5

votes

Sugar and Paleo Diet: The Bitter Truth

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 22, 2010 at 11:42 PM

Perhaps there are some paleo people that have not yet seen Dr. Lustig's 1.5 hour lecture Sugar: The Bitter Truth http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

Grok only had access to fruit in the summer and fall on which it is presumed he gorged to get fattened up for the coming winter. But his fruit had not been genetically engineered to yield a high sugar content fruit as is ours today.

We have access to high sugar content fruit year round in our markets. Restrict the fruit so as not to spike your insulin and thus you do not have to worry about the "natural" sugar content of the fruit causing fat storage.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 28, 2011
at 06:15 PM

About his biochem from professor: http://rdfeinman.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/wait-a-minute-lustig-the-threat-of-fructophobia-and-the-opportunity/

1368bb49d7a1455a3c477aea04363b03

(169)

on October 07, 2011
at 02:13 PM

re: Plus when do people over indulge w/ fruit. Well, I do during strawberry and peach seasons :) (all from local farms). But our Ontario Strawberries and Peaches are fantastic! It's actually a blessing to indulge during those times. Cause when we get the conventional stuff shipped to us, it's garbage and you realize you're not really eating real fruit.

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 06, 2011
at 08:32 PM

Yup, he points out a few times its the not the fruit you should worry about because you are at least getting some fiber with it. Plus when do people over indulge w/ fruit. Much easier w/ sugar drinks, and other processed foods that have HFCS added.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on October 06, 2011
at 07:08 PM

I think the biochem is sound, it's the context and interpretation I find somewhat objectionable. Just because it's metabolized by the liver doesn't make fructose analogous to alcohol. Different paths, different metabolic byproducts with different physiological impacts. Aragon did a good job on the dose issues. Even a medium banana contains about 7.5g fructose. So even Durian Rider isn't getting the 200g equivalent used to produce the "results" in most experiments. 5 bananas/day is <50g (Lustig's threshold) & plenty more than I could eat in a day!

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on April 27, 2010
at 04:25 PM

Wow that link has the longest comment thread i've seen for a while...

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on April 27, 2010
at 04:13 PM

Wow that is the longest comment i've seen for a while...

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on April 27, 2010
at 04:12 PM

Wow longest comments thread ever...

Da9e3c7c4d81dd2c3d84e8b1e0e5cb10

(482)

on March 09, 2010
at 11:30 PM

BTW, Lustig is actually okay with fruit; he thinks that fructose with fiber is not as problematic as all the added fructose in our diet. Interestingly, getting it out of kids' drinks (soda and juice) is a big help as far as his work with overweight kids. That said, I agree with Dexter; our fruit is far sweeter than ancestral fruit. Me, I plan to pretty much stick to some berries off-season, and other fruit in-season when I can get it locally.

Da9e3c7c4d81dd2c3d84e8b1e0e5cb10

(482)

on March 09, 2010
at 11:26 PM

I wrote up a summary of Lustig's video on my blog for those who want the reader's digest condensed version :). http://weightmaven.org/2009/12/05/sugar-the-bitter-truth/

Da9e3c7c4d81dd2c3d84e8b1e0e5cb10

(482)

on March 09, 2010
at 11:25 PM

I'm a math major so can't speak to his biochemistry, but here's a post of someone who had issues; Lustig actually responds in the comments. http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/01/29/the-bitter-truth-about-fructose-alarmism/

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on February 23, 2010
at 02:15 PM

I remember reading Jared Diamond's account of trying some of the fruit the chimps eat...it was bitter and seedy, so he spit it out immediately. Great apes have huuuge colons compared to us. They are able to turn the fiber in these pithy fruits, branches, leaves and all manner of food that would just give us a stomach ache into short chain fatty acids, which provide them with over 50% of their energy needs. So apes are getting much less calories from sugar than most vegevangelists would have us think. http://huntgatherlove.com/content/ape-diets-even-scientists-get-it-wrong

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on February 23, 2010
at 10:27 AM

Quite agree on restricting fruit Dexter, but isn't the problem with fruit specifically more to do with the fructose and its effects on the liver, rather than any insulin spike? Otherwise fruit wouldn't be uniquely fattening, sugar itself is quite a different matter. There's some good stuff here on fructose: http://nephropal.blogspot.com/search/label/Fructose

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on February 23, 2010
at 02:04 AM

We probably did not evolve from a fruit and vegetable eating primate. Their rib cages are larger and their intestinal tracks are much longer than hominids and thus can digest the non animal nutrients much more easily than we can. Primates are out foraging almost 100% of the time. The non animal foods are much less dense and thus they have to consume vegetable matter constantly. I have seen one video of babboons attacking and devouring a monkey, but it is the exception...not the rule. How primates metabolize fructose and sucrose is better left to the chemists in the paleo community.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on February 23, 2010
at 02:01 AM

