Monday, June 11, 2012

the sugar thing

Even though I gave up sugar in all its forms for 12 weeks last year and continue to have minimal sugar in my diet, there is something about the media spin on the 'quit sugar' movement that annoys me and I can't quite put my finger on what it is. I tuned into 60 Minutes 'Sweet Poison' story last night with interest to see their angle on the sugar thing.

It made for interesting viewing featuring interviews with American Endocrinologist Dr. Robert Lustig, Sarah Wilson an Australian blogger and author of the ebook 'I Quit Sugar', Aimee Gibbs mother-of-three who quit sugar, lost over 20 kilos and in doing so reduced her risk of diabetes and heart disease, and Professor Jennie Brand-Miller  an Australian nutritionist who introduced the Glycaemic Index to Australians.

There were a couple of moments in the story that made me cringe, such as the final question to Aimee Gibbs that was something along the lines of 'does it feel good to know you'll live to see your daughters get married?' I know I shouldn't be surprised. I think it was listening to Aimee's story that brought me closer to seeing what annoys me about the way 'the sugar thing' is discussed in the main. Aimee explained that before quitting sugar, she would in one week eat four litres of ice cream and 7 or 8 blocks of chocolate. By not eating those foods, yes she is taking sugar out of her diet but she is also taking out large quantities of highly processed foods that contain a vast range of nutritionally bankrupt ingredients, sugar being the main one.

I think I'm coming to the conclusion that while I agree wholeheartedly that over-consumption of sugar is a massive contributor to ill health, I think the message should be to reduce consumption of all processed foods. Real food, vital food comes from the earth not from factories.

In this Australian Guide to Healthy Eating written by The Department of Health and Ageing, it states 'consume only moderate amounts of sugars and foods containing added sugars'. What is a moderate amount? The good folk working in these Departments may be nutritionists and scientists but their guidelines are open to interpretation and are not guiding people to good health.

Did you watch 60 Minutes? What did you think? Where are you all at with the sugar thing?

Speaking of nutrition, these sites are recent finds via The Little Gnomes Home and I thought you may find them interesting too:

Nutrition by Nature
Wheat Belly

Look forward to reading your comments on sugar.


  1. Great read. I agree that the 60 minutes story was pretty wishy washy and wrote about it on my own blog last night. If you're interested this is the link I have been off sugar for about half the time you have and think that there is so much more they could have looked at with this story. The american one was much more informative I found.
    I still think that sugar is the main culprit for the unhealthy state of our country but I agree that processed food add their fair share of weight and David discusses this in his book Big Fat Lies. Great read if you enjoyed Sweet Poison.
    I am feeling better and better the more I get out of love with sugar and my whole body is thankful. My skin is clear and I feel healthy and full. I dont even snack anymore because I'm not hungry! Great feeling knowing that 3 meals a day fill you up. Definitely a big step forward for me personally so I applaud you doing it too :)

    1. Thanks for visiting and leaving your comment. I haven't read Big Fat Lies but will seek it out. Well done on your blog too it is inspiring for others to read your approach to changing your diet and great that you feel so good!

  2. Thank you for writing this, I watched the 60 minutes episode after reading about it on the previous commenter's blog. It made me really uncomfortable too, but I wasn't sure why. I think you've got it right, they all seemed so surprised that someone would give up sugar, but like you say, it is so much more important to give up processed food and eat real food, and there's nothing ground-breaking there! I was really disappointed by Jennie Brand-Miller's attitude. She's a nutritionist specialising in glucose digestion, not a biochemist, she didn't seem to know anything about fructose. I don't think that recommending "moderate" amounts is good enough, it should say "limit sugar and processed foods to special occasions". Or even better it should just say "eat real food, grow your own, cook from scratch- you'll feel better for it" :)

    1. Thanks Liz for your words. I so admire the work you and your husband are doing on your farm, not something I'm cut out for so I am extra grateful that there are people like you committed to farming in a respectful way.

  3. Hi Nikki, I've just come to your blog via "A Time to Create". Thanks for this post. I agree with everything you've said. I'm seeing the No Sugar thing get lots of attention at the moment and I've been wondering whether or not to jump on board. But I don't really eat that much sugar in my diet it seems a bit silly. My family eat a natural balanced diet and I think this is enough. I'm never very good with being restrictive or fanatical...and I think that's what I don't really like about the No Sugar movement. Thanks again! Nicole


Thanks for your comments. I read every one!

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