Sugar: The Bitter Truth

I recently read an article in Newsweek about obesity. Sure, there are a lot of articles, books, shows, and documentaries on obesity in America, but this article was different; it was about SUGAR.

I first learned about human nutrition when I took a class in college called the American Epidemic. This class was all about diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. It was a fascinating class taught by a very knowledgeable professor.

He showed us a video from the Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology. It is a whopping 90 minutes, and pretty hard to get through, but after watching it my whole perspective was changed. In the video, Dr. Lustig addresses the way your body metabolizes high fructose corn syrup.

High fructose corn syrup is EVERYWHERE.

Why am I so against HFCS? The body does not recognize fructose for use of energy, so most of it gets stored as fat. High fructose is 50% fructose and 50% glucose (see the short video at the end of this post for a more in depth explanation). 

Think of it this way: Most Americans eat 75-90 grams of sugar per day, and their body stores a little more than half of that.

And that adds up.

4 grams = 1 teaspoon
113 teaspoons = 1 pound

Check out all these foods that have quite a bit of high fructose corn syrup:

There are thousands of other products that are laden with HFCS, but these are the products that I feel people consume the most. The most disturbing to me was baby formula; some formulas are up to 42% high fructose!!! I just can't fathom an infant getting that much high fructose on a daily basis. 

Aaron calls me a sugar Nazi, and maybe I am, but something needs to be done. If you are waiting around for companies to start making food healthier, you will probably die waiting. You need to be responsible for your own food choices; don't take a passive stance on your health, it's too risky.

If you are interested in watching the video, but you just can't stand to watch 90 minutes of human biology, I found a short (11 min) version on youtube

If you want more information on the obesity epidemic, you can find some short videos here
There is also this short and wonderfully easy-to-understand article on Life Hacker.

Short version (11 min)

Long version (90 min)


  1. Jessica,

    This might be a huge undertaking, but I had a thought, and I think out of anyone I know, you might be up for the challenge.

    I want to eat healthy and I want to eat cheap. It's like... impossible. Do you think you could assemble a healthy/cheap week of recipes? Totally just an idea, but I wouldn't know if what I am making was actually healthy or not.. It would be amazing to get your take!

    Anyways, just an idea, take it or leave it!

    1. I would looove to do that! I will start looking through my recipes and take on the challenge. Thanks for asking :)

  2. One more reason to endure this excruciating pain of nursing. Thanks for the pep talk!

  3. Some people really want to nurse but can't, so I think it's a touchy subject when you address formula, who knows you may not be able to nurse. Not trying to mean,just addressing a sensitive subject. I REALLY like your recipe section!

    1. Jane, I totally agree! There is a chance that I won't be able to nurse, and I am so grateful there is another option. My complaint was directed to the companies that make the formula and not mothers who use it.

  4. Aaahhh! That baby formula is super disturbing to me! I tried super hard with the twins to breastfeed but they were on feeding tubes with breast milk then graduated to breastmilk in a bottle (wasn't able to breastfeed in the NICU because they had to montitor their intake and babies in the NICU can't be taken home unless they know to to drink from a bottle to ensure that they will thrive , can measure their intake or if they are even getting anything from the breast :(... With Zack I was breast feeding and then a few days after his birth I got double mastitis but if I would have know about the formula then I probably would have tried to relactate.