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Excessive Fructose Intake, Not Starch Leads To Metabolic Syndrome, Author Contends


Dr. Richard J. Johnson responds to concerns about his book

There’s a lot of new research coming out about the root causes of obesity and disease that it can keep your head spinning round and round for hours trying to absorb it all. And for all the studies that are released, there are just as many new books ready to tout the latest principles and concepts that are discovered by those scientists and researchers looking at the extraordinary findings that are happening. One of these researchers/authors is Dr. Richard J. Johnson.

Dr. Johnson is the author of a new book entitled The Sugar Fix: The High-Fructose Fallout That Is Making You Fat and Sick which puts forth the hypothesis that fructose alone that is what is responsible for obesity and disease in modern society. This seems to run counter to what Gary Taubes wrote in his instant classic Good Calories, Bad Calories which puts the blame for people being fat and sick on insulin which can be raised by ALL carbohydrates, not just fructose. This contradiction in message was the subject of this blog post last month where a reader shared their concerns about who is right–Johnson or Taubes?

Here’s what the reader shared with me in an e-mail:

I just finished reading a new book called The Sugar Fix.

And now I’m REALLY confused. I thought it would be a low-carb message, but it ended up being a low-FRUCTOSE message with the “calorie is a calorie” theory underpinning it. The author Richard Johnson, who is a medical researcher and a kidney transplant doctor (so he should know his stuff), claims that it is only the fructose in our diets that makes us fat and sick.

Following his logic, because sucrose is half fructose and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contains a lot of fructose, all we need to do to be healthy and lose weight is cut out the fructose in our diets. Practically, of course, this means cutting out all drinks sweetened with sugar and HFCS, and cutting down on table sugar, honey, sweet desserts, etc. What really confuses me is that he claims that starch is not a problem.

He says in this book that insulin resistance is caused by FRUCTOSE, not glucose, and that glucose alone causes insulin to spike, but in the absence of fructose, it will not influence insulin resistance in the slightest. So according to this book, if you have your fructose under control (including fruit only in moderation), then you can still enjoy potatoes, pasta and breads because glucose from starch is not a problem.

Now, I’m going through Good Calories Bad Calories for a third time and Gary Taubes argues convincingly that INSULIN is the problem and leads to weight gain and sickness. You see why I’m confused? The author of The Sugar Fix quotes all the studies, is a researcher himself, and now I don’t know WHAT to think.

I’m sure many of you are wondering the same thing about where Dr. Johnson is coming from because it does seem like he is giving starchy carbohydrate sources a free pass while only pointing the finger at fructose which has indeed produced detrimental effects on both weight and health since the 1970s. But is it the SOLE reason people are fat and sick as Dr. Johnson seems to propose. Let’s ask him and find out.

After reading my blog post about my reader’s concern last month, Dr. Johnson e-mailed me his response which included his rebuttal of Taubes’ theory regarding insulin. Read what he has to say for yourself and decide who you believe. I am working on an interview with Dr. Johnson to be conducted in the next month or so and will air on my podcast show later this year. Maybe this will trigger some questions you would like for me to ask him during the interview, so please feel free to send those to me at livinlowcarbman@charter.net.

Here is what Dr. Johnson wrote in his e-mail to me:

Dear Jimmy,

Recently I had the chance to revisit your excellent web site and saw that a reader was confused after reading my book, The Sugar Fix, since I claim that it is excessive fructose intake that is making us fat and sick whereas many other authors have claimed that other carbohydrates such as starches are also bad. Indeed, Gary Taubes (author of Good Calories Bad Calories) was asked to comment, and while he agreed that excessive fructose intake was bad, he felt that starches were also bad as they elevate insulin levels which according to his theory is what is making us fat.

