The BITTER TRUTH About Sugar & How It CAUSES DISEASE! | Dr. Robert Lustig

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When we take a global bird's eye view of diets around the world, it’s clear that the Western diet makes humans sick. Any nation that has acquired our habits of eating highly-processed foods, rich in refined carbohydrates, fructose, and inflammatory fats, ends up metabolically unhealthy. Metabolic health is much more than just maintaining a healthy weight. It’s the sum of our cardiovascular, mitochondrial, liver, gut, and hormone function—and a poor diet impacts all of these systems for the worse.

Today, I’m excited to talk to my friend and a physician who is an inspiration to me, Dr. Robert Lustig, all about fixing our metabolic health. Dr. Lustig is a neuroendocrinologist with expertise in metabolism, obesity, and nutrition. He’s the Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology and a member of the Institute for Health Policy Studies at UCSF. He is also one of the leaders of the current “anti-sugar” movement that is changing the food industry, in part through his game-changing books. His latest work is Metabolical: The Lure and the Lies of Processed Food, Nutrition, and Modern Medicine.

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Learn more about Dr. Lustig at and get a copy of his book, Metabolical: The Lure and the Lies of Processed Food, Nutrition, and Modern Medicine, here:

Dave McKinnon

  • Jack Wardrop says:

    I wake up and there’s a long interview with Lustig?! Its gonna be a good day. Love how he doesn’t sugar coat it.

  • MA A says:

    I used to stop sugar on and off in the past because it was trendy to quit. Dr. Lustig is so sincere and convincing that I finally quit sugar for good because of him. No more blurry vision, palpitations, joint pain and the list goes on. Thanks Dr.Hyman for hosting the best of the best on your channel 💫

  • Michael Strout says:

    I started my wellness journey two years ago with Dr. Lustig’s video, Sugar, The Bitter Truth, and long story short I’m down 41 pounds, my Dr took me off my Statin, my A1c is below pre diabetic levels, and much more good things. Im about half way through his new book, Matabolical, and WOW. This book should be required reading in all medical schools! I think the sooner we all start to educate ourselves on these matters, the sooner we can effect real change. Thank you Doctor Lustig!

    • Celine M says:

      this is interesting, I’ asked my gp if I could ever stop the statin for my cholesterol and she said no. I have since been on a low carb diet and stopped any form of added sugar. How do you feel without the statin and how was he able to know that you could stop? any blood tests?

    • Michael Strout says:

      @Celine M my metabolic health improved to a point where my Dr decided that I didn’t need them anymore. I told her that I didn’t want to take them for the rest of my life and she said ok, being your numbers down. So I did. Btw, no more side effects like muscle pain, mental fog, and now coming to light, insulin resistance!! I suggest you continue to educate yourself and give it more time. Also have a honest conversation with your Dr. He or she might be required to prescribe a certain amount of drugs to make the higher ups happy.

    • Celine M says:

      @Michael Strout that is amazing! Question is, are your number down because of the medication or your diet?( I cut sugar only a few weeks ago and carbs 2 weeks ago but have been eating better than since the last time she checked my levels) I am so tempted to just stop all together and see what happens and go see my gp in a month to get tested but im afraid of the negative effect of just stopping! Honnestly with my new diet I’m 100% convinced I could get my numbers in check easily! Back when I was first prescrbied the drug I was over weight and eating crap so no wonder I needed it!

    • Michael Strout says:

      @Celine M I was never on a high dose in the first place so I’m not sure they did anything. Keep in mind Statins do benefit a small percentage of the population, if you have had a heart attack or you can be geneticly predisposed to have high LDL. Also LDL partical size make a big difference. What you want is large, bouyant LDL, not the small, dence particals. There’s a lot to learn. Stay the course!

    • Celine M says:

      @Michael Strout thank you! I will bring data to my GP because last time she said no I dont recommend you stop but now I know more so I may be able to convince her. I can jsut stop for a month and see what my numbers are just to prove to her!

