Top positive review
Sugar => Toxic Addiction => Chronic Diseases
Reviewed in the United States on September 6, 2018
This is witty and well-grounded attack on the source of our epidemic of chronic diseases: Sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup. Lustig is a medical doctor who treats obese children. His business is booming because sugar is now in 80% of our processed foods, especially the fructose in sodas that is making so many of us fat, setting us up for “metabolic syndrome” (= insulin resistance) and the diseases that follow (diabetes, heart attacks and strokes, likely even dementia and cancer). Sometimes these are called the diseases of civilization, but for most people come from modern industrial agriculture, with its emphasis on processing, adding sugar, and removing fiber.
Lustig is also well versed on public policy and on the PR plays of the food / drug / medical industries. He demonstrates that our behavior is grounded in our biochemistry; it’s not just a matter of will power. He knows that big changes in public policy (pulling diet out of the industry-controlled USDA, classifying sugar and fructose as addictive and dangerous, stopping subsidies for sugar and corn, promotion of a science-based diet, etc.) will be needed to change course. Yet he knows that these won’t happen without a big public outcry. Meanwhile he suggests that we start small with things like a soda tax (on sugary beverages) and restricting youth access and marketing (just as for alcohol).
The one area where Lustig is behind the times is fat. He cites the pluses and minuses of several popular diets but not the ketogenic diet, which I and many others are now following easily and with great success. This super low carb / high fat diet is the ultimate answer to insulin resistance and the resulting obesity, inflammation, and disease. The only sticking point for Lustig, apparently, is the high fat part, despite fat being the food most prized by most of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Instead Lustig is very vague on where our calories are supposed to come from, as long as it’s not sugar or processed food. To understand how our bodies were designed to metabolize fats via ketones, instead of glucose, read Phinney & Volek, or Cummins and Gerber. The traditional Innuit, for example, had virtually no carbs in their diet, yet were extraordinarily healthy compared to today’s chronic diseases, giving the lie to the USDA dietary recommendations and the like.
Nevertheless, Lustig is a true hero to us who are challenging the corruption and dietary dogmas of the food / drug / medical establishment.