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Taubes Echos Dr. Lustig of UCSF, Calls Sugar A Poison; Also Posts His Lipid Panels
Old 04-21-2011, 01:09 PM   #1
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Taubes Echos Dr. Lustig of UCSF, Calls Sugar A Poison; Also Posts His Lipid Panels

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/ma...me&ref=general

Before sugar, we were talking about cholesterol | Gary Taubes | Gary Taubes

I find both articles very interesting.

In a related vein I decided to see if I could up my exercise, and hold my eating steady (weight loss prescription).

I am a total failure at this. It doesn't matter what I might like to do, if I work harder physically, I am going to eat more. I cannot stop from doing it. So for me anyway, this would not be an attractive or even possible way to trim weight.

In college I did this for very short periods of time, to make weight for an event, but always had it back by the end of the weekend. Humans do not like even partial starvation.

Ha
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Old 04-21-2011, 04:48 PM   #2
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Looking at those articles it would seem you can eat all you want, just not sugar. I have been thinking about cutting out sugar -- I currently eat massive amounts in candy and cookies. I use the fake stuff in sodas and coffee. What scares me is that I could be courting type 2 Diabetes if I keep eating so much candy. Maybe I should just dramatically toss the candies into the garbage.
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:20 PM   #3
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Maybe I should just dramatically toss the candies into the garbage.
Yes, do it. Whether sweets are poisonous is arguable (as you know, almost everything is arguable), but I don't hear anyone arguing that they're good for you. Play it safe: toss them in the garbage.
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:26 PM   #4
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I decided a long time ago, 1984 or so, that sugar was poison. I can't recall exactly what I read but I got it out of my diet. I agree with Lustig about it being a poison. I do consume sugar and HFCS if I happen to eat something it's in like pastry, cake, pie, donuts but that's very infrequent and I seldom use sugar today tho I do put jam on toast so maybe I'm consuming a bit more than I realized. I do add a bit to cole slaw and spaghetti sauce but that's it, I tried not using it but the taste is greatly improved with some sugar. I consume the most sugar from fruit but I always felt that was acceptable as it was natural and had a lot of fiber included.
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:17 PM   #5
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I consume the most sugar from fruit but I always felt that was acceptable as it was natural and had a lot of fiber included.
"Natural," unlike dehydrated cane juice?
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:19 PM   #6
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Ha,
Thanks for the link, very interesting article. I've never been much into sweets other than an occasional dessert when we dine out. My wife on the other hand loves chocolate and other sweets, although she does not consume them daily or in large amounts. Nevertheless, she was recently diagnosed as pre-diabetic, so I printed a copy of the article for her to read. I'm hoping that information like this along with her recently increased exercise regimen will help reverse her diagnosis.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:30 PM   #7
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I found that eliminating sugar was dead easy. The artificial sweeteners work for me (sucralose, erythritol, aspartame), and I've found substitutes for almost every sweet thing I used to eat. The exception is cookies, but I haven't looked very hard yet.

For example:

Chocolates -- homemade chocolate with erythritol
Cake -- Carbquik waffles with homemade whipped cream and 0 carb maple or choc syrup (Walden Farms)
Sweet relish -- Mount Olive relish sweetened with sucralose
Soft Drink -- A&W diet root beer
Milk Shake -- Protein shake flavored with DaVinci sugar-free syrups
Jello with whipped cream -- Sugar free Jello with sugar free homemade whipped cream
Chips ahoy cookies -- still searching...

----------------

I do eat energy bars in small bites when on very long bike rides -- fear of bonking.

The thing that gets me is the people exercising hard and then drinking a 20 oz "energy" drink with tons of fructose that slams into your system very quickly.

-------------------

It's too bad Taubes didn't have the cholesterol numbers when he was on the Oz show. It's good he had the LDL measured directly, because my understanding is that if your triglycerides are very low, the indirect method of calculating it is inaccurate. Also, it looks like he has a lot of large buoyant LDL, which is good.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:43 PM   #8
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"Natural," unlike dehydrated cane juice?
In his famous talk, "Sugar: The Bitter Truth",
Lustig argues that it is fructose without accompanying fiber which is problematic.
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:30 PM   #9
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In his famous talk, "Sugar: The Bitter Truth",
Lustig argues that it is fructose without accompanying fiber which is problematic.
I wonder if that is perhaps getting a little ahead of what is actually known? For one who is not diabetic or prediatbetic, it may be difficult to eat enough sugar in fruits to do much harm, but from what I can read this whole fiber argument is somewhat iffy. For someone with metabolism that is already disturbed, a nice big apple can send blood sugar way up, and one assumes also insulin, and thereby cause the negative hepatic processes that lead to fatty liver, more insulin resistance, etc.

