Everyone knows that sugar is unhealthy but how dangerous is it really?
Dr. Michael Goran is the bestselling co-author of the book: Sugarproof: The Hidden Dangers of Sugar That Are Putting Your Child’s Health at Risk and What You Can Do.
He is a Professor of Pediatrics in the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. Dr. Goran serves as Co-Director of the USC Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Manchester, UK.
Dr. Goran’s research has focused on the causes and consequences of childhood obesity for over 30 years. He has published over 350 professional peer-reviewed articles and reviews.
#sugar #wellness #children #lifestylemedicine #younger #michaelgoran #RobertLufkinMD #readouthealth #sugarproof
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Robert Lufkin 0:00
Welcome back to the health longevity secrets show with Dr. Robert Lufkin. Today we take a look at how dangerous sugar really is for our children and ourselves, and why more people aren’t aware of the risks, then we will learn powerful strategies to help decrease our dependence on it. Dr. Michael grant is the best selling co author of sugar proof, the hidden dangers of sugar that are putting their child’s health at risk and what you can do. He is a professor of pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. Dr. grande serves as co director of the USC diabetes and obesity obesity Research Institute, Dr. grande received his PhD from the University of Manchester in 1986. Dr. Gordon’s research has focused on the causes and consequences of childhood obesity for over 30 years. In doing this, he has published over 350 professional peer reviewed articles Wow. And reviews and has raised over 50 million in funding for his work. Finally, before we begin, I would like to mention that this show is separate from my teaching and research roles at the medical school which which I am currently affiliated. It is however, part of my continuing effort to bring quality evidence based information about health and longevity to the general public. Now, please enjoy this interview with Dr. Michael Greger. Dr. Michael Graham, welcome to our show.
Michael Goran 1:38
Hi, welcome. Thank you so much, Robert, for having me on. It’s looking forward to talking with you. And pleasure to be here.
Robert Lufkin 1:47
Great. Well, first of all, I I’m a I’m a big fan of the book that you and Emily wrote sugar proof I will put that in the in the show notes various we have right here excellent excellent. We’ll put that in the show notes and a lot of the things that we’re talking about today are covered in this book so if people want to learn more this is this is a great resource about it so maybe before we dive into the the material maybe you could start off by just telling us how you came to be so interested in this this area?
Michael Goran 2:26
Yeah, sure. I so this has been my passion this would be my career for 35 years so I’ve been doing research in childhood nutrition and health outcomes for over 30 years. And over the last I’d say 10 to 15 years a pretty clear message began to emerge from that research and a pretty I feel compelling story and my I wanted to get that story out I want it to make it available to the to the broader public because I think there’s some very useful information there and as as you probably know, and probably your users know there’s always a typically a 1015 year lag between research and and practice and I’m trying to accelerate that a little bit and get useful information out to the to the broader public so it’s just we’ll talk about it that’s the story and the implications but it’s been my passion to do the research we’ve learned so much and I just wanted to get the message out
Robert Lufkin 3:35
that that’s great well let’s let’s start off maybe on the basics to bring bring our audience up to speed maybe you could start off by telling us what exactly sugar is and and why. Why is it so dangerous?
Michael Goran 3:54
Yeah, so sugar has become so prolific in in our food supply. And we’re, you know as a population, adults and children are consuming more sugar different types of sugar. Used to be sugar was most sugar was predominantly sucrose table sugar, white crystalline sugar, which is sucrose, which is a die saccharide of glucose connected to fructose. But now there’s over 200 different names and varieties of sugars. Those are just the caloric sugars and there’s the non caloric sugars or sweeteners. And consumption is prolific. Over 70% of processed manufactured foods have added sugars in there and we’re learning that excess sugars is causing a lot of health problems, not just for children, but for adults, but children are more susceptible for reasons we’ll probably talk about. So sugar, broad topic. We have a whole chapter just defining sugar, and it’s over 200 different names that are currently used.