Mr. Taubes was not familiar with much of our work when he published Good Calories Bad Calories, and more of our studies have just been published or are in press. The quick summary is that we now know that many people who will eventually become diabetic or obese develop telltale signs before this happens—this includes a resistance of their tissues to the effects of insulin, a rise in plasma fats (triglycerides), an increase in blood pressure, and subtle evidence for inflammation within the body. Physicians refer to this as “metabolic syndrome” and it is the best predictor of who will become diabetic in the future. Interestingly, there is now overwhelming evidence in both animals and humans that consuming excessive amounts of fructose will cause this syndrome whereas consuming starches will not. We even know the mechanisms by which fructose causes the syndrome, and it involves a rise in uric acid levels. [By the way, beer also raises uric acid levels even though it does not contain fructose, and we believe this is why excessive beer intake can also cause a similar syndrome of obesity].

We have just published a paper in the American Journal of Physiology in which we fed animals fructose or starch for 4 months. At the end of 4 months the animals fed fructose had lost their ability to regulate their dietary intake (that is, they had become resistant to leptin, the hormone involved in satiety). When animals on fructose were switched to a high fat diet, they ate excessive amounts and became fat quickly. In contrast, the animals fed starch could control their intake, ate less food, and gained less weight gain after switching to a high fat diet. Thus one can view fructose as the fire, and high-fat diets and starches as the firewood.

Gary makes the point that obesity is caused not by consuming excessive calories, but rather by an abnormality in fat regulation. However, when one becomes leptin and insulin resistant, one will not be able to regulate one’s dietary intake and will start to increase one’s weight. Clearly a new “set point” has to become established, or one would continue to gain weight until one would “explode” such as the “Mr. Creosote” character in the movie Monty Python’s Meaning of Life. So Gary is right that there is a resetting of the clock—but it is driven by insulin resistance and leptin resistance, which in turn is a direct consequence of fructose intake.

A key misconception is that elevated insulin levels are bad, regardless of the mechanism stimulating the insulin levels. This is the problem I have with Gary’s book, as well as with the general concern over “the glycemic index.” This latter concept is that foods that raise blood glucose (and hence stimulate insulin) are what is driving the obesity epidemic and cardiovascular disease. This would suggest that starches such as white rice , flour and pasta would be the main forces driving the obesity epidemic. Sugar (which contains both glucose and fructose) also has a high glycemic index because of the glucose content, whereas fructose itself has a low glycemic index and hence might be considered safe (according to this reasoning).

However, the stimulation of insulin is a normal body response and by itself does not cause obesity. Insulin levels rise and fall every time we eat. As mentioned, the feeding of starch to animals does not cause obesity or diabetes. Rather, it is the development of insulin resistance that is the culprit, and consuming too much fructose is one of the best ways to do this. It is not a surprise that bears like to eat honey to increase their fat stores prior to hibernation. The reason some studies show a relation of high glycemic index with obesity is because sugar has a high glycemic index, but it is the fructose content that is the culprit and not the glucose.

So please inform your reader that one of the key protective measures to prevent obesity is to keep one’s fructose intake to approximately one-third of the current American diet. Eating two or three servings of fruit a day is healthy; but eating excessive sugar or foods with large amounts of high fructose corn syrup is not. And do not forget to exercise. Moderation is the key.

I want to congratulate you on your web site and your crusade against unhealthy foods.

With kind regards,

Richard J. Johnson MD
Professor and Chief
Division of Renal Diseases and Hypertension
University of Colorado Denver

Comments or questions anyone? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • CC

    Interesting research. Not sure it overturns all the other research on the bad effects of over-elevated insulin, but it sure does shed some light on excess fructose.

    Re the comment:

    ” the feeding of starch to animals does not cause obesity ”

    Hm – beef feedlot guys fatten cows with corn. How do we know it’s the fructose instead of, or as well as, the starch and inactivity.

    Did we all see the picture Regina has on how much fructose corn has… I wonder if that is true for field corn and sweet corn both?

