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Here's The Thing (Mary Ellen Matthews)

Episode #19

Robert Lustig

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Monday, July 02, 2012

This week, Alec talks with Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at UC San Francisco, about our country’s addiction to sugar.  Children today are the first American generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents, in large part due to obesity.  According to Lustig, this obesity often comes from eating too much sugar.  

Sugar is hard to avoid.  A recent study reveals that 80 percent of the 600,000 food items in America are laced with added sugar.  Lustig says, “There is not one biochemical reaction in your body, not one, that requires dietary fructose, not one that requires sugar.  Dietary sugar is completely irrelevant to life.  People say oh, you need sugar to live.  Garbage.”  Dr. Robert Lustig has made it his business to get the rest of the world to pay attention.  

READ | Interview Transcript

Hosted by:

Alec Baldwin

Produced by:

Emily Botein and Kathie Russo

Comments [63]

Angela Tripi-Weiss from NYC

I am the executive director of a non-profit art education program in NYC called Arts in Action VAP. www.ARTSINACTIONVAP.ORG. As an educator of 26 years, I have the wittnessed the negative effects of sugar consumption on children's cognitive ability to sit and learn skills, concepts, and to process the information essential to being able to set to task and implement the skills taught. Sugar consumtion inhibits a child's ability to critically think. I have wittnessed mood swings within short periods of time when a sweet treat was consumed.
Due to these observations, all my classrooms have become "sugar free enviorments". I have implimented a NO SUGAR policy that my parent body must read, and sing indicationg their child is not to eat sugar products before coming to class. This has met with some unexpected resistance on the part of the a few parents, and day care providors. However it's worth dealing with the resistance I face because the no sugar policy when I see my students not only sitting, listening and actively participating in the lessons, and exicuting the skills taught with happy faces during their process. I applaud Alic Baldwin's efforts to get Dr. Lustig's import research out to as many people as possible. I will buy Dr. Lustig's book to keep in my school's library for my parentbody to access!

Mar. 19 2014 12:57 PM
JP

It is my understanding that fruit sugar Fructose is absolutely necessary in making D Ribose.
We must eat some Fruit in order to get Fructose in order to make D Ribose.
D Ribose is very important not just for energy but for turning on and off our genetics.
This is important for the repair of DNA.
I agree that processed sugar is toxic but I think it should be said that low glycemic fruit should be a part of a healthy diet.
I do not think that Wheat or grain is good for me personally and I don't recommend it for anyone.
Thank you Dr Lustig for your service your a Mensch :)

Mar. 06 2014 06:29 PM
D Miller

Our constitution states that part of the role of government is "promote the general welfare". A failure to limit a toxin in our diet means the government is not performing this constitutional requirement.

Feb. 14 2014 11:48 AM
Holly

Dr. Lustig, give up you morning bagel and other "healthy" whole grains and you'll be able to lose those extra pounds. They are as bad as sugar.

Oct. 24 2013 01:10 PM
Val

I really support what Dr Lustig is doing ..BUT..I was so disappointed when he said we should eat whole wheat bread...It's still sugar Dr.Lustig..I hope he re examines that thought....whole wheat has a higher GI than white bread....and on top of that the whole seeds in that kind of bread are very anti nutrient and damaging to the gut flora for most people.

Oct. 21 2013 01:56 PM
Dexter

Your next interview should be about Wheat and wheat products being as damaging as sugar is. http:www.wheatbellyblog.com Wheat turns to sugar in the gut to right along with straight sugar and HFCS. Dr. William Davis, Cardiologist.

Oct. 12 2013 08:05 PM
J.

I to enjoy "highfucktose" corn syrup

Apr. 18 2013 08:55 PM

This was a great interview, and everyone living on this planet should hear this! So, how do I get my girlfriend to jump on board with me to eliminate sugar from our diet, but mainly to keep this highly addictive white stuff out of our house?

Nov. 07 2012 04:00 PM
Steve from Berkeley, CA

Damn You Baldwin!
It's been a few months after listening to this and I can't eat the pastry that makes my mouth water. I haven't been able to crack the front door of the Hungarian bakery in my hood for fear that their apple cake would come to life in my stomach and eat me from the inside. Both my girlfriend and I talk openly, and frequently, how we avoid sweets and sugary items when we're apart as well as together. We've both been loosing weight and feel better but DAMN YOU Baldwin for facts and interesting, stimulating conversation that changes peoples minds. I guess I should thank you but I'd rather just keep damning you, it's too close.

