#330 The Fat Switch Breast Cancer and Fructose - Not All Calories Are Created Equal

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When it comes to choosing the right foods after breast cancer, there are lots of options.

In fact, there are so many options that it can be overwhelming and confusing to decide what’s best for you.

But on the other side of that coin is the fact that there are certain things you should not eat.

These are highly processed foods that have ingredients in them that you won’t find in nature and that not only don’t support your health but also change the way your body uses the energy from food, and not in a good way.

If you’re the kind of person who wants to understand the why behind the statement, “That’s not good for you,”

Then you don’t want to miss this episode.

You’ll get an understanding of what high-fructose corn syrup is, how many foods it’s in, and how it undermines your health and your metabolism.

If you find yourself struggling to maintain a healthy weight, this might help you understand why.


Referred to in this Episode:

Work with Laura

Why can’t I stop eating That? The Struggle with Hyperpalatable foods.

Nearly Half of Americans Drink Soda Daily

A sweet problem: Princeton researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain

Excessive Fructose Consumption May Cause a Leaky Gut, Leading to Fatty Liver Disease

The Metabolic Initiative

Why Sugar And Fructose Are So Deadly with Dr. Richard Johnson

America’s packaged food supply is ultra-processed


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 Read the full transcript below: 

Laura Lummer 0:00
You're listening to better than before breast cancer with the breast cancer recovery coach. I'm your host, Laura Lummer. I'm a certified life coach, and I'm a breast cancer thriver. In this podcast, I will give you the skills and the insights and the tools to move past the emotional and physical trauma of a breast cancer diagnosis. If you're looking for a way to create a life, that's even better than before breast cancer, you've come to the right place. Let's get started. Hey, friends, welcome to episode 340. A better than before breast cancer with me, Laura Lummer, your host, and so excited that you're here with me today, because this is our Tuesday terrain talk. And we're going to talk about something that I just learned a whole lot more about recently. And I have to share it with you because it is mind blowing. And, you know, I consider myself a lifelong learner, I love to learn, in fact, is a debate over time, right? I have 168 hours in a week. And what I want to do with those 168 hours is have a great time, right? I want to have fun, I want to do all the things I love. But I do love learning. And I've even been contemplating lately going back to school for another degree. And it's like this tug, because I so badly want to go do this and accomplish this. And at the same time, I'm so, so protective and just treasure my time. So very much and I know how much work it is to work full time and go to school full time and, and to pursue something that's pretty challenging degree. So you know, I'm not I'm definitely on the fence, probably more on the side of this, stay home and have fun friends. But that being said, I just love to learn. So I'm constantly doing new certifications, watching speeches, going to conferences, things like that. And I have a membership to it's called the metabolic initiative, and it's an education platform. It is a platform that's integrated with the metabolic health summit that's held annually. And that's probably one of the Muno, the gold standard for the metabolic health summits and metabolic health talks. So on this education platform, are lots of videos, courses, things like that, and it's all talking about metabolic health. So I'm watching something the other day, because I don't like it when people say don't do that as bad. I don't eat that as bad for you. That's not going to cut it for me. I want to understand why because sometimes people just have an opinion, and they're just going off their opinion. Sometimes people have a bad reaction to foods and they because it's bad for them. They think it's bad for everybody. So I want to understand why I want to know what is this thing doing inside of my body. And for me, that also helps with my ability to manage my mind around the way I eat. Because we go into this mindset. Or we can go into this mindset of I eat this way. But all of my friends and everybody I know that you like normal people air quotes, if you're listening to this, instead of watching on YouTube, and normal people. So this has really shifted as especially over