Sugar Blues: Chapter 1

by William Dufty


Seven years ago, we published our review and digest of Chapter 1 of William Dufty’s legendary book, Sugar Blues in our annual paper newsletter that we mail out in January. Being that we’re dissecting another book dealing with the subject of sugar addiction, Fat Heals-Sugar Kills, The Cause and Cure for Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Obesity, and Other Metabolic Diseases, it seems appropriate that we re-publish Dufty’s story.

Additionally, many new clients have come onboard with us in the past seven years. Also, many people have added email addresses during this period.

Lastly, in light of other books that we have done reviews and digests, we’ll make some additional comments that we hope will shed light on the issue of sugar addiction and how it can destroy one’s health. For those of you that are struggling with sugar addiction, we hope that you will do as Dufty did, have an epiphany and kick the habit.

Sugar Blues: Multiple physical and mental miseries caused by human consumption of refined sucrose—commonly called sugar.

Chapter 1: It Is Necessary to be Personal. 

Dufty grew up in a small Mid-western town during Prohibition.  When Dufty was eight, a visitor introduced to him the idea of floating a scoop of ice cream in a glass of Canada Dry ginger ale.  That was the spark that started his sugar addiction.  His access to grape soda pop kicked his addiction into high gear.  He writes, “When my summer grape pop habit got out of control, I had to lie, cheat, and steal to support it.”

He discovered malted milks in high school.  Rather than smoking, he got a better high off of a banana split.  He writes that the tobacco companies hired pretty girls to hook others on cigarettes.  Dufty smoked a few of the free ones, but he preferred a sweet treat.  He recounts summer hitch-hiking and living off Pepsi-Cola sold in a nickel bottle.

Dufty was drafted in 1942 and described his dislike of Army chow.  He writes, “I haunted the Post Exchange.  It was a two-year orgy of malted milks, sugared coffee, pastry, candy, chocolate, and Coca-Cola.”  He recounts that he was scared to death when he developed bleeding hemorrhoids.  Then he was hospitalized with pneumonia.

He finally became well enough and was shipped off to Algeria.  He remembered living off the land with a diet of “horsemeat, rabbit, squirrel, dark French peasant bread and whatever could be scrounged.”  He recalled never being sick or having a sniffle during those eighteen months.

He returned stateside after the war and reminisces…

Was I bright enough to understand the controlled experiment in nutrition I’d been unwittingly involved in?  I might have saved myself years of total waste, but I was a total idiot, without half the brain or instinct for survival…  On my return to the States, I went on a glorious bender; Pie à la mode, cake and whipped cream, malted milks by the dozen, chocolate and Pepsi.  Sugar…sugar…sugar.

He was flat on his back and had one malady after another.  His hemorrhoids returned, and he experienced infectious mononucleosis, atypical malaria, hepatitis, shingles, exotic skin conditions, ear infections, and eye diseases.  He says that he ran out of money and “discovered the wonders of socialized medicine at the VA… “

Dufty continues:

For over fifteen years I subjected myself to an endless whirligig of doctors, hospitals, diagnosis, treatment, tests, and more tests, drugs and more drugs.  During all that rigamarole, I cannot recall a single doctor (out of the dozens that treated me) who ever displayed the slightest curiosity about what I ate or drank.

One night in one sitting I read a little book that said if you’re sick, it’s your own damn fault.  Pain is the final warning.  You know better than anyone else how you’ve abusing your body, so stop it.  Sugar is poison, it said, more lethal than opium and more dangerous than atomic fallout. Ed: My emphasis.

He recalled a warning that a woman gave to him about sugar cubes as a child. “Everyone has to find out for themselves—the hard way.”

His epiphany hit him like a lightning bolt.  Dufty continues his account:

I threw all the sugar out of my kitchen. Then I threw out everything that had sugar in it, cereals and canned fruit, soups and bread.  Since I had never really read any labels carefully, I was shocked to find the shelves were soon empty; so was the refrigerator.  I began eating nothing but whole grains and vegetables.

The worst was yet to come.

In about forty-eight hours I was in total agony, overcome with nausea, with a crashing migraine.

Dufty compares refined sugar to heroin, a refined chemical that is highly addictive.

I was kicking all kinds of chemicals cold turkey—sugar, aspirin, cocaine, caffeine, chlorine, fluorine, sodium, monosodium glutamate etc.

Things started to improve.

The next few days brought a succession of wonders.  My rear stopped bleeding, and so did my gums.  My skin began to clear up and had a totally different texture when I washed.  I discovered bones in my hands and feet that had been buried under bloat.  I bounced out of bed at strange hours in the early morning, raring to go.  …My shirts and shoes were too big…I discovered my jaw while shaving…I dropped from 205 pounds to a neat 135 in five months and ended up with a new body, a new head, a new life.”  He continues.  “I burned my Blue Cross card.”  He wrote the woman that warned him about the sugar cubes, “Wow, were you ever right.  I didn’t get your message then, but I’ve got it now.

Since then [the 1960’s] I have been sugar free.  I haven’t seen a doctor, a pill, or a shot in all that time.  I haven’t even touched so much as an aspirin.

My Comments: Dufty is ever so right; sugar is a highly addictive substance. Sometime in the future, I (Lance) will write an article about my own history of sugar addiction. However, for now I’ll share with you a very recent experience.

As I went over to the photocopier shop to pickup my copies of our 2021 paper newsletters, I noticed a plate of mostly eaten Christmas cookies sitting on a counter. The one that was left was one of those white flour jobs, sweetened with sugar, of held together with butter. I couldn’t avoid taking in a whiff of the aroma coming off that cookie. It reminded me of the pleasures of eating such sweet treasures, the wonderful taste in my mouth, and the smooth feeling when going down my throat.

I think the sensation was remarkably similar to the former smoker that feels a craving and taste for a cigarette when he/she is around someone smoking. The same could said for the reformed alcoholic that gets a whiff of booze and relives the wonderful feeling of the drink trickling down his throat.

Sugar is addictive! End