While visiting family over Thanksgiving, I pulled down and started thumbing through a paperback book from 1974 entitled "Nourishing your Unborn Child" by Phyllis Williams, RN. The nutrition section, when discussing fat, said the following:
There has been a great deal of controversy recently on the role of fats in the development of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. Some physicians have been recommending lowering fat intake, using polyunsaturated fats and limiting cholesterol-containing foods as a means of preventing these diseases. In fact, as Dr. John Yudkin has pointed out, there is a far clearer relationship between sugar consumption and coronary heart disease. Also, our bodies manufacture cholesterol from any food source, so limiting the intake of cholesterol-containing foods is not necessarily the answer. Cholesterol is necessary to the functioning of our bodies, being used in the manufacture of sex hormones, vitamin D and bile.
Along with marveling at the current cultural amnesia evidenced by this quote (and whole book, really), it made me wonder if finding a way to procure John Yudkin's books Sweet and Dangerous and Pure, White and Deadly which are out of print, super expensive, and not to be found in a single library in my state is worth it. Anyone ever read them? Are they interesting only in a historical context or do they go beyond that?
UPDATE (4/23/2012) : I have become unhappy with Mediafire's PDF hosting abilities--the copy of PW&D that I had originally uploaded appears to have been corrupted--sorry for anyone who tried to get it and found only a muddy jumbled mess. I have uploaded it as a google doc and you can find it here: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B2FsXfJXQyd2QnNWYWpHQVJfLXM. If you have any problem, feel free to e-mail me (amanda.stjohn@goddard DOT edu) and I can re-upload. (It is going to say "Sorry, we are unable to scan this file for viruses. The file exceeds the maximum size that we scan." I can assure you I am not trying to infect you with any nasties--it is just a big file. Please feel safe to "download anyway.")
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on October 09, 2016
at 09:33 PM
Yesterday I received a copy of John Yudkin's popular diet book from 1958 "This Slimming Business". Yudkin is a seminal figure in the HFLC community. At the time he wrote this book he was a highly respected academic nutritionist. There are a few items that pertain directly to this thread, but I'll summarize some of the other interesting items as well.
-The average weight of a 5'8" man was 147 lbs, or 22.4 BMI. The average daily food consumption was 3000 kcal for a man.
-Yudkin is critical of the higher-than-historic consumption of sugar and starchy carbohydrates in the UK diet, and also of the idea that increasing exercise beyond a certain point is effective for weight loss. The diet that he developed is a counting scheme called the Unit Slimming Diet. It operates on a principle similar to the old ADA carb counting system for diabetics, is similarly organized in tables, and for all I know these may be the basis for ADA's tables of "carb exchanges". One CU is 5 grams of carbohydrates, with a target of 15 CU's a day. The entire day's count could be satisfied by a pint of ale, or 3 ounces of dry spaghetti, or 7 apples.
-Yudkin is a firm believer in calories in-calories out as the determiner of body weight, which is controlled by the brain through what he calls the "appestat". On p 57, he presents a graph of food consumption vs body weight for an unreferenced (a problem throughout the book) Indian study. Below a moderate level of activity, there is a steady rise in food consumption and body weight correlated with decreasing activity. However, above a moderate level of activity, increasing activity correlates with a steady weight and increasing food consumption. The graph strongly suggests that the body operates on a weight setpoint correctly if a person is active, and that the "appestat" fails if a person is sedentary.
-Like Keys 1960 popular diet book Eat Well and Stay Well, Yudkin's book is well written. He uses a light style, and had permission from from Ogden Nash to quote his little doggerel rhymes with cartoons. However he is thin on substantiation, and provides tables with no recipes and scant sample meal plans. In comparison, Keys writes in a more acerb style (similar to Sinclair Lewis), references and analyzes scientific work on nutrition, and provides many recipes and sample eating plans.
