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Pure, White, and Deadly How sugar is killing us and what we can do to stop it

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  1,214 ratings  ·  148 reviews
Sugar is killing us. Why do we eat so much of it? What are its hidden dangers? One in four adults in the US are overweight. There is an epidemic of obese children around the globe. Sugar consumption has tripled since the Second World War. Using everyday language and a range of scientific evidence, Professor Yudkin explores the ins and outs of sugar, from the different type ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published March 17th 2018 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published 1972)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  1,214 ratings  ·  148 reviews

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Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star
Such is the force behind the concept of sugar being harmful that this book embodies, that I have given up sugar instantly. This may be a fad. So, just to make sure I go on losing weight, I decided to read Pure, White, and Deadly, over and over again.

The last chapter shows a pockmarked battlefield where sugar's sacred guardians keep on belittling John Yudkin, the author. They employ sneaky tactics to relegate the author's studies to crackpot theory land.

I first heard of this book from another one
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in 1972 when it first came out. I wish that I had remembered it and stayed away from sugar. Now i have read it again and i recommend it to anyone who values their health. Yudkin believed, based on research and observation, that it is sugar not fat which causes coronary artery disease. His research was ignored in favour of the big anti fat message propagated first by Ancel Keys and then by the US health organisations. Yudkin shows how Keys research was faulty. Penguin has reissue ...more
Dec 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars to be precise. Although aspects of Yudkin's work are outdated and the science has come a long way, the central core to his thesis - refined sugar (sucrose) is a poison and we should be working towards limiting it, and not increasing it, in our diets - was visionary. Sadly, it was a cry that went unheeded, especially in the United States, where not long after this 1972 publication, we began to add exponential amounts of sugar to our diets in the form of High Fructose Corn Syrup. (Thank ...more
Meaghan Halkett
Sep 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best, most interesting, educational books I have read in a long time. It was out of my comfort zone. Besides teaching me a bit about sugar and nutrition, it also taught me a bit about the influences of politics. An area I have struggled to understand, and show an interest. I have definatly reduced my sugar consumption after reading this book. Not just white sugar, but glucose fructose. I do not believe that there is 1 cause for obesity, and health issues, but too much of anyth ...more
Justin Griffiths-Bell
"Yeah, the old white train costs a lot to ride
Your heart, your soul and even your pride
Damn sure forever, it'll freeze your brain
So take a little advice, stay away from the old white train
Take a little advice, stay away from the old white train."
- Mark E. Smith

We watch Mad Men, and see Betty dropping cigarette ash over her children, and Don lighting up the moment he swings his legs out of bed, and it all seems kind of quaint. I wonder if in the Mad Men of the future, they'll laugh and be shock
Apr 26, 2010 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
first written in the 1970s. mentioned in a speech bu Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, called Sugar: The Bitter Truth ( ...more
Feb 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is incredible! John Yudkin presents an amazing case against the consumption of sugar and demonstrates quite convincingly that sugar, not fat and cholesterol, is at the root of the heart disease, obesity, and type II diabetes epidemic we are currently facing.

Good luck getting a hold of this book. It was very difficult to find.
Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: emancipatory, health
A Total Five Star Review for a late Scientist who the Sugar Industry slaughtered because they didn't like what he said. ...more
Marion Husband
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Step away from the sugar bowl now....very interesting and a bit sobering, glad I've not much of a sweet tooth.... ...more
Eddie Clarke
I read this as a companion piece to Robert Lustig's Fat Chance. Lustig pays huge respect to his predecessor Yudkin, who back in the 50s, 60s & 70s was researching the negative consequences of a high sugar diet. Pure White and Deadly was originally published in the early 70s.

