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Sweet Poison, Why Sugar Makes Us Fat

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  1,530 ratings  ·  152 reviews
David Gillespie was 40kg overweight, lethargic, sleep-deprived, and the father of four, with twins on the way. He knew he needed to lose weight fast, but he had run out of diets - all had failed.
After doing some reading on evolution (why weren't our forebears fat?), David cut sugar - specifically fructose - from his diet. He immediately started to lose weight, and kept it
soft cover, 208 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Penguin Books (first published 2008)
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Boy Blue If you look at a before and after you will see that he is certainly a lot better now than he was before. All that fat melted away and left the skin be…moreIf you look at a before and after you will see that he is certainly a lot better now than he was before. All that fat melted away and left the skin behind, something you can't really fix without surgery. I think the other problem is, you are expecting him to look like a body builder or a sports star. He's not either of those, he's a writer. Being healthy doesn't have to mean being a bronzed Adonis in dicktogs. He also doesn't exercise much or believe in exercise for weight loss as he argues in another book he wrote, Big Fat Lies. I think if he got a tan and went to the gym a bit more you'd probably be happy with how he looks. I do notice you can't find a single shot of him with his shirt off, maybe you are onto something, or maybe he's just a normal guy. Also you can't see inside, I bet his organs are radiant in all their healthy glory.(less)

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Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: health-books
Yes, sugar is to be avoided as it can negatively affect your health in many ways including making you gain weight, but this book is problematic overall.

The book is full of inaccuracies. It claims the Atkins diet works solely through calorie restriction, when even the Atkins book itself explains that this is a myth and provides studies which show that people can lose weight on such a diet while eating many more calories than others on a high-carb diet. This book supports the myth that high choles
David Gillespie* is Australia's most under-rated authors right now. From Toxic Oil: Why Vegetable Oil Will Kill You And How To Save Yourself to Taming Toxic People: The Science of Identifying and Dealing with Psychopaths at Work at Home he just writes so well. The insights are simple yet profound. Yet another must-read. I have to stop using that term so it'll still have its weight when I call a book that in future. It's becoming a cliche.

Run, don't walk to read this book. Steal it if you must.
Margaret Wise
Nov 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Margaret by: David Gillespie

Sweet poison book review

Well I have read the book both as an initial skim and then more in depth.Yes I am very impressed with the information provided based on the authors personal experience and research.
He seem to have put his finger on something that has been missed or only alluded to in the past but is of benefit everyone in the interests of health .

I liked the nice bright cover which "grabs" attention and the concise info on the back cover. Another strong point is that the author motivates
Am Y
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The one takeaway from this book is that not all "sugar" is equal. The author explains this in great detail, getting into all the chemical processes involved in sugar metabolism. The most important point in the book, which I shall summarise here (after reading it from cover to cover, thus saving you the trouble), is that: glucose is not metabolised by your liver, but all other types of sugar are.

This is gravely important, especially if you suffer from fatty liver disease caused by excessive suga
May 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: health
This book has the potential to change my life more than almost any other book I have ever read.

Everyone knows that sugar is bad, but this book gave me an understanding of the types of sugar that causes me to continually want more and how my body processes certain types of sugar.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who has the following questions:

Do you want to understand why you are hungry all of the time?
Do you want to understand how food (mainly sugar) is processed by your body?
Do you think exerc
Sep 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A must read for anyone with weight issues. Very concise and easy to understand. I feel robbed by the medical/nutrition/pharmaceutical field & the government. A change in the way my family eats & lives is now taking place. I don't want to die by something as innocuous as fructose. Thank you for opening my eyes David, well done! ...more
Kristen Muehlhauser
May 07, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm not sure how to decipher the veracity of this information. The simple statements Gillespie makes are not what I was taught in the two nutrition classes I took for nursing preparation. It makes sense to me that since our bodies did not evolve to eat large quantities of fructose, it might be a bad idea to start feeding them massive amounts now. He is arguing causation and stating that fructose is actually and single-handedly responsible for causing obesity, heart disease, and liver failure.

Mar 01, 2017 rated it liked it
I've read several books in the past like this, took their advice, and lost weight. I picked up a copy of Sweet Poison to renew my fervor for making healthier eating choices. This book is a quick read, funny in places, and written by a father of six who successfully applied the principals he outlines.

