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Sugar: The Bitter Truth

Sugar: The Bitter Truth

If you’ve not yet watched the following video presentation by Robert Lustig, M.D., I highly recommend you put it at the top of your priority viewing list.

I’ve watched it no fewer than a dozen times now and I’ve also shared it with many of my friends and family.

It never fails to astound.

The video is lengthy at nearly 90 minutes, but well worth the time in my opinion.  If you can hook your laptop up to your television, it will make for more comfortable viewing.



Of all the dietary changes I’ve made in the past year, removing sugar has had one of the most profound impacts on my overall health and wellbeing.  In fact, I would rank it second only to the removal of gluten.

I can even feel the difference which is the most impressive thing to me.  Going gluten-free did not make me feel any different than when I was eating a gluten-full diet (even while I was living with undiagnosed celiac disease).  Removing sugar on the other hand, resulted in several stark improvements almost immediately.

Sugar is not an easy habit to break and I was once a die-hard addict (no kidding, I would eat nearly a pound of gummy bears a night).  I don’t know about you, but willpower can only take me so far when I’m making a major, permanent dietary change and I have found that educating myself on how the body works (and the impact certain foods can have on my body) has absolutely been the key to success.

Watching Dr. Lustig’s presentation on the dangers of fructose (outside of that found in whole fruits and vegetables) has become my number one “weapon of mass sugar destruction.”  Now, whenever I begin to experience sugar cravings, I watch this video first.  Whether its the 90 minute delay in not feeding the sugar monster or the information in the video itself that keeps me in check doesn’t really matter.  What matters is that I’m finally doing it. 😀

Have you successfully kicked the sugar kracken to the curb?  If so, what tricks allowed you get through the inevitable sugar cravings (without succumbing to temptation)? 


  1. I am putting this video on the top of my "MUST READ" list. I thought kicking the gluten out to the curb would be challenging, but it's nothing compared to kicking the sugar out. I've begun experimenting with kicking the grains, yeast and sugar out and in the last two weeks, like you Heidi, I cannot believe the difference in how I feel. It's nothing short of amazing!!!! As usual, thank you for all of your fine work!!!!

  2. Heidi, I am watching it right now. But to answer your question. Removing sugar made a HUGE difference (along with refined carbohydrates and gluten). No more brain fog. I felt I needed a nap only 2-3 times a month vs. EVERDAY. And the weight came off … without working out. I'd say that my tip was to remove refined sugar and stock only honey. And that I would use only sparingly and occasionally. I would keep a dark chocolate bar in the pantry that I would break a piece off of … yes it had sugar in it. But just a bit went a long way in satisfying my craving.

    Thanks for posting this video. I may have to repost it on my Get Enriched page : )


    • Great tips Lexie! I break up little pieces of dark chocolate and keep it in my freezer to pull out as needed, a little goes a long way in satisfying those cravings. I still bake with a little agave for my kids because it has a neutral flavor (but it still contains a lot of fructose, so I'm working on that) and I do use honey and maple syrup on occasion too. I also like coconut sugar, which reminds me, I need to find out the fructose content of that one.


  3. Heidi, thanks for linking up this video! I am putting it up at the top of my list, too! I recall you mentioning it before, but forgot about it! Just wanted to say that I have been sharing your blog like crazy lately to lots of people coming to me about information on Celiacs and NCGS. You have some really fantastic posts and are so thorough. You've really helped me find out things that have led to great improvements in my health! I owe you a huge thanks! Can I make you some GF/EF/DF/CF/SugarF/GrainF…. uhhhhh hmmmmm fruit? LOL JK. And I live in OR anyways! But seriously, thank you, thank you and keep it coming! I read everything you write.

    • You're welcome Kristina! And thank you for sharing my blog, I'm glad some of my posts have been helpful for you. I've found that understanding the complexity of gluten sensitivity (both celiac and ncgs) has been one of the top reasons I've been able to overcome my former cheating ways and pull myself out from under the big emotional rock I'd been stuck under for so long. Heck, not only did I learn to love being gluten-free, but I was also able to make many other dietary and lifestyle changes that have absolutely changed the quality of my life, for the better!

      And yes, I'd love some GF/EF/DF/CF/RFF (that's my new one, refined fructose free, LOL!) fruit…green smoothies have actually become my new addiction, pour it in a pretty glass with a little umbrella and savor the infusion of life! 😀


  4. Leslie Payne says

    Heidi, what are the other grains you have eliminated besides those containing gluten? Is this because of the cross reactive food test? Also, what is the leaky gut test? We have been off of gluten for almost 5 years now, but I would like to see if our stomachs have healed. I am learning so much from you and your blog. Thank you so much!!

