The Case Against Sugar Book Summary - The Case Against Sugar Book explained in key points
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The Case Against Sugar summary

Gary Taubes

Our love of sugar is killing us

4.5 (168 ratings)
15 mins

Brief summary

The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes investigates the historical and scientific evidence linking sugar consumption to various health problems. It exposes the sugar industry's deceptive tactics and offers insights on how to combat sugar addiction.

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    The Case Against Sugar
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    There was a time when sugar wasn’t an additive in the majority of our processed foods.

    The history of sugar can be traced back thousands of years to the island of New Guinea and its native people, who were the first to plant sugarcane for cultivation.

    For a long time, harvesting sugarcane was the only way to produce sugar, but this eventually became a costly burden. The sugarcane plant only grows in the tropics, and it was complicated and expensive to transport it to the rest of the world.

    So, before other methods of producing sugar were developed, the cost and labor of sugar production made it an ingredient that only rich people could afford. It was such a luxurious status symbol that it was included, along with pearls and other treasures, in gifts that the King of Spain would habitually receive.

    But it was only a matter of time before sugar was to become cheap and widely available, and this was primarily due to a plant now known as the sugar beet. Sugar beets can be grown just about anywhere, and once a process was developed to extract beet sugar, the ingredient became a whole lot easier to come by.

    Then came the steam engine, which brought on the Industrial Revolution. As a result, a refinery in the 1920s could produce the same amount of sugar in a day that used to take a decade to produce in the 1820s.

    It was this cheap, refined sugar that eventually made it possible for companies to produce the junk food found in supermarkets today.

    In the early nineteenth century, people primarily used sugar to sweeten tea, coffee or other hot beverages. But with the new methods of refining sugar, sweet foods like candy, ice cream, chocolate bars and soft drinks could be mass-produced at a low cost. Plus, previously sugar-free foods, like bread, could now also be sweetened with sugar.

    One of the most revolutionary sugary products was Coca-Cola, which was invented in 1885 by John Pemberton, who originally promoted the drink as a “brain tonic.”

    It wasn’t until years later, when Asa Candler added more sugar and turned it into a soda, that it became the world’s most popular soft drink.

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    What is The Case Against Sugar about?

    The Case Against Sugar (2016) offers a critical look at how the sugar industry has grown ever stronger despite medical data showing that it can be harmful to our health. Find out how this happened, and how critics have been silenced and ridiculed despite overwhelming evidence that this one ingredient can be linked to many of the most serious diseases in the Western world.

    The Case Against Sugar Review

    The Case Against Sugar (2016) uncovers the disturbing truth about the sweet substance and its impact on our health. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With meticulous research and scientific evidence, it exposes the hidden dangers of sugar, making it an eye-opening read.
    • By exploring the history of the sugar industry and its influence on public health policies, it provides insightful context on the sugar epidemic.
    • Its thought-provoking analysis challenges conventional beliefs about sugar, leaving readers questioning their own sugar consumption and the industry's tactics.

    Who should read The Case Against Sugar?

    • Nutritionists and people who care about their health
    • Dieters and anyone who would like to lose a few pounds
    • Parents who think fat is more dangerous than sugar

    About the Author

    Gary Taubes is an award-winning journalist who covers science and health. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, the Atlantic and the British Medical Journal. He is also the author of Why We Get Fat and The Diet Delusion.

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    The Case Against Sugar FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Case Against Sugar?

    The main message of The Case Against Sugar is that sugar consumption is linked to numerous health problems and should be controlled.

    How long does it take to read The Case Against Sugar?

    The reading time for The Case Against Sugar varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Case Against Sugar a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Case Against Sugar is worth reading for its compelling evidence and thought-provoking insights into the health risks associated with sugar consumption.

    Who is the author of The Case Against Sugar?

    Gary Taubes is the author of The Case Against Sugar.

    What to read after The Case Against Sugar?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Case Against Sugar, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes
    • Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss
    • Beat Sugar Addiction Now! by Jacob Teitelbaum and Chrystle Fiedler
    • The Great Cholesterol Myth by Jonny Bowden and Stephen T. Sinatra
    • Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink
    • Zero Sugar / One Month by Becky Gillaspy
    • Breaking Up With Sugar by Molly Carmel
    • How Not to Die by Michael Greger and Gene Stone
    • Why Diets Make Us Fat by Sandra Aamodt
    • Gut by Giulia Enders