the last few years, as I've worked on my metabolic health and the metabolic studies that I do. This idea that the general way society eats is the normal way to eat is so backwards. It's the absolute wrong way to eat. And we can see that I think by the reflection of all of the chronic disease that is happening in our society and the astronomical increase in cancer. And especially in the young population is one of the fastest growing populations of increasing with cancer diagnoses. And these are our children are teenagers, our youth. And what is the difference between the way they're raised? And the way I was raised, or my mom or those generations? The difference is the friggin food I ate, right all this processed food, but I want to understand what it is because I now believe when I see people say like, oh, how long are you going to have to eat like that? And I think well how long are you going to choose to eat like that? Right? How long are you going to choose to eat the things on a regular consistent basis not like going out for pizza once in a blue moon But all the time fast food processed food that is not the normal way for a human body to eat. And one of the primary ingredients in the majority of processed food is high fructose corn syrup, or some form of fructose, not the kind of fructose we find in fruit this show is not about fruit and I am going to touch on fruit shortly and help you understand why fruit is not the villain here but the compound okay high fructose corn syrup. And we hear lots of debate about this. You hear it talked about on the news. You hear people say, Oh high fructose corn syrup is so bad for you eat avoided, it's so bad for you. But why? Why is it bad for you? So I came across this talk by Dr. Richard Johnson on the metabolic initiative education platform. And it was on fructose, Dr. Richard Johnson was formerly the chief of the renal division and hypertension University of Colorado. He did that for nine years. He's a doctor, he's trained in internal medicine, infectious disease, nephrology, he's written three books, the sugar, fix the fat switch, and nature wants us to be fat. And he's published over 700 scientific papers. So when this guy talks, I think he's got some credibility, and I want to hear what he has to say. So I'm listening to this talk, and he's speaking about the effects of fructose on us. Now, let me put something into perspective. Because you may think, I don't eat a lot of processed food, or I don't go out to eat that much, maybe you don't have a lot of fast food. But just to get an idea of how much high fructose corn syrup permeates the Western diet. And I talked a little bit about this on a show, I don't even know which episode it was, I'll have to look for it and link it into the show notes here. But it was on hyper palatable foods, and how the insane amount of sugars, salts and different chemicals and flavors that are in them, make our brain work differently than when we eat whole foods. So let's just go back for a second. And I want to share with you for a little bit of background, a foundation to this podcast, this article from 2019 from Northwestern University. So it said that scientists analyzed 230,156 products using this food classification called Novo which actually talked about in that previous episode. And they found that 71% of products available to us as Americans to buy at a grocery store, like bread, salad dressings, snack foods, sweet foods, sugary drinks, that 71% of them, were considered Ultra processed. And among the top 25, manufactured by sales volume 86% of those products were classified as Ultra processed foods. So the top 25 foods sold in America. And this was 2020. So imagine how much that's even evolved more since then. 86% of them are classified as Ultra processed food. And so these foods and beverages play a central role in the development of chronic disease. Okay, just to give you a little bit of more insight in my own home. So my husband and I, we don't eat completely differently. But we eat quite differently. So my husband was raised in the cells on pork and cheese, and the man loves eat nothing but meat where I have always plant forward. And I'm very careful about reading the labels for the things that I eat looking for ingredients if I don't make it myself, if I buy it somewhere, whereas he sees low carb and he grabs it. So after listening to this talk that I'm going to tell you about are a couple of talks and listen to this lecture and then I looked him up and listened and read a lot more of his studies. After doing this, I thought I'm gonna go look at my husband's food. Let's go see how much high fructose corn syrup is in Vons.

