jump to navigation

Cutting Sugar–Interview with Dr. Robert Lustig February 22, 2014

Posted by mygiftofcancer in cancer, health, natural health, sugar.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

Below is an article from the NY Times by Anahad O’Connor including an interview with Dr. Robert Lustig on my pet subject: the dangers of sugar consumption. I’ve also included 2 links at the bottom for viewing the YouTube post of his lecture and an interview with him on CNN. Read, watch and be warned!

Learning to Cut the Sugar

By Anahad O’Connor, NY Times, Feb. 19, 2014

Dr. Robert Lustig became widely known as “the anti-sugar guy” after a lecture* of his called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” was posted on YouTube and gained widespread attention. In his talk, Dr. Lustig explains why all calories are not created equal, and why he believes those from sugar in particular are driving an epidemic of obesity and chronic disease.

But Dr. Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist who runs a weight management clinic for children and families at the University of California, San Francisco, says that “anti-processed food guy” would be a more appropriate nickname, since sugar—while his biggest concern—is just one of a number of ills he sees in the modern American diet. I recently sat down with Dr. Lustig to talk about his newest book, “The Fat Chance Cookbook,” which he wrote with his friend Cindy Gershen, a chef, as a follow-up to his 2012 bestseller “Fat Chance.” Every recipe was vetted by students at Mount Diablo High School in Concord, Calif., where Ms. Gershen teaches healthy cooking.

Q. Your lecture on sugar spread quickly and was viewed by millions of people. Were you surprised?

A. It blows my mind. I didn’t think anyone was going to watch it. I didn’t even know it was being taped. If I had, I would’ve worn a better tie.

Q. A lot of studies lately have extolled the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. Do you favor one diet or cuisine over another?

A. I don’t have any money on any specific cuisine or diet. I think they could all work, and they all did work at one time. But now they don’t because they’re processed.

Pioppi, Italy, is where the Mediterranean diet was centered. Did they have pasta? No. It was meat and vegetables, and some red wine and olive oil. The bottom line is every country has its cuisine, and every cuisine works for that country. But there’s one thing that doesn’t work for any country: processed food. And any country that adopts processed food, which is now everywhere, is getting sick. This is why I want to be known as the anti-processed food guy, not the anti-sugar guy.

Q. You treat many obese children in your clinic. Do you ever end up treating parents as well?

A. Almost always, we see an obese kid come in with an obese parent. And when the kid loses weight, the parent loses weight, because the parent actually changed what’s going on in the home. They made the home safe for the kid and safe for themselves as well. But if the parent is hooked on sugar and they won’t get it out of the house, then the kid can’t get better. If a parent says, ‘Oh, it’s my kid’s problem, but I’m going to eat the cookies,’ then nobody gets better. We see a lot of that.

Q. How do you change behavior?

A. We do one thing at our clinic that nobody else does, and it’s the key to our success. We do something called “the teaching breakfast.” Every kid comes in fasting because we’re drawing blood. So they’re all hungry. They go to the teaching breakfast with their parents—it’s six families all at a communal table—and our dietitian spends an hour with them. The dietitian narrates exactly what’s on the table and teaches the parent and the kid at the same time.

We make sure four things happen. No. 1, we show the parent the kid will eat the food. No. 2, we show the parent that they will eat the food. No. 3, we show the parent that other kids will eat the food, because they have other kids at home and they have to be able to buy stuff that they know other kids will eat. And No. 4, we show them the grocery bill, so they see that they can afford the food. If you don’t do all four of those, they won’t change.

Q. What are the foods you put on the table?

A. We tell them that they can make things like steel cut oats and eggs. And on the table we’ll have whole grain muffins, whole grain breads, cheeses. And we have plain yogurt with real fruit mixed in, not the standard American flavored yogurt, which is super high in sugar. And we say, ‘Look, breakfast is not the time for your sugar fix. The more sugar you eat at breakfast, the more trouble you’re going to be in.’ Sugar is the one thing you need to get out of your breakfast.

Q. So these foods on the table are not what these children are used to eating?

A. If you get your breakfast through the national school breakfast program, which 25 percent of school kids do, guess what you’re getting: a bowl of Fruit Loops and an eight-ounce glass of orange juice. That’s 11 teaspoons of added sugar. This is what we have to fix. But it costs money to fix, and no one wants to do that. So as a country we’re spending it on the tail end, on diabetes, heart disease and everything else.

