Read Sugar Blues by William Dufty Free Online
Book Title: Sugar Blues|
The author of the book: William Dufty
Edition: Cancer Book House
Date of issue: June 1st 1976
ISBN 13: 9780446305129
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 319 KB
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Reader ratings: 6.7
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I would really only recommend this book to someone interested in the history of sugar's refinement and its integration into societies. For that, this book is excellent (or at least appears to be - more on that shortly). Beyond a history lesson though, it falls seriously short. The author is clearly a fanatic, as evidenced by his blaming everything from mental illnesses to the Bubonic plague to freckles on sugar consumption.
I read this book based on a recommendation and the fact that I'm somewhat of a naturalist when it comes to food. In that same vein, I also tend to believe refined carbohydrates are more damaging to our bodies than saturated fat, which has been a staple part of our diets for millennia. I was hoping to expand my knowledge on the subject, specifically regarding sugar, but it's extremely hard to take the author's claims at face value when every so often he throws in a gem like that freckle bit. You never know what you can trust, and that is seriously frustrating.
This book did motivate me to do a little side research, so I'll offer the results of that here for those interested. As Dufty claims, it is true that your typical iodized Morton table salt contains dextrose (I verified this in my own kitchen). However, it amounts to 0.04% by mass, and the only reason it's present is to stabilize the iodine. That amount is completely inconsequential. At that ratio, to get a TEASPOON of sugar, you'd have to eat around a quarter pound of salt. Good luck. Morton standard (non-iodized) table salt does not contain dextrose.
The other thing that really caught my eye was the study Dufty mentioned where a French physiologist named Francois Magendie fed dogs a diet of sugar and water and studied the effects. Because the dogs died, Dufty concluded, and I quote, "As a steady diet, sugar is worse than nothing. Plain water can keep you alive for quite some time. Sugar and water can kill you." (p136-7, his emphasis) I poked around for a while trying to track down this study, and what I found is laughable but interesting. This is a direct quote from Magendie himself (assuming the Journal of Nutrition is to be trusted): "I took a small dog of three years old, fat, and in good health, and put it to feed upon sugar alone, and gave it distilled water to drink: it had as much as it chose of both...[details over time of the dog's diminishing strength, decreasing appetite, and the development of ulcers in the dog's eyes]...It expired the 32nd day of the experiment." 
So. What we have here is a single healthy dog, fed nothing but sugar and water, that lived for 32 days. You can actually conclude something useful from this: that sugar (commonly referred to as "empty calories") cannot keep you alive - this dog very clearly starved to death and experienced some nutritional deficiencies along the way. You could then say that sugar is worse than nothing...in the sense that sugar also causes cavities. Concluding that the dog died faster than if it'd had only water, on the other hand, is complete and utter conjecture. It was a single dog of unspecified breed, and there was no control. The other examples Dufty lists to back his claim are simply cases of humans living for a while without food. I wanted to buy the spats of nutritional biochemistry, but I feel as though I'd have to verify everything myself. There are far better sources of information out there, such as Good Calories, Bad Calories.
[1. Journal of Nutrition reprint]
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Read information about the authorWilliam Francis Dufty was an American writer, musician, and activist. Including ghostwriting, he wrote approximately 40 books.
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