Laura Lummer 8:39
It's even in his pickles because Vlasic Pickles first ingredient, high fructose corn syrup. What the hell and you didn't think of pickles like ultra processed food, would you? It's in some of his low carb foods. His low carb bread has high fructose corn syrup in it. There's a container of ice cream in my freezer. That is an unnatural dark color. It's called dark matter I think it is dark dark brown II matter or something like that. It is almost black is pretty much black. And it's ice cream. So what are the ingredients ice cream? Cream sugar eggs? Right? I mean is it much more than that? I think that's about it. Maybe some water i don't know i haven't made ice cream really. But that's really all it takes this ice cream container I cannot even tell you I can't honestly can't tell you how many ingredients are in it because I lost count. The ingredient label has to be six inches long of microscopic text of all the fructose as you could possibly imagine all the kinds of variations of corn syrups you can imagine and every other chemical to make it this hideous black color. He loves this stuff. It's one of his favorite ice creams. And I mean I don't think we think of ice cream is like the worst kind of food right if you're gonna have ice cream retreat, and it's made with cream and eggs and a little bit of real sugar. I mean gallon, then that doesn't sound like a bad thing. But when you pick up a container of ice cream, and it's like freaking toxic waste, what in the world are we doing? So looking at labels is really important. And, you know, I don't believe in telling other adults what they should or shouldn't do. But I encourage my husband all the time, honey, please don't put that and I cannot tell you how bad that is for you. But again, he comes from this tough stock. And he has like no cholesterol problems, he's had his coronary arteries looked at his doctors have told them, you could live to be 200. And you'll never have heart disease because you don't even have the beginning of plaque buildup in your arteries. The point of that being is that I think that high fructose corn syrup is in more products than you may think. I looked through our salad dressings, the salad dressings he uses Usually I make my own salad dressing. But there is one brand that I buy, that's all natural and organic. I looked through the salad dressings, he has high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, all in every single one of them. So we have to really instead just dismiss, when you hear something like this come up and think well, I don't need that kind of stuff. Really look. So unless you're a consistent and dedicated label reader, you might be surprised at how much high fructose corn syrup sneaks into your diet. And if you go out to eat, even if you're going out to eat at nicer restaurants, not fast food places necessarily. You have to be mindful of what ingredients they're using. If you're buying food at a restaurant that isn't organically sourced, or farm to table or something like that. We don't know the ingredients that are in there. And we could definitely be getting a lot of high fructose corn syrup from those sources. If you're someone who goes out to eat at restaurants as well. So we have to ask questions. So let's say that you are of the school of thought as many people are, that it doesn't matter, right weight, and healthy weight and overall health. And I guess we'll focus on when it comes to calories in calories out people think of weight and weight management and weight management. The reason I'm talking about this one, not just because of the fact that I'm going to share with you that this has on our body and the way our body works. That too because we know that body fat is an active tissue. It sends out chemical signals a causes hormone cascades that cause our body to work in a certain way. And it is a high risk factor for breast cancer, especially for any cancer but breast cancer especially, then we go into menopause, we start struggling, we get a little older in life, we get a little less active, we have a little more money, so we eat a little more indulgently, and the weight starts coming on. But there are a lot of women that I work with who say I just don't understand, like I eat a overall healthy diet, I eat what's considered to be good food. And we don't really realize that there's so much more to calories in calories out. hormones play a role in the weight of our bodies. But it's also a matter of the way our body uses specific calories. And I don't think people think of that there are certain compounds in food that are digested in different ways. And I'm going to talk to you about how high fructose corn syrup is digested and the effect that that has. And then our weight is also affected and the way that our food is processed by the health of our gut. So basically, anytime you eat, it's energy, right, you're taking plant energy, or animal energy or chemical energy. And it's got its measured by calories. So calorie is a measurement of energy. And then you put that energy into your body and your body breaks down that energy and changes it into a way that you can use it for energy. And this whole process of metabolism. This whole Krebs cycle is the production of energy in in our human bodies, that energy is called ATP. So in a healthy way of digesting we eat something, our bodies take the energy out of that it goes into ourselves into our little energy factories or mitochondria. And our mitochondria makes ATP. And then the ATP gives us energy to do all the things that we do and we want to do. If we eat too much, if we take in too much energy, then energy is stored in it stored as glycogen in our muscles and a small amount of it in our liver. And it's stored as fat in the rest of our body. And anywhere in our body. Like I can't believe when I lost weight and my jewelry didn't fit anymore in my shoes for different I thought, wow, I have fat in my toes. I had fat in my fingers, right? When you start to think