Olives, Sugar and Dr. Robert Lustig

I can’t remember if I’ve told this story here or not, but, in any case, it’s apropos. When I was 5 years old, I had olives for the first time. Black olives. I absolutely LOVED them. I happily gobbled them up, one by one, out of the can. Then, my 7-year old friend came over to play.

“Shanté,” I asked her, “don’t you just love olives?!”
“Ugh, no. I hate olives!” she responded.
And since she was older and cooler and I wanted her to like me, I hesitated for a moment and spat out,
“Oh…well, I hate olives too.”

And I’ve never been able to stomach them since.

I just finished watching Dr. Lustig’s brilliant talk on how the body metabolizes glucose, ethanol and fructose/sucrose (which, I promise, is a lot more interesting to watch than that description sounds) and I’m hoping that my brain chemistry resets as quickly now as it did 23 years ago.

I wish this was the kind of stuff that was taught in my high school chem class.

Really curious about the ethanol-fructose connection. I don’t drink a lot and the reason I don’t drink a lot is because I am a total lightweight who can get drunk off of one drink. I’ve joked with my friends that if regular people have 500 enzymes for digesting alcohol and people who are allergic have 100, that I have around 150-175. Now conversely, I do love sugar, particularly in baked goods. I wonder if that’s a typical dichotomy: that people tend to like alcohol or sugar, one more than the other. 
Maybe it’s just me.
But, if they are metabolized in such similar ways, then wouldn’t it stand to reason that I have a really low tolerance for sugar too? And maybe the buildup of my years of cookie dough and brownies is what caused my eczema to suddenly appear 2 years ago? Dr. Lustig doesn’t make that claim, but I have always felt intuitively that they are somehow connected.

This is a really long video but so so so informative and engaging and I’m really glad I saw it.  

About J.

A former twentysomething with a head full of curls and heart full of questions wondering: when we get to nirvana, will there be food?
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1 Response to Olives, Sugar and Dr. Robert Lustig

  1. Pingback: Day 5 | Footsteps On Concrete

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