Sugar Kills! — Dr. Sanjay Gupta on “60 Minutes”

Kills? — We’re talking heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Finally someone clarifies that ALL added sugar is bad---including honey and maple syrup.

Apparently CBS decided to declare war on the Sugar Industry for April Fool’s this year. And it wasn’t very funny. They had a feature story on both the CBS Sunday Morning as well as their iconic 60 Minutes show in the evening.

I preferred the evening show with Sanjay Gupta over the morning show featuring a partially informed “registered dietitian,” who stated that we should get our sugar only from natural, healthy sources like fruit and yogurt. Not. Here’s how the 60 Minutes segment began:

(CBS News) If you are what you eat, then what does it mean that the average American consumes 130 pounds of sugar a year? Sanjay Gupta reports on new research showing that beyond weight gain, sugar can take a serious toll on your health, worsening conditions ranging from heart disease to cancer. Some physicians go so far as to call sugar a toxin.

Are you “watching what you eat?” When it comes to sugar? You may think you are, but unless you’re religiously checking the “added sugar” on everything you buy, you’re not doing a very good job. Even people who are eating a fairly healthy diet of mostly whole plants are often unaware of the added sugar in almost every packaged food at even the healthiest of grocery stores.

Just last week, I had lunch with a very “food savvy” colleague who was not aware that the soy milk that he puts in his cereal every day has lots of added sugar. A quick check of two brands, Westsoy and Pacific, reveals 10g and 8g respectively in added sugar per serving of soy milk. I have found that it is next to impossible to find unsweetened soy, rice or nut milk in the average grocery. And since there is no Whole Foods nearby, I usually order my unsweetened soy or almond milk in bulk. It’s also next to impossible to find ANY cereals without added sugar? My “old fashioned” oatmeal is one of the rare few?

Do you want to learn how to “really watch what you eat?” You can start by taking our free 4Leaf  Diagnostic Survey. In less than five minutes, you can learn how healthy you are currently eating and how you can easily improve your score. It’s really all very simple—yet that simple message is not being delivered by our medical system. It really all boils down to two words—whole plants.

Meanwhile, back to the 60 Minutes segment. Dr. Robert Lustig of the UCSF Medical Center was the primary expert featured on the show. And Dr. Lustig has been preaching his message for over two years—beginning with his “Sugar, the bitter truth” video on YouTube—which has been seen over two million times. That 90-minute video is provided here for your convenience.

Dr. Robert Lustig, UCSF

The Bottom Line. Controlling added sugar in your diet is simple. It’s the same process as controlling the cholesterol, the fat and the many other toxins in our food supply. It’s a simple matter of maximizing the percent of your calories from whole plants. And, for packaged foods, don’t buy anything with added sugar.

“60 Minutes” segment on SUGAR—with Dr. Sanjay Gupta

Transcript and Video — 60 Minutes on Sugar

One more thing, if you take our 4Leaf Survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to

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J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

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Blogging daily at…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, Board of Directors…

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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9 Responses to Sugar Kills! — Dr. Sanjay Gupta on “60 Minutes”

  1. Katrin says:

    The video was very eye opening and informative. I would have been able to watch the whole thing if he didn’t say ‘K’ after every statement and or after every third sentence. So distracting… After 40 min. that’s all I heard.
    Bottom line…if it grows eat it. Let your body be the lab that breaks food down into useable energy, nutrients and waste. Your body is infinately wise and doesnt have an agenda unlike food scientists who make ‘food like substances’ and market them as ‘healthy food’.
    Shop on the outer perimeter of your local grocery store and remember ‘what you put into your basket, you put into your body’. Read labels for ingredients not calories. Educate yourself on what the ingredients are in your favorite foods. It might surprise you to find things like MSG, sugar, wheat and synthetic chemicals hidden under pseudo names you don’t recognize and if you’re like me, probably can’t even pronounce.
    Keep an active and enqusitive mind when exposed to tv commercials and print advertisements. Ask yourself what they are trying to do…..sell you a product or Sell u an idea about yourself.
    Take time to research and make up your own mind.
    And lastly, watch documentaries about the food market today. They uncover a world advertisers and ‘food industrialists’ do not want you to see or know about. In fact they count on it.

  2. Bill K. says:


    The easiest way to avoid problems of most kinds is to stop shopping anywhere past the produce section of your store. Anything that is processed (Can, Box or Bottle) is likely not all that healthy for you. If you are eating a food that requires soy milk then likely you should not be eating it. (In a perfect world) In reality you can continue to strain your eyes reading the fine print on the food labels and hope that they are accurate. See Jeff Noviks comments on regarding the accuracy of food labels. I know fruits and vegetables are still subject to issues but at least I can still go to a local farm or organic source and avoid most of them.

    I don’t mean to get too religious here but our creator placed food on the Earth in the form that we were meant to eat it. No processing is required. Just pick it from the plant. All other animals do just that.

    Just a thought to take all of the math and worry out of your day!


  3. Your sugar post and Dr. McDougall’s starch info posted on vegsource today — I posted that info on the Atkins book comments site today — kicked the hornets’ nest!

    Go there for the newest posts and your posts are appreciated there, too!
    Now can I spend time of doing income tax reporting? Not as much fun or usefulness!

  4. joeboss says:

    I use Silk Organic Unsweetened Soy Milk which claims only 1 gram of sugar per 8 fl oz serving. I also dilute it 1:1 with filtered water, the result being a “milk product” more akin to the taste of conventional skim milk to me. Using just a 1/2 cup of this formula on my own sugarless “oat bran meal” recipe, yields only 1 carbohydrate (and only 1 fat) calorie from the thinned “milk”. And, obviously, stretches my food dollar a little bit as well.

    Whole Foods Organic Unsweetened Soy, similarly diluted, has been my backup choice when I occasionally find the Silk brand to be out of stock. The Whole Food brand would actually be my top choice, since it’s label claims slightly better nutrition numbers, and being a “store brand”, also costing a little less than the Silk product. But since there are two grocery stores much closer (read less gasoline expenditure) to my home that stock the Silk version, that’s the one that ends up most often in my refrigerator.

  5. huracan says:

    Many supermarkets have “health food sections” where unsweetened almond milk can be found. Diamond Foods (Almond Breeze) and Pacific Foods, as well as others make unsweetened almond milk. Also, talk to your local grocery store manager and let him know you’d like them to stock unsweetened nut milks. Hemp milk is also very good; Tempt and Pacific Foods have unsweetened Hemp milk.

  6. Darcy Phillips says:

    Lets open a whole foods in the “seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut” and spread the word. Cooking lessons, lectures, and a 4Leaf shopping service with delivery!

    • Bill K. says:


      Your comment may have been half joking but in reality there is nothing stopping you-all from opening up a smaller version or mini-Whole Foods. Sounds like you would have at least two customers!


  7. Leo S. says:

    Another excellent video. It is technical in some parts and shows many reactions the body goes through as it tries to metabolize consumed products. See it in sections if you must but do see it all so you don’t miss the parts that explain the damage to your body that can result from sugar ingestion.

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