A long, long time ago, sugar was a luxury food just for the rich. In the early 1300’s,  it was sold for two shillings a pound, about £50, but now,  sugar is pretty much the cheapest “poison” around.  (There’s a timeline of the history of sugar on the ironically named SugarNutrition site funded and run by (let’s try and guess?) some of the main UK sugar manufacturers who make massive profits while encouraging us to eat more of something that we all should know by now is purely and simply not good for us and has no nutrition in it.  Just for the record, there’s NO information about any nutritive qualities of sugar on their SugarNutrition site – surprise, surprise! – HERE).

SugarNutrition.org.uk – on their “nutrition” page, say: “Sugar in nutrition covers the four basic tastes, how sugar is present in nature, used in the diet of many animals, carbohydrates as energy for the body and important steps to take to look after your teeth.

The four ‘tastes’

There are four basic tastes: sourness, saltiness, sweetness and bitterness”

Fascinating, riveting and highly educational (not!).  Love the “important steps to take to look after your teeth” bit – err..yes, as in – cut down on sugar, or cut it out?!!

“Sugar is now enemy number one in the western diet” 

When the UK media went on a sugar rampage in January amid the always predictable flurry of New Year, New You, Detox features, tagging sugar as “the new tobacco”, I Tweeted some features from The Guardian about the anti-sugar campaign and a woman – who turned out to be an NHS-registered nutritionist – got rather upset, defending sugar as “an essential part of a balanced diet”, adding “sugar is getting a bad rap and it’s not fair”.  Glad she’s not my nutritionist. What worries me is that there are people around like her, doling out misinformed advice by the spoonful. 

I’ve seen what the white stuff can do to your skin, health, mood, energy levels, teeth, and I do believe it feeds cancer cells and compromises our immune systems.  I do eat birthday cake, I love a bar of dark chocolate, but sugar doesn’t make frequent appearances in my life, I feel much better without it.

There are so many reasons why white sugar isn’t good for us, and if the NHS nutritionist is reading this on Twitter, please Tweet us all the reasons you think it’s an essential part of a balanced diet, would you? Yes, the tooth-rotting, weight-piling-on white stuff, with zero nutrition in it.  It is a skin ager, too, and if you want to age faster, eat lots of it, it’ll help wreck the collagen and elasticity of your complexion.  (See the Prevention mag link below!)


One quick note here re. juicing. Practically every health and beauty editor is on the juicing bandwagon, people I know who have barely bought anything from a health food store have bought juicers and it worries me because I saw this all start up in California many years ago, and the post-juicing backlash that happened when people realised pure fruit is NOT the way to go – you really need to add in those vegetable juices like kale, celery and spinach (carrots are a bit too sweet).  I mix in nuts, some flaxseed oil, supergreen powder and sometimes some natural yoghurt for extra protein to help balance sugar levels.

Many experts say around 80% veg to 20% is around about the right proportions – did you know that if you’re downing a cocktail of orange, mango, pineapple and strawberry from a big beaker in the mornings, it’s almost the equivalent of mainlining sugar – figuratively speaking?


READ: 124 WAYS SUGAR RUINS YOUR HEALTH – Nourished Magazine (Australia)

Here are the Top 15, for the full 124, click on the link above!

  1. Sugar can suppress the immune system.
  2. Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in the body.
  3. Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.
  4. Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.
  5. Sugar contributes to the reduction in defense against bacterial infection (infectious diseases).
  6. Sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function, the more sugar you eat the more elasticity and function you loose.
  7. Sugar reduces high density lipoproteins.
  8. Sugar leads to chromium deficiency.
  9. Sugar leads to cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate, and rectum.
  10. Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose.
  11. Sugar causes copper deficiency.
  12. Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.
  13. Sugar can weaken eyesight.
  14. Sugar raises the level of a neurotransmitters: dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
  15. Sugar can cause hypoglycemia.

Last but not least, before I get off my sugar soap box, sugar is an insidious skin-ager.

It “kills” collagen – collagen levels in our bodies fall, as we age, and the more that collagen is depleted, the more apparent the visible effects of ageing are on us – here’s how sugar does it:


We’re all free to make our own choices in life, but sugar is not – whatever any NHS clinical nutritionist on Twitter believes – an essential part of a balanced diet.  It’s an optional sweetener. And of course sugar being an essential is exactly what SugarNutrition.org.uk, run by the sugar giants, would have us believe, too 😉 Two lumps in your tea, lots of money in their pockets and more illness, more pressure on the NHS, lower quality of health and lifestyle for us.  A sickly circle.

Two books worth a read if you’re interested in delving deeper, are:

PURE, WHITE AND DEADLY.  Why sugar is killing us and what we can do to stop it (John Yudkin)Amazon.co.uk 

THE SWEET POISON QUIT PLAN (David Gillespie) – Amazon.co.uk

Here’s the Guardian piece I Tweeted:

From The Guardian:

Sugar is now enemy number one in the western diet


One response to “124 WAYS SUGAR RUINS OUR HEALTH”

  1. Diane Somers says:

    Great article, Fiona.
    I read John Yudkin’s book when it was first published, and again recently (more information has been added). David Gillespie’s ‘Sweet Poison’ is excellent as it gives a very thoroughly researched background as to what sugar does to us at a cellular level, and shows fructose to be the villain of the piece, as basically it bypasses our appetite control centre, and allows us to go on munching. And many other horrible things that you mention.
    The Quit Plan is wonderful as it is realistic and offers some good strategies to break the sugar habit. There are still too many books around telling us to eat lots of fruit, dried or otherwise, which is not a good idea, as you already know.
    Also worth reading is Robert Lustig’s ‘Why we get fat and what to do about it’. Seems like low-fat is really not the way to go!!! No wonder the diet industry does so well….. 95% of people who lose weight will put it all back on, plus some more. Sugar is the new tobacco, ha ha.