Robert Lufkin 5:07
And how is our thinking changed about about the harm that sugar causes? I because I remember growing up sugar was considered to be, you know, maybe it wasn’t good for your teeth. But otherwise it you know, as long as you brush your teeth, you’re fine, you might gain weight with it. But now, we’re hearing about heart disease, dementia, stroke, even some cancers, what’s what’s changed?
Michael Goran 5:39
I think what’s changed is we’ve learned a lot about how sugar affects metabolism beyond the caloric effect, beyond the direct effect on the teeth. So a lot about its metabolism, the byproducts of that metabolism and how it affects the body. And you know, from my own interest, how it affects the growing body, how it affects development. And because a lot of these things are slowly evolving, like heart disease, diabetes, and I think what’s changed is what we’ve seen in the research in the last 10 1520 years is the acceleration of some of those chronic diseases like heart disease, type two diabetes, the new emergence of non alcoholic fatty liver disease in adults and children, which can be related to diet and from our research and others to sugar, in particular. So those are some of the issues that have changed. more sugar, different types of sugar, acceleration of the long term chronic diseases, typically of adulthood that we’re seeing emerge in childhood. But we’re not just worried about emergence is the slow development of these diseases that begins in childhood.
Robert Lufkin 7:04
So So even though these these chronic diseases are in later life, children should still avoid sugar because of the fact that they begin very early. Is that right?
Michael Goran 7:19
Yeah, yeah. And it’s not like, we’re saying that sugar should be completely avoided, and eliminated from a diet because I think there’s a place for it, for sure. But I think it’s becomes so prolific and so ubiquitous in the food supply. Beyond just water, or one or two special treats, I think there’s the issue of hidden sugars added to foods that you don’t even know were there. The emergence of what the replacement of water and milk is the beverage of choice for kids with juice and soda and energy drinks. So I think we need to really reset some of these things that have become almost daily staples for for kids. Because the the effect of the consumption adds up over time. So we need to kind of scale back and reset some of those things.
Robert Lufkin 8:21
There have been various recommendations from different organizations about sort of maximum recommended amounts of sugar. So I think the American Heart Association says two to 18 grams for children. I’m sorry, for age today teen, the maximum number of grams is 25. And then for under age two is zero. How do you feel about those numbers? And what are your What are your recommendations?
Michael Goran 8:55
Yeah, in the book we had recommend, also, zero added sugar for infants aged zero to two years of age. And that’s actually part of the new dietary guidelines that were just released in January of this year. So that’s something we talked about, we’ve been talking about for a long time. So I’m happy to see that emerge. I mean, there’s a huge disconnect between that recommendation and what’s available in the food supply because 80% of food products targeted for children, including infants have added sugar. So we need to kind of balance what those recommendations are versus what is actually being produced and available to families everywhere. And then after two years of age, we align pretty closely my recommendations would be pretty close to the American Heart Association and a new dietary guidelines which say, less than 10% of calories. And the World Health Organization would say even 5% of added calories for a child that varies. I think the issue with the American Heart Association recommendations, which is good, but it’s one number for kids and hard to compare a two year old with an 18 year old because their energy needs vary. So in the book, we have a chart that translates that relative to age because of the changes in energy requirements with age.
Robert Lufkin 10:34
We always hear with macronutrients that there’s a absolute minimum requirement of fats and proteins as the two macronutrients but for carbohydrates we often hear it said that there is no no absolute minimum requirement for for human life is that true
Michael Goran 10:55
yeah, I don’t I don’t know of any and I think it’s because you know ultimately carbohydrates are eventually break down to sugar themselves so I and I’ve heard said Oh, I’ve heard people say oh with the body You know, it needs there’s an essential need for sugar and that’s true because every cell in the body uses glucose which is a sugar for energy and for survival so absolutely the body needs sugar so there is so there is definitely a minimal need but the body can make that a number of different ways and again that’s not to say our stance is that we’re not saying that sugar should be completely eliminated or just I think that’s completely unsustainable and unrealistic for especially for kids growing up to date but that should be a reduction it should be a resetting or a maximum that we should be aiming for not complete elimination
Robert Lufkin 11:59
so so if we take that that 25 gram a number as recommendation putting that in perspective let’s see with a with Coca Cola I think it’s 30 some grams in one one standard size coke so that would be half a coke a day or something to reach the maximums it’s pretty easy to hit 25 grams isn’t it with with regular processed foods or things that people would likely encounter in the store?
