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OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time

OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson features the best Big Ideas from the best optimal living books. More wisdom in less time to help you live your greatest life. (Learn more at optimize.me.)
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Now displaying: Page 1
Feb 19, 2019
Gary Taubes wrote a great book called The Case Against Sugar.
 
Basic idea: If you were a detective in charge of figuring out a series of crimes and you noticed a common pattern among those crimes, you’d be smart to put the pieces together and see if you could narrow your search down to a single suspect.
 
Right?
 
Well… That’s what Taubes does in his book.
 
The crimes? All the chronic diseases wreaking havoc on our society—from diabetes and obesity to heart disease and cancer.
 
Short story: All those chronic diseases are associated with metabolic dysfunction.
 
And the fastest way to make your metabolism dysfunctional? Sugar.
 
Enter: The case against it. 
 
Remember our Nobel Prize winner Elizabeth Blackburn? She discovered telomerase—the stuff that replenishes telomeres. 
 
Here’s how she puts it in The Telomere Effect: “When we want to spot the parties responsible for metabolic disease, we point a finger at the highly processed, sugary foods and sweetened drinks. (We’re looking at you, packaged cakes, candies, cookies, and sodas.) These are the foods and drinks most associated with compulsive eating. They light up the reward system in your brain. They are almost immediately absorbed into the blood, and they trick the brain into thinking we are starving and need more food. While we used to think all nutrients had similar effects on weight and metabolism — a ‘calorie is a calorie’ — this is wrong. Simply reducing sugars, even if you eat the same number of calories, can lead to metabolic improvements. Simple carbs wreak more havoc on metabolism and control over appetite than other types of foods.”
 
Blackburn is at UCSF. She references her colleague Robert Lustig when she makes the point above. As we discussed in our last +1, Lustig is one of the world’s leading research endocrinologists. You know what he says about sugar?
 
He tells us that sugar is the “Darth Vader” of the nutrition world.
 
This little statistic might be THE most powerful one we’ll ever read regarding just how dangerous sugar is. (I repeated it half a dozen times in Optimal Weight 101).
 
“If you had any residual doubt about ‘a calorie is not a calorie,’ this analysis should remove it. Every additional 150 calories per person per day barely raised diabetes prevalence. But if those 150 calories were instead from a can of soda, increase in diabetes rose sevenfold. Sugar is more dangerous than its calories. Sugar is a toxin. Plain and simple.”
 
I repeat:
 
“If you had any residual doubt about ‘a calorie is not a calorie,’ this analysis should remove it. Every additional 150 calories per person per day barely raised diabetes prevalence. But if those 150 calories were instead from a can of soda, increase in diabetes rose sevenfold. Sugar is more dangerous than its calories. Sugar is a toxin. Plain and simple.”
 
That’s crazy.
 
150 additional calories from any source? No big deal.
 
150 additional calories from a CAN OF SODA? DIABETES GOES UP SEVENFOLD.
 
Know this: “Sugar is more dangerous than its calories. Sugar is a toxin. Plain and simple.”
 
Please tattoo that on your consciousness. (Right after throwing away your sodas!)
 
And… To be clear: This isn’t just about risk for diabetes. It’s a metabolic issue—which is all about how every cell in our bodies produce Energy—which means it affects EVERYTHING.
 
Today’s +1.
 
If you feel so inspired, go throw away all the sodas in your house. (Hah. Seriously.)
 
The Case Against Sugar is REALLY solid.
If we’re serious about Optimizing our Energy and well-being (for ourselves and for our kids), reducing/eliminating it should be a top priority.
 
#caseclosed
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