Who can forget the message of Mary Poppins telling us that “…a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” Yes, we humans certainly like our sugar. To be sure, added sugar certainly increases our desire to consume a lot more than the “medicine” described in the song. It’s concerning to consider that of the 1.2 million food products sold in America’s grocery stores, approximately 68% have added sweeteners. This represents an active attempt to hack into our primitive desire for sweet and to alter our food choices moving forward. Continue reading
It’s something we all do at the holidays, when we’re surrounded by gingerbread men, hot cocoa, fruitcakes, and chocolate candies. Faced with the choice of the sweet treat or healthier alternatives, we remind ourselves the holidays come but once a year, and we all fall into a sugar-laden trap. Continue reading
Wow! Yesterday, the release of Grain Brain Revised, was an incredibly exciting day. From visiting with the folks at MindBodyGreen to taking your questions live in numerous live chats on Facebook and Instagram, I was privileged to get to spend the day speaking with you all and spreading our message on optimal health.
But it goes without saying that the most provocative part of my day was how it started — my conversation with CBS This Morning. Let me start by saying it was an honor to get to sit with such a storied team of reporters. It was humbling to have Gayle, John, and the entire team present for this dialogue.
Over the past several years I have frequently referred to Dr. Robert Lustig’s incredibly important book, Fat Chance – The Bitter Truth About Sugar. Dr. Lustig was one of the pioneers in raising awareness as to the addictive issues surrounding sugar as well as its profoundly detrimental effects on human health. Continue reading
Several years ago, when I wrote Grain Brain, I had a long discussion with our publisher centered around choosing the best subtitle. Ultimately, we decided to emphasize the toxic role of sugar and carbs on the brain, and with good reason. Since that time, there have been a large number of studies that have confirmed the thesis that elevated blood sugar is profoundly detrimental, not just for the brain in general, but for brain function as well.
As the authors of a new paper entitled, Brain atrophy in ageing: Estimating effects of blood glucose levels vs. other type 2 diabetes effects point out, our brains shrink as we age with as much as 5% volume loss occurring between age 60 and 70. And as you would expect, this correlates with declining function.
A lot of the research has shown that type 2 diabetes (T2D) is what accelerates brain aging. But as this new study shows, it’s not the diagnosis of T2D that is the issue. Well before that diagnosis is made, brain structure is affected by blood sugar, even in the “normal” range! Continue reading
The message that we should all dramatically reduce our sugar consumption is really gaining traction and for good reason. This was a central theme of Grain Brain, and these ideas have certainly been validated since I published that book back in 2013.
Unfortunately, as people have learned about the threats of sugar consumption, soft drink manufacturers have decided to emphasize sugar-free beverages, sweetened with artificial sweeteners, as a “healthy” alternative. To be clear, nothing is further from the truth.
Gary Taubes’ new book, The Case Against Sugar, is a riveting deep-dive into the history, politics, perverted science, and subterfuge that have had supporting roles in making sugar so pervasive. Really, who better to write this book than Gary Taubes?!
Gary Taubes is an investigative science and health journalist and co-founder of the non-profit Nutrition Science Initiative (NuSI.org). He is the author of Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It and Good Calories, Bad Calories (The Diet Delusion in the UK). Taubes is the recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research, and has won numerous other awards for his journalism. These include the International Health Reporting Award from the Pan American Health Organization and the National Association of Science Writers Science in Society Journalism Award, which he won in 1996, 1999 and 2001. (He is the first print journalist to win this award three times.) Taubes graduated from Harvard College in 1977 with an S.B. degree in applied physics, and received an M.S. degree in engineering from Stanford University (1978) and in journalism from Columbia University (1981).
These are impressive accolades for sure, but what’s most impressive about Gary is his life’s dedication to helping change our views on sugar, which clearly represents a clear and present danger to global health, coupled with his incredible skill in communicating this information.
Diet books, as a category, are among the most popular titles sold in bookstores, and with good reason. With soaring rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic conditions, and an overall lack of any meaningful “medical” fixes for these issues, consumers are desperately seeking out other venues that may provide answers and actionable information to combat these common maladies.
But whether a nutritionally-themed book is focused on blood type, targeting gene expression, lengthening telomeres, or even going gluten-free, one central theme that has emerged with widespread commonality is the importance of reducing sugar.