    “A picture worth a thousand words”

    http://weightoftheevidence.wordpress.com/2008/09/25/a-picture-worth-1000-words/

  • ethyl d

    Sorry, I’m not buying his theory no matter what Dr. Johnson and his starch-eating mice claim to show. As far as Gary Taubes not being familiar with his work, maybe not, but he sure was familiar with quite a body of international research going back for decades. I have eliminated fructose from my diet, but I know which direction my weight would head if I said, oh well, I guess I can go back to eating my bread and potatoes again, and you can bet it wouldn’t be down. What about Dr. William Davis’ success reversing heart disease with his elimination of wheat as foundational to the treatment? Dr. Johnson is quite right that fructose is not our friend, but it’s just one of many food ingredients we need to avoid to be healthy. One of the problems with Taubes’ research findings is that they turn so many cherished concepts that we just “know” to be true on their heads that it’s hard to get your mind around what he says the research shows without trying to apply pre-conceived notions to it. I don’t think Dr. Johnson has arrived there yet.

  • http://nutritionscienceanalyst.blogspot.com/ David Brown

    Jimmy,

    I’ve been following fructose research (and comments about fructose research) lately and am beginning to suspect that high fructose intake is indeed a major health hazard. Suggest you Google “Kitava Study” and “Peter Havel Fructose” to obtain more information on the matter.

    Dave Brown
    Nutrition Education Project

  • Katy

    Re: Dr. Johnson’s statement:

    “When animals on fructose were switched to a high fat diet, they ate excessive amounts and became fat quickly. In contrast, the animals fed starch could control their intake, ate less food, and gained less weight gain after switching to a high fat diet. Thus one can view fructose as the fire, and high-fat diets and starches as the firewood.”

    Note it says “gained less weight,” not “gained no weight” or “lost weight.” Don’t most doctors who advocate a low carb program warn specifically against cheating because combining fat with either sugar or starches, i.e. carbohydrates, will cause certain and spectacular weight gain? And when Dr. Johnson refers to a high-fat diet, did it also include carbs or was it low carb? And is there a message that a high-fat diet alone will cause weight gain? There’s too many vagueries here. So… it’s ok to eat some fruit, no HFCS, and if we then lower the fat and eat some starch we have a nearly-typical “balanced” diet. No thanks.

  • Mike

    David,

    I would suggest reading Alan Aragon’s reseaerch review. He does a pretty good job of debunking the notion that HFCS has any special effect on fat gain. He cites studies that show no difference while in a caloric deficit. It is only in overfeeding studies (2-4 times average consumption) where problems start to arise. It would appear that the relationship between HFCS and obesity is correlative at this point.

    We do eat too dang much of the stuff, but it is not particularly problematic – at least not according to human trials.

  • Katy

    Dr. Johnson’s argues that, “Insulin levels rise and fall every time we eat. As mentioned, the feeding of starch to animals does not cause obesity or diabetes. Rather, it is the development of insulin resistance that is the culprit, and consuming too much fructose is one of the best ways to do this.”

    Does it not matter how high insulin levels rise? Aren’t the high rises how insulin resistance come about in the first place? If eating potatoes cause a person’s blood sugar to skyrocket along with a corresponding insulin response, and insulin is the fat-storing hormone, how does eating starch NOT cause obesity or diabetes? Is Dr. Johnson talking about people who have never been overweight or have no record of blood sugar issues? Also, the words “one of the best ways” does not mean it’s the only way to develop insulin resistance. As a person who used to have to test blood sugar levels on a daily basis, I can attest to the rise in blood sugar that pasta and potatoes caused (and not in large quantities). I assume that insulin rose as well, but that had no effect on my health or efficient fat storage?

  • http://paynowlivelater.blogspot.com Methuselah – Pay Now Live Later

    Hi Jimmy – great article and thanks for keeping us up to date on this subject, given that it’s at the very core of deciding what is an optimal diet.

    Will you be getting a response from Gary Taubes to these thoughts? I hope that with two authors of integrity like Johnson and Taubes debating this we might have a chance of getting a really informative discussions.