  • Natalie says:

    I finished watching this interview and the recurring thought in my mind is that this is great, fantastic and such a good encompassing clear picture of the underlying issue. However, we need a presentation on this targeted at kids directly. I have an MSc in Biomedical Sciences so my 12 year old knows quite a bit about biology, but there’s no way that he is going to listen to a talk that is more than an hour long on this. Our kids are not dumb. They need to be educated directly and they will not necessarily listen to their parents. We need them to understand this themselves so that they can have the insight to know what they are putting into their mouths and can make their own educated decisions. Even medics and scientists who know that sugar is bad are consuming it on a large scale because the addiction is so deeply ingrained and normalized in society. The adults/parents are not equipped to wage this war even if they want to. So my plea to Dr Hyman and Dr Lustig is: Please make a basic presentation for kids, maybe for different age groups even. There’s a gap in information transfer here and it’s the information that we need to feed to our kids. Once the understanding comes, there’s a better chance that there will be willingness on their part to change their behavior. Roll this out in schools even. Let biology teachers show this in class. And please don’t make this targeted at US audience only. There really is such a thing as the rest of the world.

    • Myfanwy the Van says:

      Maybe look up the Fat Head Movies. They’re targeted at kids in cartoons so the message gets through in a fun way.
      I think there’s 4 or 5 of them, hope this is helpful 😀

    • IT'S A PLAN!!! says:

      Would be great

    • Eryk says:

      you said kids but there is a swear word in the video

    • Rehema Mwateba says:

      Sugar or sukari in Kiswahili language is a household item and a powerful proxy for economic soundness. It’s absence in a home is self measurement of how deep in poverty one is. I realize households without sugar should rank themselves healthy! Complete turn round of mindset! Thank you for the presentation.

  • rickybobby says:

    What a time to be alive—-this information is free on the internet—thanks Robert and Mark!!!

  • Adil Duredoran says:

    Thanks Mark for bringing this Genius on your show it is a great conversation between the you two . The amount of information i picked up in few months listening to you guys is just incredible. iI fixed so many problems like Lowering Ldl and improving my Insulin levels in the last 6 months. I walk 4ms a day and excercise 5 days a week and mostly OMAD. My total fasting Cholesterol 6 months ago was 7.7 and last week i did a blood test it came down to ldl cholesterol 3.6 . i feel great now and don’t have that brain fog any more and lastly goodbye to Statins.

  • Barry Smith says:

    Dr Lustig has been a trusted advisor for my continuing health plan for many years now. I am just short of 76 years old and have zero inflammation, arthritis, brain fog, a glucose average of 96, and a BP average of 115/75. My intention is to live to 100 and I have a 25 year plan that I work on daily. Body health including brain health as a single unit in focus. We all have a choice to be healthy. Don’t let others do your thinking for you.

  • Chrystina Orlando says:

    This is extremely motivating. Thank you for sharing your expertise and empowering us with knowledge to take control over our own health

  • Jen B says:

    I could listen to Rob Lustig all day long!!! Thank you to you both for a fantastic talk! 🙏🙏🙏

  • Terence Reyes says:

    I appreciate how passionate Dr. Lustig is about this topic, in every interview he really is dishing out the truth.

    Information is such a valuable asset and imagine if we don’t have knowledge about these, the trillion dollar industries of unhealthy processed food are still banking on us and pushing us closer to diseases everyday.

  • t2themk2thec says:

    Informative, far ranging and “digestible” content for the layman. Being new to the true metabolic relationship of the Western diet to our bodies, I am stunned there hasn’t been an uprising in this country to make the changes we need for our health, especially our children’s health. The reason? There is no money in telling the truth, so most people are unaware of what we put into our mouths and how it affects our health. Social media is where I get so much information about how my body interacts with the food I eat and, despite its drawbacks, it is a powerful tool for getting the word out, this conversation as a prime example. Thank you.

  • CookingFun says:

    This was very informative. Thank you. Today I’m down 135 lbs. I started a year ago. Learning more about this Science has changed my life. My doctor could care less. I asked her what do you think about my 100 lbs weight loss. She said. Did you lose that much. She looked at her computer to see my highest weight and said. Oh wow. You did. Congratulations…. then lectured me on why I should be taking a statin. Going from an a1c of 8.5 to 6. Triglycerides 295 to 70. Cholesterol 190 to 168. Doctors aren’t our friends

    • BossLadybee says:

      ❤I am so proud of you 👏. Congratz on lowering that a1c. What did u change in ur diet. Fighting with my husband a1c. He’s not over weight.

