This is not a New Year’s Resolution

It began as long as a year ago with a bit of anti-sugar advocacy from Denise, my mother-in-law… She suggested I read Sweet Poison, which is basically an Australian pop-science rediscovery of John Yudkin‘s Pure, White and Deadly — published in 1972. 1972!

My curiosity was reignited when Garrett recently tweeted a link to this fantastic lecture:

So I have a new analogue hacking project: I’m going to see if I can massively reduce the amount of sugar in my diet. Obvious targets #1 and #2: soft drinks and sweets.

Although they probably represent the vast majority of my sugar consumption, the rest of it is the ugly, insidious, sand-in-your-budgies sugar you’ll find in the strangest of foods… especially if you’re in the USA, given the HFCS damage.

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10 Responses to This is not a New Year’s Resolution

  1. pel says:

    Did the same thing five years ago.
    Going cold turkey on the soft drinks failed on me big time (my sister, suffering from type 1 diabetes, as well).

    So I tried substitution.
    Having seen my sister beeing hooked on diet soda (she still is) I opted for tea.
    Worked like a charm for me and it was easy to reduce the amount of tea I drank.

    Colleagues from work have expressed similar experiences and success with drinking a lot of water instead of tea.

  2. Mary says:

    I’ve done some version of this at various times and for various reasons. Soft drink I find relatively easy to get rid of: don’t buy them, drink water when thirsty. (Also, I’m sure you know this, but avoid the temptation to substitute fruit juice, it’s not a win in terms of sugar consumption. For some people, there’s also a problem with alcohol as a source of nutritionally empty calories here.)

    Sweets are much harder, because it means planning ahead about having replacement snack foods available for when the need to snack strikes. I love fresh fruit and nuts and similar things but when non-sweets require a half hour walk to fetch and sweets are on my way home…

    At a certain level of strictness about sugar intake I’ve had one or two people tell me not to eat so much fruit, but, good grief, there’s a lot of things I could reform about my diet before my high intake of fresh fruit is one of the concerning things about it.

  3. Alice says:

    As you probably know, I’ve been limiting my fructose intake for the last 5 years because of fructose malabsorption. Luckily, I was never that into sweetened soft drinks to begin with, so that wasn’t a problem, although there were some heartbreak moments with fruits like mango and pear (not to mention all the wonderful wheat products which I can’t eat either for the same reason).

    Definitely second the recommendations for drinking tea and/or water to substitute — obvious, really! But one thing I’ve definitely learned is to watch your protein intake. I found that breakfasts and lunches high-ish in protein (and not too low in fat either) really killed any sugar cravings I might have had. And I can highly recommend snacking on raw almonds (or probably other nuts, but I just love almonds): good source of protein and calcium, and satisfying to munch on. Oh, and snacking on cheese is good too for the same reason, plus I find the saltiness kills tiredness headaches (don’t ask me how). Don’t worry too much about fat content: it tends to be self-limiting as you feel satisfied sooner with these foods.

    To be honest, I’m fairly sceptical about David Gillespie’s claims, but I think reducing the amount of fructose in one’s diet (if it’s excessive, which for most of us it likely is) is probably going to make one happier and healthier regardless. Anyway, that’s probably enough didacticism from me, but I would love to chat to you about this sometime because, holy crap, have I spent a lot of time thinking and reading about sugar and diets.

  4. Nice video, I didn’t knew the whys behind all this.

  5. me says:

    Sugar substitutes are worse than sugar, to be sure. Stay away from diet stuff.

  6. Jeremy says:

    Hilarious that they (poorly) bleep out “crap” at about 40 minutes in.

  7. Stormy says:

    Are you trying to cut out all sugar? I’m curious, did you find a bread without sugar? (I could not find one without sugar, fructose or some other sweetener.)

    • Jeff Waugh says:

      Not all sugar, but most… and particularly the frivolous.

      It seems to be easier to get bread without sugar here in Australia, probably due to a stronger market demand for low-fat/low-carb in the USA, and how cheap’n’easy it is to swap them for HFCS.

  8. Ben says: (

    Have a read of that and if you can find the video of that somewhere on the Internet it’s well worth the time in watching.

    Also this guy knows his shit.

  9. gurrier says:

    Thanks for posting.
    Now I just need a list of tasty fructose-free products from Woolies.

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