  • Peter Silverman, Ashland, OR

    I’d love to see a podcast with both Johnson and Taubes talking to each other.

  • John Kennedy

    Hi Jimmy,

    I have read your blog and gotten some great info!
    First time commenting.

    I always seem to reach a plateau with low carb despite being careful about food and exercise.
    So am always reading and keeping an eye on new info.

    I dont know where i found this (maybe here) but the hibernation diet recommends Honey before bed.

    Here are some links

    The website
    http://www.hibernationdiet.com/

    click on “principles” and on the right read “95 theses”

    Youtube

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3c1lbfhPLeM

    I then did a search on google for
    Fructose metabolism
    Fructose liver metabolism
    and different combinations.

    NATURAL fructose seems to play an important roll in releasing glucose.

    I believe the HFCS is a major problem.. our bodies dont know how to handle it.. but natural sources
    seem to be important?

    Every other week is something new…… what to eat what not to eat… my head spins : )

    Thanks for your blog!!

  • http://www.low-carb.us Jennifer Eloff

    I think HFCS is only part of the picture. Sure it is not helping, but other factors also contribute to getting obese. It’s not simply only HFCS and not simply only overeating refined carbs – there is more to the puzzle than that. Some people overdo HFCS and refined carbs and don’t get fat. How does one explain that? There are genetic components and something else that is missing in the puzzle of understanding this heartbreaking problem of obesity. It’s probably more complex than we currently understand, but there is no question that overdoing HFCS and refined carbs long term might cause problems in susceptible people and even if it does not cause extra weight, it can cause fatty liver (see Jimmy’s latest National Low-Carb Examiner post) and a host of other problems and diseases due to the chronic inflammation arising in the body. Jimmy also had another post on the Examiner on a study that uncovered a particular substance found in the liver of some people that makes those people more susceptible to becoming overweight when eating a diet too high in carbohydrates. The body is a complex organism and it is to my mind too simplistic to key on one thing and cite that as the cause.

  • Brian

    After reading only the abstract (I don’t have online access), the results of the study showed only one thing: Decreasing elevated levels of uric acid that arise from excess fructose intake reduced the symptoms of hypertension, hyperuricemia (of course), triglycerides and insulin.

    Some other points, the remaining 40% of the diet is not listed in the abstract. Next, for a 200 pound person (not too difficult to find), their dosage of fructose would be nearly 550 grams per day or nearly 20 ounces, or 1.25 pounds. That is a lot of fructose. You would have to drink nearly 30 cokes per day to get that much fructose. Finally, and I’m not up-to-date on this, but aren’t increased levels of glucagon associated with decreasing levels of uric acid?

    So, wouldn’t a low carbohydrate diet keep glucagon elevated and uric acids low? Wouldn’t you expect the results to be the same? I would. Without having met him, I’m betting Gary Taubes would suggest that this study offers very little in the way of answering the carbohydrate hypothesis.

    Just me thinking out loud.

    Brian

  • http://sparkofreason.blogspot.com Dave

    Dr. Johnson is falling into some classic scientific and logical fallacies. First it sounds like he’s placing a lot of weight on mouse studies (pun certainly intended). As noted above, mice do gain weight on high-fat diets, while I know of no studies showing this in humans in the absence of carbohydrate. Second, as others have also noted, he’s rather intent on pinning the blame for wide-ranging metabolic problems on a single cause. I would be very surprised if there were a single cause for metabolic syndrome. There are good fundamental metabolic reasons for believing that metabolic dysfunction could be influenced by a number of causes (fructose, refined starches, grains, vegetable oils, stress, drugs, etc.), many of which are common in modern life.

