(2008 Feb blog post)
(Preliminary! Bibliography under construction.
More links and quotes and books to be added.)
Below is a list of books on food, drugs, and supplements --- especially as they affect health and body weight. Some quotes from the books are also presented --- quotes that really 'struck home' to me.
Many of these books document the ill effects of too much sugar-and-starch consumption (or drug consumption) on human health --- especially among humans who have an abundance of bad, manufactured food (and drugs) to choose from --- in particular, in the United States.
I ran across many of these books in 2004-2005 as I was trying to find something to add to my diet to turn my health around (pains in knees, failing vision, overweight, and other issues). It turned out that what I really needed to do was remove something from my diet --- too much refined sugar --- and too much starch, mostly in the form of refined flour --- in pastry products. It is my hope that this book list can be of help to others who are seeking a resolution to health problems.
The book list is in alphabetical order by last name of a lead (or first-named) author --- and then by publication date (oldest first).
To give a flavor of each book, two or three notable quotes are presented for many of these books --- after a publishing date and publisher name. There is also a web link or two or three --- for book or author or publisher --- if available.
There are statements in many of these books that are questionable in terms of a definite positive impact on your health. But by selecting from each book, you can put together a program to achieve "powerful health".
I have found the basis of a powerful-health program in the title of one book (by Dr. Gott) and in the sub-title of another (by Michael Pollan).
The third point comes from my own sad experiences with drugs (prescribed by doctors without warnings on how to deal with serious side-effects, and used by doctors for the beneficial effects without taking precautions to avoid the damage that can be done, by health professionals or by the drugs themselves). Those experiences were substantiated by issues raised in the book by Dr. Abramson.
You can do a web search on author and/or title to get more information on the author or book. If I find on-line excerpts of any of these books (for example, at Google Books) or find good info on authors or books (for example, at Wikipedia), I will add those links.
Start of book list :
"What I found .. is a scandal in medical science that is at least the equivalent of any of the recent corporate scandals that have shaken Americans' confidence in the integrity of the corporate and financial worlds. Rigging medical studies, mis-representing research results published in even the most influential medical journals, and withholding the findings of whole studies that don't come out in a sponsor's favor have all become the accepted norm in commercially sponsored medical research."
"To keep the lid sealed on this corruption of medical science --- and to ensure its translation into medical practice --- there is a complex web of corporate influence that includes disempowered regulatory agencies, commercially sponsored medical education, brilliant advertising, expensive public relations campaigns, and manipulation of free media coverage. And last, but not least, are the financial ties between many of the most trusted medical experts and the medical industry."
"Half of all personal bankruptcies in the United States are caused by medical expenses."
"Many of the mechanisms that Americans trust to protect their health and resources have been dismantled by political pressure from doctors and medical industry lobbyists, while others have become absurdly dominated by people with financial ties to the pharmaceutical companies ... The shocking news is that this is now commonplace at even the most trusted of American health institutions, the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration."
"The ugliest truth of all is that these enormous costs do not come close to producing commensurate improvements in our health --- the health of Americans is actually losing ground to that of the citizens of other industrialized countries, which are spending far less and at the same time providing health care to all of their citizens."
"Every day, wasteful ... therapies ... are prescribed in the name of 'state-of-the-art' health care: ... expensive drugs when lifestyle changes would be far more effective at protecting health; ..."
"It's a race to the ethical bottom." [Sounds like the financial industry, doesn't it?]
[Much of the book is spent giving specific examples to support the above statements.]
Atkins, Robert C., M.D. - Dr. Atkins' Nutrition Breakthrough - How to Treat Your Medical Condition without Drugs, 1981, a Perigord Press book, William Morrow & Co. Inc., NY, NY
"... our society's diet is anti blood sugar control, and it is our blood sugar control mechanism that is most likely to go out of kilter, both as a result of our diet and as a result of the drugs we may ingest."
"Unfortunately, the civilized Western diet's refined, processed foods and the proportions in which we eat them pave the way for susceptible people to 'lose their balance'. They no longer obtain the right nutrients in the right proportions. ... they succumb to ... chronic conditions ... All because the goodness and balance Grandma associated with the proper mix of foods have been refined out."
"We still feed our children sugar-coated junk and sugar-laced soft drinks. We unknowingly eat foods with disguised sugar. We eat gummy white bread ridden with 'dough conditioners', stabilizers, enhancers, and other chemicals. We have no idea what the long-term effects of these substances will be."
"John Yudkin, M.D., professor of nutrition at Queen Elizabeth College, University of London, England, reports that results of all studies combined demonstrate a greater correlation between sugar intake and heart disease than between fat intake and heart disease."
"One school of thought would have you believe that lack of fiber is the root of all evil, and another that lack of vitamins and minerals is the real problem. The third school would tell you that sugar is the main villain. I maintain that they're all valid, some more so than others."
"In my view, sugar comes into the picture not only because the excess of it may give rise to blood sugar instability and problems with the insulin mechanism, but because sugar itself is highly refined and as such takes the place of other, more nutrient-filled sources of calories in our diet."
"I ask you what you eat." [When was the last time you heard a doctor ask you that?]
[After introductory comments like these, the book deals with specific chronic and repetitive conditions, such as degenerative disease (arthritis, diabetes), vascular disease, cancer, alcoholism, anxiety, insomnia, depression, allergies, colds, viruses, etc.]
"NHANES [National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey], the major government survey that tracks the weight patterns of the nation, found ... that from 1980 to 1990, the percentage of overweight American adults went up from 26 percent of the population to 34 percent --- a truly massive and astonishing 30 percent jump."
"Many of our major health problems and most of our weight problems are indeed nutritional, but they spring from eating the refined, processed, and devitalized food of the modern world, not from eating too many steaks or chicken breasts. I'd like to assure you that the health-problem foods that are really waiting to ambush you are sugar and sweeteners, hydrogentated oils and white flour, margarine and soda pop."
