- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Re-issue edition (August 7, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0143125184
- ISBN-13: 978-0143125181
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 241 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Pure, White, and Deadly: How Sugar Is Killing Us and What We Can Do to Stop It Paperback – August 7, 2013
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About the Author
John Yudkin (1910-1995) was a British physiologist and nutritionist. He became internationally famous with his book Pure, White, and Deadly, first published in 1972, and was one of the first scientists to claim that sugar was a major cause of obesity and heart disease.
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So what should we eat? From page 79: "I believe that the best diet for the human species is one made up as far as possible of the foods that were available in our hunting and food-gathering days."
UPDATE: Since this book is hard to find and butthurt expensive when you do find it, I am going to re-re-read it and add a little additional info below:
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. What's so different about sugar?
2. I eat it because I like it.
3. Sugar and other carbohydrates.
4. Where sugar comes from.
5. Is brown sugar better that white sugar?
6. Refined and unrefined.
7. Not only sugar is sweet.
8. Who eats sugar, and how much?
9. Words mean what you want them to mean.
10. Sugar's calories make you thin - they say.
11. How to eat more calories without eating real food.
12. Can you prove it?
13. Coronary thrombosis, the modern epidemic.
14. Eat sugar and see what happens.
15. Too much blood sugar - or too little.
16. A pain in the middle.
17. A host of diseases.
18. Does sugar accelerate the life process - and death too?
19. How does sugar produce its effects?
20. Should sugar be banned?
21. Attack is the best defense.
"...in 1972, when Pure, White and Deadly was first published, what little research there had been already showed that sugar in our diet might be involved in the production of several conditions, including not only tooth decay and overweight but also diabetes and heart disease.
Since that time research has produced further evidence that sugar is implicated in these conditions, and has also added to the list...
I am often asked why we don't hear very much about the dangers of sugar, while we are constantly being told we have too much fat in our diet, and not enough fibre. I suggest that you will find at least part of the answer in the last chapter of this book."
1. WHAT'S SO DIFFERENT ABOUT SUGAR?
"First, there is no physiological requirement for sugar; all human nutritional needs can be met in full without ... sugar...
Secondly, if only a small fraction of what is already know about the effects of sugar were to be revealed in relation to any other material used as a food additive, that material would promptly be banned."
2. I EAT IT BECAUSE I LIKE IT
"Legislators in many countries have often taxed sugar ... just as they have often taxed tobacco and alcohol. And sugar also resembles alcohol and tobacco in that it is a material for which people rapidly develop a craving...."
3. SUGAR AND OTHER CARBOHYDRATES
"Sucrose ... is made up of one unit of glucose joined to one unit of fructose. ...
There is reason to believe ... the fructose part ... is responsible for many of the undesirable effects ...."
4. WHERE SUGAR COMES FROM
"Like the cereals, sugar cane belongs to the grass family."
5. IS BROWN SUGAR BETTER THAN WHITE SUGAR?
"... I strongly believe that it is better not to eat sugar at all."
6. REFINED AND UNREFINED
"... refined sugar is the pure carbohydrate sucrose..."
7. NOT ONLY SUGAR IS SWEET
"The non-caloric sweeteners have no chemical relationship to the sugars..."
8. WHO EATS SUGAR, AND HOW MUCH?
"Between 1974 and 1983 the use of High Fructose Syrup increased from 3 to 43 pounds a head; almost all of this was used in food manufacture...." (USA)
9. WORDS MEAN WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO MEAN
"Almost every book written by people in or associated with the sugar industry contains a section in which you are told how important sugar is because it is an essential component of the body. They tell you that it is oxidized so as to give energy, that it is a key material in all sorts of metabolic processes, and so on. And they imply or even say explicitly that all this is to do with `sugar' (sucrose), whereas in fact they have been talking about `blood sugar' (glucose). ...
When the word `sugar' is used at one moment to mean the sucrose in your food and at another to mean the glucose in your blood, these differences are hidden."
10. SUGAR'S CALORIES MAKE YOU THIN - THEY SAY
"... almost all of the tempting foods that are taken to satisfy appetite rather than hunger contain carbohydrate that is either sugar or starch ...
