But what makes this article really interesting to me is it's perspective on sugar's effect on health. This passage is the tastiest morsel, but I encourage you to take the whole course.
"[Fat] makes up a smaller portion of the American diet than it did 20 years ago. Yet the portion of America that is obese has only grown larger. The primary reason, says [kidney doctor Richard] Johnson, along with other experts, is sugar, and in particular fructose...
Table sugar (called sucrose) is half glucose and half fructose. Glucose, which is used by nearly every call in the body for energy, also stimulates the production and release of insulin, the hormone that signal our fat cells to become fatter.
Fructose, on the other hand is the sweeter sugar found in fruits and also processed foods, is metabolized primarily by our liver, which makes blood fats called triglycerides. To quote the NGM article:
"Some of these fats stay in the liver, which over long exposure can turn fatty and dysfunctional. But a lot of the triglycerides are pushed out into the blood too. Over time, blood pressure goes up, and tissues become progressively more resistant to insulin. The pancreas responds by pouring out more insulin, trying to keep things in check. Eventually a condition known as metabolic syndrome kicks in, characterized by obesity, especially around the waist; high blood pressure; and other metabolic changes that, if not checked, can lead to type 2 diabetes, with a heightened danger of heart attack thrown in for good measure. As much as a third of the American adult population could meet the criteria for metabolic syndrome set by the National Institutes of Health."
On this blog, I have focused on the harmful effects of glucose because that is what our experts have studied and understood well. Fructose though has largely been ignored, but at our peril. Luckily experts like Dr. Robert Lustig are shining the light on fructose.
Bottom line is still the same: sugars are bad for us, and eating too much causes us to become fatter and eventually obese. And thus we should avoid processed foods with easily digestible sugars (as they have little to no natural fibers to slow down sugar digestion, unlike most fruit).