on 19 January 2013
If you are someone who consumes sugar in any of its processed guises, you really need to read this.
If all you eat is the occassional or daily piece of fruit you're probably off the hook, and that is quite a healthy behaviour to have .
If you're fully addicted to industrially extracted empty-calories of sugar devoid of dietary fibre and micronutrients then you really need to read this.
This is the information that the Sugar industry have tried to belittle and suppress with a smoke and mirrors campaign, and to read the extent that they have tried to hide this information makes my blood boil.
I wish I'd know of this book years ago, I might have avoided a fatty liver probably from over consumption of soft drinks ( and not alcohol as my Doctor kept inferring). Hopefully this is still reversible for me. I'd have never got fatty liver had I known what sugar can do.
Countless people must have suffered and died unnecessarily premature deaths due to the continued promotion of a food stuff that we have only had in industrial quantities in the last few hundred years. In reality the over supply of this commodity has been in the last 100 years. Yes we are all going to die even if we don't eat sugar, the evidence seems to indicate that you will die sooner if you consume highly refined sugar removed from its natural plant source. Maybe it isn't as harmful as smoking or alcohol but it does seem to at least be up there in the highly addictive substances that do cause health issues, especially when it is available in the quantities now affordable.
I believe in the future we will view the sugar industry to be almost as bad as the tobacco industry. Unfortunately that day seems to be a long way off, their smoke and mirrors campaign is still very effective. For those of you here , you have a chance , read the book and if you still decide to consume sugar at least you'd been warned.
I'd also recommend to have a look at Robert Lustig's Fat Chance: The bitter truth about sugar. That is an easier read than this book , because Lustig writes in an entertaining, direct style, whereas John Yudkin writes in an English Professorly way. I would advise you to read both.
Finally, don't become another victim of the sugar industry's malpractice.
on 7 July 2012
Personally, I consider this book to be as important as "Food and Western Disease" by Staffan Lindeberg and "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" by Weston Price. If you are health conscious, and are interested in impact of various foods and nutrition on human health - this is one of the books to get (to put is simply, some books have to be read no matter what, and this is one of them).
Even though the book was first published in 1972 (and republished in 1986; plus the book will be published again in November 2012) I'm amazed that this knowledge (or at least part of it) is not widely accepted. In about 200 pages, and 21 chapters the book is discussing how various kinds of sugars are affecting our health, and how they are implicated in most of chronic diseases that affect us every day (not only something like tooth decay but also: diabetes, heart diseases such as coronary thrombosis, or even skin diseases such as seborrhoeic dermatitis).
In overall some of the research results mentioned in the book are quite similar to observations done by Staffan Lindeberg or Weston Price. They are also not easily dismissed as the most of those experiments and research have been carried out at the Nutrition Department of Queen Elizabeth College, University of London, with some collaboration with the research workers in the Biochemistry Department (and some of results of experiments were confirmed by other labs, such as Nutrition Laboratory of the US Department of Agriculture in Beltsville).
Discussed subjects include: the origins of human diet, "history of sugar", brown sugar vs white, refined and unrefined carbohydrates, monosaccharides (glucose, fructose, galactose) vs disaccharides (sucrose, maltose, lactose) , where sugar comes from, who eats sugar and how much (great chapter full of statistic from different countries), what happens if you eat it too much, is sugar (as in white sugar) really important to human health as the "sugar industry" wants us to believe (great chapter 9), sugar effect on longevity and maturity (overweight babies, children that reach maturity early, role of sugar in childhood obesity), palpability and nutritional value of food, non-sugar "caloric and non-caloric" sweeteners, Ancel Key's research, reduced glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, low carbohydrate diets limited in starch and sugar (chapter 16 is discussing some of those), is there a link between sugar and cancer (great info on pages 136-138), and several other similar subjects.
Some of the interesting quotes from the book:
1. "But the sugar people seems quite content to spend their money on advertising and public relations, making claims about quick energy and - as we shall later see - simply rejecting suggestions that sugar is harmful to the heart or the teeth or the figure or to health in general"
2. "When you come think of it, almost all of the tempting foods that are taken to satisfy appetite rather than hunger contain carbohydrate that is either sugar or starch, or they contain alcohol. These carbohydrate-rich foods, by the way, have another characteristic; they are all artificial food that do not exist in nature in the form in which we eat them"
3. "There is reason to believe that arterial disease may arise from a continuing high level of insulin. I shall then discuss the interesting association between diabetes, overweight and arterial disease, and the fact that people with any of these conditions are likely to have excessive insulin in the blood."