These carbohydrate-rich foods ... are all artificial foods that do not exist in nature in the form in which we eat them. As I have said elsewhere, people are not likely to get fat if they make up their diet mostly from the foods that were available to our prehistoric ancestors, like meat, fish, eggs, fruit and vegetables ...
In America, especially, an intensive advertising and public relations campaign has been in progress for several years to convince the public that sugar has nothing to do with getting fat...
The sugar people tell you not only that sugar does not make you fat; they say it actually helps to make you slim ...
Here is a quote from a sugar industry advertisement: `Willpower fans, the search is over! And guess where it's at? In sugar! Sugar works faster than any other food to turn your appetite down, turn energy up. Spoil your appetite with sugar, and you could come up with willpower. '"
11. HOW TO EAT MORE CALORIES WITHOUT EATING REAL FOOD
"More recent evidence comes from the USA... about the existence of nutritional deficiencies.
... increased consumption of soft drinks and decreased consumption of milk; increased consumption of snacks and decreased consumption of vegetables and fruit... large amounts of sugar."
12. CAN YOU PROVE IT
"While most anthropological authorities take the view that man has been a meat-eater for several millions of years, they do not have an exact picture of what he ate and especially how much he ate of each food. ...
...I am in agreement with the majority who hold that primitive man was largely carnivorous. ...
I believe that the best diet for the human species is one made up as far as possible of the foods that were available in our hunting and food-gathering days."
13. CORONARY THROMBOSIS, THE MODERN EPIDEMIC
" From the beginning, a few people were a little uneasy about Dr. Keys's evidence. Figures for coronary mortality and fat consumption existed for many more countries than the six referred to by Keys, and these other figures did not seem to fit into the beautiful straight-line relationship - the more fat, the more coronary disease - that was evident when only the six selected countries were considered. ...
A better relationship turned out to exist between sugar consumption and coronary mortality in a variety of countries. ...
... in St Helena. Coronary disease is quite common in that island. This is not because the inhabitants eat a lot of fat; they eat less than the Americans or the British. It is not because they are physically inactive; St Helena is extremely hilly and there is very little mechanical transport. It is not because they smoke a lot; cigarette consumption is much lower than it is in most Western countries. There is only one reasonable cause of the high incidence of coronary disease; the average sugar consumption in St Helena is around 100 pounds per person a year. ...
The Masai and Samburu are two tribes in East Africa that live very largely on milk and meat, and thus have a very high consumption of animal fat. There is, however, very little heart disease among them...both the Masai and the Samburu eat virtually no sugar. ...
In our study we found a very substantially higher sugar intake in the patients with coronary disease ... than we found in the control subjects. ...
... no one has ever shown any difference in fat consumption between people with and without coronary disease, but this has in no way deterred Dr Keys and his followers. ..."
14. EAT SUGAR AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS
"By the early 1960's I had decided that there was enough evidence from epidemiology to suggest that sugar might be one of the causes of coronary disease. The time had arrived, there-fore, to begin to do some experiments to see what effects were produced by sugar in the diet.
In our first laboratory experiment, we looked to see what sugar did in rats .... We found that the amount of triglyceride in the blood was enormously and rapidly increased when rats ate sugar...
In other species, however, sugar was found to produce an increase in the amount of cholesterol ... as well as an increase in triglyceride. ...
In the spiny mouse, a desert animal, feeding with sugar produces such a considerable rise in cholesterol ... that these fatty materials give the blood a distinctly milky appearance. Moreover, while the liver of the rat becomes enlarged by some 25 percent, the liver of the spiny mouse increases to twice its normal size when the diet contains sugar. ...
I mentioned earlier that coronary disease in man is associated with a number of features other than the levels of fatty substances in the blood. ...an increase in blood pressure, a deterioration of the body's efficiency in dealing with high levels of blood glucose, a change in the properties of the blood platelets, and a change in the level of insulin in the blood. Rats fed high-sugar diets for a few months show all of these features. ...
