Robert Lustig (again)

I would not like anybody think that I am being judgmental or critical in any way. I am trying to find out information for myself to help me to try to reverse my T2 diabetes and came across some YouTube videos which explain how the body metabolises food intake.

I know you may have seen these elsewhere but I feel that we should all be more aware of what goes into our food/bodies.

This is the link to a series of videos which some people may find helpful and interesting. I realise that it is American based but when you look at the companies on the packaging you will soon see how similar they are to UK food products.

Take a look here and see what you think.

25 Replies

  • Lots of evidence to support this angle. From the China Study onwards. I would hugely recommend reading Drs Caldwell Esselstyn and Colin Campbell. Also the documentary Forks over Knives. This is proper medical science, not 'alt med quackery'. I am completely convinced that the explosion of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, many cancers and dementia are intrinsically linked to the radical change in diet over the past 80 years or so, and that the massive increase in consumption of refined sugar is at the forefront of this.

  • ... not to mention growth hormones fed to factory-farmed animals, the antibiotics they have been loaded with and insecticides on crops. Oh, and that stuff packed into processed foods to stop us getting listeria/botulism in the short-term, but never mind about the longer-term effects like cancer. Just getting off the soapbox now. Anyone got a step cos the quads have been under duress :)

  • You are so right, Slookie. We have very little idea about what is done to our food before we buy it. Meat pumped full of water too. No doubt these chemicals have been tested individually but are they ever tested as a cocktail, and would that make a difference?

    It's my soap box too! It surprises me that more people do not feel concerned about our food.

    As a beekeeper I am very concerned about pesticides on crops. Touchy subject. The farmers need them. (Both the bees and the pesticides.)

  • The use of growth hormones have been banned in beef cattle in the EU since 1989. Hence the 'beef war' with the USA.

  • and poultry?

  • Yes, sorry I should have said "banned in farm animals" - I was thinking of cattle because of the beef wars. And I think I got the date wrong, I think it was 1981 it was first banned.

  • Thanks Swanscot. At least the legislation is in place though I wonder if all member states comply with it (several have still to catch up on battery chicken housing). I knew the world had gone mad when I asked the waiter in Pizza Express a few years ago where their chickens were from and were they free range. Brazil he said! Sometimes the world becoming smaller may not be such a good thing. Raw prawns from China in supermarkets at the mo.

  • Thank you for posting this. This holiday I decided to trial one week on no sugar at all, the second adding sugar. There was a huge difference in my mood and how I felt: I was more emotional and physically and mentally lethargic when I had sugar. Now I'm back, I'm looking to cut it out completely.

  • I'm hugely interested in this too. I've always thought that there must be something other than the simple calorie content of our food that causes people to put on weight. I know I consume about twice as many calories as my body "needs" every day, yet I am losing weight since I started running, surely that must be down to how those calories are made up? I live in France half the year where only very very few people were even a little bit overweight 5 years ago, now there are many who are. I noticed this coincided with the introduction of ready meals into supermarkets. A coincidence? I don't think we can buy all sorts of convenience foods here that didn't exist a few years ago, not just ready meals...It seems to me as well, that something happened to food a few years back - remember all that publicity about trans fats/hydrogenated oils? I think they have been replaced with something even worse - could it just be bucket loads of sugar? I saw a programme once about corn syrup, that is added to just about everything and is highly addictive...I try to eat unadulterated foods, organic meat, fruit and veg, wholemeal carbs...

    Anyone who has any doubts about processed food should watch Jamie Oliver's video about mince.. hold on I'll try and find the link.

  • Hi Curlygurly,

    Been some superb programmes lately highlighting exactly what the food industry can get away with and it is quite appalling. It's time we all woke up to how we are being manipulated in all aspects of our food buying. I often feel I am being pressured into purchasing more than I need with all the BOGOF 'deals'. It is hard to resist on the 'good' foods sometimes but not all of it is suitable for freezing. I'll try to find the Jamie Oliver link too. My husband gets irritated by him but I think he talks a lot of sense!

    My personal take is that we should be trying to get back to scratch cooking using unprocessed ingredients as far as possible. I can see how that would be harder for working parents who are strapped for time but it's something to aspire to. One of the Robert Lustig videos talks about babies being obese, only weeks old. A 'must view' in my opinion. And it all starts pre-conception with the health/weight of the mothers.

    If the animals are fed antibiotics and growth hormones and the meat produced is bulked up with fluids - how can that not have a knock on effect for us all.

    I know it is seen as a bit of a hobby horse but we must shout it from the rooftops and hope people wake up to the issues! Rant over now!

  • For some reason the video is blocked to me, must be my location... just Google Pink Slime, that is what the food industry calls what they put in burgers etc...

  • I just found my way to it using 'pink slime' in browser and it says that the Jamie Oliver film has been removed for copyright reasons. There is still a lot of disgusting stuff out there to watch though. If you have the stomach for it.

  • I'm sorry but diabetes Type 2 can't be reversed. The latest experiments (Newcastle Diet) with the 600 cal diets claim to reverse the disease but once the people start eating normally the blood glucose levels rise.

    I eat a low carb diet and if I went in off the street and was tested I would be told that I didn't have diabetes, but I do - I just control it.

    If you want more info on The Newcastle Diet and the claims that it reverses diabetes - go to

  • Thank you Theziggy for the link. My sister (also T2) says she has been pronounced 'Diabetes resolved' which she achieved through a very restricted diet of no virtually carbs, including milk and fruit. It was a very difficult one to follow but I feel that I am able to make huge improvements to my BS. I already feel a great deal better doing more exercise and eating a low carb diet, although I do include fruit.

    I am just printing off some of the pdf's from the link.

    Thank you!

