Can our love of sugar be killing us? Everybody loves sugar and this love may be one of the main causes for Western societies many health problems. It’s easy to see why the Paleo diet and a Paleo way of eating has become increasingly popular over recent years, and this is what Dr. Robert Lustig believes.
On May 26 2009, Lustig who is a lecturer at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine gave a lecture titled “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” in which he described sugar as poison and that it is the likely cause of many western diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and several cancers. I began to see how his paradigm and the paradigm of the Paleo Diet coincide.
To clarify Dr. Lustig’s position, he doesn’t state that all sugar is bad. After all, sugar is a carbohydrate that is found in fruit (fructose). Rather, the sugar he considers poison is refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Refined sugar is made up of a molecule of the carbohydrate glucose, bonded to a molecule of the carbohydrate fructose in a 50/50 ratio. Fructose is almost twice as sweet as glucose, so the more fructose a product has, the sweeter it is. The ratio of high fructose corn syrup is 55% fructose to 45 % glucose. Because each of these sugars ends up as glucose and fructose in our guts, our bodies react the same way to both, and the physiological effects are identical.