Still Believe ‘A Calorie Is a Calorie’?

Dr Lustig have written an article called Still Believe ‘A Calorie Is a Calorie’? Where he begins with giving 4 reason for why all calories are not created equal. Or rather is not handled by our bodies in the same way. They are as follows:

  1. Fiber. You eat 160 calories in almonds, but you absorb only 130. The fiber in the almonds delays absorption of calories into the bloodstream, delivering those calories to the bacteria in your intestine, which chew them up. Because a calorie is not a calorie.
  2. Protein. When it comes to food, you have to put energy in to get energy out. You have to put twice as much energy in to metabolize protein as you do carbohydrate; this is called the thermic effect of food. So protein wastes more energy in its processing. Plus protein reduces hunger better than carbohydrate. Because a calorie is not a calorie.
  3. Fat. All fats release nine calories per gram when burned. But omega-3 fats are heart-healthy and will save your life, while trans fats clog your arteries, leading to a heart attack. Because a calorie is not a calorie.
  4. Sugar. This is the ”big kahuna” of the ”big lie.” Sugar is not one chemical. It’s two. Glucose is the energy of life. Every cell in every organism on the planet can burn glucose for energy. Glucose is mildly sweet, but not very interesting (think molasses). Fructose is an entirely different animal. Fructose is very sweet, the molecule we seek. Both burn at four calories per gram. If fructose were just like glucose, then sugar or high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) would be just like starch. But fructose is not glucose.Because a calorie is not a calorie.

To this I like also to add the problem of what if one ate 20 kcal to much each day. That is not a hard to do, thinking we should consume about 2000 kcal each day. So it is maybe not even an half mouthful of food to much
So we would do it everyday for 10 years. 20*365*10=73000 kcal. According to what I found is one kg fat about 7000-9000 kcal. To make it easy I just assume it is 7300. So it means that the person would weigh about 10 kg more. How come we are all not either anorexic or grossly overweight? Because a calorie is not a calorie.
To make things worse, studies shows that average American consume 300 kcal more each day compared what they ate in the late 70′s. Of course that explain the higher averal weight. But 300*365=109500. That is 15kg a year. If it all was about calories, should they weigh tons of kg.

Those who know dr Lustig, knows that for him is it all about the sugar. And in the article does he make the case that:
“Bottom line — only changes in sugar availability explained changes in diabetes prevalence worldwide; nothing else mattered. “

He refers the paper he and others have done The relationship of sugar to population-level diabetes prevalence: an econometric analysis of repeated cross-sectional data
It is an observation study made by someone who thinks sugar is poison. So of course is not conclusive. But for me is it another indication that sugar is one of the driving forces behind the metabolic syndrom.

Diabetes Showing how diabetes increase with increased or decreased sugar consumption over time.


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