This is just a small list of some resources I have come across on the topic of sugar. Don’t take my word for it; plenty of experts are out there talking about it. I have interacted with all the resources below and highly recommend them.
Books to check out:
- Year of No Sugar: this was the book that inspired me on my journey away from sugar. The first part of the book is filled with lots of helpful information on what sugar is, why we should avoid it, and practical ways to do so. It’s a great picture into a family who went without sugar in all forms for an entire year. Eve also has her own website, which is super helpful. www.yearofnosugar.com
- I Quit Sugar Cookbook: I didn’t end up making many recipes from this cookbook, though many of them looked good. But I loved the the first section of the book, which is extremely informative about sugar and why it’s so bad for us.
- Sugar, Salt, Fat: this book mostly made me mad. The author talks about what goes on behind the scenes with food companies. Big take away: If you buy something that is “low-cal” or “low-fat,” it just means they bump up the sugar and the salt. Sugar, salt, and fat is what makes food taste good, and food scientists know that. So they might make something “low sodium” and minimize the salt content while increasing the sugar and fat content. Basically marketed healthy food isn’t always better for you.
- Sweet Poison: Why Sugar Makes Us Fat: I haven’t read this book yet but really want to. David Gillespie (quoted often by Eve in Year of No Sugar) is a pioneer in this area and is making big waves. From his site: “Sweet Poison is a forensic analysis of recent scientific research on the causes of the obesity epidemic. The book takes a hard look at the research supporting the current ‘fat makes you fat and exercise makes you thin’ public health dogma.” David discovers “research (over 3,500 studies) on the extreme damage potentially caused by fructose (one half of sugar). Sweet Poison is the story of the case against fructose as told through the eyes of a former corporate lawyer who believes in the principle that sometimes things are as simple as they seem. The book exposes the entities that benefit from addition of fructose to our food supply and looks closely at how we all pay the price.” Good stuff!
- Sugar Nation: The Hidden Truth Behind America’s Deadliest Habit and the Simple Way to Beat It: The author, Jeff, finds out from his doctor that he is prediabetic. Meanwhile, his father is dying from complications from diabetes. Jeff starts digging into nutrition, learns about the disease, and changes his whole lifestyle to become more healthy and avoid having full blown diabetes. Easy to read, like a story, and it has tons and tons of stories and statistics that will blow your mind. Highly recommend it.
Articles to start with:
10 reasons, backed by science, why sugar is really bad for you.
But wait, can’t sugar be okay in moderation? Leading experts are now saying no amount of added sugar is safe. Good news – fruit is still good for us! (More articles to check out included at the end of this one).
Discover how it’s possible that each American eats 130 lbs of sugar per year. (Hint: it’s called added sugar in everything).
Cool infographic that helps make all these stats make more sense (yay for pictures!).
Cassie Platt tried an extreme “sugar free” diet for awhile and didn’t like the results. Because of all the added sugar in most of our food, we can’t be too careful in minimizing our sugar intake. But she points to the other side of the story — you can’t blame every single health problem on sugar intake, and it’s okay to eat a better balanced diet instead of never touching sugar again. Because of the typical American diet, I think it’s more important to emphasize as little sugar as possible, but I understand where she is coming from.
Documentaries on food in general (I found these on Netflix):
- Fed Up (2014)
- Farmaggeddon (2011)
- Hungry for Change (2012)
- Food Matters (2008)
- Forks Over Knives (2011)
- Food, Inc (2008)
- GMO OMG: Is this the end of real food? (2013)
Videos to start with:
- How sugar affects the brain: What makes it so hard to resist sugar? Turns out it’s…our brain!
- Sugar hiding in plain sight: Easy to understand video about how all the added sugar gets into our diet.
- The Bitter Truth – Dr. Robert Lustig: You won’t go very far in researching sugar before coming across this guy. He’s got all the science to back up what people have been saying for years, and I am guessing the food companies do not like him. This video is incredible, but it’s 1.5 hours long with lots of chemistry involved. If you want to read the gist of it from my personal notes, click here.
- Eve Shraub talks about her family’s adventures during their year of no sugar (book by the same title is amazing). If you don’t want to watch her whole talk, click here for some bullet points.