about all the places where a body stores fat is pretty limitless. So we typically think that when we eat something, we're giving our body energy. And then if we eat too much of something, we're just ordering it and we're putting fat on our body. But let's listen to the way Dr. Johnson talks about what happens when we eat foods, processed foods with fructose and high fructose corn syrups in them. So he says that instead of making all the ATP we would normally make, we actually slow the production of ATP in our mitochondria. That's the effect that fructose has on the production of energy in our body. And so instead of taking in the energy from that food and turning it into ATP, that specific compound and food goes directly to being stored as fat. So the mitochondria which are normally making ATP, because of the effect that fructose has on it, those mitochondria get suppressed they undergo they're under oxidative stress. And the suppression of that mitochondria causes them to make less ATP, so less energy for us. So more of the calories that we're eating are going into fat. This is the law of conservation of energy. This is one of the first laws of thermodynamics. And it would be like saying, Okay, here's how much energy so this is the energy that comes from this, half a cup of broccoli, would be the same as saying, here's the how much money I have in my budget. And you get to decide how you're going to spend that money on whatever you want to spend it on. But that's how much money you have. So you've got $100, you can spend it going out to eat, you can spend it paying the electricity bill, but that's what you have $100? Well, when we take in the energy from this head of broccoli, our body says okay, here's the energy that you got, how do I want to use it, am I going to store it am I going to use it as energy for other functions in the metabolism, but that energy is going to get dispersed somehow in your body. So if it's taken in in a form that your body doesn't use to make energy, it's going to get stored, because that's the conservation of energy, we're going to hold on to it. So when we eat foods high in fructose, more fat is being made, and less ATP, less of our energy is being made. So it's actually shunting these calories to fat. And think about tapping is reducing the amount of ATP. When you have lower ATP, what do you have less energy. And so your body's still feeling like it needs energy. And it triggers this biological response that says, Eat more, I don't have enough energy, food is energy. So eat more. And if you choose to eat more foods that are processed, this is a vicious cycle. So no matter how much you eat, you're going to still feel tired, because your body is actually making less energy. So it's the cycle of storing more fat, making less energy. So you can actually feel like oh god, I have all this energy on my body. I have all this extra energy and I eat all this energy all day long, but I feel exhausted. Because it's the type of food you're consuming. That can have an effect on how much energy your body actually makes pretty fascinating. So the deal with fructose, so if you're eating regular table sugar, table sugar is this bound together glucose and fructose, right? That's what makes sucrose your regular table sugar. But when you're eating corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, you've got free fructose. So it's all by itself. And instead of that 5050 bond of glucose and fructose in your table sugar, you can have from 55% to 75% of just solid fructose free fructose, and it's getting absorbed differently inside of your body. So I wanted to share this with you. This stuff is crazy. So I was reading this article published in 2020, by the University of California at San Diego health, and it said that fructose is broken down in the human digestive tract by an enzyme called fructose kinase. Now fruto kinase is produced by the liver and the gut. So they used some mouse models. They did some research with mice, and they found that excessive fructose metabolism in our intestinal cells, reduced the production of proteins that maintained our gut barrier. So the health of our gut remember I said earlier as calories in calories out, but it's also what we're able to absorb the way our body uses those calories and the health of our gut. So this consumption of high fructose corn syrup affected the intestinal cells, reduced protein that supported the gut barrier health, and this is that whole layer of cells, the epithelial cells, then they're covered with mucus and they prevent bacteria and microbial prod Eggs from leaking out of our intestines and into our blood. So this article said this a quote. Thus by deteriorating the barrier and increasing its permeability, its leakiness. Excessive fructose consumption can result in chronic inflammatory conditions called endotoxemia, which has been documented in both experimental animals and pediatric, non alcoholic fatty liver disease patients pediatric, these are children. And we're seeing more and more of this in our world with an A F LD non alcoholic fatty liver disease. A one of the authors in that study went on to say that nfld non alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the world today. And it can progress to more serious conditions like cirrhosis, liver cancer, liver failure, and death. And so when we're eating certain types of food compounds, and our body is just saying, Okay, I'm not going to use this food to make energy, I'm going to use it to store fat, one of the places fat gets stored is in our organs. So we used to hear about cirrhosis from people who had alcoholism, severe drinking habits. But now we're seeing this in so many people and in our children. And this is heartbreaking to me, because I hear so often women who get a breast cancer diagnosis, and they want to do something good for themselves. And they, it's a lot of work, they're going to change their mindset, they're going to change the way they eat change the way they think about food.

