I swear to the old gods and new, the next deadset fkn moron who tries to tell me this is going to get kneed in the balls. Also the next one who tries to lecture me about sugar addiction. Click that link for a study on the plausibility of sugar addiction and its role in obesity and eating disorders. Spoiler alert:
There is no support from the human literature for the hypothesis that sucrose may be physically addictive or that addiction to sugar plays a role in eating disorders.
There’s a book out called Sweet Poison that claims fructose is the cause of EVERY health problem, apparently. Which is odd because there are also several books about wheat explaining how gluten is the cause of EVERY health problem, apparently. So then as discussed recently you have people like Gary Fettke who take this idea and extend it to a point where they don’t want you eating “too much fruit” or you’ll get fat and sick… and then there’s Christine Cronau who actually believes “fat can’t be stored as fat” and has recruited an army of trolls to harass the Heart Foundation to change their official recommendations accordingly.
Just a ridiculous state of affairs with dangerous, unqualified people with no credentials pushing made up nonsense that only serves to further confuse and divide people, and to further distort people’s relationship with food.
Enough of my own commentary though, here’s what Nutrition Australia has to say about these ridiculous claims that “fructose makes us fat“.
Unfortunately, Sweet Poison is based on gross misinterpretation and neglect of key aspects of the nutrition-related scientific literature. Moreover, the advice contained within is inconsistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Australians published by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), and with the NHMRC guidelines for treatment and prevention of obesity which emphasise the importance of physical activity in weight control.
In fact, Sweet Poison is replete with errors and dubious claims. Though strong evidence suggest that excessive consumption of sucrose (and therefore fructose) is harmful to health, no evidence supports that claim that added fructose is a poison at any dose. This is recognised in the advice given by all national and international health authorities to limit (not avoid) intake of sugars and sweetened foods.
Many Australians eat excessive quantities of sugar and would benefit from reducing their intake of sweetened foods and drinks. However, total avoidance is unnecessary, and there is no evidence to support Gillespie’s claim that ‘Every day that fructose remains a part of our diet, is a death sentence for thousands of Australians’.
Sweet Poison is not a reliable source of information regarding the effects of fructose on body weight and health. To reduce the risk of obesity and to optimise your health, the best advice is to follow the Dietary Guidelines for Australian adults, particularly:
- Eat plenty of vegetables, legumes and fruits
- Eat plenty of cereals (including breads, rice, pasta and noodles), preferably wholegrain
- Limit saturated fat and moderate total fat intake
- Drink plenty of water
- Limit your alcohol intake if you choose to drink
- Consume only moderate amounts of sugars and foods containing added sugars
- Prevent weight gain: be physically active and eat according to your energy needs
As usual, the offical advice from those who are actually qualified to provide it is quite sensible, moderate and flexible. Easy to understand and easy to follow. Perhaps there is more money to be made in making things seem difficult and mysterious, not to mention “kept secret” by some outrageous conspiracy.
There’s an open letter to David Gillespie, author of Sweet Poison available identifying many of the dubious claims and factual errors made in the book. Some of it is a little more scientific than the way I write for my blogs, but it’s quite an eye opener and will give you a good understanding of why you need to be highly sceptical of any and all of these sensational alarmist publications on the subject of nutrition. Simply put, they just make shit up!
Here’s some good information from the open letter linked to above:
Further, the ADA2 makes crystal clear its position that sugar (which is the major source of added fructose in the Australian diet) is not the cause of type 2 diabetes:
‘The myth that sugar causes diabetes is commonly accepted by many people. Research has shown that it isn’t true … The biggest dietary risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes is simply eating too much and being overweight – your body doesn’t care if the extra food comes from cookies or beef, it is gaining weight that is the culprit.’
This position statement is diametrically opposed to your claim that consumption of added fructose is the sole cause of type 2 diabetes.
(v) On page 78 the claim is made that ‘every gram of fructose we eat is directly converted to fat‘. This is not correct—fructose may go down the gluconeogenic pathway (leading to its conversion to glucose and subsequent storage in the liver as glycogen) or the fructolytic pathway (resulting in the production of fat). The available evidence suggests that fructose may be preferentially converted to glycogen until liver glycogen is replenished. It appears that only then will the fructolytic pathway predominate.
In other words, it’s all about your total calorie intake. That’s all.