Feb 5, 2013


Forty years ago the British physiologist, John Yudkin, wrote a book which became a classic. It was called Pure, White and Deadly.It argued that sugar was bad for us. That was bad for his career and many people simply did not believe the evidence that he gave. Over the years, the evidence about the risks of sugar to our health have been conflicting. Indeed, the advice about preventing obesity has focused hugely on avoiding fat in the diet but has almost completely ignored the risks of sugar and, for that matter, refined carbohydrates like white flour or potato starch.

In the British Medical Journal this week the importance of sugar again comes to the fore. In a study looking at over 15,000 trials and combining all the results, the findings are clear. Increasing intake of sugar resulted in an increase of body weight. Decreasing sugar resulted in a fall in body weight. Sugar-sweetened drinks seemed to be particularly important.

Ten years ago the World Health Organisation recommended that sugar intake be limited to a total of 10% of all the energy we eat, but sadly this does not appear to be happening. We need to rebalance our diets.

It turns out that many starchy foods, particularly processed flour or potato starch, cause a rise in blood sugar levels similar to having sugar (sucrose) itself. This is another thing that has been poorly recognised over the years.

Unfortunately for us, we like sweet things. We need to retrain ourselves. Perhaps the next time you go to the doctor you will get asked not only how many cigarettes you smoke, how much alcohol you drink, but also how many sugary drinks you consume each week.

Something to ponder . . . .

For more information, read the article here .

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