the internet on YouTube. If you have never seen this, then you are missing out a great deal of information on your diet.

The video is rather long and complex, so the fine folks at Underground Wellness made a short version.

Here is the short version:

And the full version (Warning: Contains Biochemistry):

Watch either one of these and you should come away with the following:

 - Your body can't use Fructose for energy.
 - We consume Much more Fructose than we did in the past.
 - All that Fructose goes straight into fat, with several very negative side effects along the way.

So why is this important? We all know that we need to stop eating so many desserts, right?

The core issue is that with the removal of fats from the American diet, sugar has become the replacement for flavor. look at the ingredients on your bread, yogurt, cereal, almost anything you get in a package has sugar in it today. Any if you weren't looking, you would never know.

Some food for thought.  :)

Updated by mhanch at Thu Feb 24, 2011, 09:19:10 PM

I should have said that "your body can't use Fructose immediately for energy". My error was noted below.

I appreciate the discussion! Thanks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    Listen to the chair leg of truth! It does not lie! What does it say?

    by mhanch on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 01:43:03 PM PST

  •  Isn't it that processed foods are bad, period? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bnasley, cdkipp

    I couldn't watch the videos yet, but isn't the point that processed foods are not helpful on a healthy diet?  

    I'd think that anyone watching their weight - which should be just about everyone - would be focused more on making meals from scratch, i.e., vegetables, whole grains, etc.

  •  it's great in a strawberry (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    k9disc, Gary Norton, mhanch, bnasley, LynneK, Clio2, trs

    where God put it.

    It's not a fake orgasm; it's a real yawn.

    by sayitaintso on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 02:11:16 PM PST

  •  Flawed science (11+ / 0-)

    The effects of a relatively high-fructose diet are complex and still being studied.  To what end fructose contributes to obesity because it is fructose (rather than just being a sugar at all) is still a matter of scientific debate.

    However, the claims of this diary are incorrect from the science.

    Fructose is in fact used by the body for energy.  It is absorbed from the small intestine* by active uptake protein GLUT5 and transported to the liver by transport protein GLUT2.  Metabolism of fructose, unlike glucose, takes place exclusively in the liver.  The primary metabolic product is glycogen ("animal starch", stored in the liver).  Should sufficient glycogen stores exist, metabolism of fructose is rerouted in a slightly less efficient process, to triglyceride for incorporation into fat or muscle cells.

    *Admittedly, GLUT5 can become easily saturated.  So it is correct to say that excessive fructose consumption can lead to unabsorbed sugar passing into the large intestine, which can cause gas.  And because fructose metabolism is liver-only, it is problematic with certain forms of liver disease.  But neither of these alters the fact that the fundamental statements in this diary are inaccurate.

    "We are not entitled to our opinions; we are entitled to our informed opinions. Without research, without background, without understanding, it's nothing."

    by Serpents Choice on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 02:16:30 PM PST

    •  My vote is still out on this one. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1, FrugalGranny, trs

      In the meantime I have taken it HFCS out of my diet.
      If you google:

      hoebel hfcs

      you find some interesting things. I know Bart Hoebel and I don't think he's a fraud.

      •  HFCS (8+ / 0-)

        HFCS is a technically complicated issue.  What we think of as normal sugar, sucrose, is a disaccharide.  Basically, it's 1 glucose and 1 fructose, stapled together.  Acidic hydrolysis in the stomach cleaves the larger sugar into its component parts, to be taken up separately in the small intestine.  HFCS, as generally formulated, is about 55% monosaccharide fructose and 45% monosaccharide glucose.

        What that difference means is challenging to know for certain.  Sugar metabolism isn't the simple sequence that high school biology implies.  Fructose-weighted sugar loads do cause the body to prioritize GLUT5 production to allow for more efficient fructose uptake, which might offset fructose malabsorption problems for some people.  Or not; we're not really certain.  Fructose is more efficient for glycogen synthesis, so higher fructose intake may result in maximizing glycogen stores more quickly, which could mean more overall triglycerides (and, thus, ultimately, more fats).

        But it's hard to say for certain, and there are a lot of confounding factors.  Excessive sugar consumption in general is probably a more serious problem than a skewed monosaccharide ratio.  

        Personally, I consume very little HFCS, not because I think it poses unique health risks, but because my deranged palate doesn't find the substantially sweeter taste of fructose to be ... well, tasty (I can't stand strawberries, either).

