Finger Pointing at Fructose

Gary Taubes pointed fingers at just the excess carbohydrates in diets as the cause of the obesity epidemic.
Lustig narrows the finger pointing even more to just one little sugar molecule:  fructose.

Where he gets off saying that fructose is poison is beyond me.  When not consumed in excess/acute doses, there's no evidence that fructose if bad for humans.  Given that we have a separate metabolic pathway to handle it AND convert it to another form for energy storage fructose being a poison doesn't make sense.  Furthermore, evidence abounds that paleo man consumed most carbs from fruits and honey (honey having the fructose:glucose ratio similar to HFCS).

AFAIC, it is a no-brainer, or should be, that consuming Mega Gulps of sugary sodas or several glasses of fruit juices and/or drinks is just plain stupid.  Why do Americans do this?  Lustig implies some addictive new ingredients in the secret formulas.  Sheesh!  It is not the American government, or the low-fat advocates who have encouraged folks to consume 20-30% of their daily calories in the form of sugary drinks!!  Nor, frankly to choose processed/refined/fake foods over whole real foods.  And it's not big business' fault either.  They are giving us what we want.  If more Americans wanted XYZ, someone would make it. 

Taubes hit the nail on the head about sodas ... should have stopped there instead of going on with the various unsubstantiable theories on fat and carbs.  Lustig suggests eliminating liquid calories from the diet.  Again ... should have just stopped right there. 

If this stuff scares folks off the sugars, that's great.  But fruits are already wrongly demonized and obsessed over in the LC community.  I, myself, have gone months maybe even without enjoying one of my favorite things on the planet out of fear of the carbs.  And now to fear the fructose itself. 

Count me out on this alarmist's band wagon.  Humans ate and were meant to eat fruit.  I've been adding in more if anything to no ill effect.


LeonRover said…
You know the Kitavans eat no more than 50 gms of fruit CHO per day out of a total CHO consumption of 370 gms - this for an average sized person of 46.5 kgs (102 lbs). Thus their fructose/day is 25 gms for this averagely sized Kitavan.

There is an old toxicological dictum from the French scientist Claude Bernard - Tout est poison, rien n'est poison, tout est question de dose - Everything is poisonous, nothing is poisonous, it's all a matter of dose.

I have heard Old Lustig say that one or two apples a day is quite healthy - quite similar to the Edenic Kitavans - and no doubt will help to keep the Doctor away.
CarbSane said…
Hello Leon! Thanks for reading and commenting. I have to do a Lustig update post sometime soon as I have modified my feelings on the man since listening to a recent interview with him -- he acknowledges that he should acknowledge dosage in a better fashion. Frankly he did not come off well on Alan Aragon's blog comments in that critique of his video.

I've seen an awful lot of "no fructose" advice bantied about the net based on Lustig's work. Sadly I think this will come at the expense of sustainability of a healthy long term WOE for too many folks.
Margaret said…
I've read Lustig's papers and listened to his 90 minute lecture on the evils of fructose, and I agree that he goes a bit too far in demonizing it. There's a Youtube video of an interview he did on TV (ABC or something) where he is walking along with his daughter and she says they eat fruit for dessert and have ice cream on the weekend, so I don't think he is so anti as it would appear. But I think he's right to expose the link between fructose consumption and NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) and dyslipidemia - again a question of excessive consumption. That doesn't mean it causes obesity, except when eaten along with the rest of the excess calories in passive overconsumption, a result of eating sweetened foods where people end up consuming a lot more than they really need!