Also, there's some new info from Gary Taubes who's writing a book "Big Sugar's Sweet Little Lies." Xeni from Boing Boing has the following article. http://boingboing.net/2012/10/31/how-the-sugar-industry-defends.html

Oct. 31 2012 02:03 PM
Lisa from Denver, CO

I love listening to your podcasts on my way to work. I learn so many interesting and helpful things. I just listened to your interview with Dr. Lustig. I have been successful once getting sugar out of my diet, but then fell off that wagon. It is hard for me to stay on the "no sugar wagon" but I am trying once again.
Another interesting person for you to interview would be William Davis, M.D., (cardiologist) author of Wheat Belly. He discusses the issues with wheat and how harmful it can be for us. Very interesting and informative book.
Thanks again.

Oct. 13 2012 11:10 AM
chip johnson

FYI
Dr. Joel Fuhrman - Google Nutritarian
Dr. Micheal Gregar - www.veganmd.org/

Oct. 01 2012 01:03 PM
Michelina from Chicago IL

I just discovered your podcast. I have really enjoyed the intimate interview style you have with such fascinating people. Your interview with Dr. Lustig was eye opening. As a pescitarian, I find I am always revisiting bad habits (especially emotional eating). Your interview with the doctor made me remember to revisit my habits with food, for myself, as well as for my new baby boy. I'll need to set a good example. Thank you for yours! You look happy and healthy. I look forward to more great interviews you produce. ... Would you ever try to interview Lauren Bacall or Jimmy Carter? :)

Sep. 25 2012 12:45 PM
Brian from Maplewood, NJ

Alec - I don't know if you or your staff are still monitoring comments for this page, but I just wanted to thank you for this particular show. Hearing about your decision to cut out sugar and pasta inspired me to do the same (my doctor had informed me that while I wasn't pre-diabetic, I wasn't exactly that far off). It was much easier than I thought it would be and I feel great. Nearly eight weeks since I heard this episode and I've already lost 15 lbs - just from cutting out sweets and being mindful of sugar intake! I didn't realize how much sugar/corn syrup was in my diet and the result from the simple change has been incredible. Thanks again!

Aug. 27 2012 12:36 PM
Pamela DeRitis from Atlanta

Thank you for covering this topic. I don't have an addiction to sugar per se, however I do have a formidable sweet tooth. Usually I keep it in check but not always! Being vegan, I thought I was safe for a while as most desserts I tried were not great, but the explosion of gourmet vegan sweets lately makes it difficult. I want to support vegan bakers and, well, you know...cookies... bread! :-) I'm Italian -- eating bread is practically a requirement. Listening to this podcast has given me a reality check and motivation to keep my portions under control.

Aug. 19 2012 04:07 PM
David Driscoll from Australia

Dr Lustig doesn't do so well against fellow scientists vs a reporter - as the video links at the end of this article from a recent symposia on sugar demonstrate - the Q&A section is most telling!
http://evolvinghealthscience.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/sugar-showdown-science-responds-to.html?m=1
The 60 Minutes story was poorly done and hardly a balanced view of the science http://evolvinghealthscience.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/no-dr-gupta-hummingbird-fuel-is-not.html?m=1, but this interview was hardly an 'investigation', more a post-hoc justification for someone's personal experience! An unfortunate oversimplification of a number of complex problems

Aug. 11 2012 06:39 PM
Linda from Ocala, FL

Loved this podcast!! He is voicing many of the views I have come to understand about myself the last few years. I have been off sugar and chemical food for 2 years now and feel much better. I still have arthritis but not nearly as badly.

He also talks about how poor health habits are really the health care crisis. Until this gets talked about incessantly and people change - costs will go up and up.

Aug. 10 2012 01:42 PM
Judith from Seattle, WA

So refreshing to hear the truth being told. I have been in recovery from compulsive eating in Overeaters Anonymous for over 24 years and free of the need to eat sugar, sugar substitudes and other foods. Just want to pass this along for there is a solution if a person has had enough and has the burning desire to stop compulsive eating and all the health problems that arise from eating sugar and other foods. I have not struggled with diabetes as several of my siblings have and have been able to maintain 50 lb. weight loss for over 23 years.

