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

Posted by mygiftofcancer in cancer, health, natural health, sugar.
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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

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

Posted by mygiftofcancer in breast cancer, cancer, health, healthy living, sugar.
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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…)

New Research Exposes More Sugar Risks November 25, 2010

Posted by mygiftofcancer in breast cancer, cancer, natural health, sugar.
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Yep! I’m harping on this same old theme again! I still believe my sweet tooth got me into my breast cancer troubles, although the article I’ve included below doesn’t specifically mention cancer. The delightful sweet taste we enjoy when we consume healthy amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables can be perverted by internal and external triggers. If we indulge those desires, i.e. by allowing our sweet tooth to have its way, we can destabilize an otherwise perfectly balanced system. The lack of fiber (which slows down digestion) in soft drinks, fruit drinks & juices, canned fruits, (more…)

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

Posted by mygiftofcancer in breast cancer, cancer, health, healthy living, Mammograms.
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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…)

“Is Eating Sugar Really That Bad for Us?” January 30, 2010

Posted by mygiftofcancer in breast cancer, cancer, sugar.
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Those of you who read my blog know that I became personally convinced that my sweet tooth played a major role in my breast cancer. I’ve posted quite a few times on this subject already, but have come to accept that there will be no end to it while we continue to tolerate the way the “food” industry both blatantly and insidiously adds more and more sugar (and all kinds of artificial sweeteners, as well) to more and more food products in order to sell more at the expense of the general public’s health.

It’s hard, but it’s not impossible to drastically reduce your sugar intake. I was really a sugar “junkie” even when I knew how bad it was–though I didn’t yet know the cancer connection. This great article, which I’ve shortened a bit, is quoting experts who know their stuff. Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, the fairly well-known cofounder of Doctors Without Borders, who also diagnosed his own brain cancer about 15 years ago is definitely someone worth listening to. (more…)

Sugar–Again! November 5, 2009

Posted by mygiftofcancer in breast cancer, cancer, faith, health, healthy living, mastectomy, sugar, traditional herbal medicine.
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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…)

Alternative Cancer Therapy August 18, 2009

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a batch of herbsVIETNAMESE TRADITIONAL HERBAL MEDICINE

Here’s a batch of herbs carefully prepared as part of the prescription for my husband’s painful knee. After seeing my improvement and progress due to using herbal medicine to treat my breast cancer and other minor ailments, my husband was willing to try my Vietnamese herbal medicine doctor. Since he would be traveling in a couple of weeks, he needed to have his knee in good shape to be able to manage his heavy luggage and long walks at the airports, etc.

I took him for his first visit last Thursday morning and he began drinking the specially prepared tea that afternoon. Now, the following Tuesday, he says he can feel the improvement already. It seems likely that he’ll be physically ready for his trip–now he just needs to finish all his other preparations!

I’ve put together a page on my MY GIFT OF CANCER website (not my blog here on WordPress) (https://sites.google.com/site/mygiftofcancer/home) Google Sites with photos and a description of a usual trip to this type of doctor, what happens, what you see (and smell) and a bit about the preparation of the herbal tea at home. Check out the article here.

Traditional Herbal Medicine–Pro’s and Con’s August 16, 2009

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Interesting development–the swelling in the corner of my eye turned out to also be a boil. Very strange for me, as I’ve never had this type of skin affliction, at least not as far as I can remember. But it was the 4th problem that had developed in a short time. The two weeks prior had seen mostly nights of broken sleep and some nearly sleepless nights. That seemed to result in a sore throat and runny nose–a 3-4 day cold. Just when my nose was drying up and the skin still tender, the boil started developing on the end of my nose. Then, as that was shrinking and my embarrassment over the bright red bulb was also in decline, lo and behold, the sensitive spot in the corner of my eye was growing more painful and swelling noticeably. (I was afraid people would think I’d been given a black-eye in a fight!)

What was going on???

There was a connection between these 4 events, but I just didn’t see it. (more…)

Raw Honey and Turmeric to the Rescue! August 12, 2009

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Thought  you might be interested–honey and turmeric seemed to work just fine to shrink my boil and it’s now the size of a fading pimple–no swelling, no redness, no pain or tenderness! It took about a day and a half. I used raw, unfiltered, non-heat-treated mountain honey from Sapa, Vietnam mixed with powdered turmeric to make a paste and applied it to the boil. I covered the goo with a tiny bit of tissue to keep from accidentally touching anything to the potently colorful mixture and thereby reducing the chances of staining clothes, etc. The two nights I used the paste, I also covered the area (on my nose!) with a band-aid to avoid disturbing it or messing up my linens while I slept. (more…)

Oh no! A Boil! August 9, 2009

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What’s the most prominent and humbling place you can think of, where you really wouldn’t want to get a big, red, ugly painful boil? In my opinion, that would be the end of my nose. And yes, that’s where it sits, as I write.

I’ve never been particularly fond of my nose, though there’s really nothing about it to make me complain. In fact, I guess I’ve gotten used to it and haven’t complained about it and its plainness since my youth, but suddenly it’s hard to keep my attention off it. These last few days, I’ve been frequently pulling out my mirror and checking its size, shape and hue, and watching the development of the nasty boil on the end of it. (more…)