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Sugar Blues

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  1,814 ratings  ·  180 reviews
It's a prime ingredient in countless substances from cereal to soup, from cola to coffee. Consumed at the rate of one hundred pounds for every American every year, it's as addictive as nicotine -- and as poisonous. It's sugar. And "Sugar Blues", inspired by the crusade of Hollywood legend Gloria Swanson, is the classic, bestselling expose that unmasks our generation's grea ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 17th 1986 by Grand Central Life & Style
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Christina Sugar feeds cancer. That's not a myth, it's a fact. This book was originally published in the 1970s, but it's been known for over a hundred years suga…moreSugar feeds cancer. That's not a myth, it's a fact. This book was originally published in the 1970s, but it's been known for over a hundred years sugar (and refined flour, according to Dufty) is a poison. It had been proven, prior to the publication of Sugar Blues, that sugar is a major factor in dental decay; sugar does cause overweight; removal of sugar from diets has cured symptoms of diabetes mellitus, schizophrenia, cancer and heart illnesses (Sugar Blues, p. 139).

Whoa, looks like I arrived three years too late. Is John still with us? Is his sister still with us?

I know you asked about Sugar Blues, but pick up Dr. Nasha Winters' The Metabolic Approach to Cancer: Integrating Deep Nutrition, the Ketogenic Diet, and Nontoxic Bio-Individualized Therapies, read it, share it with your sister. That's much more recent, published in 2017, and loaded with medical and research journal citations. Dr. Nasha Winters is a remission survivor of Stage 4 ovarian cancer. (less)

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 ·  1,814 ratings  ·  180 reviews

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Aug 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: those interested in the history of sugar
I would really only recommend this book to someone interested in the history of sugar's refinement and its integration into societies. For that, this book is excellent (or at least appears to be - more on that shortly). Beyond a history lesson though, it falls seriously short. The author is clearly a fanatic, as evidenced by his blaming everything from mental illnesses to the Bubonic plague to freckles on sugar consumption.

I read this book based on a recommendation and the fact that I'm somewhat
Susanna Schick
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book changed my LIFE! I was seriously addicted to sugar, like the little girl in that John Waters film with the dark circles under her eyes, only into adulthood. Would drown my sorrows in half a batch of brownie mix, then wonder why I was even more depressed. Quitting cane sugar (and HFCS) was one of the best things I've ever done. I had to stop completely for a few months, then found that if I ate something with sugar I'd want more, the craving would come back as surely as it does for any ...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
This book was first published in 1975. And if one wants to know the gist of what it tries to convey all he has to to is to turn to pages 59 to 60 thereof where the author quotes an even older work, that of the Japanese natural healer named Sakurazawa who, in his work entitled "You Are All Sanpaku" said:

"Western medicine and science have only just begun to sound alarm signals over the fantastic increase in its per capita sugar consumption, in the United States especially. Their researches and war
Oct 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who hate sugar
Recommended to Chak by: Michael, the proofreader at Ally & Gargano
This is a revolutionary book and by that, I mean it is a book for revolutionaries. Completely over the top, way off the deep end, and so far out there that only a person pre-convinced of its premise (refined sugar is the root of all evil in the world, throughout history) can take it seriously. I am one of those people. I love, love, love this book and will probably read it ten more times before I die, but seriously, it's completely insane and actually does trace the evils in the world through su ...more
Bob Redmond
Nov 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food-and-farms
This book, written in 1975, gives a historical, social, and nutritional survey of sugar, and concludes that it is one of the most unhealthy and pernicious substances around. It's written in a conversational style not out of place for the mid-70s, but that doesn't mean it is without rigor. While Duffy's breezy style initially made me think this was merely pop-culture fare, 35 years of trends since he published it only reinforce what he was saying. My own research also confirms his facts.

This is s
Oct 12, 2009 rated it liked it
Dufty's sprawling, inflammatory writ of a rant is disorganized and preachy, with a colloquial tone, liberal manipulation of fact, and touch of fanaticism that tempts the reader to dismiss it entirely.