Laura Lummer 21:36
But they don't want to change it for their family. They think it's okay if their family keeps eating that way. And little humans are just humans, and they're human bodies are susceptible to the same shit we are as adult humans. So think about this arise in non alcoholic fatty liver disease in children, we can do something about that we can change that. So I found another article by Princeton University and I'll link to all these articles in the show notes, you find that the breast cancer recovery coach.com forward slash 340 Or just scroll down where you're watching or listening to this podcast and you'll see the links there. But this article said and this is a quote, some people have claimed that high fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity. But our results make it clear that this just isn't true. This is a quote from the psychology professor Bart Whoville at Princeton University. He specializes in neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction. So he goes on to say this quote when rats are drinking high fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop. They're becoming obese, every single one across the board. Even when rats are fed a high fat diet, you don't see this. They don't all gain extra weight. Unquote. I think that's something to really chew on and think about for a while. 100% of the rats, the animals fed this in lower doses then found in soda pop. And how much soda pop do Americans consume? According to World population review.com It says that the average American drinks 39.6 gallons. I again believe that of soda every year. It equals about 480 cans of soda in 365 days. Holy mackerel. So you think you have a healthy diet to drink soda?

Laura Lummer 23:51
How much soda Do you drink Think of what happened to these rats 100% of them gained weight when levels lower than what you get in a can of soda reintroduced into their diet. This is really mind blowing stuff. And it's not only having an impact on our weight, but the impact on our weight has an impact on our health. And the way this stuff is metabolized has an impact on our health. So one of the metabolites. One of the things that is the result of consuming and digesting high fructose corn syrup is uric acid. And you may have heard of uric acid because people who have gout have excessive amounts of uric acid and it has a tendency to accumulate in their toes. And it's an excruciating disease, these little crystals and the shape of the crystals of uric acid caused tremendous pain. And it's interesting because I often hear from people I don't understand because my husband doesn't eat a whole lot of meat and people think that comes from organ meat that you get gout from organ meat. And they're saying, you know, my husband is overweight, doesn't eat a lot of meat and he struggled with gout all the time. How much high fructose corn syrup does he consumed? Think about it. But more than that uric acid also causes stress to the mitochondria. What are the mitochondria do they do a lot, but one thing they do is they impact our energy levels. And that causes this production of uric acid causes stress in the mitochondria, and further reduces energy increases the aging process, increases overweight and increases and stimulates hunger. So this stuff, when people say that's bad, this is why they're saying it. So here's an interesting fact. Our bodies make fructose. So you may think, Well, okay, I don't eat processed food, I don't have to worry about it. Well, when we eat glucose consistently, so think about high carbohydrate eating. And this doesn't happen in low carbohydrate, and it's only in the presence of a consistent higher intake of glucose. And it doesn't matter if that glucose is from whole wheat bread or white bread, of course, you're going to get more of a spike from one than the other. But it's the source of glucose. And especially when you consume that glucose with salt, it triggers this biolog biological mechanism where our body changes glucose into fructose. And one of the things that Dr. Johnson talks about in his podcast is how studies show that most people are many, a good portion of people who have obesity or overweight suffer from chronic dehydration. I've talked about this before on the show. Well, one of the things that happens is when we store fat, we store water with that fat, which is why when you go on a low carbohydrate diet, you suddenly have like this whoosh effect, you know, this loss of water because our body gets to let go of that water. So when we have a lot of glucose, whether we're eating processed foods with fructose or not, but you have a lot of glucose in the diet, a lot of carbohydrates in the diet, and especially when consumed with salt, this gets triggered and we start to make fructose and it goes down that same metabolic pathway that I just described, in fact, is really interesting, because in one of