We probably did not evolve from a fruit and vegetable eating primate. Their rib cages are larger and their intestinal tracks are much longer than hominids and thus can digest the non animal nutrients much more easily than we can. Primates are out foraging almost 100% of the time. The non animal foods are much less dense and thus they have to consume vegetable matter constantly. I have seen one video of babboons attacking and devouring a monkey, but it is the exception...not the rule. How primates metabolize fructose and sucrose is better left to the chemists in the paleo community.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on February 23, 2010
at 01:57 AM

We probably did not evolve from a fruit and vegetable eating primate. Their rib cages and intestinal tracks are much longer than hominids and thus can digest the non animal nutrients much more easily than we can. Primates are out foraging almost 100% of the time. The non animal foods are much less dense and thus they have to consume vegetable matter constantly. I have seen one video of babboons attacking and devouring a monkey, but it is the exception...not the rule. How primates metabolize fructose and sucrose is better left to the chemists in the paleo community.

95ab15c8ef50ff0daf87ccbdd52cd3b8

(2384)

on February 23, 2010
at 01:01 AM

I have not heard anyone substantively refute it. He has a paper coming out soonish, and I suspect that if there's hard criticism from actual scientists to be made, we'll see it after the paper appears. (I do know that it caused a fuss in some bodybuilding-nutritionist circles that didn't like his message; until/unless one of those people publishes something on point in an actual peer-reviewed journal, I'm not counting them.)

  • 06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

    asked by

    (9948)
  • Views
    7.1K
  • Last Activity
    1277D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

10 Answers

best answer

2
61f4f65bb54c2a34c37f94259be2a488

on February 23, 2010
at 10:55 PM

I have had a hard time when explaining to new-paleo folks that they need to take it easy on the fruit.. "but fruit is so natural and healthy!" ... it is but there's a caveat!

A little anecdote I have come up with is: Look at what we (humans) have done to Wolves. Think chiwawa to poodle to great dane! All from one animal the wolf. Well we have done the same to fruit in that often it no longer resembles the original plant it was. For a long time now farmers have been selectively breeding fruit to make it bigger, sweeter, better looking, and have a longer shelf life. These are all very admiral pursuits as we currently live in a world where many people still don't have enough to eat! But for us very lucky privileged folk, this has actually become a net-negative.

Another modern issue with fruit is variety! The details are a little hazy on this (I read it ages ago sorry) but there was a man who went across his country (USA or UK) in the early 18th or 19th century and recorded over 2,800 varieties of different apples! Cut to today and 99% of this variety is gone, with your average joe lucky to have tried more than handful of different types of apple in his life. I also remember reading in South America decades ago there used to be over 100 species of melon commonly available at farmers markets, etc now there just like apples with only a handful of species being grown/sold.

2
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on October 28, 2011
at 09:01 PM

Screw fruit, I reserve my fructose allowance for milk chocolate, ice cream and cheesecake

1
4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on June 04, 2010
at 07:10 AM

When it is in season I make a point of searching out / collecting wild fruit here in the UK.

There are bilberries (like little blueberries) - VERY sweet and prolific - they take ages to collect but are delicious. Should be ripe quite soon. Wild raspberries - also very sweet and delicious. Wild strawberries - not many of those that I know of - but very sweet. Blackberries - virtually a weed, and can be picked from July to late October - very sweet. Wild cherries - some are tart, but some are extremely sweet and again, very more-ish!

Also, things like apples - they haven't been genetically engineered, but selectively bred for centuries - some are very sweet, some are not. And personally, I'd rather eat the sweet / slightly sweet ones, than use something like a wild crab apple which is totally inedible unless cooked with its own weight of sugar.

I am sure these were eaten with delight when they ripened - and many are early season, so any fat gain could easily have gone by winter.

Perhaps the extra calories were burned off during the activity of the long summer days?! All of the getting ready for the long, grim winter to come - preserving meats, gathering fuel etc.

1
Da397846a2cfad231a1122126bb6eda7

(227)

on June 04, 2010
at 02:24 AM

According to paleontologist Richard Wrangham in his book "Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human", it appears most likely that the early primates from whom we descended/evolved were insectivores, and as the various branches led off from their line, some primates became frugivores, and most became some variation of omnivore. We humans appear to be the most carnivorous in the primate family, but we are still basically omnivorous.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 28, 2011
at 07:11 PM

The Bitter Truth has been circulating all over this year and it's good. Sure, sugar is the white death. It's not gonna stop me from eating chocolate once in a while.

