Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
27 Jul

Recommended

If you’ve heard me say it once you have heard me say it a dozen times – sugar and refined grains are detrimental to your health. Shocking? It shouldn’t be. The over-consumption of sweets and quickie carbs is not only the main culprit of the obesity epidemic that is destroying millions of Americans’ lives, but it also contributes to dozens of serious health conditions and illnesses including type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, inflammation, infertility, sexual dysfunction, depression and fatigue – and that’s just the beginning. The list goes on and on.

During years of grueling, intense training as a pro runner, I wasn’t fully aware of the damage simple carbs can do to our bodies, and my health suffered as a result. Since then I have been on a mission to uncover the best steps for living a healthy lifestyle and preventing serious health conditions. It’s my goal to share the knowledge I have learned through years of experience (and experiment).

As Francis Bacon, that noble developer and defender of the scientific method, once famously stated, “Knowledge is power.” This simple yet profound statement especially rings true in the fields of health and nutrition. With the facts about the damaging effects of refined carbohydrates exposed, people are empowered to make intelligent decisions about what they put in their bodies. Knowledge is the key to change. Without it we are lost, and we will continue to be stricken with the host of mind-impairing, body-damaging ailments associated with the ingestion of processed sweets and refined carbs.

connie

The recent favorable study on Atkins and the growing awareness of a lower-carb way of living is gaining mainstream support (but don’t worry, your trusty food pyramid still brilliantly recommends plenty of refined grains and sugar). Connie Bennett, an investigative journalist and a self-proclaimed ex-sugar junkie, is helping to pave the way. After years of poor health and – the final insult – being dumped by her boyfriend for her sugar-induced mood swings, Bennett was fed up.

The result? Sugar Shock!: How Sweets and Simple Carbs Can Derail Your Life – And How You Can Get Back on Track. This eye-opening book goes beyond Sugar 101 by addressing hard-hitting questions like “Is ‘Big Sugar’ the next ‘Big Tobacco’?” and by detailing the physiological mechanisms through which simple sugars contribute to everything from early aging to moodiness to diabetes to inflammation.

sugar 1

What I particularly like about this quick read is that there’s no hype or emotional ploys. The facts are simply and clearly presented – but are they ever damning. With over 250 specialists interviewed worldwide and written with medical consultant Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., Sugar Shock! provides a comprehensive and authoritative look at how far-reaching the sugar problem truly is. Bennett takes on the American Heart Association (about time) which has long refused to accept the well-established connection between sugar and heart disease*. Bennett reveals the hidden marketing tactics used by food manufacturers to make you believe their sugar-filled and processed foods are healthy. Bennett goes as far as equating an addiction to sugar with an addiction to cigarettes and alcohol – something I absolutely endorse. And she does all this without giving into the nonsensical and extremist notion that all carbs are bad carbs.

In addition to an intriguing and well-written sugar exposé, Sugar Shock! delivers sound advice and positive strategies for how to end your own sugar dependence and take control of your life. As you long-time readers know, absolute and total personal responsibility is something I passionately believe in and promote. Your life – and your health – is up to you.

Further reading:

My Carb Pyramid

What I Eat in a Day

The Definitive Guide to Insulin, Blood Sugar and Type 2 Diabetes

Most Popular Posts

* the linked study has been published in the AHA’s online journal. Progress?

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You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. It’s amazing that people, in this case Connie Bennett, could be so affected as to have mood swings because of sugar and sweets dependency, to actually lose out on a relationship seems almost surreal in a way. Makes you think about what you put into your body from day to day…

    nibbles wrote on July 27th, 2007
  2. Great book. I completely agreed with Connie says in her book, and have given it to friends. Personally, I could have used the book 5 years ago when I was figuring out that I had a sugar problem — I was never successful at changing my health until I kicked my sugar addiction…great post.

    Brian wrote on July 27th, 2007
  3. With Atkins, Connie Bennett, and what now seems to be the bulk of modern health research, why is that carb-foundation Pyramid still around?

    Bradford wrote on July 27th, 2007
  4. I just finished it and everyone should read it. It’s totally enjoyable and a breezy read but chock full of support.

    Sara wrote on July 27th, 2007
  5. I know first hand how sugar and eating unhealthy can effect your mood. My dad when I was young, would get so mad and upset he couldn’t keep hold of his own emotions and would do things no father should do to his daughter(not me, but another sister) Now he found the culprit, he’s much better. He can control his tongue, and his actions. He use to eat sugar like crazy, and within an hour he would fly off the handle for no reason. They would argue about a simple math problem for two or three hours, because of the sugar and toxins in their bodies. I find myself much more calm and less stressed when I don’t eat sugar, even cane sugar, or maple syrup.

    Still looking for whether raw organic Cane Sugar is better. I love Sun crystals. How good is that, compared to other sugars I could use for grapefruits, coffee, and other sweets to have occasionally? I eat up to 5 grams of raw organic cane sugar, and Stevia (mixed together) a day now, a little more when I eat a small amount of Green and Black chocolate. Is that okay? It’s not too expensive for me, and is really sweet. There’s 50 packets, it’s about $2-3.50 a box. I use up to four packs a day, (if I’m making pancakes), so it’s really inexpensive for me. But is it good to eat? Or is this just another ploy to make me think I’m eating a better sugar?

    Esther Anders wrote on January 21st, 2010

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