    Dr. Johnson’s interpretation of Taubes’ conclusions on the effects of insulin seems simplistic. Clearly insulin rises and falls in response to food as well as other stimuli. The body is necessarily dynamic, adjusting lots of “knobs” to maintain a healthy state, and in healthy individuals these adjustments are typically relatively small and highly coordinated. Pushing some parameter outside of the evolutionarily-defined “normal” range almost always causes problems. Imagine taking an insulin shot with every meal. Type I diabetics are well-acquainted with how difficult it is to maintain a healthy state in the face of repeated excess hormonal stimulation. If your food is causing similar abnormal perturbations of hormone levels, you would certainly expect similar effects on health.

    I do believe that a healthy human metabolism is built to tolerate some level of dietary carbohydrates, namely that found in whole fruits and vegetables. The Kitavan study certainly lends credence to this, and I believe there are other examples of hunter-gatherers that necessarily get much of their energy calories from carbohydrate, due to a lack of fat sources (e.g. game animals are smaller and leaner). But the whole food sources of those carbohydrates are nutrient dense, and as Regina’s corn/soda picture nicely illustrates, there can be a huge difference in the quantity and bioavailability of those carbohydrates when comparing whole and refined foods. Their effect on insulin, fat storage, and appetite probably show similar differences. And of course, none of these hunter-gatherers eat significant grains, vegetable oils, or other foods that require industrial refinement. They further obtain important fat soluble vitamins from sources such as seafood or organ meats.

    Low-carbers may also want to consider that metabolic syndrome may not be entirely reversible. This has certainly been my personal experience. A person with a healthy metabolism can probably tolerate more starch, fructose, etc. than can one whose metabolism has been pushed outside the healthy bounds for many years.

    The sort of scientific and logical fallacies that appear to grip Dr. Johnson are unfortunately common in the scientific community. There’s far too much “I think my hypothesis is right, therefore the other guy’s must be wrong”, and not enough critical thinking and searching for more encompassing hypotheses. Conclusions are drawn from a limited scope, so it’s no surprise that we have so many conflicting messages on what is good and bad to eat, as each faction pushes its own limited and at least partially dogmatic viewpoint. But if you step back, strip away the dogma, and look for the commonalities across the available evidence, the binding thread seems to be refined foods. Refinement generally amplifies the bad reduces the good. If you stick with foods that you could (in principle) have picked from a plant or bonked on the head and eaten with minimal processing (e.g. cooking or bashing with a rock), you’ll probably be fine. That’s certainly supported by the evolutionary viewpoint as well a broad view of the current metabolic science.

  • http://n/a Rozi

    I might even consider his theory if I hadn’t gotten to 225 pounds before HFCS was ever known, and sweetners were cane sugar and beet sugar and honey only!

  • http://www.shreveportpersonaltrainer.com Jeff Consiglio

    I think that both Dr. Johnson & Havel are on to something here. I’ve been following this for some time now, and have read Johnson’s book twice.

    I also recently read Dr. Yudkin’s 1972 book about the dangers of sugar recently, in which he describes experiments comparing starch to sugar, and finding that sugar was the problem, rather than starch. Although Yudkin did not appear to realize it was the fructose half of sucrose which was causing the problem.

    This may explain why there’s many cultures are able to thrive on starch based diets WITHOUT becoming fat or diabetic. Because they don’t eat a lot of sugar!

    Having said all that, I would still be very wary of refined carbs. Chronically elevated insulin levels are associated with diminished human growth hormone output and elevated IGF-1. Excessive IGF-1production caused by high insulin levels is associated with increased rates of acne and cancer.

    So while I’m open minded to the idea that metabolic syndrome may be caused primarily by excess fructose from ALL sources – even fruit – I’m not yet convinced that high glycemic carbs are totally harmless.

    By the way, I tried the “Paleolithic diet” for about 4 months with high fruit intake. I felt like crap on that diet! I am 100% convinced it was the high intake of fruit allowed on that diet that was giving me problems.

