Do you take sugar? No thanks.

Amid the election fever I feel it is still important to draw attention to this cardiologist for whom I’ve long had respect. Although I’ve never met him (probably fortunately!) I’m even more delighted that he was based at what used to be my local hospital, the Lister Hospital, Stevenage. For me he is spot on. I cannot understand why he never seems to be on the BBC. So don’t let anyone tell you the sugar tax is a stupid idea.


  1. Andrew -

    May I recommend the Life Scientific this week: Graham MacGregor on the successes in reducing salt consumption – saving lives and misery, and saving the NHS literally hundreds of millions of pounds each year – and the need to tackle overconsumption of sugar too.

    He also points the finger at an unnamed government minister whose decision to allow the food industry to self-regulate the gradual decline in salt content (which they failed to implement properly) will have cost thousands of lives.

    Looks like it was Andrew Lansley. See
    (That decision was later reversed.)

  2. Grace Sutherland -

    Dr Malhotra spoke extremely well on the subject too, Peter. I couldn’t agree more about sugar. I have long intuited that my own health and well being is better off without it. In the eighties my husband and I had a go at food-combining which emphasises no refined sugar, no lactose even because of the hidden simple sugars in the likes of milk. (I think in general people need a lot more eduction about where hidden sugars lie too.) We cut way back on alcohol too, which is full of simple sugars, limiting ourselves to the very odd glass of white wine diluted with soda. After three months the transformation was clear to see in our weight, skin, energy levels and our thought processes, all of which which were greatly enhanced. Granted, because we were eating fewer refined carbs we were also probably eating more plant produce, but there is no doubt in my mind that sugar is a poison we don’t need. It’s dashed hard to stick to a no sugar diet in our society. It’s ubiquitous, but at least I have the experience of knowing what it feels like to be without it and I can return to it when we feel sluggish, dull headed, or out of balance.

    1. Peter May -

      I agree. There is sugar everywhere. And New World wines, where it tends to be hotter are usually sweeter than European wines – though I’m not sure I could manage mine with soda! There is also the scandal of the five a day advice which has spread throughout the world but started off as a marketing slogan by food and transport companies in America and for which there is no hard scientific evidence. Indeed fruit may be a lot less good for you than is often supposed. In any case fruits used to be very much smaller than they are now as this web page shows

  3. Maris Piper -

    It would be more progressive to stop subsidising producers.
    Giving hand outs incident on landowners ( number 1 item in the EU budget ) and then taxing the consumers of sugar is akin to taxing a drug user and giving some of the proceeds to the producer.

    1. Peter May -

      Agreed entirely. Should have thought to mention this. We’ll have to see if Brexit actually changes things.

  4. Ms Christine Bergin -

    Health related although not sugar, are there any thoughts on the amount of soya now appearing in everything from bread to choclate and yoghurt? Given that the USA soya production is mostly(80%?) GMO and our major food suppliers all appear to be USA companies are we being infiltrated by stealth? I noticed this when I began to use a magnifying glass as my eyesight deteriorated and I needed to check ingredients to which I am allergic. Since the wretched stuff is in everything, what is going on? Any help or advice gratefully received.

    1. Peter May -

      I think it is highly likely that the soya in food manufacturing is GMO – apart from anything else we saw from the horsemeat scandal that food standards are very poorly enforced. And certainly if soya is in your bread then I wouldn’t be buying it!

  5. Sean Danaher -

    The only thing I use sugar for these days is jam and bread making.
    EU sugar is interesting. David Davis used to have a job in Tate and Lyle (cane sugar) and rose through the ranks, but their arch rival Silver Spoon makes sugar from East Anglian beet. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out as cane sugar is cheaper but is behind the EU tariff wall. Does the UK government after Brexit protect its farmers or goes for cheap food? More details here

    Current EU policy:
    Possibly future EU policy:

  6. Mark Crown -

    Forgive me if this looks like one up man ship but the best thing I’ve ever seen about this topic is from Robert Lustig MD – he even quotes an obscure British researcher who nailed the truth decades ago but was ‘strangely’ overlooked:

    He goes into the chemistry of how the body turns sugar into fat but keeps it fun, interesting and accessible. But the medical/biological evidence is here – the smoking gun so to speak.

    Thank you.

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