Book Review: Sugar Blues

I’m not exactly sure how I learned about Sugar Blues.  If I remember correctly, it was casually mentioned in a youtube clip from a natural dietician and herbalist that I respect. It caught my attention because he mentioned that the book was over 30 years old but was still one of the most complete writings on the history and current effects of sugar that existed.  It also caught my attention because as I get older I start to really understand the gravity of what diabetes is and what it has done to a lot of my family.  Diabetes has done so much damage that I feel compelled to gain a better personal understanding of the circumstances and factors that contribute to it and process all the information (and misinformation) that I have been given about it thus far.  At the root of all of this confusion is one thing – sugar.

As far as i’m concerned, there are three categories of books: boring books, good books, and game-changers.  Boring books are usually boring because they either lack useful information or the information loses its’ impact because of the style of writing. Good books are able to keep our attention long enough to present their information effectively, and game-changers are books that you will never forget and effectively change the way you view the entire world around you.

Sugar Blues by William Dufty is a game-changer.

Since I started reading it last week I haven’t been able to eat any sugar and have been inspecting the ingredients of everything that I had used before.  I feel like I have to put everything on hold until finish reading and processing the information this book presents.

The term “Sugar Blues” is a reference to the title of an old song about the roller-coaster ride sugar provides.  The author, William Dufty, also uses the term in reference to the up-and-down feeling that sugar gives us as our bodies try to process a man made product that has no nutritional value and is bad for our bodies.  Plain and simple, sugar is a drug.  It may not be marketed or classified as a drug, but it definitely is.  More importantly, sugar is probably the most dangerous and profitable drug in the history of mankind.  I know those are strong words, but if you have an open mind and understand the historical context you will soon agree.

However, perspective is important here because sugar (specifically the man-made refined sugar we consume vast amounts of) has not been around since the beginning of time.  Refined sugar has only been around for about 400 years.  All the sugary additives have been around less than 100 years.

Sugar Blues takes the reader through an often skipped over history of sugar: its’ discovery, its’ economic impact on the rise and fall of many nations, its’ role in the slave trade, and its’ link to various diseases and plagues.  All of it is fascinating.  The book is only 250 pages but it the information contained in it is extremely heavy.

One of the most important and moving parts of the book is the questions it will leave you about the American Medical Association’s (AMA) and Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) relationship with the producers and pushers of sugar, and how those institutions have always been compromised by the financial power of the sugar industry.  The medical and sugar industry have gone to great lengths to shut down dissenting voices that speak out on the real dangers of sugar because there is so much money involved.  We tend to think of industries like the Oil and Tobacco as the most powerful and evil industries, and overlook the sugar industry, but this book has changed my feelings on that completely.

I’ve read a lot of books this year, many really good books, but not many that I would universally suggest to people across the board.  However, Sugar Blues by William Dufty is one that I would.  Reading this book has inspired me to rethink the role of sugar in my life and check out a couple other books on sugar to gain an ever greater understanding of the concepts and history presented in Dufty’s book.

It’s an easy read with some deep information in it and I believe it will change your life for the better.

Check out Sugar Blues when you get some time.

Word is Blog.

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