Michael Goran 12:35
Absolutely you know and even a glass of apple juice for example, which you know has this healthy halo around it but a glass of apple juice quite similar and sugar content to to soda and then there’s certain sugars and you know, and bread, yogurt, pasta sauces, those types of things where there’s not really a need for sugar to be there but that can add up breakfast cereal, you know, most breakfasts for many families to deal with would come pretty close or if not exceed that 25 grams. So you know, in sugar proof, we talked about ways to rebalance that out to replace some of those added sugars to make sure there’s minimal added sugars of breakfast and instead, you know, replace that with fiber and protein. Because it’s also about mixing the macronutrients as well
Robert Lufkin 13:39
yeah yeah no that’s that’s very important
Michael Goran 13:44
do you but the bottom line is you’re right there’s a there’s a disconnect between huge disconnect between what was now recommended for health by major organizations including the US Department of Agriculture and what’s actually available what’s being fed to kids in schools for example. What is available by the food industry in the markets today? huge disconnect.
Robert Lufkin 14:11
There’s I mean, I when I was raised orange juice was a healthy drink and apple juice were healthy alternatives to other sweetened sugar drinks but it sounds like what you’re saying is as far as the potential harm from sugar content they’re they’re not a very healthy alternative.
Michael Goran 14:32
Yeah, I mean that’s not to say that’s not to say you can you know, I’m not saying you can never have a glass of orange juice ever again because you know, fresh squeezed orange juice is delicious. But I think the issue is is not shouldn’t be a daily staple. And you know, commercial Apple Apple juices, incredibly sweet. So no, one simple solution to that is to dilute it down. So you can still retain the flavor. I think what’s happening in the food supply to these things have become so sweet. Because the food industry knows that sweetness sells. But sweetness just overwhelmed all the other taste receptors. So Apple juices, you know, stop tasting like apples, it just tastes some sweetness. So I think it’s we need to kind of rebalance that a little bit. Yeah,
Robert Lufkin 15:24
yeah, that’s a good point i, one thing I encounter and talking to people, even people in the healthcare system, where if I raised the question about, you know, sugar being harmful, their response is, well, how could it be harmful? If it’s sold in all the stores as sugar cereals, you know, look at look at all the children’s sections of the grocery store are full of brightly colored boxes with heavily sweetened sugars. And if this were harmful, you know, this wouldn’t be available. Well, how do you how do you how can we respond to that?
Michael Goran 16:08
Yeah, it’s a good question. I think it’s, again, there’s a disconnect. I mean, the state of California has tried various times to put warning labels, for example, on soda, which should be the you know, the main contributing corporate warning labels about its health effects. Other other countries around the world have addressed this with marketing, or with front of label warnings or things like that. Obviously, that’s going to be really difficult to change, because it has such heavy weighted political issues and trying to make those changes are difficult. I think that’s, for me, very difficult to achieve. So that’s why I’m all about education and information and trying to inform people everywhere, so that so that consumers can make the best choices for them and their families, when when making those decisions. So sure, is changing is changing is changing slowly, but there’s still no law against a food company, making it a cereal that delivers 1015 grams of added sugars per per one bull serving.
Robert Lufkin 17:35
Yeah, in your in your role as co director of the diabetes and obesity center there. I wonder what what your thoughts are on the increasing read rates of diabetes and childhood diabetes? and obesity, we’re having what what used to be called adult onset diabetes, type two diabetes now occurring in children? and various various explanations have been put forward for this what what do you feel are the are the explanations for these changes? And and, you know, what role does sugar play in that?