Aug. 07 2012 12:25 PM
Cheryl Cartwright from Montreal, Canada

just listened to "60 Minutes" interview with Dr. Lustig and so found Alec's page - I am gobsmacked ! I thought you were just another pretty face, Alec - I am delighted to discover your "other side" ! My mother started me on a course against sugar since I was a kid -"Sugar - the Curse of Civilization" first published in 1957 being her favourite book which we swtill have ! So the information has been around for a long long time - it is great that this information is getting mainstream airtime it needs - whether people will "hear" and act is perhaps another story.
My Mom was one of the originals in Canada - back when there were no healthfood stores at all in Quebec and advocates of healthy living were still called "healthfood nuts" -she would send an order by phone up to Carlsbad Springs Ontario and we would go to the train station in Montreal to pick up our supplies - crude sugar, wholewheat flour, millet for porridge, kelp, cod liver oil, brewer's yeast , etc etc.

so kudos to you Alex - keep up the Good Fight ! How Can I get involved and help?

Aug. 05 2012 08:23 PM
Mick from Ottawa, Canada

The main thing I didn't like about this interview is Dr Lustig's insistence that 55 mg of salt in one can of Coca Cola is like "drinking a pizza". 40 mg of sodium is TINY, and is actually 2% of the daily allowance according to Canadian standards (not sure what it reflects in US, but surely close). Pizza on the other hand DOES have a lot of sodium, but to equate the 2 is just plain irresponsible. The rest of his arguments are very interesting, but that one reference - to me - puts the rest of his arguments in question.

Keep up the good work.

Aug. 05 2012 05:27 PM
jamesdaddio from NYC

Come on man your a genius..music spills out from a guy that doesn't take himself seriously maybe Bach was that way. Why should folks from our generation take it all so seriously. He is an artistic reflection of the time this is what art is about. Music is a tough biz obviously lots of surprises.Great pair Alec and Billie..There's got to be more to come. Really enjoyed the reality of how hard people really try to succeed he makes it look so easy.
Love and peace to Billie

Aug. 01 2012 03:14 PM
Tony from Finland

I cut the junk carbs from my diet back in 2005. After viewing Dr.Lustig's lecture in Youtube, I even gave up those couple teaspoons of sugar I put to my coffee daily!

Jul. 28 2012 10:13 AM
Kelly Sheridan from Baltimore, MD

Read about the podcasts in Vanity Fair and listened to 5 on my way home from Cape Cod. Excellent program, Alec Baldwin is terrific. Hope he gets to talk to Michaell Bloomberg one day. Love love love this show!

Jul. 22 2012 03:58 PM
Linda from Oregon

Thirty years ago, I had the good fortune to learn that my joint pain was caused by sensitivity to corn (I had been gorging on air-popped corn). Since then, I have avoided any corn products, which includes nearly all packaged products in the grocery store. Corn syrup and cornstarch are hidden everywhere. Avoiding them requires careful label reading and cooking from scratch, but it has transformed my health. I am 65, 62 inches tall, 113 pounds. Okay, that's four pounds over my ideal weight. I use whole grain bread and pasta, brown rice, and yes, I do use cane sugar (not GMO beet sugar). A 5-lb bag lasts about a year. I choose dairy products from cows not treated with hormones (RBST makes my b*****s hurt). Home grown fruits and vegetables taste better and gardening is your best exercise. Enjoy your life. Eat real food. Good luck finding it!

Jul. 19 2012 06:47 PM
Athena from AshevilleNC

Bottom line on all of this is very simple eat real food and exercise. Whereever you live find a farmers' market talk to the vendors and ask them how they grow the food and then make your choices. A little self control and moderation..the human body is a unique and wonderful gift take care of it.

Jul. 19 2012 11:24 AM
MaryRose from Maryland

I really enjoyed the interview but I am shocked that Dr. Lustig tells you he eats a bagel for breakfast ? And a processed food lunch! Do as I say and not as I do? That sounds insane coming from him. I'm glad you asked him the question but I was floored and disappointed by his answer.
Thanks!

