Cut Sugar and Processed Food and Cut Obesity and Disease

Friday, January 17, 2014

Dr. Robert Lustig argues that the increased sugar in our diets has led to the pandemic of chronic disease and obesity over the last 30 years. His new book, The Fat Chance Cookbook, the follow-up to Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease, includes more than 100 recipes as well as meal plans, nutritional analyses, shopping lists, and food swaps. Dr. Lustig director of the UCSF Weight Assessment for Teen and Child Health Program.


Dr. Robert Lustig

Comments [32]

Sara smith

Learning to cook using microwave is easier, faster , less clean up . For example, broccoli florets, separated into small pieces- 8 minutes in microwave in small amt of water covered. Baked sweet potato - 20 minutes on power 3 then take out of microwave and wrap in aluminum foil for carry over cooking. Mash with cinnamon. Oatmeal, cooked in microwave. Let it come to a boil , stir, bring to boil again then let sit a few minutes for carry over cooking.

Jan. 20 2014 09:35 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Jim, I think Dr. Lustig confused packaged oatmeal w/powdered oatmeal. If you can see actual pieces of oats rather than powder, either rolled or steel-cut oats are fine for fiber.

Stefan, there are other disorders besides celiac disease, like irritable bowel syndrome, that cause some people to have problems when they eat gluten. And most people have no such problems, so that's why gluten intolerance is considered a disorder or disease.

Jonathan Capehart, no, not "everything" is gluten-free these days, although some claims are made for it w/out enough evidence & most people don't need it. It's a lot easier to find gluten-free foods than it used to be, though. I have a friend who can't eat gluten w/out extreme discomfort afterwards. Oh, & GF foods are still a lot more expensive than regular foods.

Jan. 17 2014 01:03 PM
Amy from Manhattan

What? "Whole grain" on a food label doesn't mean the grain hasn't been ground--it means it hasn't been refined to take the fiber out. But many labels do say "contains whole grains" when only a small percentage of the grain in the food is whole grain, so check the ingredient list to see how far down "whole wheat" (or other whole grain/s) is listed. If whole wheat is the 1st ingredient in a food that has wheat as its only grain, it's probably >50% of the grain in the food. It can be harder to tell w/multi-grain foods--& "multi-grain" doesn't necessarily mean whole grain, so again, check the ingredients.

Jan. 17 2014 12:46 PM
antonio from baySide

I am pretty healthy... but the last frontier I haven't conquered is my stomach fat...I don't have a beer belly, (33'' waist) but I know fat around the waist is awful...
Problem with me is I run 4x's a week (3-6miles a clip) and I get sooo hungry!

Jan. 17 2014 12:42 PM
Stefan from NJ

Dr. Lustig seemed to be confident that "Celiac Disease" can be accurately diagnosed by a small bowel biopsy showing damage to "villi" in the lining of the small intestine. Isn't it true that other things (such as a very poor diet, taking lots of antibiotics, and other issues could also cause damage to those villi)?? In a related question, does Dr. Lustig believe that "gluten" is something that humans were meant to eat? If not, why are we categorizing people as having a "disease" if they are simply having a reaction to something that humans are not meant to eat in the first place?

Jan. 17 2014 12:39 PM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

To the person who is questioning about Smart Balance: Use the Organic one only or try Earth Garden brands.

I eat margarine because I am lactose intolerant.

Jan. 17 2014 12:38 PM
Kate from New York

Can Dr. Lustig comment on helping recovering anorexic teen girls become aware of healthy eating habits without continuing to induce calorie obsessions? How does he help his young patients?

Jan. 17 2014 12:38 PM
Rachel from Sunset Park

I've gotten addicted to diet coke/pepsi later in life -- after 40. I will be turning 50 this year. Can you talk a bit about how bad these drinks are for you.

Jan. 17 2014 12:37 PM

SCREENERS....if there is time can Dr. Lustig speak to STEVIA?
Very popular plant derived sweetener??? Thanks.

Jan. 17 2014 12:37 PM
Liz Parsekian from Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ

Just missed it: why does Dr. Lustig dislike smoothies? Something to do with destroying insoluble fiber?

Thank you!

Jan. 17 2014 12:37 PM
Virginia from NY

What about homemade soups, such as pureed butternut squash, etc.

Jan. 17 2014 12:37 PM
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 and sell his book.