    I’ve since switched to a mixed diet of whole foods. I eat only low glycemic starches like lentils, beans and sprouted grain bread with very little fruit. And I feel great! At one point I was convinced that my body was “carbohydrate intolerant” – but I now believe it was fructose doing me in, as I am currently thriving on fairly high intake of starch. And getting leaner!

    So perhaps in the future the motto will no longer be “carbs drive insulin drives fat.” But will instead be “fructose drives uric acid drives insulin resistance.”

  • Sarah Evans

    I gain weight if I eat “starches” or any type of sugar in what would be considered a “normal” well balanced diet.

    I have never been a fan of anything other than diet soda since that’s what I had access to as a kid. Mom never allowed regular soda so I never developed a taste for it.

    So it appears at least for me, HFCS has zip to do with my ability to pack on the pounds in the presence of carbohydrates since I didn’t drink regular soda or eat a lot of cookies, etc… that contain HFCS.

    And the idea that high insulin levels are not a problem really flies in the face of everything we know about insulin.

  • Jonny Primal

    Here’s the transcript of a podcast that explains the whole fructose in some detail for anyone interested.

    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/healthreport/stories/2007/2104024.htm

    Unfortunately it doesn’t appear that you can download the podcast anymore.

  • Jonny Primal

    Even if it’s the fructose causing the satiety issue, surely eating plenty of starchy foods is going to mean your body is going to rely on glucose for energy rather than stored fats.

  • Peter Silverman, Ashland, OR

    Often when someone gets a new insight about nutrition they think it’s the whole story. I suspect both Taubes and Johnson are right about what causes obesity, but I doubt that neither Taubes’s view that carbs drive insulin drives fat storage nor HFCS causes weight gain are the whole story.

    If Taubes was right the Japanese would all get fat and heart disease from eating rice all day long. If Johnson is right, it’s hard to see how all those cultures Taubes talks about who suddenly got fat when they started eating western food a hundred years ago, long before HCFS. I think, however both men are bringing us closer to the answers.

    Peter, you’ll be pleased to know I asked Dr. Barry Groves your question about how the Japanese stay so thin despite your claim that they eat rice all day in an interview I conducted with him on Friday. The two-part podcast will air in November. Listen for his surprising answer then. :)

    –Jimmy

  • Jere Krischel

    Wait a tick – beer causes this problem too, but doesn’t have fructose. Sounds like a challenge to the hypothesis. Could he explain the common mechanism between beer and fructose, or could he explain the difference between the two mechanisms that result in the same thing?

  • lynn

    Actually I can totally see his point. I believe unrefined starch is not the problem for a lot of people. A lot of our grandparents grew up on meat and potatoes and they did fine.

    Personally I can eat potatoes and other starchy veg and no weight gain or cravings. Before I became hypothyroid I was able to lose and maintain my weight etaing one small potato most days. However bread and sugar packed on the pounds then as they do today.

  • http://www.shreveportpersonaltrainer.com Jeff Consiglio

    Here’s a link to an Australian health news interview with a Dr. Robert Lustig that ties in very nicely with this topic. He discusses his research on fructose, leptin and insulin. He also discusses the Atkins diet, glycemic index/load and more. Very, very interesting stuff. I think Dr. Lusting would make a great guest for one of your future podcasts Jimmy.

    I’ll look into getting Dr. Lustig on my podcast…THANKS Jeff!

    –Jimmy

  • http://www.shreveportpersonaltrainer.com Jeff Consiglio

    Oops, I must be brain dead today! I forgot to give the link to the interview transcript with Dr. Lustig. Here it is.

    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/healthreport/stories/2007/2104024.htm

    Sounds like you’re eating too much fructose and it’s frying your brain! LOL! Sorry…that was set up TOO well for me.

    –Jimmy

  • Dan (aka Renegadediabetic)

    If he’s just relying on animal studies, I don’t see how he can definitely conclude that it’s true for humans. When I was grosly overweight, I ate a lot of starch, along with “healthy, complex carbs,” and tried to limit sugar. I still suffered from insatiable cravings. It may be true for some people, but for me, starch is a big a culprit as fructose or other sugar.