Jul. 18 2012 08:19 PM

Mr. Baldwin,

I'm a big fan of your work and have enjoyed listening to some of the interviews in this podcast including those with Lorne Michaels, Kristen Wiig, David Letterman, and this one with Dr. Robert Lustig. Your ability to speak candidly and warmly with so many fascinating individuals is admirable, but I wonder if you are aware that the style and tone in which you narrate comes across as slightly self gratifying and insincere.

Take my critique with a grain of salt. It tastes better that way.

Brandon

Jul. 17 2012 10:08 AM
Diane Kress, RD CDE from Naples, NJ

Dr. Lustig has been reading The Metabolism Miracle. If you are interested in following a diet/lifestyle program that is written specifically for the millions of people with insulin imbalance, it is in this book.

The book was 13 years in the making, tested on over 6000 patients with success, became a NY Times Bestseller, and its core program was sited as superior to the traditional low fat, low calorie diet for long term weight reduction in the June 27, 2012 edition of JAMA!

It is a 3 part program. The first 8 weeks involve a low carb program (not Atkins) that focuses on lean protein, heart healthy fat, liberal neutral veggies, and a 5 gram Counter Carb at meals and bedtime. The second 8 weeks (or more depending on the amount of fat you desire to lose) ADDS 11-20 grams of low glycemic index carbs to all meals, bedtime, and between any meals that exceed 5 hours. This includes 11-20 grams of fruit, legumes, whole grains, yogurt. when you arrive at your desired weight, there is an individualized BALANCED diet that focuse on healthy carbs, lean protein, heart healthy fat and liberal neutral veggies.

Exercise is a part of the program...a minimum of 30 minutes physical activity over and above typical activity five times/week

Water/decaf fluid is stressed (typically 64 ounces/day)

Green tea (2 tea bags) recommended

Multi vitamin, Fish Oil, Calcium with Vitamin D, and B complex daily on Step 1.

This program begins to work within 4 days. Objectively, there will be marked decreases in body fat, inches, glucose, insulin, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, hemoglobin A1C, CRP (inflammatory marker) and increases in HDL and Vitamin D.

Subjectively: increased energy, focus/concentration, improved mood with less mild depression and anxiety, improved libido, decreased cravings and appetite.

The Metabolism Miracle is the future of weight loss and improved health in the US and around the world. Read it today. Informative website: www.themetabolismmiracle.com.

I blog on www.themetabolismmiracle.com and www.thewhistleblog/blogpost.com.

Thanks, Dr. Lustig. Lots of the information presented in your interview is verbatim in Metabolism Miracle!

Jul. 16 2012 05:36 PM
Reality

So you gave up eating fruit then? FRUIT is where FRUCTOSE comes from. DUH! SUGAR IS NATURAL!

Jul. 16 2012 01:41 PM
Dan Moffett from Danville Kentucky

Great show. Alex if you really want to lose the weight and feel better you have to cut out ALL wheat. Read a book called "Wheat Belly" by Dr. William Davis. You should interview Dr. Davis.
I've lost 158 pounds in the past 2 1/2 years by cutting out the sugars and wheat. I tell my story on my blog with before and now pictures.
http://danmoffett.blogspot.com

Jul. 13 2012 07:54 PM
Joanna from Seattle, WA

I loved this interview and the synergy it has with the things Michael Pollan is saying, the things that naturopathic doctors are addressing, and the growing body (no pun intended) of people embracing a Real Food movement.

My hope is that the bottom-line oriented food conglomerates will begin to see real food as a market and, as Dr. Lustig spoke of, use the powerful distribution infrastructure in the U.S. to make Real Food as convenient to eat as processed food. Can you imagine being on a road trip and stopping into a mini-mart where refrigerated vegan salads, fresh fruits, raw juices, and organic sandwiches are easy to grab and take? Or a fast-food chain that offers a raw juice bar, etc.? I think someone could make a lot of money, and they would have such a ratchet on the market where there is a glut of processed crap and very few options for those who are health-conscious.

Alec, I'd love to see some before and after pictures from your sugar-free journey! Congrats on your marriage too.