I am increasingly inclined to believe that the clue to coronary diseases lies in a disturbance of the hormones of the body. ... sugar-fed rats develop abnormalities in the way that the pancreas produces insulin. ... in addition ... also develop enlarged adrenal glands. ...
We found substantially more cholesterol and triglyceride in the aortas of rats eating the sugar diet than in those eating the starch diet. We also looked at the effect of adding saturated fat or unsaturated fat to the diet, and found that it made no difference to the fatty substances in the aortic tissue. ...
... in young men, sugar raises the level of cholesterol in the blood, and especially raises the level of triglycerides. ...
Another experiment ... found that the insulin level in fasting blood increased by about 40 percent after two weeks on the high-sugar diet; the level of the adrenal hormone, however, increased very much more, to between 300 and 400 percent of the original value. This observation recalls our finding that sugar produces an enlargement of the adrenal glands in rats. ...
Our view, then, is that the underlying cause of coronary disease is a disturbance of hormonal balance. Apart from increased insulin and adrenal hormone ... many patients show an increase in oestrogen. ...
In reviewing the subject of sugar and heart disease, Dr Ahrens wrote that the epidemic of coronary heart disease `continues to increase on a world-wide scale in rough proportion to the increase of sucrose consumption but not in proportion with saturated-fat intake'."
15. TOO MUCH BLOOD SUGAR - OR TOO LITTLE
"There are several reasons why I believe that eating too much sugar is one cause of diabetes.... First there is the epidemiological evidence. Much of it parallels what I have already cited for coronary thrombosis...."
In addition ... there is now quite a lot of experimental evidence that sugar may produce diabetes.
... it only requires the regular consumption of sugar each day for two or three weeks to produce a significant decrease in glucose tolerance, and in susceptible people a significant increase in the insulin concentration in fasting blood.
... the most relevant fact is that every one of the abnormalities seen in coronary heart disease and in diabetes can be produced by the inclusion of sugar in the diet. ...
It is difficult to believe that this wide range of abnormalities seen in heart disease can arise simply from a disturbance in the way the body deals with dietary fat, or simply from a disturbance in the body's control of the amount of cholesterol in the blood. It is much more likely that such a complex of relationships and abnormalities is caused by a disturbance of hormone balance. In particular, insulin, cortisol and oestrogen affect many of the body's functions and much of the body's chemistry. More than this, a disturbance in the activity of one or more of these hormones usually leads to a disturbance in the activity of one or more of the other hormones. It is then not difficult to imagine that the result might well be the laying of the foundations of more than one disease."
16. A PAIN IN THE MIDDLE
"I had been involved in the study of obesity ...I began several years ago to treat people with diets restricted in carbohydrate. ...
... such a diet more closely resembles what our ancestors ate during at least two million years of evolution ... The diet allows you to eat as much as you like of meat, fish, eggs, leafy vegetables ...
My interviews with overweight patients begin with general questions about health ... After a few weeks ... I go back to these questions and I find, for example, that, having lost some weight, they are not so short of breath, not so tired, have no pains in their hip joints, no longer suffer from swollen ankles at the end of the day. ...
All of these changes I expect, but ... many of them also said ... they had stopped having indigestion. And this relief was observed ... almost from the moment they had begun the low-carbohydrate diet. ...
... we carried out a further experiment to look at the effect of sugar in a normal diet. Working with young men, we managed to persuade seven of them to swallow a gastric tube first thing in the morning. ...
The results showed that two weeks of a sugar-rich diet causes an increase in both acidity and digestive activity... The sugar-rich diet increased the acidity by 20 percent ... enzyme activity was increased nearly three-fold."
17. A HOST OF DISEASES
"I now want to talk of a number of quite unrelated conditions in which there is evidence ... that sugar might ... be involved."
"Damage to the eyes"
"... rats fed the low-protein high-sugar diet had a considerable degree of myopi....
... student volunteers ... were given a high-sugar diet ... there was a small but quite significant change in their refraction ....
At present, we are suggesting that the reasons have to do with the level of glucose in the blood. Doctors have known for some time that diabetics develop a mild but noticeable degree of short-sightedness if their blood sugar is not properly controlled ....