BUT, it is also a punishing and deserved slap in the face for our socially-selected ignorance about sugar. The historical, economic, and chemical truths about sugar refinement and it's effects on us, the over-consumers, were old news at the time of this book's publication in the mid-70s. Yet somehow
Emily Mellow
Dec 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure if this book would have much new info for me, since it's from the early 80's, but it's actually really great. It's an very informative history of sugar: how the sugar industry increased the slave trade; how no one had cavities in all these traditional cultures that lived off plants and meats and milk, until sugar was introduced into their world; how abundant cavities are in the most sugar-laden cultures; how everything else gets the blame for disease but when any scientists point t ...more
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I can't recommend this book enough if you suffer from a chronic health ailment of any kind. While the language is a bit dated (he wrote this in 1975), the overall message endures. People abuse sugar, and sugar can lead to many chronic or fatal illnesses that are 100% avoidable, and reversible.
While I approached this book predisposed to agree with the author (I am a certified health coach), I appreciate the extensive research he provides regarding the complex history of what came to be the refin
Sep 17, 2009 rated it liked it
This book basically outlines the history of sugar and some roles it is thought to have played in some fairly significant historical events. I would classify it more as historical than nutritional. If you are wanting to cut back or eliminate sugar but are lacking the motivation...this book will do it. For me, I personally find that I am much more emotionally stable if I stay away from the this book has helped strengthen my resolve.
Aug 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sugar eaters <- or like pretty much everyone
Recommended to Jason by: Tyler Self
This is one man’s saga to explain every single feature about sugar that ought to ensure you never touch the stuff again. It would seem that a whole slew of the world’s problems can be traced to one source of strife: sugar. It is the cheapest fuel to pick up the white man’s burden. Because it is manufactured in such a way that provides an abundant amount of caloric energy for little cost, and its services as a refined crop have so much use in preservation of food—it would seem to be a miracle. Ex ...more
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fairly well written, at times eloquent, thought-provoking throughout. Some of his "facts" have since been disproven but none are sufficiently germane as to compromise his greater argument. He does make some overly bold and often outright tenuous assertions, but as they invite further discussion they can still be deemed appropriate to have been included at the time this was written. He does commit an absolutely atrocious butchery of Foucault in his analysis of mental illness, or the history there ...more
Jan 14, 2012 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Katie by: NIna Trujillo

Seriously. I didn't give this book an F for one reason - it helped me to eat (a little) less sugar than I used to - and to buy unrefined sugar (and flour) at the grocery store now. A little change like that may make a big difference. We'll have to find out.

I was recommended this book by a friend - she told me, "If you read this book, you'll never want to eat sugar again. This book teaches you how to eat correctly and how to get rid of sugar in your life." She was (kinda) partially right. It he
Jun 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book is fueling my fight. It basically says that sugar is responsible for every personal physical or emotional problem in the U.S. I am sold. Some memorable quotes:

We want to have our health and eat our sugarcake too.

"Let us go to the ignorant savage, consider his way of eating and be wise," Harvard professor Earnest Hooten said in Apes, Men and Morons. "Let us cease pretending that toothbrushes and toothpaste are anymore important than shoebrushes and shoe polish. It is store food that has
Mar 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction, dnf
I didn't finish this book, but I am so done. This book is old, the science is old, and most of the "facts" come off as urban myth. The book goes so far as to blame mental illness, learning disabilities, and "emotional disturbances" on "the obvious inability of the human system to handle the stress of sugar dependency".

If you don't have critical reading and thinking skills, you might like this book and believe everything it tells you. But I can't.

Does the book contain some good science? Sure. S
Eveline Chao
This was a bizarre exercise in viewing the entirety of history through a random lens. In this case the writer explains that everything from the fall of entire empires to schizophrenia were all caused by sugar. I would say it's worth reading, though, if only cause it's always good to be reminded: sugar bad. Healthy stuff good. The end. ...more
Tina  Louise
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It is my opinion that everyone should read this book.
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
1 star because the book rests on the pillars of pseudo science. Another star because I want to believe it.