"Low-carbohydrate diets have often gotten a bum rap in the press and for that reason I hope that before you go on the Atkins diet you'll begin by having blood tests and measuring your blood pressure. After you've been on the diet for a few weeks, have these numbers checked again. Then, if your family or friends criticize you for doing something so unorthodox as ignoring the low-fat dogmas prevalent now, you'll be able to point to the irrefutable, numerical improvements in such health indicators as cholesterol and triglyceride levels and blood pressure. There's nothing like showing people that you're getting healthy even while they're watching you get slim."
"When you eat, your body produces blood sugar (glucose). If you eat carbohydrate food, expecially ... refined carbohydrates ..., the glucose level goes up rapidly. Insulin is released to lower it. The insulin enables some of that glucose to be used for energy and stores the rest as ... fat. In fact, one wise scientist referred to insulin as 'the fat-producing hormone'."
"Be food aware --- meat, fish, fowl, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and occasional fruits and starches are the foods nature designed you to eat. Avoid processed foods. Eat fresh and natural to the best of your ability."
"Avoid sugar and corn syrup and white flour and cornstarch like the plague. ... these are the foods of overweight and ill health."
[After introductory comments like these, most of the rest of the book is devoted to recipes.]
"The first documented example of the harm wrought by refining is in the polishing of rice. ... the highly nutritious rice husks (or polishings) were discarded in making white rice ... A plethora of white-rice-only diets produced an epidemic of beriberi [in southeast Asia] that could be dramatically cured by a small quantity of rice polishings. Thus the negative effects of refining nutrients out of foods was established and has proven just how essential those nutrients are."
"The quintessential anti-nutrient is sugar. It is 100 percent carbohydrate and contains no vitamins or minerals. ... Corn syrup, the simple sugar most rapidly increasing in usage, poses the same problem."
"Flour is a close second to sugar and corn syrup in health-threatening effects. However, its negative effect is more significant because its consumption is being encouraged by the U.S. government. ... While unmilled whole grains are indeed a significant source of essential minerals and other micronutrients, the milling process removes some 70 - 90 percent of these nutrients, leading to the same anit-nutrient effect ascribed to sugar. 'Enriching' the grains by adding an incomplete smattering of synthetic B vitamins and inorganic iron does little to change the results. The vital minerals selenium, chromium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, and copper are not replaced, nor are key nutrients like essential fatty acids and B6. Yet the perpetrators of the food pyramid make no effort whatsoever to distinguish between whole grains and white flour, even though all nutritionists on the advisory panels are totally aware of the enormous nutritional depletion involved in the refining process. Worst of all, Americans are now consuming carbohydrates like pasta, cereal, bread, and crackers more than ever before, mistakenly believing they are making a healthy choice."
"The widespread use of antibiotics has created ... people with shortages of beneficial bacteria [in their gut] that help keep pathogenic yeast in check."
"My story starts in 1963. After completing my study of internal medicine and cardiology at Cornell, Columbia, and Rochester Universities, I totally accepted mainstream medicine. Because I was overweight, I decided to embark on a diet that I had read in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This diet (which many of you now know as the Atkins diet) worked extremely well and allowed over 99 percent of people who followed it to lose weight without hunger and with increased energy. By 1972, I had introduced ten thousand patients to the diet, and their successes were consistently and predictably replicated. I wrote my first book, Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution, and it became a huge best-seller that was printed in nine languages. I received tens of thousands of letters from all over the world confirming the diet's nearly universal success. But at the height of its popularity, a remakable event took place that changed my life forever."
"In 1973, the American Medical Association called for a special nutrition consensus panel to issue a press release and position paper critical of the low-carbohydrate diet. Though consensus panels customarily review the work in question and acknowledge all scientific studies pertinent to the subject being critiqued, this one did neither. It said, in essence, that what I had been observing and documenting for nine years could not have happened. They denied that my patients had lost weight, claiming that people lose only water weight on such a diet. They denied their improved state of health and laboratory findings by announcing that people would surely get worse. In other words, the panel proclaimed that Dr. Atkins could not be telling the truth. And because it was made up of AMA appointees, its opinion was unchallenged in the world of mainstream medicine."
"Naturally I was shocked. Either my entire professional life, patient records, letters, confirming studies in the scientific literature, and acknowledgments from other doctors getting similar results were a total fantasy, or the AMA was trying to convince the public of something that was not true."
"That event turned out to be my career-changing turning point. Very few doctors ever question the pronouncements of a medical consensus panel, and I had been no different. However, after this harrowing incident I became instantly programmed to question these edicts at every turn. [This is very similar to what Dr. Abramson reports, with respect to drug studies and edicts, in his Overdo$ed America book. See above.] I found examples of improper recommendations wherever I looked --- recommendations for unnecessary and futile surgery, recommendations to use dangerous medications instead of safer agents, recommendations for invasive and risky diagnostic procedures that provide less information than safer tests --- and perhaps worst of all, total refusal to consider vita-nutrient therapies." [One is led to wonder how 1950-2010 medicine would treat a person suffering from scurvy. No doubt some terribly expensive battery of drugs would be prescribed, instead of simply suggesting to the patient that he/she eat some oranges and lemons.]
[After introductory comments like these, most of the rest of the book is devoted to nutrients in categories such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, various supplements, and herbs --- and how to target them to specific conditions.]
"Carbohydrate includes sugar --- and starches that are chains of sugar molecules. Although carbohydrate provides the quickest source of energy, we eat much more of it, by far, than our body needs to be healthy. Vegetables do contain some carbohydrates, but they also contain a wide and wondrous variety of vitamins and minerals. However, you can eat plenty of vegetables with high concentrations of beneficial nutrients and still control your carbs. On the other hand, carbohydrates such as those in sugar and white flour contain almost nothing that your body needs in large quantities."