Michael Goran 18:12
Yeah, and I would add to that list, fatty liver disease, non alcoholic fatty liver, which wasn’t even a disease 10 years ago, and now fairly, very prevalent. I think it’s an acceleration of the chronic disease aspect, like we talked about earlier, but also we shouldn’t lose sight of the disparities here. So things like type two diabetes in childhood and fatty liver disease, huge disparity, we’re seeing the highest levels there among Latino, black African American populations and Native American populations, much, much higher levels. I think there’s a lot too, we don’t know about why that predisposition is occurring, and what makes those segments of the population more vulnerable. Is it an economic issue? Is it some kind of physiological difference? I mean, in like, Latinos, we know there’s actually a genetic predisposition to fatty liver disease through a single nucleotide polymorphism. That’s, that’s very specific, but it’s still a factor. So I don’t know I think we’re still a lot to learn about those disparities, because those, that’s the real problem in terms of childhood disease, emergence. So if you look at the numbers for type two diabetes in children or fatty liver disease in children, by far, the numbers are highest in those groups. But what’s happening generally across the board is an acceleration and an earlier onset. And I think it’s because of early diets and even early environment related to nutrition which is seeding seeding these these outcomes by altering physiology and metabolism?
Robert Lufkin 20:11
Yeah, yeah. We just interviewed Tina woods, who’s a policy expert with the British health care system and they’re they’re doing an analysis of of liver disease and obesity and all and and she was she was saying how striking it was, you could you could predict the diseases that people have by the zip codes they’re from and you know, and the socio economic conditions that they lived in. But, but yeah, this is this is a very important idea. And I wonder about the acceleration we’re seeing, what does that reflect as far as changes in behavior of the people? I mean, we there have been soda drinks and and dietary things for the last 30 or 40 years but what you’re seeing there’s an acceleration these what what else? What is changing? It might be responsible for these these increasing rates of fatty liver disease and obesity and type two diabetes? There wasn’t there 30 years ago?
Michael Goran 21:18
Yeah, I think I think for for children, like I mentioned earlier, there’s, there’s there’s been a shift, if you look at the data in, for example, beverage consumption, milk, and water used to be the main beverage of choice not to say, you and I never had a sort of problem I grew up with, I’m sure we did. But it’s just that that’s the main source of beverage now. So there’s liquid sugar is really is is problematic that there’s so many different sources of liquid sugar. For children, it’s rapid, its effect when it’s consumed in liquid form. Rapidly affecting metabolism, especially in the liver. So that’s, that’s definitely one one thing that has changed and I just different types of sugar. So 30 years ago, the predominant type of sugar was sucrose. But now, you know, in the 70s, we had the emergence of high fructose corn syrup, which most people know about and try to avoid, not everybody because it’s still pretty ubiquitous in the food supply. But since then, over 200 different names 200 different types of sugar. Nowadays, we have a lot of fruit based sugars, which have this great healthy sounding halo around them. But fruit Bay sugars are very high in fructose. And we’ve kind of shifted the balance in sugar source towards fructose and kryptos is more damaging, especially during growth and development. So I think those are some of the changes that are different to 40 or 50 years ago, more sugar, different types of sugar and then sweeteners. We can we can talk about as well which you know, really, also become prolific and the food supply and very varied.
Robert Lufkin 23:22
Yeah, before we touch on sweeteners, one point about fructose. Why is it more damaging than then glucose? And the high fructose corn syrup also?
