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The Case Against Sugar Paperback – Illustrated, December 12, 2017
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Among Americans, diabetes is more prevalent today than ever; obesity is at epidemic proportions; nearly 10% of children are thought to have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. And sugar is at the root of these, and other, critical society-wide, health-related problems. With his signature command of both science and straight talk, Gary Taubes delves into Americans' history with sugar: its uses as a preservative, as an additive in cigarettes, the contemporary overuse of high-fructose corn syrup. He explains what research has shown about our addiction to sweets. He clarifies the arguments against sugar, corrects misconceptions about the relationship between sugar and weight loss; and provides the perspective necessary to make informed decisions about sugar as individuals and as a society.
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"[A] blitz of a book... Mr. Taubes’s argument is so persuasive that, after reading The Case Against Sugar, this functioning chocoholic cut out the Snacking Bark and stopped eating cakes and white bread... The Case Against Sugar should be a powerful weapon against future misinformation." —Eugenia Bone, The Wall Street Journal
"Compelling... Perhaps at long last, sugar is getting its just desserts." —The Economist
"Taubes builds his case through lawyerly layering of rich detail... Extraordinary and refreshing." —The Atlantic
"Taubes sifts through centuries’ worth of data... Practically everything one wants to know about sugar—its history, its geography, the addiction it causes—is here. In the end, each of us is confronted with a choice. Continue consuming sugar at our current level and suffer the ill effects. Or reduce, if not eliminate, it from our diet, thereby improving our odds of living a long, healthy life." —The Seattle Times
"I can't think of another journalist who has had quite as profound an influence on the conversation about nutrition." —Michael Pollan
“[The Case Against Sugar] should be required reading if only to understand the scope, power, and impact that Big Sugar has had on America’s health—or, perhaps more accurately, sickness.” —Outside
“Staggering… Taubes’s brilliant and accessible science writing has won him many fans.” —Booklist, starred review
"[Taubes] delivers another convincing book... Fascinating and illuminating.” —Library Journal
“[Taubes’s work is] compelling, as well as meticulously explained and researched. Readers will hate to love this book, since it will cause them to thoroughly rethink the place of sugar in their diets.” —Publishers Weekly
“[Taubes] helps us understand how to make better decisions regarding sugar as individuals and as a nation.” —Library Journal
“The obesity epidemic is an ever-growing threat to the overall health of our nation. In making the case against sugar, Gary Taubes details the often insidious efforts by the sugar industry to hide how harmful it is, just as the tobacco companies once did. This is required reading for not only every parent, but every American.” —Katie Couric
“No one in this country has worked harder on or better understood the role of sugar in our diet than Gary Taubes. As a journalist, an investigator, a scientist, and an advocate, he is without peer. (Plus, he knows how to write.) The Case Against Sugar is not only a terrific history but a forward-thinking document that can help us think more intelligently about how (and how not) to eat.” —Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything Fast
“Once again, the brilliant Gary Taubes manages to make a complex scientific subject easy to understand. The Case Against Sugar is a riveting history of ideas, a clear analysis of evidence, and an utterly persuasive argument that sugar is the new tobacco. Taubes methodically explains why sugar—not sloth, not fat—accounts for our unprecedented levels of obesity, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Taubes answers every counter-argument as he exposes bad research, reveals conflicts of interest, and explodes myths.” —Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project
“I am grateful beyond words for Gary Taubes's courageous and meticulous documentation of the health dangers of sugar. No one has hit the political and economic forces behind this 'acceptable' addiction as clearly and unflinchingly. The information in this book will, quite literally, save your life if you apply it." —Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom
“If you ever doubted that sugar is the root cause of our obesity, diabetes, and heart disease epidemic, then look no further than The Case Against Sugar. This deeply researched, well-reasoned exploration of the history and biology of sugar would convince any supreme court of nutrition that it is sugar, not fat, that should be indicted and limited. Doctors, scientists, policymakers, and concerned eaters would do well to heed Gary Taubes’s advice.” —Mark Hyman, M.D., author of The Blood Sugar Solution
“The Case Against Sugar is just that. It’s a carefully reasoned, persuasive account of how doubts about sugar in the modern diet were systematically overlooked for over a century. Gary Taubes has become an important voice in the debate surrounding nutrition. He once again presents a compelling argument that will challenge our knowledge about the connection between food and health—it’s a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the impact of the ingredients we eat.” —Nathan Myhrvold, lead author of Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking
About the Author
- Publisher : Anchor; Illustrated edition (December 12, 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0307946649
- ISBN-13 : 978-0307946645
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.1 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #42,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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This book is a 200 page history of sugar and civilization - discovery, manufacturing, marketing, economics, regulation, etc - followed by 25 pages or so of somewhat relevant information. If you really want to the name of the scientist that did research on sugar and fat production or the name of the company that set up in Africa to export the stuff, then maybe this is the book you are looking for. That isn't what I wanted. What I wanted was to know how sugar was harmful, what the negative pathways were, and whether other similar foods had similar issues. There is a small amount of that in the last 25 pages but its tucked into yet more excessive narative so it's not much fun trying to dig it out.