"Two hundred years ago [around 1800], the average person ate less than 10 pounds of sugar a year, and white flour was used much less commonly. About a hundred and ten years ago, the lid blew off the sugar cannister. In the 1890's, the craze for cola beverages swept the nation --- which means that when we were thirsty and craved water, we got sugar as well. To make matters worse, the mills that could refine wheat into white, nutritionally barren flour were developed in the same decade."
"The net result was that sugar intake, which had averaged 12 pounds a year per person in 1828, was nearly ten times that in 1928 [almost 120 pounds per year]. Remember too, that if you don't take your sugar straight, you'll find it already sprinkled into a thousand different foods and beverages before they come to your table." [This practice of loading up foods with sugar really picked up in the 1960's. I remember in the early 1950's having to add my own sugar to cereals. Now most cereals come with sugar added --- usually with much more than I would like.]
"Department of Agriculture statistics show that the average American consumed 124 pounds of caloric sweeteners (principally refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup) in 1975. By 1999 it had risen to 158 pounds. This translates into an average of nearly 750 calories from sugar a day, which means by conservative reckoning, over one-third of all the calories an adult puts into his or her body each day comes from nutritionally empty and metabolically harmful caloric sweeteners. Those figures represent 190 grams of sugar (and corn syrup) a day. Compare that with the 300 grams of carbohydrate the government expects us to consume each day, and we see that sugar now comprises over sixty percent of the carbohydrate total."
"To make a low-fat product taste good, manufacturers add lots of sugar. Now, in the United States, the aisles in the supermarket are crammed with low-fat or diet cookies and crackers, ice cream, frozen cakes and pies, soft drinks and white bread filled with sugar. The United States has 'low-fatted' and 'dieted' itself to a raging epidemic of obesity and diabetes."
"This is not real food; it's invented, fake food. It's filled with sugar and highly refined carbohydrates and with chemically altered trans fats (they are listed as hydrogenated or partially hydrogentated oil on food labels), not to mention plenty of other chemical additives. For thousands of years, human beings were in luck --- none of this food existed. Now we're stuck with it. Because it's incredibly profitable, it's also widely distributed. But there isn't a person on this planet who should be eating it." [Others, below, like Pollan and Schlosser, agree.]
"Harry Kronberg, the 39-year-old manager of a lumberyard, came to me with a heart arrythmia and a desperate weight problem. When Harry came to see me, he tipped the scales at 280 [pounds] on a five-foot six-and-a-half-inch frame. Harry started Atkins ... restricting his intake of carbohydrates while eating freely of meat, fish, fowl, and eggs. ... The calorie count was strikingly similar to what he had been eating ... Three months into his new regimen, he had lost 50.5 pounds (almost 4 pounds a week), and then continued to lose at a steady 3 pounds weekly. His heart symptoms vanished, his total cholesterol level dropped from a mid-range 207 to a dramatically lower 134 and his triglycerides went from 134 to 31."
"A Typical Success Story: ... Tim [Wallerdeine] started Atkins because he wanted
to live to see [his three] kids grow up. Tim weighed 335 pounds --- far too much
even for a strongly built six footer. His blood pressure was borderline high;
his triglycerides (a risk factor for heart disease) were through the roof.
The day after his wife's birthday --- they went for a final carbohydrate blowout
--- Tim started Atkins. Within two weeks, he lost 21 pounds. After four weeks,
34 pounds. 'By July 27, 1999, after nine months on the program, I had shed 122
pounds and weighed 213.' Without difficulty, enjoying the food, adhering faithfully
to the Atkins Lifetime Maintenance phase, Tim has stayed right around that weight
for two and a half years.
"... the long-held notion that there was some enormous difference between the so-called 'simple' and 'complex' carbohydrates ... held that simple carbs such as sugar and white flour sent glucose rushing into your blood stream faster than complex carbs such as fruits, potatoes, and whole grains. But, Liu and Willet and the other researchers [of the more-than-10-year Harvard Nurses Study, started 1984, 75,00-plus nurses] found that two foods that contribute most to elevating blood sugar to an excessive level (called the 'glycemic load') are baked potatoes and cold breakfast cereals. These foods were traditionally classified as complex, as opposed to simple, carbohydrates. However, they behaved just as simple carbohydrates do."
"A patient of mine named David French --- a 52-year-old stockbroker --- ... came to me somewhat reluctantly --- nagged, I suspect, by his wife and children. ... Although he weighed 206 pounds at only five feet eight inches tall, he had no obvious health problems other than generalized fatigue and difficulty with even very mild physical exertion. ... blood tests were enlightening. His total cholesterol was a whopping 284 and his triglycerides level was an incredible 1,200. [150 mg/dl is considered a level of concern, and some doctors say 100. And in slim people, the level is typically around 30.] At our next meeting, I let him have it with both barrels: 'If you don't do something soon, I'd say you're probably going to die in the next year or two, Mr. French.'
That caught his attention. In all probability, I told him, a heart attack or a stroke would be his undoing. He also showed signs of being a borderline diabetic. His condition was completely reversible, but when he left my office that day, I didn't think he'd make the effort to reverse it.
I was wrong. Dave started doing Atkins, and six months later, he weighed 162 pounds, his total cholesterol was 155, and his triglycerides were 90. He had been a [heavy] carbohydrate eater his whole life --- he'd hit the coffee cart for bagels and rolls, stop on the way home from work for a calzone and drank soda pop every day --- but Dave thrived on my program, reassured by the fact he could eat until he was completely satisfied. 'If you're hungry, eat.', I said.
I also persuaded Dave to do a half hour of exercise four times a week. He soon found that he slept better and felt far less tired during the day. ... physical exertion was no longer beyond him.
Dave is a slim and healthy man now and he won't let himself slip into his old ways. 'I have a picture that I keep on the desk in my office that shows the maximum me,' he says. 'I look like I'm going to have a baby. I keep the photo right there where I can see it, to remind me of what I'll never be again. Nowadays, I don't even look like the same person.'
Even more important, Dave French probably wouldn't be alive today if the results of his blood work hadn't shocked him into changing his ways."