the podcasts I listened to, and I'll link to that in the show notes as well, Dr. Johnson talks about an animal study, where they looked at animals who had the ability of making fructose whose bodies could biologically produce fructose, and they looked at and compared those whose bodies couldn't that some animals cannot make fructose. And they found that those animals could make who could make frutos got fat. In those that could not make fructose, even if they ate a diet high in glucose, they did not gain the same amount of fat. And remember when this stuff impacts our gut, and we're getting leaky gut, and we're undermining we're causing that gut dysbiosis that is affecting our brain. And in this talk I was listening to in the metabolic Institute in metabolic initiative, it was fascinating because Dr. Johnson was discussing how this consumption on a consistent basis of consuming fructose, how it affected the brain's ability to focus, and how it caused a hyperactivity in thoughts. And it was interesting because he said, it causes an impulsiveness and, and it causes like these behaviors where you do things without thinking them through. And he relates that to the survival instinct that when animals need to go out and hunt, that their brain turns on this mechanism that says, Don't be intimidated by what you have to go do go out there and fight and hunt and get something so you can eat. So when we have this consistent, like undernourishment of our body, even though you might look at yourself, say, Well, I have extra body fat, so I'm overweight. Well, you can be overweight and undernourished. And the body's going to keep telling you to go out and seek more energy. And it causes this response in our brain that says, Keep going and be impulsive about finding energy so you can see the cycle that can happen. And the good news is that we can reverse that that fructose restriction can reversed damaged mitochondria. And some studies show as early as one month, it can boost the regeneration of new mitochondria. And one of the things that helps that happen even faster is moderate intensity exercise exercises, medicine, do it every day, do what you love, do it doesn't harm you, that move the body and that helps with the restoration of mitochondria. And also fasting. Fasting helps to clear all of the broken dysfunctional things out of our body and restore them and make new better functioning organelles inside of ourselves. So I said earlier that fruit doesn't count and I want to talk about that because people think they have to avoid fruit if they're going to avoid fruit Actos? Well, most of fructose does the damage in the intestines as I talked about. But the intestine also has our intestines have a ability to block up to about five grams of fructose. So when you're eating fruit is going to have fructose in it. But that fructose is also going to be bound to things like fiber and it's going to have water and it's going to have vitamins, it's going to have phytonutrients. And so it isn't the same as what we were discussing with processed foods, the free fructose that is digested differently. So when we're taking it in a little bit at a time with other things that are healthy, and that doesn't mean like Go get your soda and drink your soda and small sips at a time over the course of an hour, an hour and a half long lunch, right, we don't want to do that either. We want to avoid putting these things in even fruit juice because fruit juice is just this, especially when you go to the grocery store. Now that fruit juice is just this fructose without the benefit of the fiber. So fruit itself whole fruit, organic fruit whenever you can, is a different animal than just consuming fructose corn syrup. So if we want to avoid that fat switch, we want to avoid having concentrations of sugar and we want to avoid having high amounts of carbohydrates in the body, but especially high fructose corn syrup, so we can avoid turning on this dysfunctional way of our body metabolizing food and serve ourselves a whole lot better. All right friends, if you need help with that, you know where to find me the breast cancer recovery coach.com You can join the better than before breast cancer program anytime it's always open for you. I'm always here to support you. And I also do private coaching so you can find all the information either through the links where you're listening to or watching this podcast or you can go to my website the breast cancer recovery coach.com and get the support you need. You're not crazy you're not weak. You're not broken. You don't have no willpower. That was a weird way to say that but and food does not only right there are things that are put in our food it changes the way our body and our brain works. But we can reverse that and I want that for you. Alright friends I'll talk to you again soon take care.




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