The more sugar we eat, the more we want. Food manufacturers exploit our sugar addiction by lacing it through 'non-sweet' products, such as bread, sauces, soups and cereals. Sweet Poison exposes one of the great health scourges of our time and offers a wealth of practical and accessible information on how to avoid fructose, increase your enjoyment of food and lose weight.
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Added sugar is 11 times more potent at causing diabetes than general calories. Well, look more closely through the microscope, and Lustig and others believe it is the fructose molecule in sugar that is to blame.
Sweet Poison. David Gillespie was 40kg overweight, lethargic, sleep-deprived and the father of four, with twins on the way. He knew he needed to lose weight. Sweet Poison exposes one of the great health scourges of our time and offers a wealth of practical and accessible information on how to avoid fructose, increase your enjoyment of food and lose weight. David Gillespie was 40kg overweight, lethargic, sleep-deprived and the father of.
Lustig explains that instead of helping to sate us, some scientists believe that fructose fools our brains into thinking we are not full, so we overeat. Moreover, excess fructose cannot be converted into energy by the mitochondria inside our cells which perform this function. That starts a cascade of insulin resistance insulin promotes sugar uptake from blood which leads to chronic metabolic disease, including diabetes and heart disease.
So do we stop eating fruit in order to go sugar-free? The problem lies in sources of sweetness like corn syrup, agave or maple syrup and honey, which contain a higher percentage of fructose than fruit, especially if they have been processed, meaning additional fructose is added in. Some agave nectars, for example, can be 92 per cent fructose, eight per cent glucose.
The food industry loves these sweeteners, especially high fructose corn syrup HFCS , as they make every type of food more palatable — from soup to bagels, ketchup to bread. As a liquid, it is also easier to blend and transport. His theory goes a long way to explaining why the low-fat diets which rose to popularity in the Seventies have coincided with a rise in obesity and related illnesses. So before you can think about giving these sweeteners up, you have to turn label detective — and find them.
Thousands of miles away, nodding in agreement, is David Gillespie, a Brisbane-based lawyer turned researcher whose Sweet Poison books chart his own decision to stop eating sugar, resulting in him losing six stone without dieting in a year. They are all hard to give up because they are addictive — but they are all easy to give up once you understand what you are doing and why.
They can tell you where the confectionery aisle or the breakfast cereal aisle is in a strange supermarket by smell alone. Sugar is deeply and thoroughly embedded in our food supply. Even the actual number of calories we consume has fallen: Defra figures show that there has been a long-term downward trend in energy intake since , with average energy intake per person 28 per cent lower in than in Yet, obesity rates continue to rise: This is a mighty problem: Obesity is associated with cardiovascular risk and with cancer, disability during old age, decreased life expectancy and serious chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis and hypertension.
Like Lustig, Gillespie sees our inate weight problem as connected to the rise in consumption of hidden sugar.
When Lizzie announced our fifth child was to be twins, I had to do something. Fascinated, Gillespie soaked up research papers which connected fructose in particular to fatty liver disease, to appetite stimulation, and to gout, diabetes, memory loss and, of course, obesity. First the liver, then the pancreas, then the kidneys, and ultimately the heart. The more he learnt, the more Gillespie was determined to do something about his own eating habits. For Gillespie, the weight started dropping straight away, but the sense of addiction took a little longer to go: I had stumbled upon a way of fixing what had obviously been a broken appetite control system up to that point in my life.
But there were setbacks: I was out at a fundraiser and was served up a chocolate cake. I did, and two weeks later was once again able to walk past chocolate without feeling any particular longing. His family were not left behind.
That mood roller-coaster is one of the reasons Gwyneth Paltrow, in a blog entry on her website Goop, gives for quitting sugar: You get anxious, moody sugar is a mood-altering drug and eventually you feel exhausted. So is it time for everyone to accept a life of total abstinence? Just remember, sugar contains calories but few nutrients, so eating too much added sugar and sugary food and drinks instead of other healthy foods can make your diet less nutritious.
And not all scientists agree with Lustig: Even so, Gillespie points out: In Australia, hundreds of thousands of people have successfully quit sugar. And once the decision is made, it can be stuck to. My weight stays the same and I eat and exercise normally not like a person on a diet. I am no more tempted to eat sugar again than a smoker who has successfully quit for 10 years would be tempted to light up again. Do you have routines around sugar consumption — for example, always having pudding, or needing a piece of chocolate to relax in front of the television?