"Elevated triglyceride levels, especially when combined with low levels of HDL cholesterol, have been shown in well-conducted studies to be the most important combination of heart-disease risk factors ever discovered. Jeppesen, J., et al: 'Triglyceride Concentration and Ischemic Heart Disease: An EightYear Follow-Up in the Copenhagen Male Study,' Circulation, 97(11), 1998, pp.1029-1036. ... (anything above 100 increases the risk of heart disease)"
"In 1988, Reaven noted a clustering of risk factors for coronary artery disease, ... These included hypertension [high blood pressure], high triglyceride levels, and decreased HDL cholesterol ... Reaven has dubbed this collection of risk factors Syndrome X, and the name has stuck. ... It's a buzzword now, and since its implicit message is be careful of excess carbohydrate intake [suggested by the high triglycerides], I can only be happy about that."
"If you have high blood pressure, you probably also have high ... triglyceride levels."
[After describing the Atkins diet, this book ends with some recipes and a carbohydrate gram counter table. Also there is a 15-page bibliography of medical papers that were referenced throughout the book.]
"Doing Atkins allows you enormous variety in the kinds of foods you can eat. With the exception of sugar, white flour, other refined carbs, junk food snacks, and trans fats, you can eat most everything else in moderation ..." [You wouldn't know this if you listen only to the many doctors and dieticians who 'bad mouth' the Atkins and other 'low-carb' diets.]
"The first published documentation of the success of a controlled carbohydrate dietary regimen appeared in the 1800s, but we needn't go back that far. It was after reading a scientific study on the effectiveness of several low carbohydrate weight-loss programs in the October 1963 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association that I decided to put a similar approach into practice."
[The first part of this book describes how to implement the four phases of the Atkins diet --- Induction, Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL), Pre-Maintenance, and Lifetime Maintenance. There are at least five cases described, about a page or two each, in the first half of the book. They make interesting reading. The last half of the book is meal plans and recipes.]
Atkins Health & Medical Information Services - The Atkins Essentials - A Two-Week Program to Jump-Start Your Low-Carb Lifestyle, 2004, Perennial Currents, Harper Collins Publishers, NY, NY
[This book was published after the death of Dr. Atkins and was written by the team at Atkins Health & Medical Information Services. At the end of the book are citations of 15 up-to-date papers that validate the low-carbohydrate approach to weight loss.]
A Glossary at the back of the book provides the following definitions, which give some target values of good-health indicators.
"Blood pressure: The amount of force exerted against the blood vessels to push blood to and from the heart. Every time the heart contracts or beats (systolic), blood pressure increases. When the heart relaxes between beats (diastolic), the pressure decreases. Blood pressure can fluctuate considerably, depending on factors such as diet and stress. Generally, healthy systolic values are under 120 and diastolic values are below 80."
"Blood sugar: The level of glucose in the bloodstream as determined by blood tests. Typically, normal fasting [early morning] blood glucose levels are between 70 and 109 mg/dL." [dL = deciliter = one-tenth of a liter ; mg = milligram = one thousandth of a gram]
"Diabetes: A disorder characterized by high fasting blood sugar levels (126 mg/dL and higher) and the inability of the body to transport glucose to cells."
"Fructose: A simple sugar found in fruit, honey, corn, and saps. It does not have the same chemical formula as glucose. Fructose can be converted to glucose and then used as either a source of energy or stored as glycogen."
"Glucose: A form of simple sugar also known as blood sugar or dextrose."
"Glycogen: A complex sugar composed of glucose, it is manufactured and stored in the liver and muscles and held ready for release to other parts of the body."
"Glycolosis: The energy-yielding process of converting glucose to pyruvic and lactic acids."
"HDL (high-density lipoprotein): Considered the 'good' cholesterol, HDL is actually a carrier molecule that transports cholesterol in the blood. HDL is responsible for returning cholesterol and triglycerides (fats) from the cells and the vessels to the liver. A high HDL blood level is associated with a lowered risk of heart attack."
"Starch: A plant polysaccaride composed of thousands of small sugar molecules. Sources of starch include grains, legumes, and vegetables such as potatoes and beets. Starches are used as thickening agents in many products [such as gravies, sauces, and dressings]."
"Sugar: A disaccaride composed of glucose and fructose. It is commonly known as table sugar, [sucrose,] beet sugar, or cane sugar. Sugar also occurs in many fruits and some vegetables and grains."
[Actually the word sugar is used in two ways: (1) a specific sugar called sucrose, which is the disaccaride defined here, and (2) any one of the class of chemicals with a similar molecular structure, including fructose, glucose, galactose, lactose, sucrose, and other sugars --- including both mono-saccarides and di-saccarides.]
"Triglyceride: ... the major storage form of fat in the body. Serum levels of triglycerides indicate how much fat is moving through or clogging arteries. A level below 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) is considered healthy."
[Recent studies, since about 1995, indicate that triglyceride levels below 100 mg/dL reduce the incidence of cardio problems even further.]
"White flour: The finely ground endosperm of the wheat seed, this flour has been refined for maximum softness and whiteness. It also may be bleached. The bran, a source of fiber, and germ [a source of micronutrients] have both been removed."