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 is an evidence-based nutritionist, which is why he is so well-respected among his peers. 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:

A summary of the debate can be read here:

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

Jan. 17 2014 12:35 PM
Jenny from NJ

A question we're ALL asking? Should we eat less fruit? Is it bad for the liver?

Jan. 17 2014 12:35 PM
emjayay from Brooklyn

Oooops sorry about all the repeats. The website was giving no indication that the comment was posted. It normally does.

Jan. 17 2014 12:35 PM
Lisa from Brooklyn

I have been cooking with canola and vegetable oil for decades, thinking they were better for me than butter or lard. Recently, however, I read that even these polyunsaturated fats, when oxidized by frying or by natural processes in the body, are harmful, as they raise LDL. What are your thoughts?

Jan. 17 2014 12:32 PM
emjayay from Brooklyn

Jonathan Capehart is factually wrong on two counts. This should be corrected on the air. He said someone looked at a can of tomato paste and the first ingredients was corn syrup. Tomato paste is entirely made of tomatoes plus possibly salt. Tomato sauce is also made of tomatoes, maybe salt and herbs and spices just not as blended and concentrated. Same thing with canned tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, etc.

A jarred spaghetti sauce/marinara sauce has added ingredients like oil and corn syrup and maybe meat or mushrooms etc., but corn syrup will never be the first ingredient. The order of ingredients is by weight.

Jan. 17 2014 12:32 PM
ivan obregon from nyc

Did the doctor say that branched-chain amino acids- protein- is one of the worst foods for your body???? Please explain....

Jan. 17 2014 12:30 PM
Cis G from Brooklyn

I've heard it said that mixing fruits and vegetables in a blender breaks down the fiber thus reducing its beneficial effects. Does the doctor agree?

Jan. 17 2014 12:30 PM

In almost every home I visit, the pantries and refrigerators are filled with "Fat Free" products. I never use any of these, but do use olive oil, flax seeds, organic meat and dairy products. I am not fat. Can Dr Lustig comment.

Jan. 17 2014 12:30 PM
MarkF from Danbury, CT

What does the Doc. think about the juicing of vegetables & fruits to replace a meal? I am using a grind & press type of juicer (NorWalk)

Jan. 17 2014 12:29 PM
josh from manhattan

How about Zylatol as a sweetener? Is it a more healthy to use than sugar due to the lower glycemic load?

Jan. 17 2014 12:29 PM
Jeremiah from Manhattan

would love to know what he thinks about food delivery services like BLUE APRON.

Jan. 17 2014 12:28 PM

Can the recipes in this book be altered for vegetarians?

Jan. 17 2014 12:27 PM
Jim from NJ

Is package oatmeal worth eating for fiber or should I be eating another type?

Jan. 17 2014 12:27 PM
Jon Pope from Ridge

Please ask guest if vitamin supplements pretty much pass right through you since they are not attached to any real fiber?

Jan. 17 2014 12:27 PM
Thom from Brooklyn

I would like to hear the Doctor's opinion of diet sodas and no calorie sweetners.

Jan. 17 2014 12:26 PM
joe B from Brooklyn

I make a smoothie EVERY MORNING made with kale, blue berries, apple, banana, ginger, and celery.

Is this healthy or is it making me fat?

Jan. 17 2014 12:26 PM
Matya from Nj

Are all alcohols the same? I love my red wine.

Jan. 17 2014 12:24 PM
joe B from Brooklyn

I agree with the doctor's point about corn-fed meat, but he doesn't say whether or not we should stop eating meat! What's the take-away?

btw - Who with any self awareness would buy tomato paste with anything in it except tomato?

Jan. 17 2014 12:23 PM
joe B from Brooklyn

I agree with the doctor's point about corn-fed meat, but he doesn't say whether or not we should stop eating meat! What's the take-away?

btw - Who with any self awareness would buy tomato paste with anything in it except tomato?

Jan. 17 2014 12:23 PM
John A

100% on board that people should learn to cook. It's heartbreaking to see people in poverty living off frozen pizzas in toaster ovens. Cooking raw materials is healthier And it Saves you Money. For other things the doctor says, I'm not as supportive as for this one piece of advice.

Jan. 17 2014 12:21 PM
Felicia from Harlem

Hoping Doctor Lustig will give some tips on handling the withdrawal symptoms (fatigue, etc.) when going off sugar.

Jan. 17 2014 12:15 PM

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