4. "Again, for more than 100 years before insulin was discovered, it was known that diets low in carbohydrates and especially in sugar were the best treatment for diabetes"
5. "When I related the number of people dying of diabetes in different countries to the amount of sugar or fat that was eaten some 20 years earlier, I found a high correlation with sugar and no correlation with fat. The sort of relationship with fat that is sometimes found, and was found by Himsworth, comes about because, as I pointed out, average consumption in different countries is frequently related to their sugar consumption. The most likely explanation of the situation, then, is that sugar intake is a cause of diabetes, and fat intake is only secondary related to diabetes through its association with sugar intake"
6. "If sugar or starch or glucose is in the meal, then all or part of it turns up in the blood quite quickly as glucose. If protein or fat is in the meal, then their digestion products too will in part be converted into glucose, but more slowly; in addition they slow down the absorption of all food"
7. "One would expect that babies not born prematurely would not develop hypoglycaemia so readily but may still be rather more sensitive to the damaging effect of sugar than adults. When you consider how soon babies are given sugar, and how much, it is perhaps not surprising that here appears to be an increase in the number of babies who develop hypoglycaemia when they are a few months old"
8. "The fact is that sugar in the quantities that are part of the average Western diet, and especially taken as it often is, on an empty stomach, will be a source of repeated irritation on the delicate mucous membranes of the oesophagus and the stomach. Irritation of the oesophagus is the most likely cause of heartburn. As for the stomach, it is not surprising that a high-sugar diet, even for only 2 weeks, can result in the production of more acid and much more active gastric juice, so that it is also not difficult to see why sugar might contribute to the cause of this condition"
Bear in mind that the book was written a long time ago, but it seems to me like everything has been getting worse since then: sugar is currently pretty much in every processed product on the market as processed food is almost everywhere. But even though the "sugar lobby" is still quite powerful, not only in US but also in UK (chapter 21 offers more info and examples about that) -> we have an easy access to information, including books or TV programs (such as the recent three parts series from BBC: "The men who made us fat"). And I would suggest that we use it wisely.
I can highly recommend this book for anybody who is not only concerned about what kind of effect sugar (or any other processed carbohydrates) has on his/her own health, but also for people who are concerned about their children's health. The book also gives a several advices of how to give up sugar "addiction" and how to bring up your children without smothering them with sugar (chapter 20 "Should sugar be banned?" is discussing that in more details). Just read the book if you can (borrow it if you have to as the book is quite difficult to get and there is no point of paying crazy amount of money for it). You won't regret it.
"Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" - by Weston A. Price
"Food and Western Disease" - by Staffan Lindeberg
"Food is Your Best Medicine" - by Henry Bieler
"Why We Get Fat: And What to Do about It" - by Gary Taubes
"Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill" - by Udo Erasmus
"Trick and Treat: How healthy eating is making us ill" - by Barry Groves
"The Great Cholesterol Con" - by Malcolm Kendrick
I read this book when it was first published in the early 70s and it inspired me in my subsequent career. At last Yudkin is getting the recognition that he deserves and the truth of his message is being believed, albeit slowly. I am disgusted, but not in the least surprised, that big big business in the shape of the sugar industry sought to denigrate him, sadly, aided by scientists and medics who are often dependent on funding from the private sector for their research. It's just the same with the pharmaceutical companies. Yudkin's logical arguments and research made sense 40 years ago and still do and should be listened to as the huge burden of obesity threatens to cripple not only the sufferers but also health services around the world. I recall years ago research into overfeeding that found that the only way people could consume huge excesses of calories was by drinking sugar-laden beverages. It couldn't be done with fatty foods or proteins as the normal satiety mechanisms kicked in, whereas liquid sugar could be consumed in great excess. It shouldn't surprise us that refined sucrose (like table sugar) doesn't trigger endogenous mechanisms to regulate our intake as it's a relatively novel foodstuff to the human digestive system whereas saturated fat, for example, has been a staple for millions of years. It's a similar scenario for trans-fats which are largely produced by hydrogenating unsaturated oils to become solid saturated fats, however, the shape (hence the name trans) of the resulting fats are different from natural saturated fats and the enzymes for dealing with saturated fats can't deal with them properly.
I recommend reading this book as it not only has an important message but it's also written in a lively style easily accessible for the layperson.
on 22 November 2012
In 1986, John Yudkin proposed that glucose: changes metabolic processes; increases plasma concentrations of cholesterol and triglycerides; leads to size increases in liver, kidneys, adrenal glands; causes calcified deposits in kidneys; alters levels of estrogen, adrenal hormones, cortisol and, of course, insulin; leads to gallstones; causes vision deterioration; damages eyes, teeth, joints; changes gut flora; interferes with the body's use of protein; speeds up human growth and maturity (re: hormones). He argues his case well and backs it with data. Since then, new discoveries and even more data proves that he was right. So why almost 30 years later we are still reinventing the proverbial "wheel" in terms of the effect of sugar on human metabolism? Why were we fed the low-fat high-carb diet, metaphorically and literally, all this time?