Bowden, Jonny, M.A., C.N.S. - Living the Low Carb Life - from Atkins to the Zone, 2004, Sterling Publishing Co., NY, NY
p. 50 "Researchers from the cardiovascular division of Brigham-Young Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, in a study led by J. Michael Gaziano, looked at various predictors for heart disease and found that the ratio of triglycerides to HDL ("good" cholesterol) was a better predictor for heart disease than anything else, including cholesterol levels. They divided the subjects into four groups according to their ratio of triglycerides to HDL and found that those with the highest ratio (i.e., high tryglycerides to low HDL) had a sixteen times greater risk of heart attack than those with the lowest ratio (low triglycerides to high HDL)." - J. Michael Gaziano, "Fasting Triglycerides, High-Density Lipoprotein and Risk of Myocardial Infarction", Circulation, 96(1997):2520-25.
p. 50-51 "... the higher your triglycerides, the greater the chance that your LDL cholesterol [the "bad" cholesterol] is made up of the B-particles (the kind that is way more likely to lead to heart disease). The take-home point: reduce your triglycerides (and raise your HDL), and you reduce your risk of heart disease."
p. 174 "... diabetic neuropathy, the peripheral pain [or biting/piercing/itching sensation] most diabetics feel in their extremities. Glucose (sugar) causes neuropathy. It does this by a nasty little process called glycation, which is when excess sugar literally sticks to protein in the blood, gumming up the works, impairing signals to nerves, making circulation difficult (especially in the tiny capillaries in the eyes and toes), and creating the aptly named AGES (advanced glycolated end-products). (For a full discussion of glycation, see chapter 2.)"
[Note: Circulation to poorly perfused tissues --- such as cartilage in joints like the knees and spine --- is also impeded by glycation.]
The Bowden book is organized into the following chapters:
Bowden has a wealth of technical references, from peer-reviewed medical journals, in the back of the book. These are references for statements made throughout these chapters.
p. 213 of 'Living the Low Carb Life'
[But the micro-nutrients in vegetables and fruits are highly to be desired ... to avoid scurvy and the like.]
"You would die without protein and you would die without fat, but you can live just fine without carbohydrate. I'm not suggesting that you should --- just that you can."
[Note that carbohydrates are, basically, made up of three components: starch, fiber, and micro-nutrients. What Bowden is essentially saying here is that you can live without starch. It's not a good idea to live without fiber (think constipation) or the micro-nutrients of vegetables and fruits.]
There is a wealth of information in this book. If you are interested in the biochemisty of digestion, read chapter 2 of Bowden's book for a good introduction.
Futhermore, it is worth highlighting passages and marking pages. Then return to the book periodically to remind oneself of the many useful nuggets of health-promoting information there.
Dufty, William [a.k.a. William Duffy] - Sugar Blues, 1975, Warner Books, NY, NY
p. 11 "I had been summoned to a lunchtime press conference in the Fifth Avenue office of a New York attorney. ... A caterer arrived with the picnic --- [sandwiches,] ... jugs of coffee, a tray of monogrammed sugar cubes. ... I ... picked up a sugar cube. I was unpeeling it when I heard [Gloria Swanson's] commanding whisper: 'That stuff is poison. I won't have it in my house, let alone my body.' We had all heard the legends about Swanson's exotic health regimen. Poems have been written about her age-defying presence. Seeing her close up, eyeball to eyeball, it was impossible to doubt that she must be doing something right. 'I used to get positively livid when I watched people eating poison', she whispered. 'But I've learned that everyone has to find out for themselves --- the hard way.'"
p. 21 "For over fifteen years, I subjected myself to an endless whirlgig of doctors, hospitals, diagnosis, treatment, tests and more tests, drugs and more drugs. During all that rigamarole, I cannot recall a single doctor (out of the dozens who treated me) who ever displayed the slightest curiosity about what I ate and drank."
[No doubt most of us have shared that experience. The closest that I have come to that kind of curiosity is when the forms we have to fill out, on first going to a doctor for an 'incident', ask us how often we drink alcohol or smoke.]
p. 22 "One night, in one sitting, I read a little book that said very simply that if you're sick, it's your own damn fault. Pain is the final warning. You know better than anyone else how you've been abusing your body, so stop it. Sugar is poison, it said, more lethal than opium and more dangerous than atomic fallout. Shades of Gloria Swanson and the sugar cube. Hadn't she told me everyone has to find out for themselves --- the hard way? I had nothing to lose by my pains. I began next morning with firm resolve. I threw all the sugar out of my kitchen. Then I threw out everything that had sugar in it, cerals and canned fruit, soups and bread. Since I had never really read any labels carefully, I was shocked to find the shelves were soon empty; so was the refigerator. I began eating nothing but whole grains and vegetables. ...
The next few days brought a succession of wonders. My rear stopped bleeding, so did my gums. My skin began to clear up and had a totally different texture when I washed. I discovered bones in my hands and feet that had been buried under bloat. I bounced out of bed at strange hours in the early morning, raring to go. My head seemed to be working again. ... My shirts were too big. So were my shoes. One morning while shaving, I discovered I had a jaw.
To make a long, happy story short, I dropped from 205 pounds to a neat 135 in five months [3.5 pounds per week] and ended up with a new body, a new head, a new life.
... About that time, I noticed a picture of Gloria Swanson in The New York Times. I sat down and wrote her a letter. You were right, I said. Wow, were you ever right. I didn't get your message but I've got it now."
p. 25 "In the eternal order of the universe, man-refined sugar ... plays its part. Perhaps the sugar pushers are our predators, leading us into temptation, peddling a kind of sweet, sweet, human pesticide which lures greedy seekers after La Dolce Vita [the sweet life] into self-destruction, weeding the human garden, naturally selecting the fittest for survival while the rest go down in another biblical flood --- not water this time, but Coke, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper --- purifying the human race for a new age."
p. 30 "An early European observer credits the widespread use of sugar by Arab desert fighters as the reason for their loss of cutting edge. Leonhard Rauwolf is the German botanist who gave his name to the plant rauwolfia serpentina. The derivatives of the plant are still in use today as sedatives and tranquilizers. Rauwolf made voyages in the lands of the Sultan through Libya and Tripoli. His journals, published in 1573, contain timeless military intelligence:
'The Turks and Moors cut off one piece [of sugar] after another and so chew and eat them openly everywhere in the street without shame ... in this way [they] accustom themselves to gluttony and are no longer the intrepid fighters they had formerly been.'