Jul. 12 2012 11:35 AM
LFB in CT

Alec, Very interesting interview. I cut back significantly on sugar (no dessert, snacks, etc.) about 6 months ago and found that 5 or so lbs fell off without effort. It was not a weight loss attempt at all, but more just feeling I was consuming way too much sugar and I wanted to see if I could cure my sweet tooth. I occasionally indulge now, but always regret it - tastes bad afterwards, etc.

I would love to hear Dr. Lustig or someone else connect this research to Type 1 Diabetes, which my daughter was recently diagnosed with. Since that is treated with insulin, how does that treatment reconcile with the problems caused by excess insulin that Dr. Lustig describes?

Jul. 11 2012 09:40 PM
Richard Gerber from Detroit

The end of disease campaign http://intelegen.com/nutrients/index.htm was launched 1995 the creator is behind many of the awareness campaigns that are now bearing fruit. It is loaded with technical details and the main instigator (me) and researcher is working to deliver the immortal function protocols. Which involve the discovery of the real fountain of youth in Georgia which was marked with the Mayan Goddess Ixchel (yes the Mayans traveled) and a huge granite turtle head. The turtle is the symbol of immortality because its cells unlike human cells (unless you know the secret) do not experience senescence. http://newswire.pro/immortal.html

Jul. 11 2012 06:07 PM
Tom from Houston Tx

Just got back from shopping. I tried as much as possible to buy sugar free stuff with no other chemicals (aspartime, etc.). Saved 50% on my bill. Yes, sugar really is in 80% of everything.

Jul. 09 2012 02:22 PM
cavenewt from Wyoming

I can't believe Dr. Lustig, who I follow and generally agree with (soda tax being an exception), is singing the praises of wheat. Wheat has a higher glycemic index than sugar--which means it spikes your insulin more. Wheat is toxic in many ways and can cause food allergies and autoimmune disease. There is a lot of research in the biochemistry of digestion backing this up, but hardly anybody knows about it. See, for example, http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2010/10/wheat-is-a-cause-of-many-diseases-i-leaky-gut/ which has links and citations to a lot of the science.

Kudos to Alec Baldwin for losing all that weight! It's hard for many to buck the trend of the SAD (Standard American Diet), but once you do, it's a real eye-opener. It makes you view with alarm the other shoppers' carts at the grocery store.

Jul. 09 2012 12:03 PM
Charles

That pasta was "exported" back to Italy is not true. That the Mediterraean diet and the Italain diet are not one and the same is also an exaggeration. Every "Mediterraean" country has its diet with a core in common.
Italians have and always have eaten pasta, especially in the south; the north used polenta. But in either case Italians eat small portions and as a
first course to a multi-course dinner.
If he believes these items to true then I have to doubt his "doctrinaire" approach.

Jul. 08 2012 05:59 PM
Tom from Houston Tx

Here's a link to an article on cutting out sugar to help cope with trauma symptoms:

http://tinyurl.com/78pvsyt

Jul. 08 2012 03:31 PM
Gretchen from Michigan

Thank you Alec, for covering this topic, and for sharing your own success with us as well. I think that Dr. Lustig is hitting on only part of the problem though, and while sugar is basically toxic... grains, especially wheat, need to be looked at more closely. That bagel he is eating each morning, and the "something processed" at lunchtime, is what is still causing his problems, just as it is for the rest of the country. He talks about insulin and blood sugar, but "healthy whole grains" are a major culprit when you look at glycemic index.

He is also still buying into the concept that we need grains for fiber content, which is nonsense. An avocado has 10g of fiber, while a slice of whole grain bread has 2g. And the reason for needing large amounts of fiber, is to move all the processed "paste" through our systems in this American diet. I STRONGLY recommend reading "Wheat Belly" by Dr. William Davis, a preventive cardiologist who has really done his research. It's an interesting and life-changing read, and well worth the time.

Give up the sugar, delete the wheat! Wheat not only turns to sugar in the digestion process, it is HIGHLY inflammatory, affecting the entire body (weight gain, bloating, migraines, joint and body pain, auto-immune disorders, acid reflux, and IBS are just the tip of the iceberg) as well as producing polypeptides that can bind to morphine receptors in the brain, making it addictive, in a literal sense. I agree with Dr. Lustig about needing real food, but wheat has been modified so much that it no longer qualifies. Seriously, read Wheat Belly!!

