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Pure, White and Deadly: The new facts about the sugar you eat as a cause of heart disease, diabetes and other killers

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  941 ratings  ·  112 reviews
Using everyday language and a range of scientific evidence, Professor Yudkin explores the ins and out of sugar, from the different types - is brown sugar really better than white? - to how it is hidden inside our everyday foods, and how it is damaging our health.

Brought up-to-date by childhood obesity expert Dr Robert Lustig M.D., his classic exposé on the hidden dangers o
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published October 30th 1986 by Viking (first published 1972)
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4.13  · 
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 ·  941 ratings  ·  112 reviews

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Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: popsugar-2019
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
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 Although aspects of Yudkin's work are outdated and the science has come a long way, the central core to his thesis - refined sugar (sucrose) is a poison and we should be working towards limiting it, and not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
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
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 (
Feb 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
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....
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 sug
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Re-read after 33 years.
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
Shelves: shamanism, science
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
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!"
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.
Nancy Craft
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Alex Leaf
Mar 07, 2012 is currently reading it
50% of the way through this. Lot's of astounding discoveries so far. None too pleasant.
Alex Sonne
Aug 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Way ahead of its time. Way..
Mar 22, 2018 rated it liked it
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
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
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
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
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sugar is poison ultimately and needs to be controlled in the food we eat..Processed foods are the worst culprits with many disguises for sugar..all produced into weight gain..however fat per say is not detrimental to health and should be consumed. As it has been for centuries obviously within a balanced diet it actually helps the body in many ways...oiling joints and the gut, skin hair nails..
Mar 28, 2013 rated it liked it
not an easy read. Yudkin foresaw the obesity epidemic even before the advent of HFCS and was vilified by the scientific community. Unfortunately, I think he is preaching to the converted.

The only copy I could get had small print which made it even more difficult for me to read.
Jun 06, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book seems so out dated and I found it a real slog to read so I'm quitting on page 85. I think my chemo-brain can't handle so much science right now and I already know that processed sugar is bad for me.
Lucia Cerchlanova
May 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Another scientific proof how bad is sugar for our bodies. The book was little bit boring on the end, because of huge amounts of scientific explanation (I am amateur in science of nutrition), however, the message is very powerful and we should spread it among our fellows.
Everyone should read this book, which is a well-written treatise by a respected scientist who was skewered by the sugar industry for his views. It is very perceptive and occasionally quite funny. I would have rated it higher if the content were not so dated.
Oct 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved it. I guess I have a thing against tasty white crystals in the diet. I have spent years studying the ill effects of salt and sodium, now for years studying the ill effects of sugar and fructose.

Yay me!
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Science and Inquiry: dietary sugar and obesity 13 34 Jul 07, 2015 06:00AM  

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