It is obvious the author did lots of research and provides a condensed history of key movements in nutrition (low fat, higher exercise, Adkins, etc), and how they came to be so popular, and remain s
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: health
Definitely recommend this one! Easy to read, and well written - David has a humorous, conversational way of writing. Sweet Poison looks at what the introduction (and since then, the over-consumption!) of sugar, especially fructose, has done to the human body. It looks at the history of the sugar industry, how sugar affects us (good and bad), and gives alternatives for when you need a sweet treat (spoilers! glucose only!). Honestly, everyone should read this - whether you're fighting daily sweet ...more
An interesting look at the biology of how your body processes sugar. At times it's a little scary, and at others it's hard to believe (if only because you don't want to) but it does really makes you stop and think. As a result, I have taken some of the author's advise and cut back on my sugar intake and genuinely do feel better, more active and think I see better results from training. So, hopefully, this has been good advise and not just a placebo effect.

Whether you choose to believe everything
Raha Khrais
Nov 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Everyone in the whole world should read this book! The great thing about the author that he explained the complicated researches and facts in a simple and understandable way even though I got bored at the the first chapters, but the end of the book was interesting, he mentioned how he survived the sugar free or (fructose-free) plan and how the steps to do that. There is only one thing that I was overwhelmed when I read one of the last chapters about type of good sugar (dextrose) and how he recom ...more
Jan 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
An interesting read on why Gillespie believes fructose (which makes up 50% of sucrose) to be the main culprit in the obesity epidemic. The 5 rules he outlines for following a low fructose diet are sensible, and although I've yet to undergo fructose withdrawal I have been implementing parts of the plan where I can in the past couple of weeks and haven't found it too difficult. The idea that you treat sugar as a poison rather than feeling as though you are depriving yourself of it is one that has ...more
Mrs Dunk
Aug 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Have been sugar free for a month!
Inez Hamilton-Smith
Jul 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
A book that uses animal experiments to explain human health is simply bullshit.
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, non-fiction
This book was a life changer.
(After reading this book, I have completely stopped adding sugar to my diet, and am actively avoiding it where I can. Dead set scary. And the affect? Coffee tastes terrible. It has been 7 days, and when I encounter sugar it tastes SO sweet it is noticeable. And I lost 900g. I honestly didn't think I would lose much weight, as I am only 2-3kg over my BMI approved weight.)
But this is a book review, and the book itself was good reading, until it bogged down into biochem
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is fantastic, well researched, well written eye-opening book about the perils of consuming fructose. It truly is poison. My one criticism is that he thinks that the consumption of artificial sweeteners is a good way to get off of fructose, however, researchers have shown that artificial sweeteners ultimately cause you to eat more.
Katische Haberfield
Very interesting. I read this for two purposes- one from my point in terms of perimenopause/ menopause research - understanding the role of fructose and fibre and estrogen and women’s weight gain finally made sense.

Secondly in relation to what I am purchasing for my teenagers.

Well worth reading for a general understanding on sugar and also the basics of sugar substitutes (nope not switching to artificial sweetners- esp after reading the section on TAB (the cola drink of the 80s) that my dad lov
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I become ever more convinced that eliminating added sugars from our diet might just be the magic bullet to improving health across the board. I never, NEVER thought that there was a magic bullet - everything in moderation, eat well, exercise and so forth. But here are the key issues:

1. Our bodies are not set up to recognize fructose calories in the way that they ARE set up to recognize glucose calories. When you ingest carbohydrates, fats and proteins, they trigger a signaling cascade that tells
Wayward Child
Oct 11, 2017 rated it liked it
I’ve been off sugar for little over a year now, on and off. It’s amazing, it’s the best decision I ever made, but it can also lead to somewhat isolating experiences. You’re visiting a friend you haven’t seen in ages. She’s poor, has a small kitchen and nearly half the appliances you’re used to, not to mention her general awareness about added sugar or lack thereof. So, you either smile politely and eat what you’re offered or turn her kitchen upside down, possibly angering and alienating your fri ...more
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
After waiting for a month for this book and it's partner, the Sweet Poison Quit plan, to arrive, I was disappointed to say the least. It was okay but geared I think towards a person that was eating lots of sugar in their diet. I personably quit sugar about 5 weeks ago and although this info was added fodder to my motivation, I didn't find it enjoyable reading. I really didn't like that, in the second of two books he advocated the use of dextrose in baking, which is still a sweet and definitely r ...more
Aug 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Relatively easy read about the biochemistry of various sugars, but especially fructose and presents a good case for our obesity epidemic and what individuals can do about it: stop eating fructose except for the small bits one gets in whole fruits. Did you know that apple is the sweetest?

