A “subject” we all should study more intimately and understand before it is too late*

Before you categorize this post as tl: dr, just read three lines in the footnote (*)

For someone who believes in ghosts, “not seeing is believing.” For the rest of us, it has always been “Seeing is believing.” But what if we remain ignorant of some modern ghosts (rather devils) just because we don’t see them or don’t see their connection with devils?

In this post, I’ll be building my thesis on the “subject” on the premise that “not seeing is believing” and ghosts of another kind that we don’t see as many vested interests don’t want us to see. But before I jump on the subject, let me share some personal anecdotes that lead me to the subject of this post.

When I first moved to the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, as 16 years old hosteler in 1973 to pursue an honors graduate course in Agriculture, little did I know that one day I would become what I have become today.

As the years progressed, pursuing my honors degree, the prevailing American academic credit system over a trimester academic year offered plenty of flexibility regarding what you can specialize in and how much time you can invest in obtaining a graduate or a postgraduate degree.

This way, one could earn a four-year degree course in three years by taking more credits every trimester or taking higher degree courses – like courses meant for M.Sc. / Ph.D. while still graduating. The system offered plenty of opportunities for everyone to decide and choose the study and work area they wished to pursue later in life. An excellent educational system, in my view.

During my final graduation year, I took 500 and 600 series of advanced Biochemistry and Molecular Biology courses (usually taken by M.Sc. and Ph.D. students). During those times, both these subjects, besides cybernetics, were as cutting edge as AI and Robotics are in present times. Cybernetics, though, was unavailable as a study course at my university at that time.

To cut a long story short, Biochemistry became my first academic love. I decided to pursue a master’s degree in the nascent field of Nutritional biochemistry. Eventually, two years later, I became a postgraduate Hons degree holder in the exciting field of Animal Nutritional Biochemistry.

However, a series of events, including the stormy and turbulent events in the 80s, including the terrorism in Punjab, made me put my first love for Animal Nutrition and milk at NDDB on the back burner. But to be honest, I kept the nutritional biochemistry spark burning through occasional readings from journals like Nature, Scientific American, Economist, and the like. In 1987 I jumped into another exciting field of perishable foods, fruit, and vegetables. I continued building, restructuring, and remodeling the perishable food value chains of the corporates in various geographies across the World until 2009.

The catalyst that got me deep diving into nutritional biochemistry, a subject I once excelled in and loved so much, was a suggestion from Paras, my son, that my wife and I both should get our whole body Dexa scan done.

I knew that the Dexa scan is used to measure bone mass but little did I know that the scan also measures the body fat and soft tissue composition. One of the indices it helps calculate is the number for the fat mass index FMI, which has a distinct advantage over BMI for defining obesity since it is independent of lean mass status.

Being a diabetic, albeit a controlled one, with a spouse on the wrong side of BMI, we initially decided to get a Dexa scan done on myself.

Long story short – despite having a “lean and normal” weight status under the BMI regime, Dexa tagged me as internally obese. I was shocked. Instinctively, being a former nutritionist, I knew that my internal obesity was related to nutrition and the food I eat.

From here started my quest to re-discover, refresh and update my knowledge of Nutritional Biochemistry.

I started scavenging the Internet for reliable, latest, and authoritative sources of information. One lazy Sunday, I stumbled upon a YouTube video lecture titled Sugar – the Bitter Truth by Robert H Lustig, courtesy of the University of California Television (UCTV), in their excellent and enlightening “Mini Medical School for the Public” lecture series. The next day I watched two of Dr. Lustig’s video lectures, Fat Chance: Fructose 2.0. and “Processed Food: An Experiment That Failed.”

Subsequently, I read three of his books, Fat Chance, Metabolical, and The Hacking of the American Mind, which I strongly recommend everyone should read; I sincerely mean everyone.

Though I’m a qualified Nutritional Biochemist and have a fair amount of understanding of the connection between the food we eat and our health and well-being but Dr. Lustig, made a very compelling case that food is the ONLY lever we have to affect biochemical and neurological changes to improve our health, and to affect political change to improve our economy and environment. He insists that if we don’t fix our food and change how and how we eat, we’ll continue to have chronic diseases, bankrupt healthcare, and threaten the planet. His lectures and books offered hope explaining what’s needed to fix all these.

You’ll wonder why I’m so unabashedly promoting Dr. Robert H Lustig. Seven reasons.

One – Dr Lustig is not only an excellent orator but also a superb writer. He uses difficult yet tedious (to many ignorant of human body and mind mechanics) subjects like biochemistry and neuroscience to educate the listeners and readers bout the toxic environment we currently find ourselves in, even more importantly, how we remain there.

Two – He knows what he is talking. Dr. Lustig is a professor emeritus of Paediatrics, Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He specializes in the field of neuroendocrinology, with an emphasis on the regulation of energy balance by the central nervous system. His research and clinical practice have focused on childhood obesity and diabetes. Dr. Lustig holds a Bachelor’s in Science from MIT and a Doctorate in Medicine from Cornell University. Medical College, and a Master of Law from U.C. Hastings College of the Law.

Before treating obese children, he trained for over sixteen years as a neuroscientist – six years cutting up and studying the brains of rats at the Rockefeller University in New York and ten more years growing neurons in Petri dishes at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Tennessee, Memphis. These years in the lab afforded him a unique view of the relationship between hormones and behaviour.

Three – Looking at the World drowning in the sea of metabolic disorders like Obesity, Diabetes, Cardio Vascular Disorders, Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Depression, Gut issues, Infertility and PCOS, Chronic Fatigue, Poor Sleep, Arthritis, and even innocent Pimples (I can continue with the list till proverbial cows come home – also remember you can’t get an insurance cover on any of the metabolic diseases), there need to be some champion;

Four – who could tell us in simple language how and why a band of 30 trillion cells and 30 trillion bacteria musicians within each of us are playing in the direction of a conductor called “What we eat”? The tunes churned by the music makers could be either gorgeous (read health) or very nasty (read any or multiple of above said metabolic disorders).

Five – who could, like Jeffery Wigand (research him on Google if you don’t know him), demonstrate to us poor souls how big corporates, Govts, and modern-day media and marketing are engaged in a covert conspiracy to defraud the public for their interest. “Dil Maange More” suddenly becomes relevant.

Six – The World needs someone who can tell the emperor has no clothes. That someone is Dr. Robert H Lustig. In the current context – Almost 80% of those who say they are fit and fine have a demon lurking inside their bodies.

Seven – Did I mention anywhere that Dr. Lustig In 2013 completed a Master of Studies in Law (MSL) also from UC Hastings College of the Law.

Thanks for reading this long post.

*If you love yourself and wish the best for your near and dear ones, perusing the links mentioned in this post shall change your and their lives forever. That’s the promise.



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