The author wanted to write a long story. This book should have been called "The Story of Sugar". That would have been an honest title. If the author wanted to write a book titled "The Case Against Sugar", he could have done so in about 12 pages by providing dense, pertinent information to the reader.
Robert Lustig -- THE HACKING OF THE AMERICAN MIND
Gary Taubes -- THE CASE AGAINST SUGAR
Gary Taubes, as a journalist, demonstrates the best of objective science. Often a journalist makes the facts clearer than a scientist ever does. In his previous books, one stands out for public health relevance. That is WHY WE GET FAT.
Taubes makes a case for sugar as the main factor that, far above all else, is the reason we have epidemics of gout, high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose, insulin resistance, diabetes, arterial disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease and more. All of these are hormonally related to metabolic syndrome, the topic that put Lustig in the forefront of nutritional science. Taubes gives a historical background of opposing views fairly, with little condemnation, though much activity of sugar industry representatives could have been judged criminal.
Opposing views: "Chronic diseases are caused by overeating and under-activity. (more calories in than out.)" "Eat less and exercise more" has a history of failure, but heavily promoted by the industry with massive publicity efforts over many years. Some observers were not fooled, but they were few, and did not have the media presence of Frederick Stare and Ansel Keys.
My crude accusation: The industry-government-medical-media complex that tried to make sugar into a health food and denied its role in disease may have caused over 100,000,000 to die short of their normal life span, living their last years in misery. The death count and misery is rapidly growing even now.
Taubes quotes a reason for this opposition, other than self (selfish) interest: "As soon as we think we are right about something," as New Yorker writer Kathryn Schulz noted in the 2010 book BEING WRONG, we narrow our focus, attending only to details that support our belief, or ceasing to listen altogether."
Fortunately, Gary Taubes understands this.
This is my understanding of THE HACKING OF THE AMERICAN MIND by Robert Lustig: Sugar has the same neurohormonal paths in the brain as opiods. Sugar is addictive with brief hits of pleasure, but not satisfying, with long-range health consequences. We want more because a little is not satisfying. We crave more to the point of leaving other nutrients lacking, and food without sugar becomes tasteless. The book is not about sugar, though that may be Lustig's most vital point. It is about addictions, hormones of pleasure and hormones of happiness that do not lead to contentment. Though I have studied nutrition and endocrinology for many years, that is not my main interest. I am interested in what Lustig says about sugar. I am author of an orthomolecular nutrition textbook, but my greater interest is in the health and welfare of many people I know who suffer from chronic diseases, or are heading that way.
I have a problem with Lustig's writing about drugs. He overstated the value of psychoactive prescription drugs and seemed unaware of the extent of harm. I have seen too many lives destroyed by these to let that pass. His suggested that cannabanoids and even limited use of LSD may be more effective. They could hardly be worse.
I expect Taubes's book to be the one that makes a difference in the world, with Lustig's as vital scientific background, with both giving accounts of how the powers of this world hack the minds of all of us.
1. Sugar excess is the major cause of modern chronic diseases.
2. Sugar is addictive and not satisfying. Excess leads to disappointment, not happiness or contentment.
3. Sugar substitutes have little evidence of benefit.
4. We can benefit greatly in prevention and treatment by reducing sugar to near the level used by our ancestors or non-industrial populations. Skipping deserts is a useless token, not a solution. Fruit is good, not fruit juice. Sweet drinks of all kinds are out. Most processed foods have sugar added, and must be regarded as toxic.
5. We need fat, even saturated fat, a spectrum of natural fats. Coconut oil, fish oil. bacon. Fats add flavor, satisfaction and satiety.
6. We need phytonutrients and minerals which are scarce in modern food.
7. Changing is hard. Changing is scary to anticipate, pleasant to remember.
If these two books are too much for you, try a fun but scientific book by Denise Minger: DEATH BY FOOD PYRIMID.