And the "natural" argument is pretty weak. How natural are modern fruits? Natural in what sense?

Practically speaking, unless these guys are going to get laughed off the stage, they must tone down their most radical message. Imagine telling Mommie and the pediatrician that little Jonathan not only can't have any candy or cookies or cakes, he also has to have his apples and oranges rationed. Try telling teacher too!

That is what happened to John Yudkin 50 years ago. He told the truth without giving the mealy-mouthers any room to spin it less radically. Then he got ostracized. He may not have been 100% correct, but he was much closer to correct than the group who formed the ruling dietary consensus in America.

It may also be that under conditions of unremitting hard physical work most people can get away with eating plenty sugar. They certainly have for a long time. Sugar consumption has been quite high for probably at least 2 centuries in western countries, and fairly high longer than that. The impetus to the development of plantation agriculture the Caribbean was sugar, and that goes back at least into the 17th century. But back when so many people were rail thin no matter how much, or what, they ate, it might have not mattered.

Back in the '70s I knew young guys who had very physical logging jobs, like choker setter, limber and faller. These guys ate until they fell asleep in their plates and didn't skip the pie á la mode, but were nevertheless very thin and wiry.

Ha
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:57 PM   #10
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Practically speaking, unless these guys are going to get laughed off the stage, they must tone down their most radical message. Imagine telling Mommie and the pediatrician that little Jonathan not only can't have any candy or cookies or cakes, he also has to have his apples and oranges rationed. Try telling teacher too!
I agree with that. A collision with the what's-natural-is-good theory is a plausible explanation for giving fruit a pass, in the face of the evidence indicting fructose.
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:20 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
I've found substitutes for almost every sweet thing I used to eat. The exception is cookies, but I haven't looked very hard yet.

For example:

Chocolates -- homemade chocolate with erythritol
Soft Drink -- A&W diet root beer
Milk Shake -- Protein shake flavored with DaVinci sugar-free syrups
Chips ahoy cookies -- still searching...
Wow Al, those are some good ideas. I never thought of making unsweetened chocolate (and never heard of erythritol. I too use diet root beer but diet grape is my favorite on the rare occasions I can find it. Milk shake -- maybe.

Famous Amos Chocolate Chips Cookies are my breakfast mainstay -- dropping those will be hard.
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:35 AM   #12
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I was blown away by the lab report.
Ha, it sounds as if Gary's diet is similar to yours. Are your numbers similar to his?
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:26 AM   #13
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It's such an interesting but complicated issue.

Quote:
Back in the '70s I knew young guys who had very physical logging jobs, like choker setter, limber and faller. These guys ate until they fell asleep in their plates and didn't skip the pie á la mode, but were nevertheless very thin and wiry.
But how do you reconcile this with the idea that if one exercises more, one just eats more? Here's my take: These logger guys were not cutting back on saturated fat. I'll bet they had bacon, sausages, and eggs most mornings, and big steaks or burgers for dinner. They didn't eat a salad and some apples for lunch. So, their hunger was under control, and they didn't eat tons of sugar and carbs. OTOH, it's hard to interpret these anecdotal observations based on our memories of how things were. Perhaps the fat chokers quit because it was too hard.

Quote:
Imagine telling Mommie and the pediatrician that little Jonathan not only can't have any candy or cookies or cakes, he also has to have his apples and oranges rationed. Try telling teacher too!
Yes, this is a big problem. The Atkins foundation is so worried about this, that they say things like "vegetables are the foundation of the Atkins diet." Look at one of the images on their home page:

Atkins.jpg

A woman holding a tomato in front of carrots and more tomatoes. No meat anywhere. Are those potatoes on the kid's plate?

IOW, they change the message because the public can't handle the truth (that's my guess, anyway). So, this new watered-down Atkins won't help people as much, and people will be less convinced than ever.