I'll continue reading and rereading this. It's easy to see why Keys was critical of Yudkin's lack of documentation for his assertions, though in the main points (sugar consumption is excessive and calories in-calories out) they're in agreement
on May 26, 2011
at 04:21 PM
John Yudkin's book Pure, White and Deadly is extremely difficult to find. I think wikisend is playing some games and exchanged the original link above with another that contains baby pictures. Here's a new link to the file:
After reading this book, you will become a Yudkin acolyte. Enjoy (until wikisend changes the link again).
on March 11, 2011
at 03:55 AM
John Yudkin's book Pure, White and Deadly is extremely difficult to find. I found it here:
After reading this book, you will become a Yudkin acolyte. Enjoy.
on December 06, 2010
at 12:49 PM
A few of the many scientific articles written by John Yudkin are available for free. Hopefully all the links will work, some of them are difficult to access.
on May 15, 2011
at 05:45 PM
I downloaded "Yudkin Acolyte's" link and all I got was 76 megs of baby pictures.
Not what I expected.
Was that a joke or a typo in his link?
If it was a joke I'm not amused...
on December 04, 2010
at 01:02 AM
I wish I could find a reasonably priced copy of Pure White and Deadly, but I've been looking a long time and no dice.
on May 22, 2013
at 07:08 AM
try Amazon UK they have copies for sale
on September 04, 2012
at 01:43 PM
on October 10, 2016
at 08:44 AM
eBay UK is selling this book for around £8.00 today ...
on September 25, 2016
at 03:24 AM
Thanks giu. Yudkin is the progenitor of Atkins, Taubes, Lustig, and in the sense of those, the HFLC versions of Paleo. He's famous for his sugar book, and the best I can figure he and Pauling influenced the McGovern 1977 dietary guidelines to include a 40% reduction in added sugars. Unfortunately everyone ignored that...
Anyway, he ran a HFLC weight loss clinic too. His diet book was quite popular 10 years before Atkins came up with his diet, but it has been forgotten about. I wanted to compare them. I found a cc on Abebooks and ordered it.
on September 24, 2016
at 12:27 PM
Yudkin briefly discusses the issue of sugar and longevity in one of the last chapters, suggesting that sugar in rat studies does lead to a 5-20% decrease in lifespan, and that starch is more desirable than sucrose. But I think the issue is really about refined calories. If the diet provides plenty of vegetables, then either fat or sugar may not be a problem at all. Indeed, it may not be advantageous to have a too unrefined diet either, an excess of minerals may be a burden, for example, especially for someone with suboptimal kidney function (probably most people at age > 50).
I think we discussed this before in relation to the diet of the 100 longest living people (https://justpaste.it/longlifediet), «vegetables» was the most frequently mentioned word, and also «fruits» (both have been linked to longevity). However many mentioned things like butter, bacon, cake, ice cream, too.
The longest living cat (38 years) according to Guiness World record book, allegedly was given a diet that included «among other things, bacon and eggs, asparagus, broccoli, and coffee with heavy cream»
According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_years:
«The life expectancy of a cat that is kept indoors is typically 12–16 years. The life expectancy of a cat living outdoors is typically 2-5 years. Cats living outdoors usually have a much shorter life expectancy due mainly to external environmental conditions and dangers such as traffic accidents, intentional acts of violence, poisoning, diseases from other cats, and fighting with other animals. However, some cats may attain the age of 21 years or more.»
on September 23, 2016
at 08:37 PM
I have no interest in Yudkin's sugar book, which Lustig has reportedly reissued. But I an very interested in his diet books, which were very popular in the UK but hard to find now. I'll start with a copy of his book This Slimming Business, and will report back on the contents.
