Does your hair fall out when you quit sugar?

Posted on August 28th, 2013

While I was riding a mountain bike in Sardinia’s barren hills last week a sugary fuss was hitting fans Down Under. Did you read the fuss?

Image via Favim

Image via Favim

The upshot of the fuss, if you missed it, is that a Sydney nutritionist is putting out a book that counters I Quit Sugar. It’s called Don’t Quit Sugar. I don’t think I’m flattering myself when I say it’s geared as a direct attack on my work.

(As an aside, I always feared “I Quit Sugar” was a negative title… but this whole thing started as a personal experience and blog post. The name was from this initial blog post and it kinda stuck. The double negative title of this new book would kill me. Ditto the didactic tone of it all. I like to say “I quit sugar, it worked for me, you might like to try it too.” An invitation, not an edict.)

Now, normally I prefer to let fuss fly by. There is plenty of room on the planet for all opinions and approaches. And retaliation and negativity and getting all didactic is generally not a great way to make a point. Or a pleasant way to cohabit with other human beings who are also just trying to do their thing.

But there were questions from so many of you, I felt a blog post was the most efficient way to respond, especially when one is meant to be having a holiday. Of sorts.

I first came across the forthcoming book’s author Cassie Platt a few months ago when she had a blog by the very similar name – I Didn’t Quit Sugar – which she shared with her friend Kate Skinner. I had a bit of a flick. At the time, a few things struck me as odd:

1. The message was the same as mine. Which confounded me. They weren’t not quitting sugar. They Read more

Is your cooking oil making you sick?

Posted on March 15th, 2013

My mate David Gillespie has a new book out: Toxic Oil: Why Vegetable Oil Will Kill You and How to Save Yourself. David and I have chatted before (you can find that conversation here) about the central premise of this new book: that “vegetable oils” (or seed oils) are bad and saturated fats are what we should be eating. Which, of course, is the opposite of what we’ve been told by nutritionist and government bodies for the past 60 years or so. Which is, of course, the period in which “modern diseases” such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer and autoimmune disease have been on the rampant rise. Draw breath.

Image via

Image via

But in today’s chat we’re going to keep it to (mostly) practicalities: which oils to eat, which foods to avoid at the supermarket and some smart food swaps to make.

Listen in:

For those wondering whether to invest the time in our ramble, here’s a taste of what we cover:

* What oils to use for deep frying, for pan frying and for roasting.

* The clever rule of thumb for making sure you’re not oxidising yourself: everything you eat should contain less Read more

yes, I eat fruit. and, no, I’m not misleading Australia.

Posted on January 18th, 2013

You might have caught last night’s A Current Affair segment on the telly about sugar? I popped up as a sugar-quitting expert, along with my mate David Gillespie. However, I was used mostly as a voice of extremeness via some quotes I’ve made to ACA journalists previously, repackaged in rather extracted form. In particular, I was presented as being anti-fruit. You can catch the clip here.

Image by stephaniegonot

Image by stephaniegonot

A few people today have got outraged on my behalf (fired up that my quotes seemed to be placed out of context), or just outraged that I would diss fruit. I don’t tend to get upset by these kind of things. ACA presented an interesting take on the subject. And besides, how splendid! I now have a great opportunity to clear things up nice and crystal-like.

1. I eat fruit. One of the ACA grabs sees me listing the high-fructose fruits, as requested by the journalist at the time (during an interview a while back). I recommend eating the low-fructose fruits where possible: kiwi, berries, grapefruit and so on. If you’re doing my 8-week program, I advise cutting out fruit for 6 weeks. This is to break the sugar addiction and to recalibrate our bodies, just for that short period. I then, at the week-7 mark, invite everyone to reintroduce fruit and read how their bodies take to it.

2. I make the point over and over, based on the only comprehensive research I’ve found (by the American Heart Foundation):

we are only able to handle 6-9 teaspoons of sugar a day. Which is about the amount contained in 2-3 pieces of low-fructose fruit.

Many experts in this area – cardiologists, endocrinologists and nutritionists without vested interests in the sugar industry – confirm this amount as being appropriate. I personally find it’s the amount my body can handle before I start to feel the effects.

3. If fruit is your only source of fructose in a day, then 2-3 pieces of fruit is fantastic. If fruit is treated as a treat…which is how I was raised to eat it, and our parents and grandparents were raised to eat it…then bloody fantastic. But do you eat fruit as your treat? Do you eat fruit instead of chocolate or ice cream? Or as well as?

4. Know this: fruit today is MUCH sweeter than it was only two generations ago. They’re being bred this way because Read more