Michael Goran 23:36
Yeah, so so glucose and fructose, well, when they join together, that’s, that’s sucrose, that’s ordinary table sugar. glucose and fructose are chemically identical. C, six carbons, 12 hydrogens and six oxygens. But as soon as you consume them, they break apart, and their metabolic fates are very different. So glucose is the energy like we mentioned, it’s used for energy, all over the body, all the cells of the body are using glucose. And its uptake is very carefully regulated. fructose, on the other hand, is not used directly for energy. In fact, 90% of fructose is cleared by the liver, and livers job, as you know, and just to say the livers job is to clear everything from the circulation that it doesn’t want the body to get like alcohol, toxins, drugs, and you can add to that list fructose because it extracts fructose out of the circulation. And what we’ve learned is that it converted to fat, and that fat can get stuck in the liver and that’s what causes fatty liver disease if it builds up to a high enough level, or that frutos converted to fat gets repackaged into lipids, fats for circulation around the body. And that’s where you get the link between sugar and cardiovascular disease. And then that metabolic pathway is very inflammatory produces a lot of inflammatory molecules like uric acid, for example and other pro inflammatory molecules, so that when you list when you invoke that pathway, it’s inflammatory. So those are fundamental differences. fructose is not directly used for energy, though, that’s not to say if you’re thinking that you shouldn’t be eating fruit because fruit contains fructose because all that all this is very dose dependent. And concentration dependent. So when you eat an apple which has fructose in it, it’s trickling into the body very slowly, and the body was designed to tolerate that. And under those conditions of low dose fructose trickling in with the fiber, the gut can actually convert some of that fructose into glucose. And that can be used for energy. But that’s overwhelmed very easily when you drink a glass of apple juice. The body wasn’t wasn’t designed metabolically, it doesn’t have the machinery to handle all that purpose all at once. So the only thing the body knows to do is to extract the fructose in the liver and convert it to fat. So there’s a disconnect between our metabolic machinery and what we’re feeding the metabolic machinery in today’s food supply.
Robert Lufkin 26:45
I enjoyed reading from I guess, Rob Lustig and others who’ve made the point that that before high fructose corn syrup was introduced. One of the leading causes of fatty liver disease was ethanol and ethanol is handled to some extent, very similarly to fructose by the liver and results in fatty liver and once high fructose corn syrup was introduced widely in the population. Now the leading cause of fatty liver disease is is is arguably the diet with the high fructose, would you would you agree with that?
Michael Goran 27:29
Yeah, and as Rob Lustig says, fructose is alcohol without the buzz. Yeah, because the metabolic effects are the same and it’s not just high fructose corn syrup. You know, a lot of people No, no, the that is problematic. But apple juice actually has more fructose than high fructose corn syrup. Apple juice is about 70% kryptos. Soda made with high fructose corn syrup is 60% kryptos. So produce really because High fructose fruit juice? Because we don’t we don’t we don’t make we don’t make that connection. Because it sounds good.
Robert Lufkin 28:12
Yeah, yeah. So with with that concern you’ve raised about about high sugar consumption? How? How do you recommend or what? What, uh, what are some of the approaches, and I know you that basically half the book is devoted to this. So there’s a lot of lot of tools you give, but maybe you could share some of your approaches to helping children avoid or decrease the amount of sugar they consume. I know, we talked earlier, we both have two daughters. So we directly face this in our lives.
Michael Goran 28:50
Yeah, and what we talked about is not just I mean, it was designed for for children and families, but it’s also relevant to adults, too. And so you know, we look at the second part of the book, the first the first chapters, how to talk to kids about this issue, how to get them on board, how to motivate them to, to realize and understand the importance of this. And obviously, that’s very age dependent. A lot of what we talked about is age dependent, and, and contextually different from family to family. So what works in your family with your kids might be very different from my family. So we understand there’s different preferences in different contexts, contexts. So I think understanding that and making adjustments for that is, I think, very important. There’s not it’s not prescriptive. I’m not a big fan of prescriptive solutions, because everybody’s situation is very different. So I think we have to kind of figure out what the situation is and what the culprits are. So that’s one part of it. Breakfast is important, because breakfast is important for kids becomes less so as they get older. But for young kids, breakfast is important and the start to the day is typically high sugary meal. So we have lots of tips and solutions for, for we re structuring breakfast meals. And that’s not to say you have to like, rip it up and start again, I think that a lot of the things we talked about are as simple swaps and solutions and fixes, like what you put on your toaster, what to add to pancake batter to shift the balance to make it healthier. That kind of