Sounds good to me.
Oct 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was the most interesting book I have ever read about diet / health. I could not put it down. Its a must read for anyone with a weight problem.
Leanne Flavell
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
Informative. It wasn't an easy read, although his personal interjections made me smile. His message is clear and makes sense. Recommend you read if the Title of this book resonates with you. ...more
Annique Mcgregor
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think we should give this author an honorary MD degree for having the interest and fortitude to self-educate not only medical terminology but slog through study after study as well as the history of medicine to understand the sugar / fat epidemic plaguing most of the developed world. Although it doesn't take a genius (or even a medical doctor) to understand that sugar is not good for you, the author helps break it down on a physiologic level to understand the *why* it's so bad. Even with my me ...more
Aug 30, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a good book. Some history, a lot of biochemistry interpreted by a layman, some economics and politics. I guess this all contributes to a foundation of psychological resistance to the sugar plague, but I would like more investigation of the psychology of poor food decisions i.e. 'treats'.

Despite reading as closely as I could (be bothered), I am still not totally clear on the differences and features between glucose, fructose and lactose, nor the role carbohydrates play in supplying our b
Nicki Kendall
Apr 06, 2019 rated it liked it
When this book was released it seemed to be at the start of the anti sugar movement. The book does discuss some common thoughts that carbohydrates and sugar feed cancers and ill health which makes some sense. But the beat ups on other food plans Adkins and Keto just didn't sit well with me. Whilst I have followed neither myself I know people who have and have had a lot of success with them. I get that the author speaks from his personal experiences and research I just dont see the need to dispar ...more
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
To be honest, I swore I would not like this book. It wasn't what I expected. It reads more like a textbook than a diet book. It brought back memories of my anatomy and physiology classes from long ago. I have already known for years that sugar is bad, but to relearn and understand some of the body's mechanisms for digesting and processing glucose actually was really helpful to me. I was able to draw conclusions about health issues personal to me given what I was able to learn (or be reminded of, ...more
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Filled with lots of interesting and crucial information backed up by research. I don't drink much soft drink but I do have a sweet tooth and it was an eye opener to read about the biochemical processes that fructose goes through (or rather, doesn't go through) which leads to so much ill health - I mean we all know sweets are 'sometimes' foods but this book goes into detail about why. A lot of the information made real sense to me, like when you drink a glass of milk the fat content triggers that ...more
Jake Lunniss
Aug 15, 2020 rated it liked it
David Gillespie was 40kg overweight, lethargic, sleep-deprived, and the father of four, with twins on the way. He knew he needed to lose weight fast, but he had run out of diets - all had failed.
After doing some reading on evolution (why weren't our forebears fat?), David cut sugar - specifically fructose - from his diet. He immediately started to lose weight, and kept it off. Slim, trim and fired up, David set out to look at the connection between sugar, our soaring obesity rates and some of t
Vicky P
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a convert! I've known for a long time that sugar not fat was my downfall. Now, with recently learning two friends shifting off sugar completely for health reasons I was prompted to look into it more myself. The author makes a good job of explaining the basics (and as a doctor I'm getting flashbacks to my Nutrition lectures). Some people will be turned off by all the history and sociology stuff but I liked that he took a broader approach. Am Day 5-ish and it's all going well. ...more
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David Gillespie is a recovering corporate lawyer, former co-founder of a successful software company and investor in several software startups.

He is also the father of six young children (including one set of twins). With such a lot of extra time on his hands, and 40 extra kilos on his waistline, he set out to investigate why he, like so many in his generation, was fat.

He deciphered the latest med

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“Exercising and dieting help us lower that weight gain but it will always be a losing battle for as long as we continue to consume fructose.” 0 likes
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