Customer Reviews: Sugar Blues
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on May 28, 2000
For weeks I walked to and from work, over one hour each way, to help drop through a weight plateau of 199 pounds. No matter what I did, including dieting, I was destined to be a 199-pounder for life! Then, one Sunday evening, I read the first few chapters of a book a friend lent me, "Sugar Blues" by Dufty. My first reaction to the information contained in it was entirely emotional: anger and disgust. Until that moment I had never given sugar a moment's worth of thought. That Sunday evening, I felt my anger so intensely, that I promised myself that I immediately would stop my ingestion of sugar for MORAL reasons. As I read further, I wished that I had known this information years ago. I wished that I had used this information while raising my children. I am saddened that I didn't get to the profound wisdom in this book sooner than I did. But, life is full of important lessons. This book is but lesson number one. And learning this lesson later is better than not learning it at all. While reading "SUGAR BLUES" I was also reading another book on the topic of meats. I decided to give up sugar and meats. That Sunday evening, I switched to a SWEETENER-FREE and meat-free lifestyle. On Thursday of that week I spent time between the fetal position in bed and sprinting to the washroom. I thought I had the flu, but looking back, I now realize I had what I'd describe as, "withdrawl" symptoms. 24 hours later I was feeling better. 7 days later, when I weighed myself, I received the first of many self-fulfiling rewards: I cracked my weight-loss plateau, was finally down to 190 pounds. Three weeks later, I lost another 6 pounds and was down to 184. Seven weeks later I was at 177. 10 weeks later 174. I have had to tighten my belt 5 notches! I fit into pants that I had not fit into since 1978. As of this last week, I stabilized at a weight plateau of 174 pounds. I have lost a cool 25 pounds. This book made me THINK about the quality of, and effect from, the "foods" I shovelled into my mouth. This book motivated me to read the labels before I bought. It is an absolute MUST HAVE for your home library...a MUST SHOW to friends who you care about...a book that you MUST DOG-EAR and underline, (use over and over again). It might be a good idea for you to think about buying several or more copies of this book in paper back version, (low cost), to either give away or circualte among your friends and relatives. If you do, you just might enhance your life and theirs. Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts about "SUGAR BLUES". By sharing my experience I am hoping that your life will become healthier. All the best in your decision to buy "Sugar Blues".
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on November 30, 1999
I read Sugar Blues years ago, and became a right-wingist, eliminating all sugar. Over the years, sugar crept back in. Now I'm doing it again because of (1) moodiness, (2) always being bloated, (3) loss of "real appetite". Sugar in EVERYTHING (even soups and vegetables) makes it very hard to stop totally but what I remember most about William Duffy's comments were the similarity to cocaine use when sugar was first introduced -- the first sugar users brought it to parties and it was a great specialty. That hit home.
Try to Quit! It takes almost a full month for the cravings to go away. Anyone who has seen The Insiders and the power that the tobacco industry has, can understand the enormity of trying to attack the sugar industry.
AS a PS, Sugar in everything is an American phenomenon. You won't find sugar in soups, canned vegetables, frozen dinners in Holland and the rest of Europe. WHY is it DONE to us here in America?
Pick up this book and begin to understand how eliminating ONE FOOD ITEM ALONE can change your life.
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on February 3, 2000
I'm sugar-free ever since reading "Sugar Blues." I was sluggish, moody, hungry, etc. I remembered that John Lennon mentioned Dufty's book in an interview once. So I bought it at the local health food store. He starts off with his own sugar hell and redemption and then delves into the whole history of the cane. Very interesting, healthwise and also politically. This is the meat of the book. (The Boston "Tea" Party? More like the rum party.) I like his writing style; he keeps it homespun. (Why did some think this book needs more "hard science"? Isn't it already in there? It's not intended to be in a medical journal [which can't always be trusted!].) When I tell people I'm sugar-free they usually scoff, saying sugar's not that bad for you, why give it up completely. Well, now I wake up clear and I get through the afternoon w/o any flagging of energy. At various times of the day I'll feel some energy racing through my body. (A great feeling; keeps me motivated.) Now I need less food on my plate, and my hypoglycemia has all but disappeared. (Think about THAT one, folks.) Never eat "refined sucrose" again! It can be done! Sky's the limit! Thank you, William Dufty!
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on July 29, 2000
SUGAR BLUES William Dufty

