Sweet reading

A few weeks ago we cancelled our TV licence. I was a bit apprehensive when hubby suggested it but I have to say I am far more productive without it!

For a start, I’ve been reading more. I’ve made the most of our library by borrowing books on potty training, Menorca for an upcoming holiday, and three (yes, three!) books on sugar. But I’ve also started re-reading Disciplines of a Godly Woman by Barbara Hughes and dug out my copy of Running Made Easy by Susie Whalley & Lisa Jackson for a few tips.

Books
Books on the go

As a child I loved reading and made the most of the little library in our town, but since leaving university I haven’t been registered at one. We registered our son at our local library to help encourage a love of reading so I also signed up. Cutting the TV licence has given me much more time, especially when our son is napping, so I am trying to get my brain in gear by reading.

It hadn’t really occurred to me to read books on sugar. I’m just doing the sugar free thing really, but actually it’s nice to have scientific evidence to back me up if people ask why I’m doing it and, often, how long for. If you read the research, you’ll probably stick to it long-term, too.

The first book about sugar that I read was The Sugar Solution by Sari Harrar (I was looking for The Blood Sugar Solution by Mark Hyman and got confused). I read it in a couple of days and it’s more about diabetes and adjusting diet and lifestyle than why sugar is bad for us. Some of the recipes include sugar!

The other two books were Sweet Poison by David Gillespie and Fat Chance: The bitter truth about sugar by Dr. Robert Lustig. I first heard about these two books on Eve Schaub’s blog which I read last year and so I was delighted when I found them on the shelf in our library. I have even bought my own copy of Fat Chance because I want to highlight it and devour it again.

Sweet Poison is written by a normal Australian guy trying to work out why he wasn’t losing weight. He found a whole load of research into the actual effects of sugar to our bodies and he lost 40kg by ditching sugar.

Fat Chance is written by a doctor who confirms everything the other books say! It’s the hardest one to read in many ways because there’s more biochemistry in it, but because I’d read the other two first I had gradually started to understand it all so by the time I got to this one, it had all started to make sense. Dr. Lustig is American so most of what he says refers to the American lifestyle but we’re not that different here in the UK.

There are already reviews and summaries of the books online, for example The Telegraph reviews Sweet Poison here and Fat Chance here, so I won’t bother going into all of the science here. For a more thorough understanding you really need to read the research and the books, but the gist of it is that fructose is a toxin. It is found naturally in fruit where it is accompanied by fibre, but table sugar (half glucose, half fructose and found in most processed food) and even fruit juice come without the fibre which makes it bad for us. The research shows how it leads to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, etc.

David Gillespie advocates ditching sugar altogether, whereas Dr. Lustig suggests limiting it. They both argue that we need to eat more fibre. Processed food lacks fibre and fibre is essential for our digestion. Dr. Lustig explains in his book why we need to eat more fibre, and how exercise can also help. It was so interesting to read why we need fibre and why exercise helps, rather than being told ‘eat whole grains’ or ‘exercise three times a week.’

So, all in all, I am a big fan of the local library again. I am now almost knowledgeable about the effects of sugar! I stopped eating sugar because setting boundaries like having one piece of cake a week didn’t work for me – once I’d tasted it, I wanted more of it. I don’t plan to return to eating sugar any time soon. I’m enjoying sugar free life! I’m no longer tempted by cake or chocolate and, of course, I now know the science behind why sugar is bad for us.

There’s a wealth of information available on a whole lot of topics in your local library. Make the most of it! I find it much more rewarding to read a book than read an article on the internet, however convenient that might be. Although I like to own a book if I like it so that I can go back to it.

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