#251 The Bitter Truth About Sugar with Dr Robert Lustig


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My guest on this week’s Feel Better Live More podcast is Dr Robert Lustig, Professor of Paediatric Endocrinology at the University of California. He’s a leading public health expert who has long been exposing the myths of modern medicine and the food industry. His passion is communicating how sugar and ultra-processed food is fuelling the chronic disease epidemic that we are all facing today. Obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease and so much more are caused, in Rob’s view, by the foods that we are eating.

In his latest book, Metabolical: The Lure and the Lies of Processed Food, Nutrition and Modern Medicine, he outlines what he calls the ‘hateful eight’ – the eight root causes in our body that underlie all chronic disease. He explains how food and sugar impact on them and, most importantly, suggests strategies to counteract them.

In this conversation, Rob explains why sugar can be so damaging and explains that just like alcohol, our bodies can cope with sugar in small amounts. But in excess will end up in the liver and ultimately trigger us to get sick. Rob’s decades of clinical experience and research has led to his bold and compelling assertion that the answer to all chronic disease can be found in real food. His solution? To ‘protect the liver, feed the gut’. I think these 6 words are an elegant way of summarising the nutritional advice that all of us should consider taking on board in order to improve our health and wellbeing.

We talk about what constitutes ‘real food’ and how different levels of food processing are classified. Rob explains why sugar-sweetened drinks can be so disastrous for health, particularly in children – and why diet drinks do just as much damage, if not more. We also talk about TOFI (thin on the outside, fat on the inside) and fascinatingly, Rob outlines the three types of fat gain that we can all experience: subcutaneous (which you can see); visceral (stress-related fat around the middle), and liver fat. It’s only the first of these that you’re likely to notice – but it’s the latter two which we really need to fix, especially as they’re already appearing in kids.

This conversation is full of mind-blowing facts and insights but it’s also really empowering and contains simple, practical tips that all of us can use to improve our lives. I hope you enjoy listening.

Caution: contains mild swearing.

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Show notes available at https://drchatterjee.com/251

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