Friday, September 29, 2023
Mitochondrial Health

Fixing the Problems with Ultra-Processed Foods | Dr. Tim Harlan & Dr. Robert Lustig

Ultra-processed foods harm people’s health and have ramifications for the overall health of the planet. While some food processing is necessary for recipes and feeding the globe, the food industry needs to make changes to ensure that processing doesn’t turn foods into harmful substances. Dr. Tim Harlan and Dr. Rob Lustig discuss the harmful ingredients in ultra-processed foods and how they impact metabolic health—as well as why the food industry has a moral obligation to make drastic changes.

📍What Tim Harlan, MD, & Rob Lustig, MD, discuss:
00:00 — Intro
04:06 — Nutrition science over the last decade has made strides, but the food industry lags behind
06:46 — Food can be medicine, but it can also be poison
11:59 — The NOVA system classifies foods by their level of processing
21:17 — DATEM is an example of processing
22:03 — Emulsifiers potentially harm the gastrointestinal tract
26:50 — Sugar harms the liver, which can lead to metabolic disease
35:08 — In the United States, people tend to consume too much omega-6 fatty acids
41:59 — The food industry can find ways to make ultra-processed foods safer
44:39 — Supply-chain changes are another piece of the equation
45:55 — Multinational companies have a moral obligation


Levels helps you see how food affects your health. With real-time, personalized data gathered through biosensors like continuous glucose monitors (CGM), you learn which diet and lifestyle choices improve your metabolic health so you can live a longer, fuller, healthier life.


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30 thoughts on “Fixing the Problems with Ultra-Processed Foods | Dr. Tim Harlan & Dr. Robert Lustig
  1. Yes “the sky opened up and everyone is interested in food” …..exactly!! Thanks to you Dr Lustig. When will you be acknowledged for your decades long crusade and research work pointing out the perils of processed food and sugar?? You truly deserve a Noble Prize for the impossible mountains you have climbed, impenetrable barriers you have smashed through and the great many lives you have altered…… yes you are a genius!!

  2. Dr Lustig changed my life. I haven't eaten any processed food, used a sweetener, or had so much as a zero carbs soda for months. Not every thing has changed yet. My skin is supple, amazingly so; my inflammation is reduced, I know because my face is clear, also my knees seldom ache.

  3. I love this conversation in the context of what most people will be eating, but this ignores the apparent superb results of the carnivore community. I don't care if people like it or not, but the reality is giving up most or all carbs and eating at least mostly meat certainly is looking like a very healthy way to go and it flies in the face of needing fiber to any great degree. Whatever any literature says, people excelling with little or no fiber should at least beg questions and study. Certainly may find it isn't the best over a lifetime, but we are nowhere close to knowing that yet.

    I still cannot figure out how anyone comes to the conclusion that the body will make sugar just because we don't eat it. It sure looks like the body makes it to both serve our need for it and to limit it, for the very reasons that are talked about with what we add to the body in any way. Where in the world would we, throughout our evolution in the context of an ice age over the last couple million years, find natural sources of carbohydrate to enough of an extent to support any sized population of humans? Maybe I am missing something, but it makes little sense to me.

    I do agree that prepared food is pretty much necessary in modern society today, but that doesn't mean understanding what true basic nutrition actually is for humans would not help immensely in deciding how to do that. If that turns out to be mostly meat, then we should act accordingly. If not, fine, but why discount it completely when we simply do not know?

  4. re opening statement on ice cream. The Ninja Creamie as a device allows you to make sugar free, high protein ingredients into incredible confections with great mouth feel and taste and minimal fuss. Not all modern solutions are problematic.

  5. Food as Medicine is, eh-hem, not a new concept. It is an ancient concept. In some ways we are not learning new things about nutrition. We are learning old things about nutrition. We relabel it "multicropping" "rewilding" "organic", but 200 years ago that was just "food".

  6. When kids go to school they all take English and Math. I think there should be MANDATORY nutrition classes each year. Most kids and adults have no idea on how food impacts them. These podcasts are GREAT BUT 99% of the people watching are already educated in health. I just watched a video on an anorexic girl and she is eating really bad food to gain weight.

  7. Love Lustig, he changed my life.

    As for Dr. Harlan, its hard to believe he seriously wants to somehow make processed food to his specifications–, but this time, process it a different way. Sort of like saying "aww the processed food boys or okay, give them another try. "

    Well fine, have them do so –see what happens,

    If anyone on earth should know better how devious the processed food folks are — it's Dr. Lustig. He has been screaming this from the rooftop for years.

