Gary Taubes has written a piece for the New York Times Magazine titled Is Sugar Toxic?
In the article, Mr Taubes winds his way through sugar as being a major factor in Westernized diseases such as diabetes and ends up addressing the role sugar may play in the development of cancers.
After reading the article, will you give up all forms of sugar including honey, agave syrup and any other natural sweetner so you will not develop metabolic syndrome & cancer later in life?
Just read the article, about to watch the Youtube video he cites: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM
I found it to be a bit long winded. Most of us already know that fructose is particularly insidious in large amounts, leading to diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Taubes goes on to say that he is frightened that it may cause cancer, but provides little evidence. I haven't posted it to Facebook, as I don't think it will be particularly convincing to my non-paleo friends.
Great link. I think Taubes getting another 9-page article in the nyt Sunday Magazine is a blow against the upholders of the SAD. He did it last in July, 2002 (What if It's All Been a Big Fat Lie?) and that was a watershed moment for low-carb believers. Let the peddlers of poison in its HFCS form take note... The battle is joined! (i.e., it's on, baby)
Hm, I already do not eat sugar. Actually about once a month I do take my kids out for gelato. Sue me. Oh, I eat some fruit too.
In these web-parts we already know the story about sugars, and fructose specifically, and Lustig's presentation. I do believe Taubes tried some scare tactics in this one, as he really didn't provide any fairly plausible link to cancer more than "what if". He's never addressed the possible and, I think more likey, role of PUFAs.
If the article manages to get some people off of sugar, then I guess that's a positive, that's the upside. Downside? some (more) others will accuse him of fear mongering and probably write him off as a quack.
I think the fructose issue that Taubes is mentioning there, and Robert Lustig's viewpoint, is 80% of poor health in the standard american diet. There may be a lot of ways to degrade the diet, but taking in large fructose seems to be the definite majority issue.
And I also appreciate how the mechanisms that make sugar bad are mitigated in fruit, and that the explanation for this behavior is chemically and physically explainable. There is no "magic" to why fructose is bad while fruit consumption seems to lead to greater longevity (beyond selection bias).
I think Gary Taubes is getting better and better at communicating the science questions and research without apologizing for the possibility that the reader may have to think to understand the facts and hypotheses, as some Paleo writers seem to be fond of. It was "Good Calories, Bad Calories" that started my journey toward Paleo, though it took me a long time to get past the thought "Nothing good can come from a book that has such a goofy title." I'm currently reading his more recent book mentioned in the NY Times author footnote, so it was a fine coincidence to notice the link here to the article. I sent the link to all of my cake, doughnut, juice, smoothie, candy loving coworkers at the CA Dept of Public Health. Gary mentioned cigarettes and alcohol, so I used that hook to lure my tobacco control mates. Gary is my hero, seriously.
Have I stopped eating fructose? No. Do I limit fructose and think about how much I might have eaten as a hunter gatherer (before apples and strawberries were made huge and before Dole made pineapple so flocking sweet)? Yes, I'm thinking seasonal, local, and occasional, and I'm thinking what a sissie I am around bees--not likely I would ever get honey from a hive. I believe we're meant to get fatter from fruit when fruit is in season, AND we are meant to lose that fat over the winter when fruit and many vegetables are naturally gone.
Of course, if I extend the hive-raid logic to the likelihood that I'll ever kill the meat I eat, I will starve. I'm still quite far from having all of this recent learning sitting comfortably together in my thoughts.
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