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 Post subject: sugar is forking scary
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 5:13 pm 
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Woah. This is long (9 pages) but really good. I have such a sweet tooth, but this article has convinced me cutting back is probably a really really good idea. It's super-freaky, and thorough (I think), and about not only the circumstantial evidence that suggests sugar's pretty much the worst thing you could eat, but the history of why it's been less studied than things like saturated fat and cholesterol, thus making it under-studied, comparatively speaking. It's pretty convincing.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magaz ... 2&src=tptw

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 Post subject: Re: sugar is forking scary
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 6:08 pm 
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I've been doing the no-sugar thing for a few months now, and it's really not as impossible as it seems. Someone posted this video on the no-sugar support thread, which you might find interesting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

I've been using a tiny bit of xylitol in things because alongside stevia it's the only sweetener allowed on my more specific anti-candida diet. It tastes exactly like sugar, and can make you feel sick if you eat a lot (or shiitake yourself), but I only eat it occasionally and in tiny amounts. I'm not sure about keeping it in my diet for much longer though, it kind of creeps me out how ideal it is/seems, like it's too good to be true. Anyone?


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 Post subject: Re: sugar is forking scary
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 6:17 pm 
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Sorry... now that I'm actually looking at the article I've realized it's all about the link I just put up!


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 Post subject: Re: sugar is forking scary
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 6:42 pm 
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PSA PSA PSA...The gentleman who wrote that article is all about lovin' Dr. Atkins. I read his book Why We Get Fat and he pretty much endorses the Atkins/Carbohydrate Addict's/Sugar Busters' approach to life.

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 Post subject: Re: sugar is forking scary
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 6:53 pm 
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OK, but he's definitely talking about sugar on top of the sugar we naturally eat in fruits and veggies in this article. There's nothing bashing veganism, or plant-based eating in there that I saw, sooooo. . . I dunno. Perhaps he is biased and eats ridiculously at home, but I dunno if there's a reason not to reduce sugar (as well as, obvs, saturated fat and cholesterol).

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 Post subject: Re: sugar is forking scary
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 7:06 pm 
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I'm not sure it should take nine pages to tell people not to eat too much sugar, is there anyone left on the planet who didn't already know that?


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 Post subject: Re: sugar is forking scary
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 7:12 pm 
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fezza wrote:
I'm not sure it should take nine pages to tell people not to eat too much sugar, is there anyone left on the planet who didn't already know that?

Wait - what? Why didn't anyone TELL ME?!

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 Post subject: Re: sugar is forking scary
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 7:13 pm 
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poopiebitch wrote:
fezza wrote:
I'm not sure it should take nine pages to tell people not to eat too much sugar, is there anyone left on the planet who didn't already know that?

Wait - what? Why didn't anyone TELL ME?!

I meant to call and tell you that pie for breakfast, cookies for lunch and bundt cake for dinner was not a good idea but I didn't know how you would take it.

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 Post subject: Re: sugar is forking scary
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 7:53 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: sugar is forking scary
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 8:04 pm 
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I guess never mind then? I found it interesting, at least. My father has always been the picture of health, though he's had a huge sweet tooth his whole life. He's currently battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The fact that, if you read the whole article, there's research that indicates sugar might have a significant tie to making the body hospitable to tumor growth struck me as particularly interesting, and is a more compelling reason to reduce sugar than "it's bad for your teeth!" or "it makes you fat!"

[eta a helper verb)

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 Post subject: Re: sugar is forking scary
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 8:07 pm 
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I thought the article was interesting because it brings awareness to the fact that no one's really sure just how much sugar actually is too much. I've been wondering about this myself because I want to add a little bit of sugar back in my diet (particularly whenever I finish off the xylitol I have), but it's actually easier just to draw the line at no added sugar at all than it is to monitor exactly how much one eats. This is because there is sugar in everything! And of course there doesn't have to be, but there is. I've always considered myself someone who didn't eat too much sugar - didn't grow up drinking pop; rarely ate candy; I'd get sick when I ate store-bought baked goods because my mom never used more than half the recommended sugar in any baking recipe. I was always eating less sugar than most of the people around me at any given time. But then when I cut sugar out completely, for my diet, I realized how much of it there was lurking in places I'd never thought much about. Juice, soy milk, energy bars, seasonings, condiments, cereal, yogurt, etc. - that stuff seems to give a person more than enough added sugar without all the more obvious culprits like desserts.

Anyways, what is the concern about this guy being otherwise in favor of low-carb eating? It is that this article seems to downplay the health effects of eating meat?


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 Post subject: Re: sugar is forking scary
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 8:21 pm 
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Sugar being toxic is a bit misleading. There are unsweetened soy milks and you can make your own. There are also unsweetened yogurts and cereal. Juice has 'sugar' but only because fruit has sugar. The issue with juice is the fiber has been removed and it is in high concentration, so there is nothing to slow the release into the blood stream and thus it causes an sugar spike and resulting insulin reaction.

