Guest Episode
December 18, 2023

Dr. Robert Lustig: How Sugar & Processed Foods Impact Your Health

Listen or watch on your favorite platforms

In this episode, my guest is Dr. Robert Lustig, M.D., neuroendocrinologist, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and a bestselling author on nutrition and metabolic health. We address the “calories in- calories out” (CICO) model of metabolism and weight regulation and how specific macronutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrates), fiber and sugar can modify the CICO equation. We cover how different types of sugars, specifically fructose, sugars found in liquid form, taste intensity, and other factors impact insulin levels, liver, kidney, and metabolic health. We also explore how fructose in non-fruit sources can be addictive (acting similarly to drugs of abuse) and how sugar alters brain circuits related to food cravings and satisfaction. We discuss the role of sugar in childhood and adult obesity, gut health and disease and mental health. We also discuss how the food industry uses refined sugars to create pseudo foods and what these do to the brain and body. This episode is replete with actionable information about sugar and metabolism, weight control, brain health and body composition. It ought to be of interest to anyone seeking to understand how specific food choices impact the immediate and long-term health of the brain and body.

Journal Articles

Articles & Other Resources

Huberman Lab Episodes Mentioned

About this Guest

Dr. Robert Lustig

Robert Lustig, M.D., is a neuroendocrinologist, professor of pediatrics at the University of California,San Francisco (UCSF) and a bestselling author on nutrition and metabolic health.

  • 00:00:00 Dr. Robert Lustig
  • 00:02:02 Sponsors: Eight Sleep, Levels & AeroPress
  • 00:06:41 Calories, Fiber
  • 00:12:15 Calories, Protein & Fat, Trans Fats
  • 00:18:23 Carbohydrate Calories, Glucose vs. Fructose, Fruit, Processed Foods
  • 00:26:43 Fructose, Mitochondria & Metabolic Health
  • 00:31:54 Trans Fats; Food Industry & Language
  • 00:35:33 Sponsor: AG1
  • 00:37:04 Glucose, Insulin, Muscle
  • 00:42:31 Insulin & Cell Growth vs. Burn; Oxygen & Cell Growth, Cancer
  • 00:51:14 Glucose vs. Fructose, Uric Acid; “Leaky Gut” & Inflammation
  • 01:00:51 Supporting the Gut Microbiome, Fasting
  • 01:04:13 Highly Processed Foods, Sugars; “Price Elasticity” & Food Industry
  • 01:10:28 Sponsor: LMNT
  • 01:11:51 Processed Foods & Added Sugars
  • 01:14:19 Sugars, High-Fructose Corn Syrup
  • 01:18:16 Food Industry & Added Sugar, Personal Responsibility, Public Health
  • 01:30:04 Obesity, Diabetes, “Hidden” Sugars
  • 01:34:57 Diet, Insulin & Sugars
  • 01:38:20 Tools: NOVA Food Classification; Perfact Recommendations
  • 01:43:46 Meat & Metabolic Health, Eggs, Fish
  • 01:46:44 Sources of Omega-3s; Vitamin C & Vitamin D
  • 01:52:37 Tool: Reduce Inflammation; Sugars, Cortisol & Stress
  • 01:59:12 Food Industry, Big Pharma & Government; Statins
  • 02:06:55 Public Health Shifts, Rebellion, Sugar Tax, Hidden Sugars
  • 02:12:58 Real Food Movement, Public School Lunches & Processed Foods
  • 02:18:25 3 Fat Types & Metabolic Health; Sugar, Alcohol & Stress
  • 02:26:40 Artificial & Non-Caloric Sweeteners, Insulin & Weight Gain
  • 02:34:32 Re-Engineering Ultra-Processed Food
  • 02:38:45 Sugar & Addiction, Caffeine
  • 02:45:18 GLP-1, Semaglutide (Ozempic, Wegovy, Tirzepatide), Risks; Big Pharma
  • 02:57:39 Obesity & Sugar Addiction; Brain Re-Mapping, Insulin & Leptin Resistance
  • 03:03:31 Fructose & Addiction, Personal Responsibility & Tobacco
  • 03:07:27 Food Choices: Fruit, Rice, Tomato Sauce, Bread, Meats, Fermented Foods
  • 03:12:54 Intermittent Fasting, Diet Soda, Food Combinations, Fiber, Food Labels
  • 03:19:14 Improving Health, Advocacy, School Lunches, Hidden Sugars
  • 03:26:55 Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, YouTube Feedback, Sponsors, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter

Become a Huberman Lab Premium member to access full episode transcripts & more

Members also get to submit questions for AMA episodes, plus access to exclusive bonus content. A significant portion of proceeds are donated to fund human scientific research.

Become a Member

or sign in to view this Transcript

No items found.

Join 500,000+ subscribers to get regular emails on neuroscience, health, and science-related tools from Dr. Andrew Huberman.

You'll also get Andrew's exclusive Daily Blueprint. In it, Andrew shares his daily routine. He also shares practical tools and protocols that you can use to stay productive and maximize your health.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

By submitting your email to subscribe, you agree to Scicomm Media's Privacy Policy