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Biochemistry

Biochemistry

Is sugar toxic?

I remember one of my mentors in surgical residency made a very important distinction for me.  He said, “Peter, never forget what you are getting paid to do, and what you are doing for free.”  You see, there are some aspects of being a surgeon that are not particularly enjoyable.  The hours are long.  Sometimes…

Biochemistry

Is a low fat diet best for weight loss?

I know many of you are awaiting Part II of the mini-series on ketosis, but I’d like to digress briefly to comment on a study published last week, which a number of you have asked about. In this study, by Hooper et al., titled Effect of reducing total fat intake on bodyweight: systematic review and…

Biochemistry

Gravity and insulin: the dynamic duo

Last week I wrote about how carbohydrates are effectively a performance-enhancing substance, at least for certain performances in certain people.  I received many great questions, including some challenging this suggestion, which really pleases me because it demonstrates folks are thinking about tradeoffs and questioning everything.

Biochemistry

What do anabolic steroids, EPO, and carbohydrates have in common?

Before getting to this week’s post, if anyone didn’t see the 60 Minutes segment on Sunday about the toxicity of sugar, here is a link to it.  I was pleasantly surprised by what they were able to convey with such time constraints.  In addition to the great work by Dr. Lustig, the very short segment…

Biochemistry

Do calories matter?

In a word, yes.  But, technically this is the wrong question.

Biochemistry

Why Weight Watchers is actually a low carb diet

Invariably I get asked the question, “If carbohydrates are so bad, why did [so-and-so] lose weight on the [such-and-such] diet?”, where “such-and-such” diet is not a “low-carb” diet. Obviously, this is an important question and a pretty complex one.

Biochemistry

How can carbohydrate restriction be healthy if it means limiting “natural foods” like fruits and vegetables?

This week I’d like to tackle one of the most important questions that I get asked.  However, before getting to the question, I think it’s worth investing a few minutes to frame this discussion around a theme tightly linked to it — sugar.

Biochemistry

What are the side effects of aspartame, stevia, and other sugar substitutes?

Once you realize how harmful sugar is (by sugar, of course, I mean sucrose and high fructose corn syrup or HFCS, primarily, but also the whole cast of characters out there like cane sugar, beet sugar, dextrose, corn syrup solids, and others that masquerade as sugar), you inevitably want to understand the impact of substituting…

Biochemistry

Irisin: The magic exercise hormone?

On January 11, 2012, an article was published in the NY Times Health blog section titled, “Exercise hormone may fight obesity and diabetes.”  The article reports on a recently published study in the journal Nature, the abstract of which can be found here.

Biochemistry

Sugar 101 – How harmful is sugar?

Any discussion on the culpability of poor nutrition as the cause of our health woes begins with a discussion on sugar.

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