I've also wondered why the beef industry hasn't endorsed low-carb, and one guess is that if they came out with commercials saying "Eat red meat and saturated fat every day and you'll lose weight and your cholesterol numbers will improve," people would just laugh.

Michelle Obama's message about obesity is not going to work.



I estimate that it will take 10 years or more before any kind of mainstream acceptance of low-carb diets.

---------------

Note that most sugar-free chocolate is sweetened with maltitol, which is just about as bad as sugar. Chocoperfection is a good alternative (although expensive).
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:15 AM   #14
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I was blown away by the lab report.
Ha, it sounds as if Gary's diet is similar to yours. Are your numbers similar to his?
I haven't had those more advanced lipid and phospholipid tests.

I do have very high HDL and triglycerides of only 20, but LDL by the difference method of 130. I would like to see if I can get the same panel that Gary got.

Ha
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:23 AM   #15
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I noticed that the doctor listed on Taubes' panels is from Michigan (a bit odd, as I think Taubes lives in California) so I googled Dr. Bill Nagler.

FYI, here's his webpage:

Lose from 5 to 10 pounds per Week with Diet Results® --- Diet Doctor Bill Nagler's Safe, Effective Weight Loss Program g

I'm in the process of reading it.

omni
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:01 AM   #16
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Lots of weight loss stuff to read on Nagler's site. He even sends out a a link for a free ebook. Anyone interested in accessing it (without registering), type in "loseweight" (without the quotation marks) at http://www.dietresults.com/thelittlebook.pdf

Basically, it looks like he's advocating a 'diet every other day' technique, alternating 500-calorie days with 'eat all you want' days (keeping sugar consumption to a 'dull roar' and drinking your weight in oz. of water or non-caloric bevvies.)

omni

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Old 04-22-2011, 11:10 AM   #17
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I do have very high HDL and triglycerides of only 20, but LDL by the difference method of 130. I would like to see if I can get the same panel that Gary got.
This is what fascinates me. My HDL has always been close to 60, which satisfies me, but LDL and trigs have always been a problem. I've been on statins for years, just to keep the LDLs down to a reasonable range.

I'm starting to get a whole new appreciation for a low carb diet. Thanks for bringing this article up.
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:14 AM   #18
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Lots of weight loss stuff to read on Nagler's site.
From Nagler's site:
Quote:
Don’t eat breakfast or anything at all, until you are hungry. If you’re not hungry, don’t eat.
I haven't seen this suggested elsewhere, but I've been doing it a while. It works for me. It's harder to stop eating than it is to delay eating.
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:43 AM   #19
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It's such an interesting but complicated issue.

But how do you reconcile this with the idea that if one exercises more, one just eats more? Here's my take: These logger guys were not cutting back on saturated fat. I'll bet they had bacon, sausages, and eggs most mornings, and big steaks or burgers for dinner. They didn't eat a salad and some apples for lunch. So, their hunger was under control, and they didn't eat tons of sugar and carbs.
I believe you live in former logging country. Go in any old time cafe or tavern and see the pictures of the old sawyers in the logging camps. I think there are just limits to how much a person can eat. They did eat plenty of fat, but also plenty of sugar and flour.

I played varsity football and basketball in HS, and rowed lightweight crew in college. It was the same, we ate and ate but stayed lean, but not at the extreme level of loggers, who worked harder and longer than any athlete. The football coaches would say, now boys, get on home and eat lots of baked beans and fatback and molasses. And donchoo fergit the milk and plenty pah for dessert.

Another thing is that a modern middle class middle aged guy has a refrigerator. The college athlete (in my day) ate at a training table when meals were served or in the dining hall out of season. In HS, you ate at your mother and father's table and on their schedule.

You had to try to make time to study, to make a few booty calls, and fill out the random form. Life could not be devoted solely to your sport and eating.

I could not do this today because my body is no longer capable of such high output levels, just like the young loggers who don't get too banged up eventually graduate to more sedentary and often very responsible jobs as crane operators, etc. Then they put on some weight.

Ha
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:52 AM   #20
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I would like to see if I can get the same panel that Gary got.
I've just compared my test results from March with Taubes', and they're quite similar. My LDL/HDL/triglycerides are 117/74/55 compared to his 116/68/64. I could possibly be on a low carb regimen, I suppose -- I don't keep track. I don't eat sweets or pasta at all, but not much fat, either.
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