Rauwolf viewed sugar addiction among the sultan's armies in much the same way as modern observers discovering American forces in Asia hooked on heroin and marihuana. 'The Turks use themselves to gluttony and are no more so free and courageous to go against their enemies to fight as they had been in former ages.' This may be the first recorded warning from the scientific community on the subject of sugar abuse and its observed consequences."
p. 34 "Although some American historians like to argue that it was the British tax on tea that precipitated the War of Independence, others point to the Molasses Act of 1733 which levied a heavy tax on sugar and molasses coming from anywhere except the British sugar islands in the Caribbean. The ship owners of New England had cut themselves in on the lucrative trade in slaves, molasses, and rum. They sailed off with a cargo of rum to the slave coast of Africa to exchange it for blacks, whom they hauled back to the West Indies for sale to the eager British plantation owners. There they took on a load of molasses which they hauled back home to be distilled into rum and then peddled to their heavy drinking local customers. Long before the Boston Tea Party, the annual consumption of rum in the American Colonies was estimated to be almost four gallons for every man, woman, and child. The Molasses Act of 1733 posed a serious threat not only to the American Colonial trade cycle but also to its thirst for demon rum."
p. 60 "Sugar is the greatest evil that modern industrial civilization has visited upon countries of the Far East and Africa ... Foolish people who give or sell candy to babies will one day discover, to their horror, that they have much to answer for." [That assumes that these sellers have consciences.]
p. 79 "In 1880, the average Danish citizen consumed over 29 pounds of refined sugar annually; at that time, the recorded death rate from diabetes was 1.8 per 100,000. In 1911, consumption had more than doubled: some 82 pounds of sugar per Dane annually; the recorded death rate from diabetes was 8 per 100,000. In 1934, Danish consumption of refined sugar was approximately 113 pounds per person annually; the recorded death rate from diabetes was 18.9 per 100,000. Before Worl War II, Denmark had a higher consumption of sugar than any other European country. ... While the rest of the world lags behind the Scandinavian countries in compiling and publishing such statistics, the point is inescapable: As sugar consumption escalates wildly, fatal diseases increase remorselessly."
p. 83 "... statistics in the U.S. showed that the outbreak of diabetes dropped sharply during World War I (when sugar was rationed). Figures also showed that the incidence of diabetes among young men in the armed forces (where soldiers were supplied with the sugar that civilians had to do without) rose steadily from World War I to World War II." [Of course, just because there is a correlation does not mean there is cause and effect here. But what could more logically explain these changes in diabetes patterns?]
See pp. 119-124 for an interesting history of refined rice and the discovery of the cause of beriberi (a disease caused by vitamin deficiency).
p. 139 "... the story of the public relation attempts on the part of the sugar manufacturers began in Britain in 1808, when the Committee of West India reported to the House of Commons that a prize of twenty-five guineas had been offered to anyone who could come up with the most 'satisfactory' experiments to prove that unrefined sugar was good for feeding and fattening oxen, cows, hogs, and sheep. Food for animals is often seasonal, always expensive. Sugar by then was dirt cheap. People weren't eating it fast enough. ...
Sir Frederick Banting, the codiscoverer of insulin, noticed in 1929 in Panama that among sugar plantation owners who ate large amounts of their refined stuff, diabetes was common. Among native cane cutters, who only got to chew the raw cane, he saw no diabetes. Naturally, the attempt to feed livestock with sugar and molasses in England in 1808 was a disaster. When the Committee on West India made its fourth report to the House of Commons, one member of Parliament, John Curwin, reported that he had tried to feed sugar and molasses to calves without success. He suggested that perhaps someone should try again by sneaking sugar and molasses into skimmed milk. Had anything come of that, you can be sure the West Indian sugar merchants would have spread the news around the world. After this singular lack of success in pushing sugar in cow pastures, the West Indian sugar merchants gave up."
[I guess this means that people are dumber than cows, or at least dumber than cow-owners. When sugar merchants could not convince cows, or their owners, that sugar was good for the cows, over the past couple of hundred years, they increased their advertising and sales of sugar products to people. Unfortunately, people don't seem to have owners to look after their health --- since no one is fattening them up for market.]
p. 142 "[The Nutrition Foundation] happens to be a front organization for the leading sugar pushing conglomerates in the food business, including the American Sugar Refining Company, Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, Curtis Candy Co., General Foods, General Mills, Nestles Co. Inc., Pet Milk Co., and Sunshine Buiscuits; about forty-five such companies in all."
[Isn't that an ironic name --- 'The Nutrition Foundation'? It is a foundation that promotes the manufacture and sale of products devoid of nutrients --- no vitamins, no minerals, no enzymes, no co-factors --- just sugars and starches.]
p. 144 "Imagine a young pimply faced kid in front of a camera telling folks how clear his complexion was before he started drinking Coke; and even though he knows it's bumming his social life, he just can't seem to get off the stuff. That would be truth in advertising. Or how about a young girl holding up a can of orange drink made in New Jersey saying the reason it's orange is because of the food coloring. The reason it is bad is because we use coal-tar [cancer-causing] artificial flavors, and the reason we would like you to try it is because we want to make money. Truth in advertising would be the end of three major networks, 500 magazines, several thousand newspapers, and tens of thousands of businesses. So there will never be truth in advertising." - Paul Hawken, author of The Magic of Findhorn
p. 146 "Sugars are classified by chemists as carbohydrates. This manufactured word means a sbustance containing carbon with oxygen and hydrogen. If chemists want to use these ... terms in their laboratories when they talk to one another, fine. The use of the word carbohydrate outside the laboratory --- especially in food labeling and advertising lingo --- to describe both natural, complete cereal grains (which have been a principal food of mankind for thousands of years) and man-refined sugar (which is a manufactured drug and principal poison of mankind for only a few hundred years) is demonstrably wicked. This kind of confusion makes possible the flimflam practiced by sugar pushers to confound anxious mothers into thinking kiddies need sugar to survive. ...
The use of the word carbohydrate to describe sugar is deliberately misleading. Since the improved labeling of nutritional properties was required on packages and cans, refined carbohydrates like sugar are lumped together with those carbohydrates which may or may not be refined. The several types of carbohydrates are added together for an overall carbohydrate total. Thus, the effect of the label is to hide the sugar content from the unwary buyer. Chemists add to the confusion by using the word sugar to describe an entire group of substances that are similar but not identical. ...