I have already mentioned (p. 110) that severe changes occur in the retina of the eye in diabetes. And I pointed out that similar changes can be produced in rats by feeding them with sugar."
"Damage to the teeth"
"Each year, millions of teeth are extracted by dentists .... More than one third of British adults over 16 have had every one of their teeth extracted."
"Fossil evidence suggests that the condition now known as `dental caries' ... hardly occurred in prehistoric times, before the introduction of agriculture and the great increase of starchy foods ....
Many experiments have been done ... to see what changes in diet affect the teeth. ... When there is no carbohydrate, little or no caries is produced. ... Diets with any sort of sugar produce much more caries, and the most `cariogenic' sugar is sucrose. ...
I was asked to give the Annual Foundation Lecture at Newcastle Dental School .... I especially made the point that almost everyone knew that a major cause of tooth decay was the eating of sticky, sugary confectionery, cakes and biscuits....
The lecture was published ... and evoked a very angry letter from Professor B. Cohen.... He wrote; `Until it is accepted that caries is a disease caused not by sugar but by the action of bacteria on sugar, effort will continue to be expended in preaching deprivation that few patients will ever practice .... Professor Cohen was at the time carrying out research designed to ... produce a vaccine against ... caries-causing Streptococcus mutans. The experiments were with monkeys, which were encouraged to develop tooth decay .... I visited the laboratory soon after my lecture, and I don't suppose I need to tell you how dental decay was induced in the monkeys. You'll have guessed, I am sure, that it was by giving them lots of sticky sweets."
"Damage to the skin"
"As for seborrhoeic dermatitis, the fact that sufferers are heavy sugar-eaters at once suggests that we should see if we can improve them with a low-sugar diet. Although the result look promising, we have not been able to continue our research; we shall have to wait for others to take it up."
"Damage to the joints"
"... patients with gout were taking appreciably more sugar than the control subjects ...."
"Disease of the liver"
"Most recently we have been working ... to study in more detail the changes that sugar produces in the liver. One of the reasons for this particular study was a report, as long ago as 1949, that not only alcohol but also sugar can produce fibrosis of the liver - that is, an increase in the sort of `scar tissue' that precedes the development of cirrhosis of the liver."
"Is there a link between sugar and cancer?"
"The evidence at present comes chiefly from a study of international statistics and takes the form of an association between the average sugar consumption in different countries, and the incidence of two or three particular forms of cancer. The cancers that seem most likely to be related to sugar consumption are cancer of the large intestine in men and in women, and cancer of the breast in women. ...
During the past ten years ... cancer of the breast has been linked with the female sex hormones, especially oestrogen. ... It has been suggested that cancer of the bowel may be caused by a high concentration of insulin in the blood ...
Whatever is ultimately shown to be the cause of these cancers, the fact is that a high consumption of sugar can produce an increased blood concentration of both of these hormones - insulin and oestrogen."
18. DOES SUGAR ACCELERATE THE LIFE PROCESS - AND DEATH TOO?
"Sugar's effect on growth ... maturity"
"One of the features of affluent countries is the nutritional state of their babies and young children. No longer is there the incidence of nutritional deficiency ... Instead, there is an appreciable number of fat children ...
One of the characteristics of these overweight babies and children is that their growth in height is accelerated as well, and they tend to reach maturity early.
... it is agreed that obesity occurs in bottle-fed babies much more commonly than in the breast-fed.... Formula for the bottle-fed baby is ... cow's milk to which ordinary sugar is added. ... Many of the canned baby foods ... contain added sugar....
All this points to the possible role of sugar in producing childhood obesity. But there is now evidence that sugar may also produce ... the reduction in the age when boys and girls reach maturity. ...
In the past 130 years the age at which Norwegian girls have reached puberty has fallen by almost exactly four years, from an average of 17 years to an average of 13 years. The same trends can be seen in Sweden, England and the United States. ...
In our own experimental work, we have made ... observations that support the suggestion that sugar results in early sex maturity.
... there has been a large increase in sugar consumption amongst Eskimos ....