    So it's surprising he nods his head either mandating they process it better, or maybe start your own business doing so — the "how to" of all this is vague, but may sound spiffy. It's rather silly, by the way to believe the very people who spent years and millions of dollars to screw up our food and tell everyone it's healthy — are the people Dr. Harlan has this sweet valentine card, so to speak, for them

    I thought our food should NOT be processed any more than necessary, and should be chosen to avoid raising our uric acid, and avoid harming our liver and kidneys.

    On other videos, Dr Lustig wisely posited a VEGAN — pescatarian — diet is the way to go. He is careful how he says that — because so many doctors seem to be smug and hateful against "vegans". But Lustig apparently learned the value of vegan //pescatarian approach. There are some very promising supplements which Dr. Perlmutter discusses to help the uric acid, which I am now using.

  8. This guy is talking about healthier corn flakes….. processed food should be a treat, a rare indulgence… processed will never beat whole foods, you'll get a lot more bang for your buck switching to whole vs. trying to find healthier processed…. healthier oreos is better than current oreos, but the secret to health is to eat oreos as few times as possible… I can get behind better cheat foods to a degree, but if you still have any plan that includes people eating like 60% of their diet as processed food, you're missing the plot…. maybe we can't feed the world with real food, a true tragedy if that's the case…. I think people as much as possible should try to cut out processed food entirely instead of playing these games of pick the healthiest posion….

  9. Id say removing goverment subsidies on grains would be a great start… if corn isnt artifically held up maybe corn syrup wont be so plentiful… maybe farms would grow veggies, squash, or livestock
    … actual food

  10. Reforming processed foods is unrealistic. It is hanging on to a business model that hurt us. The best way is to continue educating people about the value of eliminating the things that make us sick. As the science progresses and evidence accumulates that health or sickness depends on the quality of our food, more consumers and experts will get on board. The culture will shift.

  11. For God's sake, what about the taste of sweet itself, this claimed to be the last path to experience essence to leave us through life? Reduce one the intake of concentrated fructose, the ability to taste sweet is extended by a rate that may not even in any way be imagined by any sugar cups the likes of anything that I used to be. I kid you not: Strawberries with non-sweatened cream is to me now often experienced as too sweat for my liking. I could perhaps be too full up for enjoying desert after my intake of dinner, as now no doubt fat adopted, but still, the taste of sweat is not at all due only to the berries possibly being now much sweater then before, wich is eventually well in line with the presumption "the sweeter the better". Sadly enough, one may possibly not have included nutrition in general with the equations eventually being brought to actuality before even the berries themselves became too sweet for some's liking. Much love for the great work by you guys, anyway!

  12. some good reasons to try allulose…besides sugar the worst ingredient in ice cream is low fat, pasteurized milk from casein A1 cows…good dangers of fructose at 29:29…👺

  13. The food industry needs to take the sugar out and put the fat/fiber back in. It would help if sugar was taxed instead of subsidizing.

  14. Wow. My eyes are opened. Thank you for the good start to better eating. Added sugar is a bane to humanity. Fructose is the fentanyl of food yet gives a slow & sad end to those addicted to it. Thank you for all you do to help my food choice dicernments

  15. 0:08 ( simple Ice cream type replacement) place a pot of cottage cheese 300 grams as purchased into the freezer compartment 2 hours before you want to consume it.

    I do not freeze it for longer.

    It comes out of the pot really well, almost as one piece and because it is slightly frozen it creams up very nicely.

    What you add to it, is up to you.

  16. I don't agree that we should cut back on eating land animals at all. More attention needs to be paid to regenerative farming instead of the huge farming operations that produce the wheat, corn, soy and rapeseed that is subsidized by the government to make all the junk we find in our food. The nasty glyphosphates need to too. You go after the sucralose, which you only need a tiny amount of to make something sweet. I would rather risk what happens with a little bit of sucralose than as a diabetic eat lots of food made with rice, whole wheat, etc. because it is high in fiber. I think collagen feeds the gut as good as fiber. Not everyone does well on fiber. I have friends and family that eat a lot of fiber and they are sick and constipated all the time. Carnivores are eating land animals and dairy and eggs and are healing their bodies from autoimmune disorders. I think cutting any kind of sugars, fruit included and many vegetables can actually be healing. I do like allulose, but it isn't very sweet.

  17. My daughter feeds her autistic daughter all the pop tarts, packaged sweet cakes, grilled cheese sandwiches on white fluffy bread a lot. The child is addicted to this type of food. My daughter does try to get her to try things and she is doing better, but I think there needs to be more education about food in the schools and it shouldn't be lead by the plant-based extremists because the healthiest most nutritious food people can eat is meat and seafood and all animal products. My daughter would rather her child is happy and the doctor she takes her to, put her child on respiradone to control her meltdowns and behavioral issues. It is sad, so very sad.

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