stuff, hundreds of different tips and strategies. And then we have a seven day plan and a 28 day plan. I said several times that we’re not saying you should quit sugar forever. But the seven day plan says, okay, what’s, what would it look like if you quit sugar for seven days. And that those seven days are meant to be served several functions. One is just so you understand and realize where the sources of sugar are every day. Hidden and otherwise. So whether that’s in peanut butter or pasta sauce, it walks you through planning for that, and just getting eliminating all sources of added sugars for one week. And step by step planning for how to do that and get through it. Because it’s a way to reset. It’s like the control deletes we’re so wired up for sugar and sweetness. And this is a way to kind of reboot the system. And what we found when working with families is the first day or two are tough, because everybody wants their peanut butter or their jam on their toast and their apple juice or whatever. But after a day or two kids are resilient, and they they get through it and what parents report is they see their kids off of sugar. And it’s almost like a new kid in some cases. And a resolution of a lot of issues and concerns. And you know, that’s not to say that that’s like a magic fix. But it certainly resets the system and and you end up making adjustments afterwards. And you may shift back to you know, you may kind of coast back to where you are and then in three months or six months, you might have to do it again. But that’s one that’s one solution. And we have recipes. I mean, again, we’re not all of our recipes. Say how can you bake an everyday treat for a kid and not have added sugar. And again, that’s not to say I don’t have added sugar in my pantry. So we do use sugar in baking but we challenge ourselves to see how can you make a cookie? How can you make a cake? How can you make a blueberry muffin, an energy bar without added sugar. So we came up with very creative ways. We just released the recipe for example on our website for Nutella. Everybody loves Nutella. But we wanted to say well can you make an Italo without added sugar? Again, not to say you can never have Nutella again. But there’s alternatives and so we’re trying to be creative in coming up with healthier alternatives and kids actually like it and they maybe they’ll get involved with some of that process too because getting kids involved in the kitchen is important aspect of this too.
Robert Lufkin 33:53
Yes, I enjoyed the Nutella recipe. I noticed that on your website it looked it looks great. And that’s it. That’s a great approach to get engage people in a short term even like you say a seven day plan to decrease the amount of sugar and then lower your body’s set points for sugar so you don’t crave it so much and just just see the difference that that’s fascinating. What about sugar substitutes as an alternative? There are many many different on the mark on the market. What are the good choices what which ones should we avoid?
Michael Goran 34:33
I think avoid all of them. I don’t think there’s a good one right now. I would not lean on them as an alternative. I think that’s a mistake. I think the food industry is doing that the food industry gets rewarded by they what they’ve been mandated to reduce sugar so all they’re doing is reducing sugar and replacing it with with with sweeteners that we don’t even know what they’re doing in the body. they’ve passed toxicity test They’ve become generally recognized as safe. But, you know, there’s no long term studies on their effects, especially on growing kids, number one. Number two, they don’t solve the craving for sweetness that we’re trying to address. A number three, they kind of trick the body. I mean, they’re designed to deliver sweetness without the calories, which is what they do. But there’s, these receptors for sweetness are still turned on. And when this sweet taste receptor gets turned on, the body thinks there’s sugar coming in. So what’s the body going to do? If it knows sugars coming in, it’s going to take sugar out of the blood, blood glucose is going to fall, because the body thinks there’s an excess, but there’s not. So then what happens when blood glucose falls, you get cranky and hungry and and start seeking out more food. So in fact, studies show that habitual consumption of sweeteners is related to more calorie consumption, not less at the point of consumption now, one cookie, yes, it has less calories. But you may end up eating three of those cookies instead of one or two. And then you may, because your body is still craving sugar, eat more later in the day. And then the fourth thing is because the calories are not absorbed, where do they go? They’re fermenting in the gut. So basically, the gut bacteria end up metabolizing these sweeteners, so it affects the gut microbiome and gut health. And then number five, I just don’t think they taste very good. So if I’m going to make cookies or a cake, I’m not going to replace sugar with stevia or monk fruit, because then it’s not going to taste very good. I think the most smarter solution is just to utilize sugar. So if their recipe calls for a cup of sugar, you could add half a cup for even 30% less. And I’ll guarantee you those cookies will taste just as good. if not better, they certainly not. It’s not going to affect the texture. And probably the tastes will be just as good if not better. So I think the much smarter solution is just to use less sugar, not replace it with some sweetener, we don’t know how it’s affecting the body, and it may cause you to eat more.