I read this book in 1975 when I was 28 years old. I had given up sugar for a year (100%) about five years prior to reading this -- which is what prompted the interest. I had come to the realization that EVERYTHING had sugar in it and I proceeded to even make my own ketchup (with handy instructions from Weight Watchers -- in 1971 they were just a mere dot on the map with products only -- no advertising that I remember). I used to carry around their salad dressings so that I could eat out and still maintain my good nutritional habits.

I continue to come across this book on my bookshelf, and have taken up to reading it again just to see what the inspiration was. Sugar still remains in my diet - removing it 100% now would be tough -- even though I have an excellent health and exercise regime. Now, at age 53, even though I still weigh the same and wear the same size clothes as I did 30 years ago, I am prepared to cut back again on the excess becomes more difficult to maintain the weight and physique as time goes on, so removing excess sugar would be a beneficial thing to do right now for my 50+ year old body.

Everyone who loves sugar, knows that once they start eating (candy, baked goods, etc.) -- i.e., beginning from Halloween and ending after Christmas, that their system seems to then REQUIRE more and more -- that suddenly eating candy (sugars) everyday becomes a staple diet item. I see it happen every year, if I don't make a CONSCIOUS decision at the end of summer to NOT get caught up in the cycle. That approach has worked for me -- just being constantly aware. However, after coming across another review here, I am going to read "Get the Sugar Out...501 Ways...." as it sounds like that's what is needed now for inspiration to continue on my path from 30 years ago. Removing all, or as much sugar as one can, from the diet, IS the ONE best way to maintain your weight and increase your energy for a lifetime. Recipes and short cuts really, really help get you started.
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on September 5, 2005
I cannot add much more to the positive reviews that indicate how the book clearly identifies the negative affects of sugar (and refined and processed foods, by extension) on the human body. The book delves into the detrimental developmental, mental/psychiatric, and physiological affects that sugar has on the human body. Just a few points that I would like to point out to potential readers of this book:

(1.) Some of the very few negative reviews point out that the book is a one-track, narrowly focused diatribe against refined sugar (The author very clearly makes a distinction between natural carbohydrates and natural sugars as opposed to refined processed sugars and refined carbohydrates which is something that cannot be overlooked). I thoroughly disagree. There is a consistent and very powerful underlying theme throughout the book....the fact that throughout history the food industry and the medical/pharmaceutical industry have monetarily thrived off of each other at the expense of public health and human welfare. (and in my opinion, they knowingly did so and do so). This is not a conspiratorial left-winged angle on the theme of the book that the author pushes on the reader, but rather a theme that is supported throughout the European and American sugar history. The author uses this richly detailed historical backdrop to reinforce not only the perils and hazards of sugar, but to also provide perhaps an explanation (and motive) as to why and how refined sugar has become so pervasive in society. As is often the case, greed and monetary interests provide the very motives for the medical establishment's "looking the other way" in the face of overwhelming evidence pointing to the health hazards of sugar. The author leverages these historical actions effectively in telling the "story" and providing the facts. Admittedly, some of the facts are wholly anecdotal in nature, but nevertheless they serve the purpose to reinforce the overall theme of the book. At the core, this is the food industry "lobbying" for the pharmaceutical industry's interests, and vise versa. Consider this:

1.Cholesterol free foods, fat free foods-----Cholesterol lowering drugs. Health issues: Good fats (fish oil, Omega 9's)totally eliminated. Absence of these fats induces cardiovascular problems. Cholesterol in and of itself is not damaging to arteries and endothelial function, but the absence healthy fats and statins cause a host of other cardiovascular issues.

2.Polished refined white rice------Vitamin B1 derived from whole grain rice (they initially were able to market B1; there is no money to be made from B1 anymore so they have moved on). The author spends a chapter asking why was it removed in the first place? "How to Complicate Simplicity" all for the sake of money and greed.