    • Hi Leslie,

      Going grain-free has been a long process for me and I'm still only 99% there (I still sneak a bite here and there, but never a full serving…it's been an emotional process, just like everything else). I'm not grain-free because I follow a particular lifestyle/dietary plan (like paleo), but rather, it's been the result of slowly discovering that the grains/grasses really seem to seriously affect my sinuses. I never would have been able to make that connection had I not removed all the grains I tested positive for on the Cyrex Labs Cross Reactive test and had my sinus surgery last winter. I was breathing GREAT and had zero sinus congestion until I started adding grains back in my diet. I've theorized that it might have something to do with the fact I also have an IgE Wheat and Corn allergy, plus I'm allergic to over 26 varieties of lawn grass. Sugar cane is also in the grass family and it too makes me feel congested. Maybe it's some sort of IgE cross-reactivity for me, either that or my immune system is still ramped up from having lived with undiagnosed/untreated celiac disease for nearly 30 years.

      Makes me a little miffed that I spent most of my life suffering from severe sinusitis when perhaps it could have been avoided had I only known it was the food causing a lot of the trouble!

      The leaky gut test from Cyrex Labs is Array#2:… we took the test too, but I haven't done my research on it yet. I'm almost finish with my post on the Array 3 so I will do Array 2 afterwards.


  5. caroline dupuy says

    I have been off of gluten, sugar, & yeast for almost 90 days now and I feel better than ever! I have also dropped 30 pounds with diet alone. I do get sugar cravings every now and then & I either have a cup of hot green tea with a little extra stevia or xylitol or I eat apple peels….i have also experimented with my own version of chocolate pudding by mashing a banana and adding melted unsweetened chocolate, unsweetened cocoa powder & a little extra xylitol. It's super rich and sweet and a few spoonfuls does the trick!

  6. The keys to overcoming sugar cravings for me have been to have an actual allergy diagnosis to refined sugar, so I really can't eat it, and fruit. Whenever a sugar craving hits, I reach for the orange or peach, not candy. It satisfies and is a healthy way of dealing with the cravings. It also helps to eat more than just the fruit, as for me, sugar cravings can mean that my body is lacking in fuel overall (as in an actual drop in blood sugar.)

  7. I'm so inspired by this that I am thinking of trying it myself. I have recently found out both my boys (8 and 10) have Celiac and I have found my way into the gluten free world without too much problem. I do worry a lot about the sugar though. They (we) all love bread and as I search for a gluten free substitute, I am often wondering "what about the nutrition factor and what about the fact that these are still white flours that turn to sugar in our bodies"? I get all excited about finding one that tastes "OK", and then realize it's still not so good for you. Any information anyone has about which flours are less sugary than others etc… would be so helpful. Thanks

  8. I've watched that video twice (in parts, its soooo long for a talk like that!), and it had a major affect on me (love how my link love below goes to chocolate chip granola bars, lol). Anyway, I've cut my sugar intake way back for the most part (including "natural" sugars), though I have days … um, like those brownies last night. But all in all, I'm way down. I've never been a juice or pop drinker, so I suppose I've always been a bit lower than the average.

  9. What a huge wake-up call! I actually took 10 pages of notes! I've read a ton about sugar but this is the most comprehensive and easy to understand overview of sugar metabolism. I love and hate it. I know i have sugar issues and need to kick the habit, including wayyyyy too much wine consumption. B has mentioned that he'd like to do a 3 month alcohol free challenge which he's done before and I told him I'm in. Now I know this has to include ALL sugar not just my beloved Vino.

  10. What a great video. Thank you so much for all your sharing.

  11. sproutsmama says

    I've got this bookmarked to watch as soon as I have a chunk of time to watch, uninterrupted 🙂

    The video may cover this, but… What forms of sugar are typically covered by the umbrella "sugar"? I'm assuming refined sugar, but wondering if that is too restrictive a definition.

  12. Thank you for sharing this Heidi! I'll be posting this video on my blog. Stevia worked for me! Use the white powder and grow the plant in my garden. It's been my number one weapon in getting rid of sugar from my diet!

  13. Heidi, thx for re-posting this in your feed. We are doing low carb as a new year resolution this year, and that includes cutting out the sugar (again!). It is funny how that sweet stuff creeps back in. I've started a Healthy-Family Menu plan and we are going to stick with it all year, updating our Menu a couple of times a season. Our little guy has problems with sugar and he really needs to stay low carb for his health and to help him pay attention at school. We recently made low carb muffins that the kids loved. Check it out when you get a chance. I'll be posting it tomorrow.


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