0
Ff4d411e26755a7125dd315e6023024b

on October 28, 2011
at 06:11 PM

Truth is, eliminate the bad sugar (fruits are fine when paired with fiber), and we fix healthcare. http://trizzat.com/2011/10/1-simple-step-to-fix-us-health-care/

0
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 06, 2011
at 06:27 PM

0
3cd2a87ee3da2f674ac6b2ba5c4545a2

on October 06, 2011
at 06:01 PM

watch sugar the bitter truth childrens version

www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PMQvamaAcc

0
Eae21abfabb19c4617b2630386994fd9

on February 23, 2010
at 01:21 AM

I am not refuting the modern biology here, but this makes me wonder about our evolution with fruit. Did we evolve from a frugivore primate? How to frugivores metabolize fructose?

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on February 23, 2010
at 01:57 AM

We probably did not evolve from a fruit and vegetable eating primate. Their rib cages and intestinal tracks are much longer than hominids and thus can digest the non animal nutrients much more easily than we can. Primates are out foraging almost 100% of the time. The non animal foods are much less dense and thus they have to consume vegetable matter constantly. I have seen one video of babboons attacking and devouring a monkey, but it is the exception...not the rule. How primates metabolize fructose and sucrose is better left to the chemists in the paleo community.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on February 23, 2010
at 02:15 PM

I remember reading Jared Diamond's account of trying some of the fruit the chimps eat...it was bitter and seedy, so he spit it out immediately. Great apes have huuuge colons compared to us. They are able to turn the fiber in these pithy fruits, branches, leaves and all manner of food that would just give us a stomach ache into short chain fatty acids, which provide them with over 50% of their energy needs. So apes are getting much less calories from sugar than most vegevangelists would have us think. http://huntgatherlove.com/content/ape-diets-even-scientists-get-it-wrong

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on February 23, 2010
at 02:01 AM

We probably did not evolve from a fruit and vegetable eating primate. Their rib cages are larger and their intestinal tracks are much longer than hominids and thus can digest the non animal nutrients much more easily than we can. Primates are out foraging almost 100% of the time. The non animal foods are much less dense and thus they have to consume vegetable matter constantly. I have seen one video of babboons attacking and devouring a monkey, but it is the exception...not the rule. How primates metabolize fructose and sucrose is better left to the chemists in the paleo community.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on February 23, 2010
at 02:04 AM

We probably did not evolve from a fruit and vegetable eating primate. Their rib cages are larger and their intestinal tracks are much longer than hominids and thus can digest the non animal nutrients much more easily than we can. Primates are out foraging almost 100% of the time. The non animal foods are much less dense and thus they have to consume vegetable matter constantly. I have seen one video of babboons attacking and devouring a monkey, but it is the exception...not the rule. How primates metabolize fructose and sucrose is better left to the chemists in the paleo community.

0
48d73cb880d957ebc147d658f21c0318

on February 23, 2010
at 12:26 AM

Does anyone know how accurate he was in his biochemistry section?

95ab15c8ef50ff0daf87ccbdd52cd3b8

(2384)

on February 23, 2010
at 01:01 AM

I have not heard anyone substantively refute it. He has a paper coming out soonish, and I suspect that if there's hard criticism from actual scientists to be made, we'll see it after the paper appears. (I do know that it caused a fuss in some bodybuilding-nutritionist circles that didn't like his message; until/unless one of those people publishes something on point in an actual peer-reviewed journal, I'm not counting them.)

Da9e3c7c4d81dd2c3d84e8b1e0e5cb10

(482)

on March 09, 2010
at 11:25 PM

I'm a math major so can't speak to his biochemistry, but here's a post of someone who had issues; Lustig actually responds in the comments. http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/01/29/the-bitter-truth-about-fructose-alarmism/

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on April 27, 2010
at 04:12 PM

Wow longest comments thread ever...

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on April 27, 2010
at 04:13 PM

Wow that is the longest comment i've seen for a while...

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on April 27, 2010
at 04:25 PM

Wow that link has the longest comment thread i've seen for a while...

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on October 06, 2011
at 07:08 PM

I think the biochem is sound, it's the context and interpretation I find somewhat objectionable. Just because it's metabolized by the liver doesn't make fructose analogous to alcohol. Different paths, different metabolic byproducts with different physiological impacts. Aragon did a good job on the dose issues. Even a medium banana contains about 7.5g fructose. So even Durian Rider isn't getting the 200g equivalent used to produce the "results" in most experiments. 5 bananas/day is <50g (Lustig's threshold) & plenty more than I could eat in a day!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 28, 2011
at 06:15 PM

About his biochem from professor: http://rdfeinman.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/wait-a-minute-lustig-the-threat-of-fructophobia-and-the-opportunity/

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!