Our grazing ancestors, Lustig asserts, ate an estimated 100 to 300 grams of fiber per day. Modern humans get about 12 grams. That's because our food source is overwhelmingly refined and processed.
The problem is that while fiber consumption has dropped, intake of sucrose has gone up. In nature, high-fructose foods come in high-fiber packages: for instance, an apple has about 23 grams of fructose (more than a can of ginger ale), but it also has 4 grams of fiber (soda has none). Sugar cane itself is extremely fibrous.
(More on TIME.com:Why We Crave French Fries)
So why do we need fiber with our sugar? Two essential reasons:
— Fiber slows the absorption of sugar in the gut, which limits the spikes and crashes in blood sugar that can negatively affect appetite and may over time increase a person's risk of metabolic syndrome.
— Fiber speeds the feeling of fullness reducing the risk of overeating.
A surefire way to reduce your sugar consumption and spikes in blood sugar and insulin is to increase your fiber intake. That means more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which nutrition experts agree are lacking in the average diet. "Fast food is fiberless food," Lustig said.
Next:Baby Formula and Sugar
In case you haven’t seen it yet, there’s a video on YouTube of a lecture called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” delivered by Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco. The lecture, which runs some 90 minutes and delves into the details of the professor’s clinical observations and research, has been viewed more than a million times to date, and inspired the April 17 New York Times Magazine cover story headlined “Is Sugar Toxic?” We watched it, so you didn’t have to.