3.Refined sugar-------Psychiatry for a host of mental illnesses. Insulin. Allergy industry. All very profitable

4.MSG, food additives--------Psychiatry and pharmaceuticals for a host of neurological disorders

5.Transfatty acids for fat free food-------Cardiovascular and vascular medications to deal with the problems transfatty acids cause. Transfats were substituted for natural fats all in the name of low fat heart healthy foodstuffs! The food and pharmaceutical industries making money for each other.

The pharmaceutical and established medical industry have one motive to look the other way when the perils of refined carbohydrates/sugars are discussed: Money and Greed. These "foods" supply their care industries with patients...."How to complicate simplicity"...

(2.)One must also keep in mind that the book was written originally in 1976. Since then, many of the medical disease states presented in the book have been thoroughly researched, studied, and clinically proven to be caused by refined carbohydrates and sugars. Naysayers are the pharmaceutical industry and the processed food industry. Greed.

(3.)The book in not meant to be a scientific double blind clinical study on the perils of refined sugar, but rather presents the reader with historical and anecdotal facts that point to one conclusion: the damaging effects of refined sugar on the human body and mind.

(4.) Another negative review pointed out that carbohydrates are necessary for proper human metabolic function. The review incorrectly states that the book bears relevance only to people who are insulin resistant or diabetic. The whole point of the book is preventative food medicine. Once you are insulin resistant or diabetic, the damage has been done and is very difficult to reverse. The book points out that the fastest way to do the damage (to the adrenals, insulin receptive cells, pancreas, etc.)is through the consumption of refined sugar. The author (even way back in 1976) was also very clear to provide a distinction between processed refined carbohydrates (focusing on the worst of them, refined sugar) and natural carbohydrates (pure unrefined unpolished brown rice as opposed to processed refined polished white rice, for example). Natural carbs are an essential part of a well balanced diet.
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on May 24, 1999
In SUGAR BLUES, William Dufty doesn't just lift the historical mask on sugar, he pulverizes it. I have read other books detailing the biological havoc that refined sugar wreaks on the body, but this is the first book I've seen that places sugar in a historical framework and charts its path of destruction over thousands of years, through the rise and fall of civilizations right up to present-day corporate and government duplicity. The results are truly eye-opening, if not shocking. If you thought sugar was just one of life's sweet little nuisances, think again. It has been one of the major levers for the enslavement and control of human beings for millenia.
The portrait of the historical drama of sugar is this book's strength. SUGAR BLUES does have minor weaknesses, however. It's lacking in science, which these days is important to have when challenging the status quo. It also lacks a systematic argument, the chapters often meandering from subject to subject (the chapter on sugar in cigarettes, for instance, ends with a discussion of sugar's role in auto accidents). Finally, the book sputters to its conclusion as Dufty provides a final chapter on recipes that frankly put me to sleep. He should have stuck to his original purpose here and delivered a final, clinching argument. With a new edition, all of these minor wrinkles could be addressed.
That said, this book's value is nonetheless extraordinary. Sugar is so entrenched in most people's lifestyles that it is practically invisible, taken for granted. But if it has caused half the damage Dufty claims it has, then everyone should do themselves a favor and read his book. It doesn't end there; I know from personal struggle that sugar is incredibly hard to kick. But the first step in any change is knowing you have to make it.
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on February 6, 2003
Every author I have read who writes about sugar comes across to me as a little paranoid, but after reading their books they have every reason to be. White sugar is probably much more nefarious then most of us imagine. Whatever it is, I am certainly treading on a different ground when I shop\hunt for food.
Some good things about Sugar Blues is there is some quick really simple recipes. There also is a section on how government and industry always seem to work together for their OWN interest and not yours. Caveat emptor.... always! Never forget that and use your common sense.
He also warns that doctors are not your friends. I believe that to be quite true. They are on another paradigm and pity the fool that neglects his health by his bad eating habits and ends up in their care. Read this book and you could avoid being another "white stuff" casualty. I mean doctors do wear white coats don't they?
In other areas the author pushed it a little too hard in my opinion when he said a lot of "unexplainable [car] accidents" in which "millions of American drivers" may be driving under the influence or effect of sugar drowsiness (i.e. hypoglycemia due to hyperinsulin) when driving after a meal, especially after eating restaurant meals which is loaded with sugar. But who knows, it could be true and never has been investigated. Refined sugar is in nearly everything we eat nowadays.
His decrying of sugar is similiar to Nancy Appleton's book, but I wouldn't take both of what they say lightly. The bottom line to me is another "white" food to avoid. That is; white sugar; white flour; white rice; white salt; and white milk (non-raw). All of these foods face extreme processing to lengthen their shelf life, but may end up shorting yours.
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on September 25, 1998
I will admit that a lot of this book did seem like anti-sugar propaganda. When I say propaganda, I mean that the author was, at times, writing with more emotion than fact. Because of all the excellent points & the lead to macrobiotics, though, I still give it 5 stars. Some "facts" should be taken with a grain of salt & some of the material is a little outdated (this book is as old as me!). Still, I couldn't put it down. I have always been a sugar fiend, but I now have not eaten refined sugar for several months. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
I always read food labels now. Even foods like Earthgrains bagels (that advertise themselves as being healthy) have refined sugar! This book will definitely change the way you look at processed food. It also tells the different ways refined sugars are hidden: brown sugar, corn syrup, molasses...I was on my last nerve trying to figure out why I was constantly tired. No one could seem to figure it out. I tried this just for the heck of it & I am a new woman.
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on June 28, 2005
I read this book when I was in my early 20s and immediately gave up sugar. Back then (early 1980s)it was much more difficult to find substitutes; I remember buying carob bars sweetened with honey at a health food store and making "candy" by combining peanut butter, powdered milk, honey and raisins. These were my only "sweet indulgences." I was determined never to touch refined sugar again. Within a few months I was at my slimmest ever (5'-8", 125 lbs), despite that I continued to eat very high-fat foods such as pizza, burgers, steaks (with butter on them!), corn chips and french fries. So long as it didn't contain sugar, it was fair game. I felt great and had tons of energy. Unfortunately my mother poo-pooed the whole idea of sugar being bad, and continuously tried to undermine my efforts by concocting huge, beautiful desserts whenever I visited. Eventually I gave in when she urged me to "just have a little piece" of German chocolate cake. It was all downhill from there. It had been too long since I read this wonderful book (about two years); apparently I'd forgotten its lessons.