Jul. 08 2012 08:56 AM
Liz from New York

This is such an important topic and I thought it was a great discussion. I was disappointed at the end to hear Dr. Lustig describe his own eating habits, as far as he would share that information. I would love to hear Alec interview someone like T. Colin Campbell or Dr. Esselstyn, who are both important scientists in whole foods, plant-based nutrition and who practice what they preach.

Jul. 08 2012 12:08 AM
Marc Strumpf

Next time you see Dr. Lustig say the words "Low Carb, High Fat Diet" and have him look into it. There is no reason for him to be eating bagels for breakfast or for being overweight.

Jul. 07 2012 09:39 PM

Alec

Love the show and thanks for having Dr. Lustig on.

Something to learn about...dietary fat...we've been lied to on this.

Someone to check out...Gary Taubes...look on youtube.

Glad you're getting healthier, am longtime fan

Jul. 07 2012 04:34 PM
Michelle Smith from Asheville, NC

Sugar is the first drug we ever do. It's addictive, mood-altering and, as Dr. Lustig's research has shown, it has serious effects on our bodies' ability to regulate its own health and healing. I think it is important to begin looking at the national connection between sugar addiction and alcohol addiction. Sugar became wide-spread through slave labor and continues to be one of the most exploitative industries for labor and one of the worst extractive industries for land and water. Sugar cane was never refined in the indigenous cultures where it originated. When combined with coffee and chocolate (also brought to European markets by the use of genocide and slavery) in part because it made these stimulants palatable. I've discovered that my sugar addiction lies at the root of my other addictions. Thanks for talking about this issue. Love the show.

Jul. 07 2012 03:40 PM

started the Primal lifestyle in Sept 2011 gave up all sugar, grains & potatoes added lots of healthy fats like olive oil, avocado & coconut oil. Added lots of red meat, chicken fish wild game..veggies & fruit...so many problems relieved & I am Italian no prob giving up pasta...

Jul. 06 2012 11:20 PM
Jason from Connecticut

Another interesting show. Thanks Alec!

One question I have is, what about sugar substitutes like truvia and splenda?

Thanks.

Jul. 06 2012 10:08 AM
Magnus from Sweden

@ timh:

It´s on youtube...

The Men Who Made Us Fat

Episode One: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6xHVQsALRo

Episode Two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pr279PX3J-4&feature=relmfu

I can´t fint the third episode, but I guess it will be on youtube eventually.

Jul. 06 2012 05:52 AM
John from Brooklyn

Dr. Lustig is guilty of fear mongering and confirmation bias. He misleads the public by cherry picking data and playing fast and loose with the facts in order to promote his agenda.

Whether or not you buy Dr. Lustig's numerous leaps of logic, I highly suggest reading Alan Aragon's critique of "Sugar: The Bitter Truth" to at least get a different perspective. Alan takes a science first approach to nutrition, which is why he is one of the most well respected nutritionists in the country. After Alan posted his piece, Dr. Lustig responded in the comments section, and a heated debate soon followed. Suffice it to say, Dr. Lustig did not fare well arguing his case.

The initial critique can be read here:

http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/01/29/the-bitter-truth-about-fructose-alarmism/

A summary of the debate can be read here:

http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/02/19/a-retrospective-of-the-fructose-alarmism-debate/

Alan's critique of Dr. Lustig's 60 Minutes segment can be seen here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMc0_s-M08I

Jul. 05 2012 10:29 PM
mith

I've been doing this diet (<20 carbs per day) for about 3 months, cut out all sugar and most carbs besides healthy carbs from veggies. Went from 255 to 220, in 3 months. I never had a bad sweet tooth so it wasnt too hard to cut out sugar, but bread and pasta is hard, it takes will power. But with very little exercise ,35 pounds in 3 months is saying something. Sugar and carbs are killing you and making you fat.

Jul. 05 2012 09:11 PM
Richard David Feinman from Brooklyn, NY

Whatever the dangers of fructose, Rob Lustig's mixture of fact and fancy is not likely to help and I have tried to suggest the need for restraint and accurate biochemistry. One problem is that, as many have complained, the approach of parody and irony are nearly impossible in this world. In my fructophobia post http://wp.me/p16vK0-6W, I used a quotation “The truth? If I wanted the truth, I would have called Sixty Minutes.” said by Spiros Focás in Jewel of the Nile.
And sure enough, Lustig was on Sixty Minutes a while ago.
Recently, in a comment someplace or other, I described Lustig as being as ubiquitous as Alec Baldwin and now here it is, on WNYC.
Anyway, I just wanted to let people know the latest that I heard: Rob Lustig and Dr. Oz are going to sing the duet from "The Pearl Fishers" at the New York City Opera. Don't miss it.