Yudkin went down the low carb path at the same time Keys went down the low sat fat path. They clashed vehemently over this. Yet they had a lot in common. They both decried sedentary behavior, and Yudkin's correlation of UK TV licenses with mortality is priceless. They both avoided added sugars, dairy and ketosis. And they both lived very long lives.
on March 06, 2013
at 03:25 PM
I know this is an old post but if anyone is interested Dr. John Yudkin's book "Pure White and Deadly" is back in print and on sale on Amazon.
on January 25, 2013
at 03:51 PM
thanks for the google doc link for the pdf file!!
on September 04, 2012
at 06:44 AM
Thank you for the link to the John Yudkin book. I have just discovered that it is to be released again later this year in paperback. The link is http://www.amazon.com/Pure-White-Deadly-John-Yudkin/dp/0241965284/ref=pd_cp_b_3
on July 03, 2012
at 11:07 PM
The BBC doco is amazing.. Unfortunately we have followed the same (fat)al path here in Australia.
on June 16, 2012
at 06:36 PM
My undying gratitude for this link. It downloaded perfectly, today, 16 June 2012. Yudkin's unavailable book should be out there for everyone. Let's hope the BBC documentary, broadcast this week (June 2012) on BBC4, creates a big enough demand to change that. Josephine
on June 16, 2012
at 05:46 PM
THANKS!! Couldn't find this anywhere. This book was featured on the BBC docu: 'The men who made us fat' It looks like the boomerang is coming back on the legacy people who silenced Yudkin.
on June 09, 2012
at 11:37 PM
Thanks Amanda for uploading it, I've been looking everywhere for it!
For those still asking, click this link and download anyway - its a pdf file without a virus https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B2FsXfJXQyd2QnNWYWpHQVJfLXM
on April 25, 2012
at 06:35 PM
I do have the pdf copy on my laptop. PM me if you're dying to get your hands on it, as I don't like uploading it in random places.
on January 05, 2012
at 05:54 AM
Can anyone put up a new link to pure white and dangerous,
i am gettinga 404 error
on July 15, 2011
at 03:54 PM
Haven't read it, but I know Peter at Hyperlipid quotes him from time to time. The first link on the
From the first link, I love this paragraph quoting Yudkin-
I have already mentioned Dr Ancel Keys and his pioneer work in relation to diet and heart disease. A year or so ago he wrote a memorandum which he sent to a large number of scientists working in this field and which with very few changes has now been published in a medical journal 'Atherosclerosis'. It consists entirely of a strong criticism - I nearly said virulent criticism - of the work I have published from time to time on the theory that sugar is the main dietary factor involved in causing heart disease
Sugar, not cholesterol. Hmmmmm
on July 15, 2011
at 11:15 AM
I have tried to download the book using the links above, but all don't work.
Can someone put up a new link to Pure, White & Deadly?
on December 04, 2010
at 03:31 AM
Ha, I have just gotten myhands on this book through Inter Library Loan! Just picked it up today, try your library!
on December 04, 2010
at 01:26 AM
http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=john+yudkin&sortby=17&sts=t&x=56&y=12 Some good Yudkin books on page four and five but not the grandaddy Pure, White, Deadly. Sweet is available.
Stephan has blogged about Yudkin: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/08/cleave-and-yudkin-on-fats.html
on July 31, 2011
at 01:32 PM
@Laurin - Laurin said, "the timing doesn't make sense. This book came BEFORE McGovern and Co... something doesn't add up about the timing of the obesity epidemic. I wonder if environmental toxins (not dietary) have more effect than Taubes and others (except maybe Dr. Mercola) believe."
I am at a disadvantage as I have not read Yudkin. But, I have seen Lustig and Taubes' lectures. Laurin, I would like to know why you believe the timing of the obesity epidemic is not in line with whatever you found in Yudkin's book. Without reading the book, and purely on listening to Lustig and Taubes' lectures, the obesity epidemic tacks well with the increase in sugar consumption that has been going for over a century. Did you mean that the lipid hypothesis, marked by the McGovern report, doesn't account for the previous 50 years of increased obesity?
And your toxin postulation is possible, or could be an exacerbating contributor if sugar is indeed the main culpable agent.