Glucose is always present in our bloodstream, and it is often called blood sugar. ... Sucrose is refined sugar made from the sugar cane and the sugar beet.
Glucose has always been an essential element in the human bloodstream. Sucrose addiction is something new in the history of the human animal. To use the word sugar to describe two substances which are far from being identical, which have different chemical structures ... makes possible more flimflam from the sugar pushers who tell us how important sugar is as an essential component of the human body, how it is oxidized to produce energy, how it is metabolized to produce warmth, and so on. They're talking about glucose, of course, which is manufactured in our bodies. However, one is led to believe that the manufacturers are talking about the sucrose which is made in their refineries."
p. 149 "If you want to avoid [refined] sugar in the supermarket, there is only one sure way. Don't buy anything unless it says on the label prominently, in plain English: 'No sugar added.'
Use of the word carbohydrate as a 'scientific' word for sugar has become a standard defense strategy with sugar pushers and many of their medical apologists. It's their security blanket."
See pp. 164-175 for an interesting history of Dr. Wiley and the Bureau of Chemistry [a precursor to the Food and Drug Administration] and its unsuccessful attempt to stop the damage being done by Coca-Cola to the country's health.
p.181 "Any diet which lumps all carbohydrates together is dangerous. Any diet which does not consider the quality of carbohydrates and makes the crucial life-and-death distinction between natural, unrefined carbohydrates like whole grains and vegetables and man-refined carbohydrates like sugar and white flour is dangerous. Any diet which includes refined sugar and white flour, no matter what 'scientific' name is applied to them, is dangerous.
Kicking sugar and white flour and substituting whole grains, vegetables, and natural fruits, in season, is the core of any sensible natural regime. Changing the quality of your carbohydrates can change the quality of your health and life. If you eat natural food of good quality, quantity tends to take care of itself. Nobody is going to eat a half dozen sugar beets or a whole case of sugar cane. Even if they do, it will be less dangerous than a few ounces of [refined] sugar."
p. 183 "Gluttony is a capital sin in most religions; but there are no specific religious warnings or commandments against refined sugar because sugar abuse --- like drug abuse --- did not appear on the world scene until centuries after holy books had gone to press."
"Interesting things often happen when physicians attempt to cure themselves. If you find a doctor who practices unorthodox medicine, chances are his eyes and mind were opened when he tried to cure himself by the [Western medical -- drugs and surgery] book. When that didn't work, he threw away the book and began experimenting with himself. Pain and suffering tend to erode one's faith in conventional treatment."
p. 191 "The sugar-in-everything craze reached such a peak in this country that, during one four-year period in the 1960s, the amount of sugar used in processed food increased a whopping 50 percent."
p. 197 "In March 1974, Lt. Hiro Onoda emerged from the jungles of the Phillipine Islands after living a precarious, marginal existence for almost thirty years. Onoda had been holding out all that time for a direct order from his superior officer to surrender. He flew home to a hero's welcome in Tokyo. After doctors examined him, it was announced: No cavities! No Crest! No Fluoride! ... Sugar-drunk Americans the same age as the Japanese lieutenant have lost, on the average, half of their teeth. By the age of 55, one American out of every two has lost all his teeth. ...
The New York Times reported in June 1975 that '44% of Scots over 16 Found to be Toothless.' The article noted that the Scottish state-operated health services had statistics for 1974 showing that 44 percent of Scots aged 16 or more had lost all their teeth. Only 2 percent of the people surveyed could be called dentally fit. The report [noted] that ... 'Scotland has one of the highest sugar-consumption rates in the world, 120 pounds per person annually.'"
[Note: Just because sugar-consumption is high and toothlessness is high does not mean, for sure, that there is a cause and effect relationship between sugar and toothlessness. BUT, the relationship would be near irrefutable if someone would check on the diet of that 2% of dentally fit Scots, to see if their sugar consumption is relatively low compared to their fellow citizens.]
p.208 "Fred Rohe had been selling 'raw' and brown sugars at his New Age Food Stores in north California. When he couldn't get any straight answers about where the sugar came from and what had been done to it, he took the trouble to visit sugar refineries in Hawaii and California.
He soon had the answer. Light brown, dark brown, and raw sugar are all made the same way: Molasses is added to refined sugar. 'Brown sugar is nothing more than white sugar wearing a mask', he concluded. For raw, 5 percent molasses is added; for light brown, 12 percent molasses; for dark brown, 13 percent. The raw-like illusion is a result of a specially designed crystallization process which produces this aesthetic effect.
Fred Rohe threw all the colored sugars out of his store; he helped found an organization of natural food stores owners called Organic Merchants. One of the basic tenets of the organization was to refuse shelf room to all kinds of sugar or any product containing sugar. He wrote a devastating two-page pamphlet, The Sugar Story, to educate his customers.
'Our intention is not to take the pleasure out of anyone's life', said The Sugar Story, 'but to play a part in upgrading the quality of American food. If enough of us top buying junk --- even the better junk --- the food manufacturers will listen.'"
p.217 "Indians in Natal, South Africa, consume nine times the amount of sugar that Indians in India consume, and the former have suffered a veritable explosion of diabetes --- it is believed to be the highest anywhere in the world. If the masses in India [and China --- think Coke and Pepsi sales expanding there] ever have that much sugar available, the consequences within a decade or two are 'too fightening to contemplate'.
Emphasis of public health programs should shift from detection of sugar disease to preventive nutrition --- principally, the substitution of natural carbohydrates for refined ones."
[It will be interesting to see how the percentage of diabetics rises in China, say from 2000 to 2025. What? You say it won't rise. Wanna bet some money on that?]
