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"Sugar and Trans fats are not part of a healthy diet"

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  • "Sugar and Trans fats are not part of a healthy diet"

    Hello!

    I've been following Barbell Medicine for a while now and love how much nuance and thought you guys put into every response. I recently started posting on TikTok because I saw a good opportunity to help people and debunk misinformation.

    I responded to a video promoting "clean eating" which dichotomized foods as "good" or "bad" by saying that it isn't productive or realistic to do so. I received a very long winded response from someone who claims to be a medical resident, basically saying that "any biochemist will tell you that sugar and trans fats are inherently bad and shouldn't ever be consumed." He went on to say that sugar is a toxin to the liver, comparing it to alcohol (citing Robert Lustig MD), and that I "was thinking unscientifically to fit my 'woke narrative'."

    He cited an epidemiological study showing higher rates in all cause mortality in those who consumed sugar sweetened beverages (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutriti...sugary-drinks) so of course I responded by saying that we have to consider recall bias and confirmation bias when looking at correlations like this. He went on to say that I "was a danger to public health" and I "rejected science." He then said that he "doesn't like to flash his credentials, but he researched at Harvard" (which seems like an appeal to authority to me).

    I never advocated that we should regularly include sugar and trans fats, I simply stated that they were harmless in the context of an overall balanced diet and lifestyle. Furthermore, since health is biopsychosocial, one small component of your diet will not automatically make you unhealthy.

    My question for you all is: am I really rejecting the science as he says? In other words, are either sugar or trans fats inherently dangerous, or is this another case of "the dose makes the poison?"
    Last edited by binglis_trains; 05-27-2020, 04:06 PM.

  • #2
    I don't know the science, but I just googled "meta-study on effects of sugar" and the first result was the meta study linked below which examined 38 case studies. Some of its conclusions agree with your take. Here are some direct quotes from the summary section of the paper.... " totality of the highest quality evidence from controlled feeding trials, we demonstrate that fructose-containing sugars can lead to weight gain, increase in cardiometabolic risk factors and disease only if it provides the excess calories" and "In fact, the harmful effect of SSBs is likely driven by a collinearity with an unhealthy lifestyle as SSB drinkers consume more calories, exercise less, smoke more and have a poor dietary pattern."

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5174149/

    Comment


    • binglis_trains
      binglis_trains commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for this! I'll give it a read.

    • binglis_trains
      binglis_trains commented
      Editing a comment
      I think you're right on with the lifestyle factors (eg: exercise less, smote more, poor dietary pattern). I tried to point that out but was rejected on the basis that "sugar is still inflammatory." Since I don't have the biochem knowledge, I cannot dispute that.

  • #3
    I don't think sugar is inherently dangerous. I do think trans fat is inherently dangerous, but I wouldn't bother being super picky.

    I wouldn't bother pursuing some social media argument in order to better the world, but if you enjoy it, have fun. IMO if you really want to debunk misinformation then you should target people who do not have strong views or strong emotional attachment to an idea.

    Comment


    • binglis_trains
      binglis_trains commented
      Editing a comment
      I think that's what I learned from this. I initially went into it hoping to have a productive discussion but ultimately it devolved to the point where the other person would just ask me questions then find some fault in my answer, or outright reject my answer.
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