        "We are not entitled to our opinions; we are entitled to our informed opinions. Without research, without background, without understanding, it's nothing."

        by Serpents Choice on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 02:57:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  High Fructose Corn Syrup (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mhanch, bnasley, Earth Ling, trs

      is not necessarily the same as high-fructose. Honey is high fructose as are berries and tree fruit. No one can say those are particularly bad, in fact, they are down right healthy. The difference is there is much less fructose in fruit and berries. Honey is high in fructose, but not many people are eating the quantity of honey as they do HFCS from manufactured products.

      High fructose corn syrup, on the other hand, has shown many detrimental problems. It is highly processed, leading to opportunities for contamination. Mercury from lower quality sodium hydroxide has been measured in the final product. And producers wish to call it 'natural' with so much processing.

      As for the metabolic effects- some people have no trouble metabolizing sugars of any type. But most people do not process sugars equally. Especially diabetics. Different forms of sugars affect most people differently. This is why you give glucose to a person with low blood sugar and a diabetic will strive to have the most complex sugars, which take longer to break down, lowering the impact on their insulin need. Give the same glucose to a diabetic and you will send them into a coma.

      Myself- I have very real, very horrid problems with HFCS. My blood sugar shoots up then crashes. I cannot really tolerate it. Honey? No problem. Chemically speaking, there is not too much difference between honey and HFCS-55 (most common in sodas and candy). But my body can sure tell the difference!

      I am much too liberal to be a Democrat.

      by WiseFerret on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 02:59:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I will take issue with the statement (6+ / 0-)

        in the diary that fructose cannot be used for energy. That is false. It cannot be used immediately for energy. But few sugars can- all but glucose need to be broken down by some metabolic pathway.

        I am much too liberal to be a Democrat.

        by WiseFerret on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 03:02:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Processing (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PhilK, badger, LynneK

        As a technophile, I do not believe that "natural" products have any inherently privileged condition.  Obviously, improperly processed or outright contaminated foods are bad, but that holds true no matter what material you started out with.

        As for diabetics, the answer is (as it often is) complicated.  Fructose has the lowest glycaemic index of the sugars, and its uptake doesn't trigger the production of insulin by pancreatic β cells, so pure fructose has been proposed as a sweetener (in limited quantity) for some diabetics by some studies.  HFCS, obviously, is 45% glucose and rather defeats the purpose there.  And, like with virtually everything, some individuals respond differently.

        "We are not entitled to our opinions; we are entitled to our informed opinions. Without research, without background, without understanding, it's nothing."

        by Serpents Choice on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 03:25:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  sounds like the science might be off here (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      trs

      but I'll leave my rec up because it at least starts a good discussion.

      Thanks for the information you've brought!

      Christian, have you forgotten that Jesus was a victim of state sponsored torture?

      by Earth Ling on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 03:20:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I also understand the science on whether (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chimene

      high fructose corn syrup is more harmful than straight sugar is mixed...

      The broader issue is not HFCS inherent  harmfulness as a food but i ts pervasiveness.  Corn is heavily subsidized and consequently is seen everywhere in our food supply;very hard to find a processed food without it.

      Prior to the early 2000's our government and health experts were also pushing a low fat diet as the holy grail, thus pushing people toward low fat-high carb treats on the premise they were healthy.

      This push toward high carbohydrate foods with a high glycemic index most likely underlies our current epidemic of obesity and diabetes.  The issue is not that HFCS is worse than glucose but rather that it is at least as bad as glucose but is everywhere and presents a great hidden danger.

  •  LOLWUT? (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, mhanch, LynneK, Ellid, trs, T100R
    - Your body can't use Fructose for energy.
     - We consume Much more Fructose than we did in the past.
     - All that Fructose goes straight into fat, with several very negative side effects along the way.

    So we can't use fructose for energy, but it goes into fat...which is stored energy.  Something's wrong with this picture.

    Quidquid id est, timeo Republicanos et securitatem ferentes.

    by Sura 109 on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 02:31:50 PM PST

  •  I think we over-consume sugars (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moira977, Wee Mama, chimene, mhanch, bnasley, LynneK, trs

    in general.  When you consume fruit, the sugars come packaged with fiber and the necessary acids to help break down those sugars slowly.

    When you consume processed sugar or corn syrup, the sugar hits your bloodstream like a freight train.  If you're not burning those calories, they will turn to fat.

    "Right wing freak machine" General Wes Clark

    by Tracker on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 02:37:08 PM PST

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