Between 1938 and 1968 the ... height of ... boy of 11 were 4 ½ inches taller, and girls of 12 or 13 were as much as 8 inches taller. ... The latter change was accompanied by a lowering of the age at which there was the rapid weight gain associated with puberty ...."
"Sugar's effect on longevity"
"... sugar produced larger livers containing more fat .... In addition ... their kidneys were enlarged, and the rats died substantially earlier, at 444 days instead of the 595 days .... If you ... take ... survival period as ... 70 years for a human being, the life-span with a sugar-rich diet was reduced to the equivalent of 51 years."
19. HOW DOES SUGAR PRODUCE ITS EFFECTS?
"Sugar can be expected to produce its effects in several different ways. First, it can act locally on the tissues in the mouth or stomach before it is absorbed. Secondly, it can act after it has been digested and absorbed into the blood stream. Thirdly, it might possibly act by changing the types of microbes that live in the intestines. This could result in a change in the microbial products that appear and get absorbed into the blood, and these in turn might affect the body's metabolism."
"The link between sugar and dental disease"
"Sucrose ...particularly potent cause of caries .... Results in ... foods ... adhering to the teeth ... as a result, the acid produced by bacterial action comes into prolonged contact with the tooth surface."
"The link between sugar and dyspepsia"
"... the diet before the beginning of agriculture ... would not be irritating to the stomach ...
...sugar ... especially if taken in concentrated form on an otherwise empty stomach, will be an irritant. You can actually see the irritation happening if you put a gastroscope into somebody's stomach ....
... there is no doubt of the effectiveness in most patients of the low-carbohydrate diet in the relief of the symptoms of severe and chronic indigestion."
"In trying to understand how sugar can be involved in causing so many diseases and abnormalities, two results of our work have especially impressed me. One is that sugar produces an enlargement of the liver and kidneys of our experimental animals, not only by making all the cells swell up a little, but by actually increasing the number of cells in these organs. ...
The second effect that seems to be important is that sugar can produce, at least in some people, an increase in the levels of insulin and oestrogen and a more striking increase in the level of adrenal cortical hormone; it also produces an enlargement of the adrenal glands in rats."
"Microbes in the digestive tract"
"The third way in which sugar might act is by altering the numbers and proportions of the huge numbers of different microbes that inhabit the intestine. ...
It is known that bottle-fed babies, who often have sucrose added to cow's milk ... have gastroenteritis (diarrhea and vomiting) much more commonly than do breast-fed babies ... It has also been shown that the stools of breast-fed babies contain many more harmless lactobacilli ... and far fewer ... harmful coli bacteria. Again, stools of breast-fed babies tend to kill off added harmful bacteria; those from bottle-fed babies allow them to multiply."
"Sucrose in the blood"
"... very small amounts of undigested sucrose can get into the bloodstream. As we are beginning to find out, sucrose has several potent actions in living cells, and it is quite conceivable that these tiny amounts, over a long period of time, can produce damaging effects on the body tissues."
20. SHOULD SUGAR BE BANNED?
"Because of the strong drives that originally served important biological purposes ...
... I believe that we should not assume that ... people will stop ... once they know that sugar is involved in causing ... overweight ... dental decay ... heart disease, chronic indigestion, ulcers and diabetes, and perhaps a number of other diseases. ...
Sooner or later, I feel, it will be necessary to introduce legislation that ... prevents people from consuming so much sugar and especially prevents parents ... from ruining the health of babies and children."
21. ATTACK IS THE BEST DEFENCE
"An obvious way to respond to attack is simply to deny its basis; an even more subtle way is to claim that exactly the opposite is true. If most people say that sugar causes dental decay, you must keep on publishing advertisements ... which stress ... whether one uses the toothbrush often enough. And when most people say that sugar makes you fat, you mount a campaign in which you claim that in fact sugar makes you slim.
... one sometimes becomes quite despondent about whether it is worth while trying to do scientific research in matters of health? The results may be of great importance in helping people to avoid disease, but you then find that they are being misled by propaganda ....
