Episode #249: Reducing Sugar This Holiday Season with the Authors of Sugarproof

Please remember that the views on this podcast and website are not meant to be substituted for medical advice, shouldn’t be used to diagnose, treat or cure any conditions, and are intended for general information purposes only.

Dr. Elana interviews Dr. Michael Goran and Dr. Emily Ventura, authors of the popular book, Sugarproof – The Hidden Dangers of Sugar That Are Putting Your Child’s Health at Risk and What You Can Do!  

Michael contributes over three decades of childhood nutrition research while Emily brings her experience as a public health educator to create a book that we believe all parents can benefit from!

This book is NOT about avoiding sugar 100% or demonizing this food. Their goal is to help families navigate through the overwhelming amount of sugars and sweeteners in our food environment and implement simple strategies to cut down on sugar to a healthier and enjoyable level.

By the end of this episode, you will have actionable steps with what you can do to reduce your child’s sugar consumption, especially during this holiday season!


Topics Discussed: 

  • Why sugar is a confusing and overwhelming topic with 200 different names for them
  • 5 tips for how to handle sugar at birthday parties
  • Why Agave should be avoided along with fruit-based sugars
  • Top preferred sugars to focus on 
  • The rule of using less added sugars even including healthier options such as honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and date sugar
  • How a 7-day challenge can reset sweet taste preference
  • How artificial sweeteners can affect the gut and cause a sugar dip
  • How liquid sugars are among the worse of all sugars and how important it is to dilute or better yet find healthier alternatives 
  • Sugarproof No-Bake Pumpkin Pie Recipe 

Show Notes:

  • www.sugarproofkids.com
  • @sugarproofkids
  • Click here to learn more about Dr. Elana Roumell’s Doctor Mom Membership, a membership designed for moms who want to be their child’s number one health advocate!
  • Click here to learn more about Steph Greunke, RD’s online nutrition program and community, Postpartum Reset, an intimate private community and online roadmap for any mama (or mama-to-be) who feels stuck, alone, and depleted and wants to learn how to thrive in motherhood.

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This episode’s sponsors

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This episode’s guests

Michael is a Professor of Pediatrics at The Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, which is affiliated with the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. He is Program Director for Diabetes and Obesity at The Saban Research Institute and he holds the Dr Robert C and Veronica Atkins Endowed Chair in Childhood Obesity and Diabetes. Dr Goran is a native of Glasgow, Scotland, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Manchester, UK (1986) prior to postdoctoral training in the US (1987 to 1991). He previously served on the faculty of Medicine at the University of Vermont (1991 to 1994), the Department of Nutrition Sciences at UAB (1994 to 1999), the Department of Preventive Medicine at USC (1999 to 2018) prior to joining Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.

His research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health and other Foundations for the past 30 years during which he has raised $75m in funding to support this work. He has published over 350 professional peer-reviewed articles and reviews. He is the Editor of the “Childhood Obesity: Causes, Consequences and Intervention Approaches” published in 2017, co-editor of “Dietary Sugars and Health”published in late 2014, and currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for Pediatric Obesity. He has been the recipient of a number of scientific awards for his research and teaching, including: The Nutrition Society Medal for Research (1996), The Lilly Award for Scientific Achievement from The Obesity Society (2006), The Bar-Or Award for Excellence in Pediatric Obesity Research, from The Obesity Society (2009), the TOPS award for contributions to obesity research from The Obesity Society (2014), and the Rank Prize Lecture in Nutrition (2018).

Michael lives in Silverlake, Los Angeles with his wife Lori, a film editor, his 2 teenage daughters, and their cat, Hugo Moon. Outside of work, Michael likes to play tennis, and hang out with his family which typically involves cooking, eating, going on walks and travel.


Dr. Emily Ventura is an experienced nutrition educator, public health advocate, writer, and cook. She completed her master’s in Public Health and her PhD in Health Behavior Research at the University of Southern California. She was selected as a Fulbright Scholar to teach Public Health Nutrition in Italy, and now lives in the UK, where she works as a writer, recipe developer, and mother to two young boys.

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