There is seemingly a dispute between Professor Arnold Ehret´s classic mucusless diet theories, and Robert Lustig´s bitter truths on fructose. This dispute shall be solved!
Thus, this article pose questions accordingly, but offers no answers in the confirmatory. It may well be that I am just ignorant or not sufficiently well-studied on the subject matter, and that the two gentlemen are not at all that mutually exclusive in their claims for a proper diet as I perceive them. And so:
I am currently reading Ehret’s books on a mucusless diet system with great interest. I also have gotten a 2013 confirmation to his claims regarding fasting, by doing a water fast with a total duration of 12+6 days. Here is my blog on that. Subsequently I am aiming at a more mucusless diet.
My diet approach is far from perfect, but perhaps realistic as I seem to be tuning slowly into a new nutrition regime. Doing so, I observe Ehret’s claimed effects in a conformative manner on my own body, even though this must be called a premature conclusion. I also have a theory that the cause of my “rheumatic” type of health troubles as described here are related to excess sugar intake. A question therefore arise as to which type of sugar I could be vulnerable?
Concurrently I have also read about the dangers of fructose, as explained or claimed by Dr. Robert Lustig in e.g. http://authoritynutrition.com/why-is-fructose-bad-for-you/, a 90 minutes lecture on the “bitter truth of sugar”. It is entertaining and informative. Lustig spend a lot of energy into explaining why fructose is a problem for your digestive system. It convinces me.
But since the Ehret mucusless diet is largely fruit based, a follower of this diet system shall to my understanding implicitly eat a lot of fructose, and therefore I am at the moment in a state of confusion as to what is the optimal route for a new and improved health regime. The major question is:
Which one of these gentlemen are correct or more correct, if not both; Professor Arnold Ehret, or Dr. Robert H. Lustig?
Below find two 10-minute speeches by Robert Lustig, quite pedagogic in their explanation on the different effects between sugar’s two main components; glucose (fuel) and fructose (“poison”).
If I got it right, the message simplified is this: The fructose part of sugar is much worse than the glucose part of sugar because fructose can only be metabolized by the liver which thus may go into overload operation, causing overdose of sugar in the blood, again causing increased insulin production. The main task of insulin is to transform fructose into fat. It means you put on weight be eating fructose. Moreover, too high levels of insulin in the blood has the sad effect of preventing the leptin hormone in the blood in reaching the brain. That is really bad news because the brain uses the reception of leptin to conclude that you are no longer hungry. In other words, eating fructose maintains the hunger long after you had more than enough!
What is worrying me a bit with Lustig´s speeches, is the so-far-as-I-have-observed lack of comments regarding health aspects of fresh fruit in this nightmare of a fructose context that he suggests. After all, fruit in various preparations is a major part of peoples lives.
Robert Lustig on fructose
Here is Lustig in episode 2 of many:
Here is episode 3, but the sum info from these two episodes gave me the most:
Robert Lustig on fresh fruits
I was just about to state that I think Robert Lustig should be more clear and explicit regarding fresh fruit, juice, etc. Is it good or not, with its contents of fructose?
Then I found this interview regarding fresh fruits. Good news, but is he 100% honest ?
Other interesting leads to “the truth”
Alternatively, this article claims to have the answer, but it is formed as a claim, not a scientific fact. Maybe they’re nevertheless right in their conclusion that fresh fruit is excluded from the “bad” list. Hope so!
Here is another article that is circling in a possibly relevant clarification to my confusion, and I am quoting from the article:
“Because the fibre in fruit counteracts the noxious effects of the sugar because it slows down metabolism, which is why it’s better to eat your fruit than to drink it. (A glass of orange juice contains more sugar than the equivalent volume of Coke.) The bitter pill of Lustig’s philosophy is sweetened by an agreeably cute humor: “Naturally occurring fructose comes from sugarcane, fruits, some vegetables, and honey. The first three have way more fibre than fructose, and the last is protected by bees.”
But, here is yet another article that doesn’t agree that fiber in fresh fruit counteracts fructose, and thus recommend that daily consumption of fructose is limited to approx 15 gram, corresponding to one apple and one banana per day. This will leave space for approximately another 10 gram of “hidden” fructose stemming from beverages and – as it is claimed – just about any processed food on the table.
