Don’t Quit Sugar.
It was the book that made headlines a few months ago, when news of its release first made its way onto the grapevine. And now that it’s actually been released, it’s back in the news.
A big, shiny copy landed on our desks first thing Monday morning:
It’s written by a nutritionist named Cassie Platt, who is also a personal chef and caterer. On her website, Cassie writes that she wanted to write the book in order to initiate some “sensible, evidence-based discussion” around the current climate of “sugar fear”.
There is no getting around the fact that everywhere you turn, someone else is giving up sugar. We’ve been bombarded with messages about the evils of sugar. Sugar-free recipes are everywhere – everything from chocolate cake to apple crumble can now be made with little-to-no sugar involved.
But Platt reckons that we’ve gone too far in the demonising of sugar; that it’s just like when fat was condemned as evil in the 80s and 90s (and now, any health-conscious individual will tell you that healthy fats, such as olive oil and avocado, are absolutely essential as part of a healthy diet).
Platt believes that even in this modern age, science and facts have become obscured amidst a cloud of rhetoric, misinformation and emotionally-charged sound bites such as ‘sugar is toxic’, ‘sugar is addictive’, ‘sugar causes weight gain, diabetes and chronic disease’, ‘sugar makes us age faster’, ‘sugar is poison’.
In truth, she says:
None of these catchcries is supported by our best available science. It’s extraordinarily near-sighted to try and pin our modern ills on a single nutrient.
Physiologically, sugar is our cells’ favourite and most efficient source of energy. It facilitates growth, repair and reproduction, powers movement and promotes peak physical, mental and metabolic function day in and day out.
So what does this nutritionist advocate? Should we all start reaching for the Krispy Kremes and frozen cokes?
Well… not quite. According to the book, what we need to be consuming isn’t too much white sugar. Rather, we need sugar in its natural form – i.e. fruit, sweet veggies, honey, maple syrup, dairy. She points out that many quitting-sugar diets (such as David Gillespie’s Sweet Poison) encourage giving up fruits such as grapes, because of their level of fructose.
What people don’t realise, she explains, is that the evidence which demonizes fructose isn’t relevant to humans at all: “Experiments aren’t real world examples. They’re conducted in rats and mice, whose bodies’ process sugar entirely differently to ours and they use unrealistically high (almost toxicological) doses of fructose, which would be impossible for us to consume in the real world.”
She does encourage minimising your intake of processed foods and things like soft drinks – largely because, you know, they have zero nutritional value. After all, there is no nutritionist out there who would encourage someone to incorporate more Magnums into each meal of the day.