Q. You have two children at home. Do you let them eat sweets?

A. So, first of all, my wife is Norwegian. She bakes for therapy. When she’s mad at me, she bakes. That’s how she gets her aggression out. But she only bakes once a week, and the kids only get fresh cookies. We never buy store-bought. Ever. And when my wife bakes five-dozen cookies, she gives them out to the rest of the block. We keep about a dozen cookies for ourselves and for the kids.

My wife has learned by experimenting that she can take any cookie recipe, any cake recipe, and reduce the amount of sugar by one third, and it actually tastes better, and it doesn’t ruin the texture. If you go down by a half, then it does. But if you go down by a third, the cookies still come out just as good. And you can taste the chocolate, the nuts, the oatmeal, the macadamia—whatever is in it. So it’s actually better, and the kids get it as a treat. On weekdays, when they want something sweet, it’s fruit. On the weekends, they’re allowed cookies. So we’re not militant. We’re toeing the line.

Some links in YouTube to his lecture on University of California Television:
*Full lecture:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

and a short interview (13:39) with CNN’s Sanjay Gupta from “60 Minutes”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6n29ZIJ-jQA

It’s the Sugar, Folks March 3, 2013

Posted by mygiftofcancer in health, healthy living, sugar.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

It’s the Sugar, Folks

(This is a re-print of an article from the New York Times. Although it does’t mention the connection between sugar and cancer, it ends with this: “We finally have the proof we need for a verdict: sugar is toxic.” Could it be more clear?)

By Mark Bittman, NY Times, Feb. 27, 2013
Sugar is indeed toxic. It may not be the only problem with the Standard American Diet, but it’s fast becoming clear that it’s the major one.

A study published in the Feb. 27 issue of the journal PLoS One links increased consumption of sugar with increased rates of diabetes by examining the data on sugar availability and the rate of diabetes in 175 countries over the past decade. And after accounting for many other factors, the researchers found that increased sugar in a population’s food supply was linked to higher diabetes rates independent of rates of obesity.

In other words, according to this study, obesity doesn’t cause diabetes: sugar does.

(more…)

“Good Sugars” vs. “Bad Sugars” Do you know the difference? September 21, 2011

Posted by mygiftofcancer in breast cancer, cancer, health, healthy living, sugar.
Tags: , , , , ,
5 comments

Can’t seem to stay away from this subject–every time I come across an article making the connection between sugar and cancer, I grab it to share with whoever’s interested. I’ve got quite a collection by now!

Check out this article by Leah Zerbe for Yahoo! Health:

The 4 Best and 3 Worst Sweeteners to Have in Your Kitchen

At this point, it’s common knowledge that high-fructose corn syrup and refined sugar are bad for us. But given all the marketing hype behind different “natural” alternatives, it’s hard to know which ones really are the best sweeteners. Complicating matters, new studies, like one just published in the journal Cancer Research, are finding that fructose, a sugar found in high-fructose corn syrup, agave, honey, and, in small amounts, even in fruit, actually feeds some cancers. But don’t give up apples and oranges, or even honey, based on a single study. “Natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables—things like berries, green apples, grapefruit, kiwi—are needed to feed beneficial microflora in the gut for a healthy immune system,” explains Donna Gates, who led the movement to bring stevia, a natural sweetener, into this country more than a decade ago. “That’s why nature put a little bit of sugar in fruits and vegetables. It keeps the ecosystem alive in us,” she says, adding that the small amounts of fructose in fruits and vegetables are balanced with minerals, vitamins, and other vital nutrients. “Our body reads it differently,” she notes.Fruits and vegetables provide a perfect sugar fix, but when you’re in need of a sweetener to add to iced tea, baked goods, or anything else, make sure you know the difference between the good guys and bad guys of the sweetener world. (Some of the not-so-sweet details could leave you gagging.) (more…)

It’s Been a While/Mammograms–Just an Option? September 25, 2010

Posted by mygiftofcancer in breast cancer, cancer, health, Mammograms.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

I’m still here! I fully intend to get back to my blogging one of these days–I’ve heard that quite a few bloggers don’t last very long and I understand the challenge it is to keep it up, but I’m going to keep trying. One of these days, I’m even going to finish my personal cancer story, which I’ve titled “Choosing Cancer”. Don’t hold your breath–it may still be a while.

In the meantime, I couldn’t resist the temptation to post the article I just read in the New York Times called, “Mammograms’ Value in Cancer Fight at Issue”. As I’ve written before, I discovered the tumor in my breast myself and wish I’d never done the mammogram as other means of examining (more…)

Experts: One-third of breast cancer is avoidable March 28, 2010

Posted by mygiftofcancer in breast cancer, cancer, health, healthy living, Mammograms.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

By Maria Cheng, AP, Mar 25, 2010

BARCELONA, Spain (AP)–Up to a third of breast cancer cases in Western countries could be avoided if women ate less and exercised more, researchers at a breast cancer conference said Thursday, renewing debate on a sensitive topic.

