The Case Against Sugar's notes, summary and lessons

By Gary Taubes

Rating: 8/10

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  • In 1978, Kelly West, the leading American authority on diabetes epidemiology -- the study of how diseases move through populations -- suggested that diabetes had already killed more people in the twentieth century than all wars combined.

    Page: 10
  • [...] once populations are exposed, they consume as much sugar as they can easily procure, although there may be natural limits set by culture and current attitudes about food.

    Page: 32
  • If nothing else, the intimate relationship between slavery and sugar would demonstrate what atrocities our ancestors were willing to tolerate and perpetrate for the sake of their sweet tooth, their sugar rushes, and the money to be made by satisfying them.

    Page: 50
  • These researchers pointed out one other interesting if regrettable aspect of the acidic smoke that comes from the sugary tobacco used in cigarettes: The acidity of the smoke increases as the cigarette burns closer to the butt, as does what chemists call its “acid buffering capacity,” which in turn decreases the absorbability of the nicotine. This means that as the cigarette burns down, the nicotine satisfaction decreases and the smoker tends to draw longer and harder to compensate. As a result, the urge to inhale most deeply is greatest when the tar-and-carcinogen content of the smoke is also greatest. The opposite is true with air-cured tobacco in cigars, in which the smoke becomes progressively more alkaline, thus increasing the absorbability of the nicotine and lessening the urge to inhale.

    Page: 70
  • The more a food changes from its natural state, the more harmful it's going to be to the animal that consumes it - in this case humans - and sugar and refined flour are the most dramatic examples of this.

    Page: 158
  • What appears to be a population threshold of seventy pounds per capita yearly might actually be a threshold of thirty pounds a generation or two or three earlier. Once we’ve crossed the threshold and are on our way to becoming an obese and diabetic population, it’s likely that we have become different physiologically, that the children in a population that has been consuming a significant amount of sugar for generations have been programmed differently to respond to a sugar-rich environment from those who were born earlier.

    Page: 276
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