A calorie is not a calorie. That is the argument of Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist who runs a weight management clinic at the University of California, San Francisco, and authored the New York Times Bestseller, “The Fat Chance Cookbook.” He eschews the consumption of processed food and sugar and believes it is leading to widespread obesity and chronic disease. As a result, he created a cookbook full of 100 recipes that can be created in under 30 minutes.
The cookbook emphasizes whole foods over processed, and includes recipes that reduce the amount of sugar in our diets and increase our fiber intake. These changes, he argues, will lead to weight loss and regained health.
During a recent New York Times interview with Anahad O’Connor, Dr. Lustig spoke about diets that focus on calorie reduction. “I am not against reducing calories. But if that is all you’re doing, it can’t work. It depends what those calories are. Everything that comes in a 100-calorie container, half of it is sugar, whether it’s yogurt , cookies or whatever. If a calorie is a calorie than it should work. But it doesn’t, because a calorie is not a calorie. And this is the thing we have to get past.”
Dr. Lustig caught the attention of many when he posted a lecture of his entitled, “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” on YouTube. During the talk, he goes into detail about his theory on calories not equaling one another and how calories from sugar are particularly detrimental to one’s health. So what about fruit? We all know that fruit contains sugar. However, Dr. Lustig is a proponent of fruit consumption because the sugar results naturally as part of the growth process and because the amount of fiber being provided by the fruit offsets the amount of sugar. His only exception – grapes – which he refers to as “little bags of sugar” because they don’t have enough fiber to offset the amount of sugar they contain. He opposes turning whole fruits into juice as the fiber is lost in the process.
To learn more about Dr. Lustig’s research and keys to living a healthier lifestyle, I welcome you to read the articles listed below and check out his YouTube video.
Articles by Dr. Lustig: