Dr. Robert Lustig: Metabolic Effects Of Processed Foods And Transcending The Diet Wars Once And For All


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What a fantastic opportunity to catch up with perhaps the world’s leading anti-sugar crusader, Dr. Robert Lustig.

A pediatric endocrinologist and professor emeritus at UC San Francisco, Dr. Lustig is also the bestselling author of groundbreaking books like Fat Chance, The Hacking Of The American Mind, and the 2021 release titled, Metabolical.

This man is fighting a valiant and high stakes battle against the mighty opponents of industrialized food, tainted science, and poor government regulation. What’s refreshing about Dr. Lustig is that he does not have an angle in the game—he is simply reporting the facts and phenomenons that have led us down the disastrous path to becoming the fattest, sickest developed nation in the history of the planet.

Dr. Lustig also offers compelling solutions, and it starts with taking responsibility for your own health, voting with your pocketbook (because there is always going to be more money than votes, so the money always wins). It also may be important to consider this processed food problem with the seriousness and urgency as climate change, for example. We also talk about how to choose foods that will protect your liver and nourish your gut, as Dr. Lustig has a gift for simplifying the often frustrating challenge of eating food that helps protect against disease while also maintaining a healthy body weight. There’s also some fascinating scientific info featured in this episode, as we talk about the importance of optimizing our leptin signaling and how leptin dysregulation affects our appetite and weight.

Enjoy this episode with the great Dr. Lustig and don’t forget to check out the B.rad Breather episode about his book, The Hacking Of The American Mind.


Dr. Lustig’s bottom line is that processed food is killing us. [01:27]

Leptin is the preeminent satiety, fat storage and reproductive hormone. [03:40]

When Dr. Lustig went to medical school, what we now know about nutrition, was not taught. [06:02]

Some of Dr. Lustig first research was with normal weight kids who got obese after treatment for a tumor. [09:32]

Leptin was discovered in 1994 and found to be very involved in how our brain acknowledges hunger. [11:39]

The kids in the study became more active and lost weight when they lowered their insulin. [13:43]

Can we blame the profit seeking enterprises instead of the victim? The cause is high insulin. [17:31]

How do we get high insulin? The modern Western diet introduced high fructose corn syrup in the 70s. [19:06]

Obesity is biochemical rather than behavioral. [22:16]

Healthy as a definition consists of six words: protect the liver. Feed the gut. [28:06]

When you take in a lot of sugar, you are flooding the liver with fructose. [31:30]

The gut needs fiber. [34:16]

It takes about 20 minutes for the message to get from your intestine to the brain to say, “I’m satiated.” That’s why we say wait 20 minutes before your second helping. [37:43]

Transcending the diet wars, the basic premise is to eat real food. [40:38]

There is a bit of a problem with keto. Only the truly committed can manage a ketogenic diet for any length of time. There is also a problem with veganism. A vegan diet should be unprocessed vegan. [42:44]

Depending on your biochemistry, you can find the right diet. Unify the force against processed foods is the starting point. [45:28]

The industrial seed oils have Omega 6 and are pro-inflammatory and that drives insulin resistance. We also need Omega 3. [48:11]

Is sugar food? What is the definition of food? Sugar inhibits normal growth. [51:41]

There are eight sub-cellular pathologies that drive all chronic disease. [59:00]

If we figure out the diet thing, we can potentially be playing tennis at age 110. How can we escape the clutches of the addiction to the wrong food? [01:02:26]


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