Now, over 20 years later, I have kicked sugar again. I wish I had never gone back to it in the first place. I have currently been sugar-free for just over two months, and despite that I continue to eat high-fat foods and do not exercise at all (LOL - yup, gotta be honest here), I have lost at least ten pounds. (Since I don't have a scale, I have to rely on my monthly doctor's visits to find out my weight.) I feel more energetic and I'm able to sleep through the night for the first time in at least a year without using sleeping pills. (Goodbye, expensive Ambien!!!)

I found it much easier to kick my sugar habit this time around, given the many sugar-free products that exist due to the low-carb dieting craze. You'll find, however, that your cravings all but disappear. I keep one bag of sugar-free York peppermint patties in my desk at work and one at home, and a box of sugar-free Fudgicles in my freezer. This way if I do get an occasional craving, I can look right past my husband's sugar-laden ice cream, candy bars and cookies. Yes, artificial sweeteners are supposed to be bad for you also, but as rarely as I eat them, I'm not at all worried. If you read this book, you'll not want refined white sugar anywhere near you. Some day I'll get my husband to try this; he has been diagnosed with clinical depression and never has any energy. He drinks a two-liter bottle of cola every day and eats ice cream and cookies every night. (Sugar blues, anyone?) Like William Dufty and his wife, Gloria Swanson, I'd love for us both to live well into our late 80s, looking and feeling great!
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on September 17, 2005
William Dufty's book was an addictive read, very hard to put down. Read it, get the motivation to go sugarfree, feel great, but warnings - research sweetener alternatives before using them. Make sure the research did not come from the company that made the product, to avoid bias.

My suggestions are Stevia for tea, xylitol for anything else. We found like others that the first month was the hardest, but after that, sucrose cravings went away, and a piece of fruit or some sultanas were enough to stem any desire.
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