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Dr. Robert Lustig: How Sugar & Processed Foods Impact Your Health

Huberman Lab

Scicomm Media

Science, Life Sciences, Health & Fitness

4.923.3K Ratings

🗓️ 18 December 2023

⏱️ 209 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


In this episode, my guest is Dr. Robert Lustig, M.D., neuroendocrinologist, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and a bestselling author on nutrition and metabolic health. We address the “calories in- calories out” (CICO) model of metabolism and weight regulation and how specific macronutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrates), fiber and sugar can modify the CICO equation. We cover how different types of sugars, specifically fructose, a sugar found in liquids, taste intensity, and other factors impact insulin levels, liver, kidney, and metabolic health. We also explore how fructose in non-fruit sources can be addictive (acting similarly to drugs of abuse) and how sugar alters brain circuits related to food cravings and satisfaction. We discuss the role of sugar in childhood and adult obesity, gut health and disease and mental health. We also discuss how the food industry uses refined sugars to create pseudo foods and what these do to the brain and body. This episode is replete with actionable information about sugar and metabolism, weight control, brain health and body composition. It ought to be of interest to anyone seeking to understand how specific food choices impact the immediate and long-term health of the brain and body. For show notes, including referenced articles and additional resources, please visit hubermanlab.com. Thank you to our sponsors AG1: https://drinkag1.com/huberman Eight Sleep: https://eightsleep.com/huberman Levels: https://levels.link/huberman LMNT: https://drinklmnt.com/huberman AeroPress: https://aeropress.com/huberman Momentous: https://livemomentous.com/huberman Timestamps (00:00:00) Dr. Robert Lustig (00:02:02) Sponsors: Eight Sleep, Levels & Aero Press (00:06:41) Calories, Fiber (00:12:15) Calories, Protein & Fat, Trans Fats (00:18:23) Carbohydrate Calories, Glucose vs. Fructose, Fruit, Processed Foods (00:26:43) Fructose, Mitochondria & Metabolic Health (00:31:54) Trans Fats; Food Industry & Language (00:35:33) Sponsor: AG1 (00:37:04) Glucose, Insulin, Muscle (00:42:31) Insulin & Cell Growth vs. Burn; Oxygen & Cell Growth, Cancer (00:51:14) Glucose vs. Fructose, Uric Acid; “Leaky Gut” & Inflammation (01:00:51) Supporting the Gut Microbiome, Fasting (01:04:13) Highly Processed Foods, Sugars; “Price Elasticity” & Food Industry (01:10:28) Sponsor: LMNT (01:11:51) Processed Foods & Added Sugars (01:14:19) Sugars, High-Fructose Corn Syrup (01:18:16) Food Industry & Added Sugar, Personal Responsibility, Public Health (01:30:04) Obesity, Diabetes, “Hidden” Sugars (01:34:57) Diet, Insulin & Sugars (01:38:20) Tools: NOVA Food Classification; Perfact Recommendations (01:43:46) Meat & Metabolic Health, Eggs, Fish (01:46:44) Sources of Omega-3s; Vitamin C & Vitamin D (01:52:37) Tool: Reduce Inflammation; Sugars, Cortisol & Stress (01:59:12) Food Industry, Big Pharma & Government; Statins (02:06:55) Public Health Shifts, Rebellion, Sugar Tax, Hidden Sugars (02:12:58) Real Food Movement, Public School Lunches & Processed Foods (02:18:25) 3 Fat Types & Metabolic Health; Sugar, Alcohol & Stress (02:26:40) Artificial & Non-Caloric Sweeteners, Insulin & Weight Gain (02:34:32) Re-Engineering Ultra-Processed Food (02:38:45) Sugar & Addiction, Caffeine (02:45:18) GLP-1, Semaglutide (Ozempic, Wegovy, Tirzepatide), Risks; Big Pharma (02:57:390 Obesity & Sugar Addiction; Brain Re-Mapping, Insulin & Leptin Resistance (03:03:31) Fructose & Addiction, Personal Responsibility & Tobacco (03:07:27) Food Choices: Fruit, Rice, Tomato Sauce, Bread, Meats, Fermented Foods (03:12:54) Intermittent Fasting, Diet Soda, Food Combinations, Fiber, Food Labels (03:19:14) Improving Health, Advocacy, School Lunches, Hidden Sugars (03:26:55) Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, YouTube Feedback, Sponsors, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter Disclaimer

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Welcome to the Huberman Lab Podcast, where we discuss science and science-based tools for everyday life.


I'm Andrew Huberman and I'm a professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at Stanford School of Medicine.


My guest today is Dr Robert Lustig.


Dr Robert Lustig is an endocrinologist, that is he's a specialist in the function of


hormones in the body body and a professor of


pediatric endocrinology at the University of California San Francisco.


He has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed studies exploring how different types of


nutrients that is food, impact our cellular functioning, our organ functioning, and thereby our health.


During today's discussion, we discuss the idea of whether or not a calorie is indeed a calorie and whether or not our body weight and body composition


only reflects the number of calories we eat versus the calories that we burn. We talk about how different food types, that is how the


different macronutrients, protein fat, and carbohydrates are processed in the


body and the important role that fiber and the gut microbiome plays in that


process and we pay particular


attention to the topic of how different types of sugars and


fructose in particular can indeed be addictive to the brain and can


modify the way that hormones in the body, in particular insulin, impact our liver health, kidney health, and indeed the health of all of our cells and organs.


Indeed, Dr. Lustig is an expert in how sugar impacts the brain and body.


We talk about how certain types of sugars can indeed be addictive in the same way that certain


drugs of abuse and behaviors can become addictive.


So in other words, how sugar actually changes the way that the brain works.


And we discuss how the food industry, that is the commodization and sale of particular types of food,


has altered the way that we eat and indeed the foods that we crave.


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