Sugar is bad. It's probably even as bad as dufty says it is. But after just 70 pages dufty has told me about the superiority of herbal medicine, how effective divining rods are, big earlobes are a sign of strong adrenal glands, sugar causes freckles, and every single malady is caused by the body's inability to handle sugar.

This may all be true I suppose but there is no actual scientific evi
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
A more accurate title for this book would have been "History of sugar and is myths". Lots of interesting historical data but very little on the everyday applications of removing sugar from your diet. It's all common sense though, so if you flip through the pages, you can find some relevant information. ...more
Michael Hentrich
May 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Even though this book was written 40 years ago, much of what the author discusses in his book is just as pertinent today as it was then, if not more. In William Dufty's Sugar Blues, the author goes to great length to discuss the history of sugar and how such a seemingly innocent substance could bring about so much damage. This book is really a wake up call for a lot of people who think that weight gain is simply a matter of gaining pounds instead of a symptom of greater problems that are going o ...more
I can say after I read the book I went off sugar and took my family off sugar for a year. It was the best year of our lives. Some of my children were too young to remember but the older two do and give me a bad time about it but they do say it was a good year. they first thought I was crazy but as adults they try to avoid sugar as much as they can.They feel better when they do avoid sugar. It helps my husband's and my health as we try to avoid it. There is samething to the theory about eating su ...more
Jeffery Barmann
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a phenomenal book, filled with unique facts and history difficult to find in one place. Essentially, processed sugar is a drug and has always been a drug. The USA suffers from an obesity epidemic because corporations in the early 1970s discovered and all adopted the "Bliss Point" for their foods, using added sugars and corn syrup to sweeten their product and feed an addiction. The facts in this book will shock you to your core. ...more
Jean Lamberty
May 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
First published in the 70s, this book has even more relevance today. Dufty provides a comprehensive look at sugar by tracing its effects on various civilizations--addiction, exploitation, illness, among others. His statistics are shocking, and 40 years later, far worse. A real incentive to get off of sugar. Lots of information, often presented with amusing sarcasm.
Ligia Serrano
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A book about the trajectory of sugar in its way to our mouths. Because of its addictive potential and consequently political interests, this substance, that has little from its original plant, made its way to most industrialized products we eat. From ketchup to oatmeal, it is everywhere, regardless of all the negative impacts on our health.
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It is my opinion that everyone should read this book.
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Informative. Learned a lot about sugar and actually, I changed my entire eating plan after reading this book. Not right away, but still. As of now, I do not consume sugar at all anymore. None. Nada.
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
Lots of fascinating historical and health facts. After reading the book, I feel helpless about the process sugar deal. It's not like I go off having a hundred of tablespoon of refined sugar a day. I try to eat healthy on a budget. This past week I looked in the content area and it's amazing how much man-made sugar is in many kinds of food. On the positive side, I'm not much a coffee drinker so I don't have a lot of cream or just sugar and milk in my daily diet. It's occasionally I drink coffee a ...more
Lisa Schaefer
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the history of how sugar has influenced global events throughout history. Very interesting indeed. I was intrigued by the health correlations due to sugar in our diet. I was less pleased that the only real solution is "stop eating it". I think other solutions are necessary at a higher level to work it out of our grocery items - it's going to take more than a one-person devoted effort. ...more
Anne De Santis
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this book over 25 years ago and it was a fascinating read it truly explains the addictive qualities of sugar and how long we have known about it damaging affects on our bodies. This book is a timeless must read especially for those struggling with sugar addiction. Duffy describes we what now know as the chemical affects of sugar on the brain
Aug 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Some excellent information! The beginning chapters were often long and unimportant but when he finally gets to the evidence and the "meat and potatoes " of the matter I found it revealing and eye-opening. Even for a book this old, the information is very much applicable for today. ...more
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I don't agree with all of his conclusions, but the writing was good and I enjoyed the history of sugar and how it came to be a daily part of our lives. His facts were well-researched. I also appreciated that he worked to provide solutions and recipes for his readers. ...more
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William Francis Dufty was an American writer, musician, and activist. Including ghostwriting, he wrote approximately 40 books.

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