For the most part, I eat a no sugar/sweetener added diet although I do allow occasional sweets. It isn't because I think sugar is evil but that it is something that helps control my hunger. I think the problem is certain 'authorities' demonize certain foods when the real answer is that moderation is key. I think it doesn't help to have a healthy relationship with food if you start fearing it, especially in terms of natural foods.

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 Post subject: Re: sugar is forking scary
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 8:29 pm 
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I just realized: because I have Type 1 diabetes—as long as my blood sugars are in good shape—is there any reason for me to care about the glycemic index? My body can't produce (or over-produce) insulin. VICTORY! Diabetes is the best!

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 Post subject: Re: sugar is forking scary
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 8:33 pm 
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linanil wrote:
I think it doesn't help to have a healthy relationship with food if you start fearing it, especially in terms of natural foods.


And you win the no prize!

The idea that sugar is evil goes back a lot longer than this article. I think that Sugar Blues blamed it for various illnesses and maladies.

Demonizing any food is not healthy. A little sugar is not going to kill you. Avoiding processed foods is a good idea in general.

I only pointed out that this author was a low-carb evangelist because I didn't want someone to read his book and be surprised. In addition, it should make one skeptical about the type of research he uses and how he chooses what studies to cite.

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 Post subject: Re: sugar is forking scary
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 8:35 pm 
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Does it always happen to be about you Footface?
I could rephrase it that your blood sugar spikes and what that means May depend on who you are :). For someone with fairly normal insulin response, it may mean a sugar crash, for someone with hypoglycemia like myself or diabetics it can mean other things.

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 Post subject: Re: sugar is forking scary
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 8:47 pm 
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So having read the article, I'd like to point out it's not really saying HUR HUR HUR SUGAR SUCKS!!1! It's really more like, "Hey look at this research that has been ignored in favor of other research, for various interesting reasons! And also let's talk about heart health and cancer as relates to this highly subsidized, processed food that is in goddamn everything!" Which, I dunno, sounds reasonable. His point at the end is. . . that we really don't know how much refined sugar is actually safe to consume regularly, so saying flippantly "a little sugar is not going to kill you" is not really the point. It's more about why we don't know as much about sugar as, say, red meat, when it seems like refined sugar might be more pernicious than we think.

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 Post subject: Re: sugar is forking scary
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 8:48 pm 
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And it's easy to say "moderation is the key" when we know what moderation looks like! Part of the point of the article is that it's possible "moderation" with sugar might be something quite different than what we think, because it hasn't been studied enough in connection with heart disease and cancer.

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 Post subject: Re: sugar is forking scary
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 8:52 pm 
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Vantine wrote:
poopiebitch wrote:
fezza wrote:
I'm not sure it should take nine pages to tell people not to eat too much sugar, is there anyone left on the planet who didn't already know that?

Wait - what? Why didn't anyone TELL ME?!

I meant to call and tell you that pie for breakfast, cookies for lunch and bundt cake for dinner was not a good idea but I didn't know how you would take it.

Well, I'm taking it by hiding under the table with a bag of sugar and a spoon. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?!

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 Post subject: Re: sugar is forking scary
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 9:04 pm 
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I know what you mean about the moderation, but the thing is that it's easy to think you're being moderate about sugar consumption when you're actually not (not you specifically... one?). Most of the people in my life would probably say they don't eat very much sugar, because they don't include lots of candies, sweets and soft drinks in their diets, but the thing is they don't take into account all the added sugar present in processed foods and even lots of products advertised as health food. So drawing attention to sugar isn't really demonizing something without reason. Personally I liked the part of the article where he mentioned the mythical element of the idea of personal responsibility for weight management. It is striking that individuals are blamed for not managing their caloric intake and exercise regimens when in actuality the foods we are steered into eating - by advertising, but also by economic necessity and neighborhood availability, as we all know - seem to be causing much of the problem. When sugar or high fructose corn syrup (or both) is present in the majority of items on the shelf in our supermarkets, it becomes much more difficult to eat it in actual moderation. And then, of course, it's important to define just what moderation actually IS when we're talking about sugar. Apparently now the average American eats 90 lbs of added sugar per year, whereas in the early 20th century as the article states it was only 40 lbs, but that was still a high sugar intake in comparison with previous generations and non-Western countries. So does the 40 lbs per year allowance count as "moderate" just because it's much lower than the current average, or is even that too much? I hesitate to call anything less than the national average, even less than half the national average, "moderate," because just eating less sugar than the average American isn't really saying much - there's still plenty of room for excessive consumption in that band. Anyways, I get the point about how demonizing a new ingredient every other week isn't the best way to handle our health problems, but when one single ingredient is as prevalent in the country's food supply as sugar is, I think that it should receive as much scrutiny as we can give it to make sure that it's actually okay.