While better treatments, early diagnosis and mammogram screenings have dramatically slowed the disease, experts said the focus should now shift to changing behaviors like diet and physical activity. The comments added to a series of findings that lifestyle changes in areas such as smoking, eating, exercise and sun exposure can have a significant effect on all sorts of cancer rates. (more…)

Drastically Reducing MRSA Deaths January 6, 2010

Posted by mygiftofcancer in cancer.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

With less pressure from pharmaceutical companies, this problem could be greatly controlled. Norway did it. We can, too!

Killer superbug solution discovered in Norway

By Martha Mendoza and Margie Mason, Associated Press, Dec. 31, 2009

OSLO, Norway–Aker University Hospital is a dingy place to heal. The floors are streaked and scratched. A light layer of dust coats the blood pressure monitors. A faint stench of urine and bleach wafts from a pile of soiled bedsheets dropped in a corner.

Look closer, however, at a microscopic level, and this place is pristine. There is no sign of a dangerous and contagious staph infection that killed tens of thousands of patients in the most sophisticated hospitals of Europe, North America and Asia this year, soaring virtually unchecked. (more…)

Is Sugar a Poison? December 6, 2009

Posted by mygiftofcancer in breast cancer, cancer, faith, health, prayer, sugar.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

I just can’t resist this topic! Sugar used to be my happiness, but now I know it was destroying me. Here’s another blog post on the subject:

As many folks around the world fight the battle of the “bulge” and obesity along with the plethora of diseases that go with it, it’s good to know that there are solutions. If one is truly concerned about their health, here’s one item that, if avoided, would likely radically improve their health and reduce their weight at the same time: refined sugar. Most of us already know this. From childhood we were told to limit our sugar intake. Even though we know we shouldn’t eat as much sugar as we do (“did” in my case, as I cut it out over a year ago) the hardest part (even if we  really want to limit our sugar intake) is exercising the will power. If you know it is negatively affecting your health and you got a really good scare or two (breast cancer, in my case), these two factors combined can give you quite a bit of strength to resist the temptations to eat things sweeten with refined sugar. (more…)

Sugar–Again! November 5, 2009

Posted by mygiftofcancer in breast cancer, cancer, faith, health, healthy living, mastectomy, sugar, traditional herbal medicine.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment
I knew it! Finally I see it in black and white: In the article below, Dr. Maoshing Ni gives more evidence that sugar is a major culprit in the development of breast cancer: ” Another study discovered that rats fed a high-sugar diet had a substantially elevated rate of breast cancer when compared to rats on a regular diet.
I have felt so much healthier since I kicked the sugar habit! It isn’t exactly a subtle difference, but of course eliminating sugar wasn’t the only change I made, so I haven’t followed the usual scientific method in making this claim, but there’s a lot of evidence pointing to sugar as a major factor in the development of many health problems, including cancer. (more…)

Is It Worth It to Get Vaccinated Against H1N1? October 18, 2009

Posted by mygiftofcancer in cancer.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

I have not felt inclined to get flu shots, although my Japanese friends look at me like I’m crazy when I say so. But today I finally found an article that backs up my hesitation. This article is long, but worth reading–at least some of it to get the gist and to see the basic thinking and questions raised.

Does the Vaccine Matter?

By Shannon Brownlee and Jeanne Lenzer, The Atlantic, November 2009

Drive too fast along Red Lion Road, beside Philadelphia’s Northeast Airport, and you will miss the low-rise cement building where the biotech company MedImmune has been quietly pumping out swine flu vaccine at about a million doses a week. (more…)

You’ve Gotta Read This… September 25, 2009

Posted by mygiftofcancer in cancer.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

Sorry I haven’t posted anything for quite a while. Here’s something, though, that I really want you all to read. And in case you haven’t seen it, the “Bucket List” is a great movie to catch too!

Grandmother Living Her “Bucket List”

Maggie Rodriguez, CBS News, Sept. 11, 2009

Susie Mann, a 79-year-old grandmother, has always been a bit of a daredevil. She’s gone swimming with sharks, paddled down a foaming river on a raft, and even harnessed herself to a bungee cord for a 400-foot cliff dive over Africa’s Zambezi River. (more…)