It’s the Sugar

We’re fat.  No, really, we’re fat.  Why?  According to Robert Lustig, author of Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar Processed Food Obesity and Disease, points the finger primarily at sugar.  His interview on NPR’s Talk of the Nation Science Friday is enlightening.

It’s not just sugar that is the problem, but foods that have been processed in such a way that even “whole grain” products might as well be a funnel of corn syrup hitting your stomach.  It will come as no surprise to anyone who cares about their health and the food they eat that we need to eat whole foods not just constituent parts.

Take orange juice.  An orange is a wonderful thing.  The fruit contains a lot of vitamins and minerals along with fiber.  Put that same orange through the juicer and you are left with an entirely different product even though it has undergone a single industrial process.  The fiber of the orange is left behind and even though the resultant juice has healthy properties it contains a lot of sugar.  How much?  Compare twelve ounces of orange juice to twelve ounces of Coca-Cola:

oj vs coke

Ouch.  Think about that the next time you grab that bottle of orange juice at the continental breakfast.

You want to know why our kids our fat?  Because we pump them full of sugar.  How?  Just look at apple juice:

oj vs coke vs apple

Think about that the next time you pick up an eight pack of juice boxes at the grocery store.  By the way, this is for the unsweetened stuff.  Lurking right next to the unsweetened juices are a whole host of juices that, for some reason, feel the need to add more sugar than what is already present.  It’s a small miracle that our children’s teeth do not collectively rot out en masse.

Lustig does a better job than I could hope of explaining the biomechanical components of why industrialized food is bad for us vis a vis the sugar issue.  Take a moment to listen to the interview and start thinking about how to reduce the amount of added sugar, industrialized food, and general crap that is put on the plate or glass on an average day.


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