The sugar industry has constantly attempted to prevent the public from being informed about the harmful effects of sugar. ...
Al Imfeld ... invited me to read a paper on the nutritional role of sugar. Soon after I had sent him my proposed paper, and a month ... before the meeting ...Imfeld wrote to say that the meeting had been cancelled and that he had been dismissed from his job ....
... what was said by Eugenie Hollinger, the representative for consumer affairs of the Migros organization; `I well remember the appearance of the German translation of John Yudkin's sugar report ...in 1974. I had the greatest difficulty ... persuading any newspaper publisher that the book should be reviewed. They were all afraid of an advertising boycott by the affected food industry and distributors.'
Subsequently Imfeld published a book ... which strongly indicts the world-wide activities of the sugar industry and explicitly points out the role it played in bringing about the abandonment of the Institute's original meeting and the loss of his job.
My second example ... Aspartame is produced by ... G.D. Searle, which has a large operation in England. I was approached by the English company to organize a conference dealing generally with carbohydrates in nutrition.... Two weeks or so before the meeting was to take place, it was cancelled.
The person from Searle who for months had been making the manifold technical arrangements for the conference told me the news about the cancellation ... It was the Coca-Cola Company that had pressed Searle to cancel the meeting. Coca-Cola are the world's largest single users of sugar. ... Coca-Cola was negotiating with Searle about using aspartame in these drinks instead of only saccharin .... This fact gave Coca-Cola the opportunity to suggest that their decision could depend on whether Searle proceeded with the conference, which would undoubtedly have publicized new research on the ill-effects produced by the consumption of sugar."
"Telling the truth about tooth decay"
"The most impressive campaign to inform people of the ill-effects of sugar consumption was ... begun in 1977 by the North-Rhine Dental Insurance Association ... or KZV.... This was done mostly through the activities of its chairman, Dr Edvard Knellecken. ... KVZ advertised in newspaper and magazines, wrote letters to doctors, scientists and politicians, and campaigned for a range of legislative measures to combat the promotional activities of the sugar industry. ... They asked for a tax to be put on sugar itself, and on all sugar-rich food and drinks, as there is on tobacco and alcohol.
Sadly, the activities of the KZV were interrupted when Dr. Knellecken was accused of financial fraud ... accusations that were instigated by the sugar industry. As a result, KZV's attempt to inform the German people of the considerable damage that sugar does to their health was brought to a sudden stand still."
("Way back in the 1920's, fighting Senator Robert La Follette, the populist senator from Wisconsin went to bat against the Sugar Lobby. He concluded that the sugar trust not only controls prices, it controls the government.
Today the sugar pushers and cola tycoons have presidents and prime ministers in their pocket. The famous kitchen debate between former Vice President Nixon and Premier Khrushchev in Moscow in the 1960's was in large part a promotion stunt to photograph the premier with a bottle of Pepsi-Cola. Nixon had been Pepsi's lawyer. The president of Pepsi-Cola, Inc., became President of the Nixon Foundation after his lawyer became President of the United States. In 1972, Pepsi obtained the first Russian franchise to peddle its products in the Soviet Union in exchange for distribution rights here for Soviet wines and spirits."
This last quote is from a book I just read called SUGAR BLUES by William Dufty. It can easily be found in a public library or here on Amazon for under $5. `Veritas vos liberabit' Canoeist 5/2012)
I never thought that sugar could be linked to heart disease as I was indoctrinated, like most people, to believe that heart disease is all about eating meat, butter and other fat-laden foods, only. But Dr. Yudkin explains his findings in detail much to the chagrin of those running the Sugar Cartel and other related industries. Get the book and see for yourself.
Very eye-opening and a great perspective builder. Dr. Yudkin's work should be praised for his tireless efforts and his research. Instead, he was suppressed and made to look like a fool by those in power for fear of losing profits. He didn't have all the answers, but his research proved that something was amiss and he just wanted to know the truth.
He stated that if he had the power to do so, he would ban all processed sugar including cane sugar. And as someone who still struggles with sugar, I agree with him. Sugar has been proven to be many times more addictive than cocaine.