  • Waverly Marsh

    What some people are forgetting is that sucrose (table sugar)is 50% glucose and 50% fructose. (HFCS is 45% glucose and 55% fructose)…so the slight difference is almost a wash (5% is neglible out of 50%).

    Here is the real rub…..any fructose not from a natural (and raw) source that excedes about 15-20 grams a day will lead to metabolic syndrom, high triglycerides and diabetes……the more fructose component….the faster this process happens. Notice how kids now are getting type II diabetes (??).

    Also…the human body needs Omega 3 (6 and 9) acids which have been taken out of most of our food supply because prepackaged foods are designed to have long shelf lives (the omega fatty acids break down quickly).

    Therefore, our High Carb, Low Fat, Low fiber, High Fructose diets are what are leading to our obesity,diabetes, and heart disease epidemics.

    It all happened under Nixon ( go to Youtube and put in Sugar the bitter truth Dr Lustig)

    • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

      You are exactly right, Waverly, and the education Dr. Robert Lustig has provided on this issue is incredible. However, he’s no fan of low-carb diets and will be explaining why on the July 5, 2010 edition of my “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show” podcast. DON’T MISS IT!

  • Daniel Sadler

    I have a theory about who is right. I believe that different people from different genetic backgrounds have different responses to carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. I believe that Indian and Pakistanis, and other like peoples do better on vegetarian type diets. African natives do better on low carb/high fat diets.
    Most orientals do better on high/carbohydrate lower fat diets. Irish do well by eating potatoes, because their societies have eaten them for over a thousand years, Italians can handle carbs like pastas, and they can handle wine because of centuries of consumption. We also know that Native Americans do not handle western diets or alcohol well, due to the incredible obesity this population has acquired since adopting modern western diets and habits.
    Evolutionarily speaking, in my politically incorrect opinion, it doesn’t take too long for human populations to adapt to the diets available, religious diets, etc.
    There is no really correct answer of who is right, but the idea that fructose is the problem is genetically correct in my mind because the consumption of great amounts of extracted fructose in the world, especially America, is something of a nutrition experiment that humans has never seen until now.
    Taubes studies seem to suggest a connection between carbohydrates and obesity, with lots of circumstantial evidence; Dr. Johnson suggests strongly the connection between fructose and poor health an obesity.
    They probably both are on the right track, and partially correct; with their research leading to a possible consensus.
    However, I believe we should take into account genetic differences between humans.

    • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

      I agree genetically speaking we are all different and can metabolize carbohydrates in various ways. But to dismiss starchy carbs as a culprit in obesity and chronic disease as Dr. Richard Johnson and Dr. Robert Lustig have been doing is ignoring this fact.

  • Bruno Rosa

    Hello there,
    How can I contact Dr Richard Johnson? I would really like to have his email adress, if any of guys guys have it.
    Thank you

    • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

      Bruno, if you Google his name you’ll find it.

  • Guy Giard

    Hello Jimmy

    I am totally into John Yudkin book’s now, he’s a real pionneer in the 70′s, and sadly his books are hard to come by.

    With this in mind I tend to agree with Johnson’s focus on fructose, and taking away the pressures on bad carbs=starch. Also since fructose in fruits in average consumption makes sense, then potatoes and rice also moderate would be fine….

    So I’m more open to roots and rice now, and after having banned regular dairy (raw being illegal in Canada, dang), soy products, I’m now banning any sweetener in our home. (I’m keeping honey and maple syrup in case of emergency, for my wife….)

    I’m still suspiscious on gluten and other anti nutrient that damage the intestin’s walls…so I’m progressing slowly.

    Anyhow, everyone read John Yudkin’s books, they are worth there weight in gold!!!!!

    Paleo Guy ;-))
    http://guythehealthypaleoguy.wordpress.com/