Since late 2016 we have entered the age of disclosures! Fasten your mental safety belt and enjoy the ride! Heretic

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

It's sugar not calories!

New study just published in the Obesity Journal by Dr. Robert Lustig and others.
The results are described in this article:
The science is in: the case for a sugar tax is overwhelming,

Wiki: Soft drink

Is sugar dangerous because it’s calories? Or because it’s sugar?

...we took the added sugar away from 43 obese children who were already sick, to see if they got well. But if they lost weight, critics would argue that the drop in calories or the loss in weight was the reason for their improvement. Therefore, the study was “isocaloric”; that is, we gave back the same number of calories in starch as we took away in sugar, to make sure they maintained their weight.
For nine days we catered their meals to provide the same fat, protein, and total carbohydrate content as their home diet; but within the carbohydrate fraction we took the added sugar out and substituted starch. We took the pastries out, we put the bagels in; we took the yoghurt out, we put the baked potato chips in; we took chicken teriyaki out, we put turkey hot dogs in. We gave them processed food – kid food – but “no added sugar” food. We reduced their sugar consumption from 28% to 10% of their calories. They weighed themselves every day; if they were losing weight, we told them to eat more.
We were astonished at the results. Diastolic blood pressure decreased by five points. Blood fat levels dropped precipitously. Fasting glucose decreased by five points, glucose tolerance improved markedly, insulin levels fell by 50%. In other words we reversed their metabolic disease in just 10 days, even while eating processed food, by just removing the added sugar and substituting starch, and without changing calories or weight. Can you imagine how much healthier they would have been if we hadn’t given them the starch?
This study establishes that all calories are not the same (“a calorie is not a calorie”); substituting starch for sugar improved these children’s metabolic health unrelated to calories or weight gain.


Anonymous said...

Maybe... maybe not...

Unknown said...

There's also this critique

John said...

The study isn't good, but the results aren't useless either. Those two above criticize the weight loss, but that itself says something. Human nutrition studies are always flawed; take what you can from each.

Stan Bleszynski said...

The study is not perfect, I agree with the lack of control group being the major drawback but I disagree with the criticism of isocaloric/weight loss effect. If those kids lost weight on an isocaloric diet without even trying, while living at home and thus being able to supplement if they really felt hungry - that alone is quite valuable observation! I don't think that the criticism about the incorrect base calories is warranted. The base caloric requirement was quoted as: 29 ± 6 kcal/kg which seems adequate or even excessive if the kids weren't very active. If they lost some weight on a 29kcal/kg diet then brilliant! Bravo Dr. Lustig!

Unknown said...

I agree with all the comments. It's a very good thing to see that cutting carbs (whatever the overall change in calories/macronutrients was) is effective to loose weight. But it's also true that, as a result, this study is not conclusive about sugar *toxicity*. To be, it should have been conducted in a metabolic ward with strict weight maintenance... then, a change in biomarkers could have been meaningful. And if there was a change in caloric consumption to keep the weight stable, that would have be a thing too!

As it was conducted, the study just show that whatever they did (which is not even really clear) while reducing sugar intake is effective to loose weight. On short term.