There is a nice list of reference articles, grouped by chapter of the 'Sugar Blues' book, at the back of the book. There is also 5-page bibliography. There is some interesting sugar history in chapter 2, 'The Mark of Cane', and in the chapter 'Codes of Honesty'. And there is a sprinkling of sugar history throughout the chapters. You can get more sugar history via some books in the bibliography.
Freedman, Rory, and Barnouin, Kim - Skinny Bitch - A no-nonsense, tough-love guide for savvy girls who want to stop eating crap and start looking fabulous, 2005, Running Press Book Publishers, Philadelphia, PA
These two women seem to be trying to out-potty-mouth any previous diet-book author. They definitely do not have the credentials of an M.D. or a biochemist.
Although the diet portions of the book seem poorly reasoned compared to books like those of Atkins and Bowden, there is a good chapter of quotes from workers in slaughter houses.
It's enough to convince you to become a vegetarian.
I plan to put most of those quotes here someday.
Fuchs, Nan Kathryn, Ph.D. - The Nutrition Detective - A Woman's Guide to Treating Your Health Problems Through the Foods You Eat, 1985, Jeremy P. Tarcher Inc., Los Angeles (distributed by St. Martin's Press, NY)
When I get time, I will look for some unique quotes from this book and put them here.
Gott, Peter H., M.D. - No Flour, No Sugar Diet - The Simplest Way to Lose Weight, 2006, Warner Wellness, NY
This diet, in my opinion, is the best named diet of all diets. 'No Flour, No Sugar' says it all in four simple words. However ...
A better name would be 'No Sugar, No Flour' or 'No SugarS, No Starches'. Sugar(S) is the worst. It should be emphasized first.
It is quite disappointing that Dr. Gott spends so much time bashing other low-carb diets --- especially considering that other authors like Dr. Atkins and Dr. Sears obviously served as an inspiration for his work.
After all, Dr. Atkins low-carb diet was based directly on some doctors' research that was published in a couple of papers the 1963 JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association). Links to pages containing most of the text of those two papers are above. Gott owes those authors some respect for showing the way.
I will probably put some quotes from Martina's book here when I make some time. Martina, like Gloria Swanson, is a marvelous example of aging healthily.
Perricone, Nicholas, M.D. - The Perricone Prescription - A Physician's 28-day Program for Total Body and Face Rejuvenation, 2002, Harper Collins Publishers, NY, NY
This book seems written mainly to sell to women trying to avoid wrinkles. If Gloria Swanson wrote a book on health (no doubt, emphasizing low sugar consumption), it would probably be a much better and more useful read than this book.
If I have time someday, I may put some quotes from this book here. But don't count on it. There are so many better books --- and I have so many other projects.
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."
I may add more quotes here someday. (I have not read this book yet.)
I may put quotes from this book here someday. (I have not read this book yet.)
Schlosser, Eric - Fast Food Nation - The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, 2002, Harper Collins Publishers, NY, NY
I may put quotes from this book here someday. (I have not read this book yet.)
I may put quotes from this book here someday.
Stallone is self-contradictory in this book.
In one part of the book, Stallone puts down low-carb diets --- based mainly on his intense weight-lifting days, when he wanted lots of carbs for energy.
But, in another part of the book, when he describes wanting to lose weight after he put on a lot of weight to play the part of a fat sheriff in a movie part, he admits to cutting way back on carbs to lose the weight.
Steward, Leighton H., M.D. ; Bethea, Morrison C., M.D. ; Andrews, Sam S., M.D. ; Balart, Luis A., M.D. - The New Sugar Busters! - Cut Sugar to Trim Fat, 2003, Ballantine Books, NY
This is a pretty good book with some interesting graphs. I will probably put some quotes or illustrations from this book here someday.
Weil, Andrew, M.D. - Health and Healing - A Look at Medical Practices --- from herbal remedies to biotechnology --- and What They Tell Us, 1983-1995, Houghton Mifflin Co., NY
I don't think much of Weil's books. He spends too much time on breathing exercises and Asian medicine (adding things to the diet), and not enough time on removing harmful things (like sugar and starch) from one's diet.
I may find a few unique quotes to put here someday.
Weil, Andrew, M.D. - Spontaneous Healing - How to Discover and Enhance Your Body's Natural Ability to Maintain and Heal Itself, 1995, a Fawcett Columbine book, Ballantine Publishing Group, NY (a division of Random House)
See the first Weil book above. I may find a few unique quotes to put here someday.
Weil, Andrew, M.D. - 8 Weeks to Optimum Health - A Proven Program for Taking Full Advantage of Your Body's Natural Healing Power, 1997, a Fawcett Columbine book, Ballantine Publishing Group, NY (a division of Random House)
See the first Weil book above. I may find a few unique quotes to put here someday.
Weil, Andrew, M.D. - Eating Well for Optimum Health - The Essential Guide to Food, Diet, and Nutrition, 2000, a Borzoi book, Alfred A. Knopf, NY (a division of Random House)
See the first Weil book above. I may find a few unique quotes to put here someday.
Williams, Roger J., Dr. (Ph.D.?) (vitamin biochemist) - Nutrition Against Disease - Environmental Prevention, 1971, a Bantam book, Pitman Publishing Corp., NY, NY
This book is over 30 years old. I have not read it, but I may scan it for some quotes someday.
End of book list.
Hey, food and drug companies, how about some
I see a lot of advertising of sugary foods by the food industry --- with no warnings of how dangerous sugarS are.
And I see pharmaceutical companies pushing their drugs, with their many side effects --- never urging doctors to have their patients try a healthier diet first --- before risking the side-effects.
Many more links to informative diet-and-health sites --- including before-and-after photo sites --- are on this site Diet Links page
Also, see my blog page on Atkins Misrepresented (rest in peace). It includes links to several published papers that led to Atkins' life-time diet plan. Like almost any 'innovator', his innovations were actually based on substantial previous works --- of other innovators.
Bottom of blog page Bibliography of Food and Health (and Drugs and Supplements) Books.
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Posted 2007 Feb 07.