60 Minutes: The Bitter Truth About Sugar (8/5/12 Recap)
Sugar: An American killer? Could this be true? If we limit our sugar intake, could we lower our chances of a heart attack? Could we even avoid cancer? All of this tonight on 60 Minutes, so stay right here with Nerdles as we give you the best of TV news daily.
60 Minutes correspondent, Sanjay Gupta covers the story about the toxicity of sugar. It sounds quite over the top, but Dr. Lustig of the pediatric endocrinology department of the Univeristy of California San Francisco, says it’s true. Obesity, Type II diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease, he reveals, is all highly caused by sugar. Whether it be sugar or high fructose corn syrup, it’s all the same and it’s all bad. But why is it so good? Because on an evolutionary scale, there is nothing on earth that contains fructose that is toxic for you. Would it really be that bad if we ate 10 oranges? Today, however, we’ve been able to generate and produce so much sugar and fructose artificially that we’ve been gorging on it. In fact, Americans now unnaturally consume 130 pounds per person every year of sugar.
Dr. Kimber Stanhope, another doctor from the University of California Davis, is conducting a study whose findings is happening to back up Dr. Lustig’s claims. Participants are actually kept in the hospital where they are closely monitored and whose diets are tightly controlled. Results reveal that participants who had high amounts of sugar in their diets had higher levels of LDL, the bad cholesterol that lead to heart disease. In the 70′s, the government mandated that we lower fat consumption to lower heart disease. And we did. But food companies realized that when you can take the fat out of food, it tastes like cardboard. So they replaced it with sugar.
Louis Kantley, a Harvard professor, reveals that when we eat or drink sugar, it causes a sudden spike in the hormone insulin in our body. Insulin can have an adverse affect on various tissues like cancer. Tumors have insulin receptors which are fueled by glucose. So when we eat sugar, the glucose in the sugar feeds a tumor and helps it to grow. Kantley’s team is working on developing a drug that cuts off the blood supply to cancer cells and prevent them from growing. His final advice? Don’t eat sugar or have as less of it as possible.
Dr. Eric Styce shares that sugar activates the brain in a way similar to cocaine. Dopamines are released when we have sugars, they fire up the pleasure centers in our brain just like alcohol or drugs do. As such, just like an alcoholic or drug user, our body can build a sort of tolerance to sugar substances. In short, the more we eat the less we may actually feel less of that “sugar high” reward. So, we eat more and more which only continues this harmful cycle.
But what does the sugar industry have to say about all of this? Jim Simon, a board member of the Sugar Association. He cautions that eliminating sugar “wrongly villifies” one certain kind of food. Dr. Lustig, however, does not advocate the elimination of sugar, Rather, he recommends that men have no more than 150 calories of sugar and woman no more than 100 calories of sugar a day. (This is less than what’s in a can of soda.)
Dr. Lustig has been advocating this radical research for years, and it wasn’t until the YouTube video of one of his speeches gained virality that people have finally begun noticing that he may actually be right. What’s your stand? Will you be limiting your sugar intake? Check out the video below, and let us know in the comments section.
Check out Nerdles’ 60 Minutes archive of recaps HERE.
Image credit: 60 Minutes