    • CookingFun says:

      I joined the Virta program. It’s keto based. I have doctors and coaches helping me. I’ve learned to use my macros better. More fats and proteins with less than 30 carbs. I eat and feel satiated. My coworkers tell me how I eat so much and lost all the weight. I did it in front of them over a year so they believe me. I learned how my body reacts to food

    • BossLadybee says:

      @CookingFun that’s amazing. Thanks 🙏

    • Linda howell says:

      Congratulations 🎉

  • cattleprods911 says:

    I’ve stopped sugar and processed foods (I’m 52) and am as lean as I was when I was a teenager, feel great etc. The information from guys like this is invaluable, great talk.

  • W Malinowym stylu says:

    I haven’t eaten sugar since 2018, and I feel totally different. The bitter fruits or veggies don’t have this strong bitterness. Bitter herbs like wormwood are not so bitter like 5 years ago when I started drinking. My brain is really working differently, faster, better concentrated, I see colors clearer and intense, I’m not stressed anymore, no panic attacks, less stomach problems etc etc….I have thought out from my diet gluten and lactose. No more unexpected diarrhea in my life 😆. Of course, I’m still taking other supplements, but the good one, and I feel amazing. People, please open up your eyes🙏Wake up! Life without white sugar is more beautiful. And who has donn it knows what about I’m speaking 😊God Bless u all, Monika

  • Hobo On Wheels says:

    I’ve had a periodic high blood pressure issue since my pregnancies in my 20s. I also was advised by medical professionals to eat high carb low fat, consequently got very overweight. I worked for a doctor a couple years and noticed newly diagnosed patients advised to lower salt intake came back a week later with higher bp. Figured out there and then salt didn’t obviously cause hbp as I’d been told all my adult life. Took another couple decades to figure out the lie of the high carb low fat way of eating was a giant lie, thanks Ancel Keyes and the wealthy parasites that hired him to promote the lie. Medical doctors only know medication and everything they do is to diagnose for prescriptions. If you fall for it.
    My son was diagnosed this week with diabetes. The nurse practitioner of course prescribed metformin, but after I said shouldn’t he just change his diet said yes. I will be looking into metformin which seems benign but I believe causes other issues, like all medication does.

    • Scoobtoober29 says:

      There’s so much good info out there today. I wish you the best. For me OMAD LCHF (animal fats only, butter eggs dairy) Dr feng fasting
      What ever you like or works for you. I feed my kids lots of homemade things. Soaked in butter or protein. They don’t eat as much of it compared to store bought foods. Make burgers no buns. Just cut all soda, tea and processed meats, processed treats. Make your own butter loaded cookies. Maybe add some protein powder. It’ll fill you up and you wont have the cravings after. High vegetable intake if you can take it. if not, just have a few. Or find ones you like. Don’t force it if you hate it today. Later on you may like the veg.
      Lustig is the man
      Follow how he did his studies with kids. Substitute the processed low fiber foods with more whole/full fat foods. Lower sugar things.

  • William Peterson says:

    When a Microbiologist talked about disease to me in the 1970s he said it will probably turn out that Sugar is a large culprit on our society!

  • April O'Neil says:

    My husband had a liver transplant due to fatty liver-NASH. He never drinks alcohol but had a major coca cola habit. He has cut back but won’t quit. I’ve told him coca cola is worse than heroin. I stand by that statement

  • The Health Insight says:

    this guy is THE BOMB. Dr. Lustig explains the MECHANISM and not just tells us what’s good and bad — !!!! thanks so much for this interview, Mark.

  • Connie Kline says:

    This was a fantastic interview with Dr. Lustig, the first time I have heard about him before, and I bought his book. It seems the more one learns, outside of the common narrative, the more one learns how money and lies have contributed to disease, drug pushing, and death. Thank you for this information.

  • Angie says:

    I learned much more today with your podcast. At 69 years old, I want to help myself to be as healthy as I can be. I don’t want to live to be 100, but want to enjoy a few good years. I have managed a relatively good health by not taking prescription drugs. I’ll follow and practice as much as I can your good advice> Thank you Doctor Hyman and Doctor Lustig.

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