  • I'm sorry but all your sister has done is control her diabetes - not 'cure' it. If she doesn't maintain a diet which restricts sugars and carbs and eats a 'what most people say is normal - high in sugars and carbs) diet her diabetes will kick in straight away again.

  • Beek - the gist of the pink slime video is that they take all the fatty horrible bits of meat that are left over after they have removed the steaks and chops etc and they wash it in ammonia (yummy!), then they spin it in a centrifuge.. it comes out as a pink slime (hence the name), then they put it through the mincer. The end product is that packaged stuff that looks like knitting wool.

    I've not forgotten last years "horse meat" scandal - if only it had been meat! Most processed meat products include hooves and eyelids etc, nothing anyone would eat by choice...The only processed meat I eat is burgers and sausages from a reputable butcher, even packaged ham has been liquidised and moulded. It's no wonder people are not healthy....

    I too feel pressurised by BOGOFs, there is only me and Baldy, and he is not a big veg eater...

  • Have to admit, this is exactly one of the reasons I'm vegan. There are several good cookbooks out there for vegetarian/ vegan athletes. There is definitely far too much emphasis on meat as a source of protein.

  • I feel I must agree with you tanyag. I think many more of us would be vegetarian if we understood all that goes on with our food, meat proein in particular.

    Do you ever use Quorn?

  • Hi Beek, I use Quorn when cooking something like cottage pie or a traditional 'English' dish like that for my OH. Only the mince version though. I've experimented with the various versions of it and the mince version seems to soak up the flavour of any herbs and spices you choose to use better then the other types, which, even to my palate, taste a bit odd. Similarly with the Soy options, I tend only to use the mince equivalent, and then only when making a replacement for an English style dish. It seems to work better if you mix the two, eg 50% Quorn and 50% soy mince, as the texture is more normal to ordinary meat (according to my OH anyway). My OH is English and I'm Indian.

    I tend to make home made curries and use a lot of lentils and pulses. I understand this isn't for everyone though. I used to make the classic mistake of lots of vegetarians and try to compensate by having lots of cheese and dairy products, but I've cut my intake of this down to probably 100g of cheese a week, one large pot of plain yogurt lasts me a week, and I probably get through about a pint of whole milk a week. Other good sources of calcium include spinach - my lunch tends to be a large leafy salad with some cherry tomatoes, chillies and lemon juice for dressing. Seeds, eg sunflower seeds are good for protein intake and helping with providing omega 3 oils and vitamin E.

    Because I have PCOS, I've been told to cut down on my carbohydrate intake as I'm at risk of T2 diabetes, so I use potatoes, rice and bread very sparingly, mainly using sweet potato/ carrots/ parsnips/swede/ pumpkin or similar if I want to bulk up a salad or curry. I also use full fat yogurt and cheese/butter/dairy as the low fat versions can contain a lot of sugar.

  • I would add - although I would recommend most of the cookbooks out there for vegetarian/vegan athletes, they do contain recipes aimed at a Western taste, eg to compensate for not having meat. I do think it's worth exploring other tastes and flavours. Indian food is sold as being very calorie heavy, because most people are used to 'takeaway' versions of Indian food - whereas, the 'normal' versions eg dosas, idilies, etc can be very low calorie, low sauce and veg heavy. Similarly Thai/Mexican/other ethnic foods. I would really recommend exploring and learning how to make your favourite 'ethnic' dishes at home. For example, Gujuarthi Indian dishes often use a lot of nuts, like peanuts, which people don't often associate with Indian food. Good alternative protein :-) I am pretty biased though as you might gather!

  • I also find this topic so interesting (and criminal when it comes to what the Food Industry gets up to).

    A few years ago I suddenly developed an allergy to milk and trying to find any packaged food that did not have a derivative of milk or butter or chocolate :( in it was nigh on impossible! So now I try to follow the principle of 'Could my Great Grandmother identify it as food?' eating plan and, yes, I made it up myself :D

    She would have recognised whole foods and ingredients that were in season and bread, cheese etc but not a supermarket ready meal. It is difficult and I fail quite often but I have felt so much healthier since changing my diet and lost some weight as well. Surprisingly it has not been more expensive, which I thought it would be.

  • Yes, beforefifty, I think we are losing the connection with where our food comes from. We should try to grow more of our food. It's surprising how much you can do with a couple of troughs and growing fresh saladings. Couple of tubs for beans and tomatoes, using very little space.

    Most important - keep out of the supermarkets as far as possible! I know it is easy to drop into the convenience food trap and grab a ready meal. I've been doing the same on this 5:2 plan because it's a lazy way to control the calories better but it just requires the time to plan well.

    Wish I could find a local 'time' tree - we never have enough do we?

  • Beek this is a great post and full of info. Tanya I would be grateful for any recipe book recommendations. My hubby is a keen cook and we are still eating from Madhur Jaffrey's book from, I think, the 70s!

    Neither of us are vegetarian but don't eat anything 'unhappy' (i.e. factory farmed or processed) where possible so only eat meat/fish a couple of times a week. It gets harder to find anything which hasn't been messed around with.

    Beforefifty: Love the 'Could my Great Grandmother identify it as food' eating plan. :D

  • Hi slookie, quite a few out there.

    Swanscot recommended The Vegetarian Athlete Diet

    Written by Matt Frazier (no meat athlete), and there are similar titles available by other authors.

    I also love Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes

    Isa Chandra Moskowitz

    As for Indian recipes,

    Anupy Singla has written several good books which you may want to look up. I'd also reccomend cookbooks from the Hare Krishna/ swaminsyaran or Jain temples as they will give more choice of recipes that are not standard recipes usually given by authors writing for a western audience. They will have a choice of more traditional recipes

  • Thank you everyone for all these great links!

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