Robert Lufkin 37:43
Yeah, so so a lot of the a lot of the the harm from sugar is not only from the sugar itself, but from the downstream metabolic effects that sugar caused with insulin and other factors. And what you’re saying is a lot of these artificial sweeteners, although they’re not sugar themselves, they can trigger some of the metabolic effects downstream that sugar would with insulin and other things. Aside from and also the unknown, the unknown risk of there. We’ve seen that they’re they’re not toxic, but they’re long term safety effects and their effects on the gut.
Michael Goran 38:22
Yeah, yeah, they make. Absolutely. You know, they’ve passed toxicity tests. That doesn’t mean to say they’re not causing other effects in the body. So yeah, it’s all about the downstream metabolism. I think. We tend to forget about that. When we change something.
Robert Lufkin 38:40
Yeah, yeah. Thinking just about your working obesity and diabetes and all Gary Taubes is famously, you know, make the argument that calories in don’t equal calories out and all that what, what’s your thinking on is is a, is it calories and equals calories out anymore? Or is that is that changing?
Michael Goran 39:09
It’s changing. I think. The glucose versus fructose comparison is a perfect example of why it’s not just about the calories. So glucose and fructose, both yield four calories per gram. That’s the that’s the caloric equivalent. Both molecules are chemically identical, we have a different shape. One’s a hexagon, one’s a Pentagon, that turns out to be pretty important. And once consumed metabolically, they’re just very different. So it’s all about how these identical chemicals are metabolized very differently, and what the trigger, as you say, downstream, turns out to be very important. So there’s a perfect example of a calorie of glucose versus a calorie of fructose. Very, very different effects on the body. Yeah. And
Robert Lufkin 40:06
one other thing people are we’re hearing a lot about is macronutrient sequencing and diets that, that it’s not just what you eat, but it’s the order that you eat them so that a sugary drink followed by fat and protein is more potentially harmful metabolically than a meal with fat and protein at front, and then the sugar at the end for the way it’s handled in the gut and other factors. Do you do agree with that also?
Michael Goran 40:37
Yeah, Yeah, I do. I mean, I’ve personally tested it. So I think these things are probably going to be pretty uniquely personal as well. And we’re not, you know, we’re still starting to get a handle on that. But for sure. combination is important as well as sequencing. So, for example, for example, some of our recipes will use dates as a sweetener. In our energy bars and peoples who are using data has such a glycemic index. And that’s true, if you were to eat like you know, a handful of dates, it will shoot your glucose way up. But if you’re just putting dates into a mixture with with fiber and protein and other macronutrients, the combination will not spike your sugar as much. And I’ve done those comparisons because I’ve worn a glucose monitor several times and kind of monitored, like if I have a piece of jam a piece of toast, playing tools that will increase my blood sugar, but if I put eggs on it, or some other source of protein or fiber, it can, it can dampen that glucose spike. So I think ultimately, it’s all about finding out what kind of make helps keep your blood glucose levels as stable as possible during the day.
Robert Lufkin 41:58
Yeah, well, maybe he’s in the last few moments, we could talk about knowing what you know, as an expert in this field. How is this knowledge influenced the personal choices that you make in your life, about diet, or even exercise and lifestyle?