Both books demonstrate what a clear and present danger sugar is. Lustig's is more up-to-date in that he incorporates new knowledge about our hormonal systems but both men come to a similar conclusion - we should avoid sugar a
C.J. Hines
Informative and disturbing about the effects of sugar on our bodies and how it contributes to so many diseases. Only thing about this book is Yudkin didn't 'dumb it down' for readers like me, who get confused with all the medical and biological jargon. ...more
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Re-read after 33 years.
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
John Yudkin (1910-1995) was a British physiologist and nutritionist, and was one of the first scientists to claim that sugar was a major cause of heart disease and obesity, as well as a host of other diseases which today we group under the heading of "metabolic disorders." At the time of the publication of this book, 1972, and the 1986 update, Yudkin didn't have the voluminous data that exists today. He had correlation, but not causation. He didn't know about insulin resistance and the role of s ...more
Toni Daugherty
Dec 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Is sugar worse than fat? Is Sugar just as bad as High Fructose Corn Syrup? Should we have this in our food supply? Should we all go back to eating what our grandmother's cooked? Do the kids of today know that package food is a fairly new invention? My own kids had never seen a Brussels sprout stock or the green tops of carrots. We have moved so far away from our natural food sources that many kids are actually surprised to find a friend at school who has veggies in their lunchbox. One child even ...more
Mar 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's not an easy read, but this is a thoroughly remarkable book and one that should be at the top of the reading list for anyone with an interest in what they eat or how the food industry operates.
Pure, White and Deadly aroused a furious reaction when it was first published and the sugar industry tried, with some success, to discredit Yudkin and his work, preferring to cast fat as the part of our diets that causes ill-health, obesity, heart disease, etc. This new edition also lists some of the l
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, shamanism
This could be the most important book on nutrition I have ever read and if you plan to read only one on this subject, than look no further. Despite having a bombastic and somewhat populistic title the contents present a well written view by a researcher who spent his life exploring the effects of sucrose on our bodies. His findings are nothing less than a cause for a serious alarm on our diets (on some aspects I would still call them conservative), yet nothing much seems to happen. Sugar produce ...more
Nov 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anybody who eats
Recommended to Pcallist by: Gary Taubes in Good Cals, Bad Cals
This book is out of print and I had to get it via inter-library loan. It is referenced in 'Good Calories, Bad Calories'. It is a compelling read and adds much to my understanding about the perils of consuming table sugar and HFCS (which wasn't available when Yudkin researched and wrote). The information at the end of the book, of Yudkin's clashes with British "Big Sugar" are illuminating. "Big Tobacco" has nothing on "Big Sugar!" ...more
Pat Rae
Feb 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's amazing to think that this book was first written in 1972. As I read it I couldn't help but feel sorry for the author, as he battled all in sundry to get his message heard, only to be labelled a fruit loop. My how history has served to correct the mistakes of the past. While quite a difficult read, his message is clear and to the point. Absolutely loved it. ...more
Alex Leaf
Mar 07, 2012 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
50% of the way through this. Lot's of astounding discoveries so far. None too pleasant. ...more
Alex Sonne
Aug 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Way ahead of its time. Way..
Nancy Craft
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was impressed that so many decades ago research was being done on the harmful effects of fructose, yet politics and money has kept this from the public.
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Visionary. In 1972, he had enough science (little in the lab, plenty in demographics) to see what sugar was doing.

I'm of two minds about the later addition, where he talks about the sugar industries concerted effort to discredit him. I don't argue that he should have spoken of it in the second edition but it does come off as a little whiny. We prefer our heroes to be unbent and unsurprised when Goliath realy does turn out to be a giant.

I think I'm done reading anti-sugar books. I'm convinced!
Good general info, but dated. I suppose it was pretty accurate at the time of the update.
Feb 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short version of this book: sugar is terrible for you and there is absolutely no reason for you to consume it.

It's not exactly a huge revelation today, but this book was published in 1972 and then mostly forgotten. It's interesting to see Yudkin come up with a lot of ideas that are now generally accepted but were ignored for decades. The author even speculates on the advantages of a diet based on paleolithic man - that is, he lays out an argument for the Paleo Diet before that term ever existed
Aug 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nutrition
I first heard about this from Dr. Robert Lustig's proclamation of being an apostle of Yudkin. This was during his "Sugar, The Bitter Truth" viral YouTube sensation. I believe Yudkin was really going against the grain when he published this work, and his forward details this. Whenever you speak about something that has the potential to make large, powerful groups lose money, you will see a backlash. Unfortunately, much of what the author proclaims in the book has readily been ignored. In fact, th ...more
Aneliya Petrunova
This is a revolutionary book. It was written at a time when fat phobia and the diet-heart hypothesis were steadily gaining ground and were as good as established in the belief system of most scientists (despite the available evidence to the contrary). John Yudkin based the conclusions in his book on research data and his own experience with patients. What he wrote sounds quite scary: even back in the 70s and 80s there was good evidence that sugar was behind a number of common diseases of civiliz ...more
Gaurav Andhansare
Professor Yudkins presents his views and conclusions from a plethora of experiments carried out worldwide over the years, determining and to a large extent, establishing at least a correlation between sugar and its role in various systemic and local conditions.

As with any scientific research, the conclusions can differ although like most research targeting a major industry negatively, the methods and findings themselves are discredited in its entirety.
We can see that everywhere from oil companie
Al Fernandez
Dec 20, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health
Dr. John Yudkin was a British physiologist who believed that sugar consumption was closely associated with heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Around the same time, Ancel Keys an American scientist argued that dietary fat was the primary cause of heart disease. Dr. Keys' view became accepted in the US and paved the way to continued heart disease and a growing obesity problem. I believe that Dr. Yudkin was correct in seeing the negative impact sugar was having not only on cavities, weight gain and ...more
Feb 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
This book may be is a little bit dated, but still has a great line: the true behind factual data about sugar.

I came to this book by the recommendation Robert Lusting does in his youtube famous conference: "Sugar: The Bitter Truth." You can't image how bad is the sugar for us, the humans. Yudkin relates what has he found based on experiments on a number of animals (rats, rabbits, etc), he also found not only a casual correlation on how the production of Sugar has on the human diseases, but also t
Mary Karpel-Jergic
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health, food
A remarkable book. John Yudkin, clearly was, in 1972, a voice in the wilderness. Not so much now, especially after Robert Lustig's praise for this book.

There were two competing theories with regard to what causes heart disease - John Yudkin with sugar and Ancel Keys with fat. Unfortunately the wrong horse was backed. Heart disease has not reduced and in fact, ill health along with obesity is growing fast. It looks like Yudkin was correct but overlooked in the rush to follow the fat argument. The
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