Richard David Feinman
Professor of Cell Biology
SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Jul. 05 2012 08:18 PM

Lustig is like an archer, pointed in the right direction, just letting his aim fall short. He says the debate between saturated fat and carbohydrate went wrong, but I would expect him to take this to its conclusion... eat fats in the absence of carbohydrates to turn this totally around.

Alec, it sounds like you are taking this to the right place, dropping bread and pasta in addition to sugar. Have you added back in healthy fats to still have a primary energy source?

I'm always left feeling a little disappointed when hearing Dr. Lustig make dietary recommendations. It's clear he's not entirely happy living with his own advice.

Jul. 05 2012 02:45 PM
Jin from NYC.

Hey Alec,

Great show, while I do love the film industry insights, hearing this was incredible. Would love to hear more about things that you think are important like this. I've just started getting into a healthier lifestyle, I'm 20 and overweight, I'm missing the best parts of my life. I think my biggest hurdle is alcohol, the amount of carbs in beer is far too unhealthy for daily consumption.

Great show.

Baldwin for mayor.

Jul. 05 2012 11:09 AM
Rob Hanna from Austin Texas

Correction on my below post, in CAPS:

"Alec, the more you can get people to eat real food, the greater the likelihood that regulatory impotence will NOT harm us... "

Jul. 04 2012 04:52 PM
Rob Hanna from Austin Texas

Alec,

Great setting out the context of the problem--the condition of personal, bodily health in an environment of sugar promoting interests.

The misuse of our food system is clear. I wish you would help illustrate the potentials of individual action that people can take to supplant bad policy, industry malfeasance and regulatory capture other than medication--behavioral change that you have taken:

eat less sugar
eat more natural protein and healthy fats (omega 3 to 6 balance)

Lustig is great, but he has it wrong in terms of remedy and the single most important thing you can do, in other words you can't exercise your way out of a bad diet. You can stop eating sugar, and the awareness of where sugar bass been laced in our food supply is the most important thing you've revealed, and this is where Lustig is right:

Eat and demand real food and that will force the food industry to supply more real food.

Alec, the more you can get people to eat real food, the greater the likelihood that regulatory impotence will harm us... and I think you've started doing that by sharing your own personal example of dropping sugar.

Keep up the personal examples, these are what people will model and follow. Share the details with missteps, warts and all, as you do.

Awesome, keep it up and thanks.

Rob

Jul. 04 2012 04:13 PM
mike

PALEO DIET..... that is all.

Jul. 04 2012 01:53 PM

I'm in the process (no pun intended!) of eliminating sugar from my diet and this interview was very motivating. Two big "Woot! Woot!'s to both Alec and Dr. Lustig for this great public service! If you have not yet considered limiting your sugar intake, this is very informative. I particularly appreciated the discussion on how we must re-think replacing this cheap source of energy for society as a whole. VERY well done!

Jul. 04 2012 01:46 PM
Joannie from L.I., N.Y.

I really liked and enjoyed this guest and the conversation about sugar, high fructose, and foods. This subject interests me a great deal. And personally I have watched what I eat ever since I was around 12years old. Having had a bad case of acne caused me to watch what I eat. I was sooo very upset by my acne that I tried to gain as much knowledge on the subject of foods, from greasy foods and fatty foods to chocolates and sugars and sweets as I could. Reading up on the subject constantly to hope to clear up my acne. Over the years it cleared up itself normally. I did learn alot about foods though, and have given up bread, pasta, beef, meat, soda (I gave up soda many moons ago-- no nutritional value), white sugar, sweets. Gave it all up on my own. As you Alec have said you have given up also. I understand what foods can do to your body. I found this conversation very interesting to me. I learned long ago that whatever you put into your body affects you in one way or another. And as they used to say, "you are what you eat." Great conversation!! I enjoyed it tremendously!! And I thank you for sharing it!!