Michael Goran 42:18
Yeah, I’ve been reflecting on this a lot recently, actually. So what I’ve came to the conclusion was, so for me, I track a lot of stuff over time. So I have a digital scale that connects to an app so I can I can look at my way records over the last 10 years. I think, you know, at our age, I think it’s important to kind of monitor those month to month and year to your changes because things can creep up on you. So it’s important to spot those early. I don’t follow a set prescriptive diet because I like the flexibility. I love cooking, I love eating I love to kind of eat in season and I have a family so we’d like to decide together what to eat so so we tend to follow more of a guideline approach which I like because it’s more flexible, not so prescriptive. So some of our guys I mean a minute we MiniMo process foods, lots of fruits and vegetables. We do a lot of home cooking local shopping and that kind of stuff. So we just, I believe more on kind of getting good quality ingredients. I don’t drink alcohol I haven’t for the last 10 years because I realized I didn’t like the way it made me feel. And I’ve never really liked coffee. So my I drink a lot of green tea, that’s kind of my beverage of choice. I like to taste and that’s that’s where I like exercise wise about 10 years ago, I rediscovered my childhood love of tennis. And I love to play tennis so I don’t get to play enough but once or twice a week. That’s kind of my go to. And again, I don’t I don’t have a set routine. I’d like to walk and run once in a while but I like the flexibility more than anything. So I don’t like to kind of be bogged down although planning helps. So it helps me to know what days work well for me. So those are those are some of the things I used to just you know, being flexible, not being bogged down by a prescription. Oh, and the other. The other thing I started to do personally was I’ll do i do intermittent fasting maybe four or five days a week now where I’ll basically just combine breakfast and lunch into one meal like around 11 or 12. So I usually fast between dinner and late morning or lunchtime so that I believe in I think the research and that’s pretty strong. And it works for me because I feel more energetic during the day. And also having more glucose monitor several times, I know that it’s very helpful to stabilize my blood glucose. I’m actually right on the verge surprisingly, I HB a one C is like 5.7, which is at the lowest point of diagnosis of pre diabetes, right? So that that concern me, I was about four or five years ago, although my blood glucose is fluctuates. But in in the 90s. When I wore the glucose monitor, my glucose was within normal range like 98% of the time. My HP one C is stayed at 5.7. So I feel pretty good about God.
Robert Lufkin 46:06
Have you checked your fasting insulin?
Michael Goran 46:09
You know, I think that no, I did this is I think that should be a clinical test should be a standard clinical test, shouldn’t it?
Robert Lufkin 46:18
Yeah, yeah. I mean, one thing that people are discovering now is that glucose, rising glucose and you know, ha winsy are relatively late findings in diabetes, it’s at the point where your pancreas where our pancreas is beginning to fail, and that, yeah, insulin, insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia elevation of the insulin can proceed clinical diagnosis of type two diabetes by 10 years or so. And that tracking elevation, insulin can help people begin to see the course they’re on. So we recommend a lot of people are finding value in checking their fasting insulin levels, although, as you say, it’s still it’s still a weird test that that most physicians don’t order for their patients unless they specifically requested but hopefully that’s changing.
Michael Goran 47:17
Yeah, I think that’s a good point. I’ve never actually looked at my past the lab, maybe from a research perspective, we did like top of our list. If you have like, people ask me, if I’m doing a study, what should I measure? I’ll say fasting insulin. But, you know, clinically, that’s not how we’re thinking. So I think that needs to change. I think part of the problem here is that the assay is so difficult, isn’t it? I mean, and so variable. So it would help if we had a better standard, even just a standard lab acid, let alone a fast measure that we could do at home, we should be eating better. So that’s that that’s definitely missing.
Robert Lufkin 48:02
Yeah, that’s really good point. What’s the best way for people to to follow you and find out about your work? In addition, in addition to your book, what is the website, they should go to?
Michael Goran 48:17
The website is sugar proof, kids.com. And then on social media, Instagram, and Facebook, it’s at sugar proof kids. So through those portals, you can follow us, you can email me directly through any of those, and I’ll get those emails. I’m happy to hear from you.
Robert Lufkin 48:37
Oh, great. Well, thank you so much for being on the show, Michael, I guess we can cross off Coca Cola as being a sponsor for this for this program. But but that’s, hey, we’re never really in the running anyway. But yes, thanks. Thanks for so much for taking the time to be with us. Be with us today and share sharing your knowledge about this very important topic.
Michael Goran 49:00
Thanks, Robert. Thank you for talking about it and for getting people more informed about some of these issues. So thank you so much for what you’re doing.
Unknown Speaker 49:10
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