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.
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.
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.
Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.