Jul. 04 2012 10:07 AM

Excellent conversation, this! A good move towards common sense in diet and fitness.

Jul. 03 2012 11:27 AM
Usiku from Chicago

I contnue to hear many "educated" Americans state obesity is the result of being poor and lazy. Laziness is a factor but partly chemically-induced laziness, critical thinking laziness and built into our societal habits.

To read an indepth analysis on the USDA and FDA, see "Nutrition Labeling Inconsistencies, FDA & USDA Breaking The Law Consistently"

http://writerswhirlpool.blogspot.com/2012/06/nutrition-labeling-inconsistencies-fda.html

Jul. 03 2012 10:45 AM
kevin from upper LS

we should get all the sugar we need, from complex carbs,which are a healthy food that release the sugar gradually. it's not just about sugar,though,it's also HFCS[corn syrup], that triggers insatiable sweet cravings. that's why it's in there. in addition to other chemicals, that are put in "food" to trick the brain. people focus on the exercise part of the equation,which is of course important,but not the primary culprit. don't we all know, and remember, that there have always been sizable numbers of kids, that did not exercise in the past, yet where not so fat as today's kids. that should be a clue.

Jul. 02 2012 10:00 PM
Penny Rosenthal from Mankato, MN

I love "Here's the Thing!" Could you publish an interview a day? Outstanding interviews and topics - thank you!

I gave up sugar, meat, dairy, fish, eggs, (anything with a face or a Momma) and oil last November and pounds fell off me. What I gave up doesn't compare to what I gave myself - a whole food, plant based diet, energy, low cholesterol, and a new joy of cooking! There's a strong, global movement to shift how we think about food and what we consume.

Thanks again!!

Jul. 02 2012 09:27 PM
Amy Miles from Seattle WA

Alec,
I have really enjoyed your podcasts since I discovered it a few months ago. You always ask intelligent and insightful questions that I would want to ask of your guests. I really want to thank you for this particular episode on sugar. We've been doing okay raising our two kids 8 and 11 without soda and too much sugar (or so I thought) and this episode with Robert Lutsig was a real eye opener. Although I am reasonably fit, I will definately make better choices for myself and as a mother I am very glad to have the information to help my kids avoid future bad habits. Thanks so much for a great podcast, I look forward to future episodes!
PS: Congratulation on your recent weight loss and improved health! Amy Miles

Jul. 02 2012 08:07 PM
Leah Wingfield

Thank you Alec & Dr. Lustig for this great, important interview. The most interesting comments may have been the closing ones, where Dr. Lustig confesses to a few extra pounds. I encourage you to investigate the other piece of the obesity puzzle which is the consequence of our overconsumption of grains, particularly wheat. Please read "Wheat Belly" by William Davis, MD. For example, Dr. Davis explains that whole grain bread has a higher glycemic index than white table sugar. This overconsumption of grains runs parallel to the adoption of the Ansel Keys lipid theory. Ever noticed that Americans are shaped like the food pyramid that emphasized grains as the largest percentage of the diet?

Jul. 02 2012 07:12 PM
Freeman LaFleur from Denver, CO

Great podcast Alec! I try to tell people all these things constantly but the amount of denial in this country is painful. Thanks again for another great episode!

P.S. Miss you on twitter ;-)

Jul. 02 2012 06:04 PM
Marc Paxton from Centerville, UT

Thank you for this episode, Mr. Baldwin! I was a fit 22-year-old when I was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2001, and, after surgery, immediately began to gain weight, despite exercise and no changes to my diet.

I discovered shortly after my surgery that I never seemed to feel full, even after eating a large meal, and my doctors confirmed that it was a possible side effect. Since then, I've struggled with my weight, which has continued to increase. I've tried diet and exercise, which have helped, but I continually have a problem wit motivation.

Your episode with Dr. Robert Lustig has opened my eyes, and I'm going to call my oncologist today to ask some questions that I hadn't thought of before.

Jul. 02 2012 04:35 PM
timh

Recently there has been a 3 part TV series here in the UK that covers the same ground. It is called "The Men Who Made Us Fat". Not sure if the BBC web site will let you view it in the US, but if it does check it out. It was very good.

Jul. 02 2012 02:23 PM

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