Another well written article tries to answer this question: How bad for you is high-fructose corn syrup? It contains a very interesting point of view because it states that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is made by modifying corn syrup, which is containing largely glucose. Thus glucose is converted into fructose by a very cheap-to-produce chemical processing using three enzymes, cheap because the U.S. agriculture industry for many years has supported the growing of corn through government subsidies. Availability is abundant. So, HFCS is artificial and this is why some sources claim this fructose variant is more unhealthy than the “original” fructose found in fresh fruit. The article also assumes that since HFCS is flooding into processed food of all kinds, and contains at least 10% more fructose than table sugar, these 10% could well be the reason for the alarming rise in obesity and diabetes in the population. Note that this article has several parts, so follow the links.
The difference between table sugar and artificial HFCS is an interesting theory, and at least there is one difference noted in yet another article: “The fructose and glucose in table sugar are chemically bonded together, and the body must first digest sugar to break these bonds before the body can absorb the fructose and glucose into the bloodstream. In contrast, the fructose and glucose found in HFCS are merely blended together, which means it doesn’t need to be digested before it is metabolized and absorbed into the bloodstream.“
Saved by the fiber ?
Summing up, it seems the answer and the solution to the dispute is that fresh fruit contains a lot of fiber, and then this fiber counteracts the dreadful effects of fructose because it slows down metabolism thereby preventing too high levels of fructose in the blood, and therefore there is no dispute after all?
In one speech, Lustig gave an understatement that “honey is protected by the bees”, but with the rescuing fiber it should then be acceptable to eat fiber-rich crispbread with honey?
So far I don´t get it 100%, but I shall dig on for “the truth”.
The disagreements on a headline level
– Arnold Ehret’s promotion of mucusless fruit diets and rational fasting as the salvation and remedy for almost all types of illness.
– Robert Lustig’s agitation for the removal of artificially made fructose products (HFCS) in food, and his (kind of) gazing into thin air when commenting natural fructose in fruits.
– Kris Gunnars’ undocumented claim regarding fructose; “It does NOT apply to the natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables.”
– Steven Poole’s explanations that fruit-fiber counteracts those fructose downsides.
– Dr. Mercola’s opinion that the increase in sugar intake is to blame and that this may well be stemming from the extra 10% of fructose in HFCS, compared to table sugar.
– Becky Hand’s refusal to give HFCS the blame for the current obesity wave in the U.S., because the reason is much more complicated.
This is surely not a group of possible experts and/or opinionated laymen that would be said to be in total nutritional consensus. I shall take the liberty to ask them for additional comments, but perhaps not Ehret unless he comes in by channel. Truth shall prevail.
And yet I haven’t even begun to begin to think of artificial sweeteners and how those substances would compete or not in a health perspective. It is a long way to tip-a-rary.
About Steve Jobs diets and the cause of his death
This is a digression, but an interesting one: Steve Jobs, who brought the world many good things, including the iPad for which my FreePad was a forerunner a decade earlier, was already from his student days a believer, practitioner and promoter of Arnold Ehret’s rational fasting schemes. (Of irrelevance here, Jobs probably read those Ehret books using his Lunor glasses).
Probably with a better tint of relevance, this has caused a few opinionated nutrition specialist to analyse whether Jobs diet regime became the cause of his death, or if it was vice versa; that diets actually prolonged his life as he most probably enountered severe toxic chemicals in his early days of Apple hardware component handling.
These articles are an interesting read in this context:
– What caused Steve Jobs death? (For your consideration, this blog contains a lot of nutritive health claims but is lacking in links to references)
– Steve Jobs & food (a chapter down the page)
A response from Ehret specialists
As a preamble to this article, I posed a question on the Arnold Ehret fan page at Facebook. Here is the second answer from the administrator of that page, and I quote it here because there is an interesting article involved:
“Arnold Ehret Also check out arnoldehret.us. This article addresses the prospect of ‘the transition’. This is probably the most misunderstood aspect of Ehret’s work. Although Ehret proposes that humans are a fruitairian species, he does not suggest that people can just go from a diet of pus and mucus to all fruit or radical fasting periods. A long, systematic transition is certainly in order. And Ehret recommends short-term fruit juice fasts (2-3 days) in concert with a mucus-free, and when needed mucuslean, menu. People who have bad experiences with fruit are usually quite constipated or did not transition properly. Fruit is an aggressive dissolver of waste, and if there is a lot of it in a person, they will need to judiciously use it. But, from Ehret’s perspective, fruit MUST be used, as it is the only food that promotes the creation of perfect human blood. Without the simple sugars of fruit, we are in trouble.”