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 Post subject: Re: sugar is forking scary
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 9:13 pm 
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poopiebitch wrote:
Well, I'm taking it by hiding under the table with a bag of sugar and a spoon. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?!


Pics or it didn't happen...

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 Post subject: Re: sugar is forking scary
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 9:19 pm 
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If you are going to talk about processed foods, then there is more to processed foods than just added sugar. What about added sodium? What about add fat? What about various other chemicals? If the issue is processed foods, then that is what should be looked out, not just individual components.

There are a lot of issues with nutrition in the US but focusing on added sugars isn't going to fix the problem. Just as focusing in fatty foods in the 80s brought out processed, high sugar foods and focusing on sugar has brough out various processed sugar substitutes. Sugar alcohols? Even trying to view certain sugar substitutes as natural even though they themselves are processed. We now are only really learning about eaten and people who wouldn't touch it turn to things such as Stevia which is highly processed but sold as a health food.

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 Post subject: Re: sugar is forking scary
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 9:42 pm 
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How do we know it's not going to fix the problem, at least a substantial part of it, if no one is willing to ask the questions and do the research?


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 Post subject: Re: sugar is forking scary
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 9:43 pm 
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He paraphrases Robert Lustig -
Quote:
...sugar is a “toxin” or a “poison,” terms he uses together 13 times through the course of the lecture, in addition to the five references to sugar as merely “evil.”


and then says
Quote:
...sugar is also the likely dietary cause of several other chronic ailments widely considered to be diseases of Western lifestyles — heart disease, hypertension and many common cancers among them.

If I didn’t buy this argument myself, I wouldn’t be writing about it here. And I also have a disclaimer to acknowledge. I’ve spent much of the last decade doing journalistic research on diet and chronic disease — some of the more contrarian findings, on dietary fat, appeared in this magazine —– and I have come to conclusions similar to Lustig’s.


He advocates a high fat, low carb diet and thinks we should not eat fruit. At all.

Quote:
Taubes -- who caused a national stir with this 2002 New York Times Magazine piece questioning the vilification of dietary fat -- admits that's the plan he's advocating. He lost weight on Atkins more than a decade ago and has been off and on it ever since. "I eat scrambled eggs and bacon and lose weight effortlessly without ever having to consciously eat less," he tells me. "I eat the meals I used to fantasize about."

From here.

I think that it's relevant when you look at his evidence that you remember that he has some fairly radical ideas. It's not just sugar he is against - it's beans, potatoes, whole grains, rice... Maybe he's right and I need to drag out that Herbivore with the vegan attempt at an Atkins diet.

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 Post subject: Re: sugar is forking scary
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 10:02 pm 
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Vegan Candida Diet wrote:
How do we know it's not going to fix the problem, at least a substantial part of it, if no one is willing to ask the questions and do the research?


What problem specifically? Obesity? Overall health?

As long as processed foods are highly subsidized, they will remain a major player in our food production. This means that processed foods can be cheaper and people will continue to consume them. I think reducing processed foods is an easier problem to solve. If we make more natural foods available and subsidize them instead, that would go a long way.

Besides, we already know that antioxidants, which are available in plant based foods, are important for fighting disease and if you are eating a highly processed diet, then you are missing out on antioxidants. The same goes for fiber.

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 Post subject: Re: sugar is forking scary
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 10:13 pm 
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The whole point of the article is not to say that sugar is definitely the main cause of obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cancer but that it could be a main cause and that the connection should be investigated further. I don't see what that has to do with the author's support of the Atkins diet, which he doesn't mention at all - in fact, he specifically draws a contrast between sugar and other starchy foods not containing fructose, excusing them from the discussion. In any case, it's not really his own evidence or arguments that make up the bulk of the article, as like you say he mostly paraphrases Lustig, who as far as I know is not a proponent of the Atkins diet and who sees no problem with eating fruit. I just don't see what the problem is with this article, especially since it's not really about weight loss. We've got people dying left and right from conditions that didn't exist on a particularly large scale before the past century, and just telling people to eat in moderation clearly isn't enough to fix the problem - especially when most people aren't even aware of how much sugar is in their food, and many people don't have access to fresh and healthy alternatives. The problem is major enough that logically there must be some pretty major causes, among which sugar has often been considered subsidiary. And as long as it's considered a minor issue, it's going to be pumped into cafeteria food, misleadingly labeled "healthy" foods, and everything else. If there is indeed a direct connection between sugar and these major diseases, I would hope that it would be scientifically proven, because that would help spawn action to get some of the sugar out of our food. Sure, people would still eat too much sugar even if multiple studies were done proving such a connection. But at least they'd be making an informed choice.


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