Title: That Sugar Book
Author: Damon Gameau
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Publication Date: 10th February 2015
Rating: 5/5 stars
Based on the documentary, That Sugar Film, this is an explosive exposé of the dangers of sugar.
When actor and filmmaker Damon Gameau met a girl he was keen to impress he decided to get healthy by dramatically reducing his sugar intake. In no time he was slimmer, calmer, fitter and happier. He was also very curious: why did the elimination of sugar have such beneficial effects on his health and wellbeing? He decided to experiment and film the results. He would eat 40 teaspoons of sugar daily for 60 days. Crucially, he would only consume perceived ‘healthy’ foods like muesli bars, breakfast cereals, low-fat yoghurts, juices and smoothies.
The results were staggering. Although his caloric intake was the same as his regular diet, he put on nearly 9 kilograms in 60 days. Within a couple of weeks, he had the beginnings of fatty liver disease. Doctors who monitored his health throughout warned him that he was on the road to obesity, diabetes and heart disease. His journey took him not just down a path to ill health, but to outback Australia and to the backblocks of the USA. He interviewed food manufacturers, health experts and large-scale consumers of the white stuff. He discovered that 80 per cent of products on our supermarket shelves contain sugar, and that 5.5 million Australians have fatty liver disease directly related to their sugar consumption.
That Sugar Book follows Damon on his journey and blows the lid on how the food industries make and sell our food, and how they are complicit in, and indeed determined to, maintain the status quo on the world’s alarming and health-destroying sugar consumption. It also contains sensible advice on kicking the habit, foods to avoid, how to shop, how to read labels and how to cook sugar-free food, with the help of over thirty delicious, nurturing and easily prepared recipes.
Fun, feisty and fired up,this book is set to change the eating habits of a generation.
While I dabbled in quitting sugar after reading Sarah Wilson’s popular ‘I Quit Sugar’, it is this book which has scared me silly about the destructive effects of sugar. Damon Gameau uses his own body, in the style of the SuperSize Me documentary, to demonstrate how bad sugar is for the human body. AND IT IS TERRIFYING! I like that this book follows his journey with comments from doctors, and incorporates studies and anecdotes from other sources.
The blurb is long enough, that I don’t really need to recap this for you all, but I want to emphasise that if you just need a little push to jump off the sugar train, this book will provide it! I don’t normally praise health books quite this much, but Gameau has done an excellent job creating this book.
Not only is the content fascinating, the layout is fantastic! It is so colourful, with easy-to-understand graphs, effectively portraying how damaging sugar is! The only problem I did have was the hideous underwear Gameau wore in the photographs of himself – haha!
I also trialled one of the recipes – I am a terrible cook, so this was a pretty big ask! I tried the Zucchini and Pea Fritters with Side Tomato Salsa and they were amazing! Pretty easy and still delicious, even without any sugar.
I will definitely be taking my family to see the accompanying movie when it comes out to try and scare the rest of them into quitting sugar alongside me! The trailer for the film is below. I think the two products will work effectively side by side to help the public understand the effects of sugar and encourage more people to stick with quitting. I find it a little odd that the movie is the main product, yet the book came out first…. However, I didn’t find the book worse for the fact that it is an accompanying product.
This book is a great example of the effects of sugar, as demonstrated by one man. It was definitely my little push to work towards a healthier lifestyle. If you have ever dabbled in a sugar-free lifestyle, but decided that it didn’t stick, this book might just convince you to stick to it. Sugar damaged Gameau’s body in a matter of weeks – I don’t even want to think what my body looks like on the inside after years on the stuff! Read it and be scared of the hugely negative impact our sugar-filled diets have on our bodies and our health.