How much sugar do you eat?

A post inspired by Dr. Robert Lustig’s “Sugar: the Bitter Truth” video.

Here is a screen shot from a March 2011 presentation, which isn’t the viral one, but one that has a couple of interesting facts that the original didn’t.


(This was in the original, too.)

When Lustig is describing fructose intake, he reminds us that for table sugar, fructose is 50% of it. (High fructose corn syrup–identified at Saga University in Japan in 1966 by the way—is either 48% or 52% fructose.)

If you want to know why Dr. Lustig thinks table sugar and HFCS are equally bad, and equally a toxin, you need to watch the YouTube video, which’s gotten over 2,000,000 hits.

I tried to guess what my gram intake of fructose is. I say “guess”, because sugar is in damn near everything. I am trying to limit it to the average of people before World War II. Good luck, I suppose.

Lustig also said that the Japanese really didn’t have fructose in their diet prior to World War II. I imagine that there were fruit farms in Okinawa, but maybe the average Japanese didn’t have fruit.

[Postscript: In Japan, I ate the contemporary, Japanese processed food diet. I always felt that there was less sugar, because when I came home, everything tasted like sugar (salt, butter, etc.) Common sense seems to say, though, that the Japanese are more clued in to the bad effects of sugar, and don’t use it to make food more enticing to the consumer. If you live in a culture where they’re not shoveling it into you at age 3, you are more particular about it being in food, and you know when it’s in food.

I used to say that, in America, the goal was for the food industry to make the next quarter’s profit target—and an ever higher one. In Japan, which doesn’t have enough capacity to produce the amount of calories needed to feed 123 million souls, the goal is that everyone eat healthy and enough. Dr. Lustig made a wise-crack that high fructose corn syrup was a kind of “revenge” of Japan; but I bet it had more to do with using every element of the corn plant to feed people.]

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4 comments

  1. joyfulalternative · August 23, 2012

    I don’t think I consumed any fructose today. What’s sugar in “damn near everything” that I haven’t thought of?

    • hoofin · August 23, 2012

      Joyful A, if you had anything with table sugar in it, 1/2 of that was fructose. It’s everywhere in processed food.

      • joyfulalternative · August 23, 2012

        I didn’t eat anything with table sugar in it yesterday, or today so far. I usually don’t I’ve been checking labels to see if some sugar of some sort may have been slipped in under the radar,* but so far, no sugar, fructose, sucrose, etc., as an ingredient.

        *I noticed once that “low-fat granola” had more calories than regular granola; the low-fat granola had more sugar.

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