The case for eliminating sugar. All of it.

"For years, the conventional wisdom about diet has been that we get fat because we eat too many calories. Gary Taubes, the enfant terrible of nutrition writing, has long been making the case that that’s wrong. In his newest book, The Case Against Sugar, he argues that it’s actually the sweet stuff in our food that’s the most probable cause of the parallel obesity and diabetes epidemics today (as well as contributing to heart disease, cancer, stroke, high blood pressure, and even dementia). Sugar, he argues, is making us sick. It’s making us fat. And it’s “very likely” toxic."

"The case for eliminating sugar. All of it." source

"Ideally, Taubes says, we should eliminate sugar from our diets — or at least treat the decision to munch on sweets with the same gravity as smoking or drinking alcohol. (By sugar, he’s mainly focused on the refined crystals and high-fructose corn syrups that sweeten much of our food and drink these days.)

Taubes is no stranger to pushing controversial ideas about nutrition: He has championed the high-fat, low-carb diet — an approach scientists are fervently debating but one that has already had a big impact. (As Michael Pollan put it: "I can't think of another journalist who has had quite as profound an influence on the conversation about nutrition.”) He built his reporting career on being skeptical of the research community, particularly researchers in nutrition science. In 2012, he moved into advocacy by co-founding a nonprofit, the Nutrition Science Initiative, with the aim of supporting high-quality nutrition studies to give us firmer answers to questions like the ones he explores in the book.

But the NuSI work has been more difficult than Taubes anticipated, and he has attracted criticism for what some view as reductionist arguments and cherry-picked science. In his new book, even Taubes acknowledges that his case isn’t ironclad. But he sees sugar as the primary suspect. And “when large numbers of Americans are dying from diet-related diseases, leaps of faith can be justified if the odds seem good that they will save lives,” he writes.

I talked to Taubes about how we got so hooked on sugar, why he chose to single it out in a junk food–filled landscape, and what he’d like to tell policymakers and his critics about his case. Our conversation follows, edited for length and clarity."

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