Op-ed on diet hits the local media

I was surprised at having my op-ed article on dietary sugar “Sweet Nothing” promptly picked up by the Vancouver Sun.

I’m sure it will generate a fair bit of controversy recognizing as I do that anti-sugar ideology is everywhere.  Feel free to let me know what you think either in the Sun  or right here.

About John Sloan

John Sloan is a senior academic physician in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia, and has spent most of his 40 years' practice caring for the frail elderly in Vancouver. He is the author of "A Bitter Pill: How the Medical System is Failing the Elderly", published in 2009 by Greystone Books. His innovative primary care practice for the frail elderly has been adopted by Vancouver Coastal Health and is expanding. Dr. Sloan lectures throughout North America on care of the elderly.
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5 Responses to Op-ed on diet hits the local media

  1. Ruth Lefeaux Rutledge says:

    Very cool to hear your voice today on CBC ( God’s truth to all things!) and read front page news too ( Times colonist, Victoria BC) about your newest book….your voice one of reason….so proud to know you and your advocacy for Seniors, again Common Sense…why does it not reach us all in a larger way? Perhaps because it is a common sense approach to our health and the health of our Oldies! It’s not too late for me to be a fan even tho’ last time we talked it was 48 years ago! Can you believe it?
    Bravo for all you do…Ruthie

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Dr. Sloan, I enjoyed reading your article, and I look forward to reading your upcoming book. It sounds very interesting. I wonder, have you ever read the work of Ray Peat? Or Matt Stone? I have been reading their work recently, and it has made me question my approach to diet. I struggle with low thyroid (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) and other autoimmune conditions (vitiligo and alopecia areata), and for a while I thought the best diet for me would be a low-carb, Paleo diet. For a long time I completely ruled out sugar and grains in my diet. Now I have reintroduced these things into my diet. I am beginning to wonder if the real problem is the abundance of polyunsaturated fatty acids in my diet. That is what Ray Peat argues. He encourages people like me to eat sugar to heal!

    There seem to be two stories circulating in the medical community right now about my health issues. One story is that blood sugar problems, a gluten allergy, and a casein allergy cause “leaky gut” syndrome (permeability of the gut wall), which causes autoimmunity (an attack against the body), and that the autoimmune attack is the root cause of my symptoms. Dr. Daris Kharrasian has written about this. In this story, the goal is to heal the gut wall with a Paleo diet. The other story is that estrogen dominance, and therefore a hormone imbalance, is the root cause and that the autoimmune component is a symptom, not a cause. Ray Peat believes this. He recommends a very different diet to correct the hormonal imbalance. One diet is anti-sugar, and the other actually prescribes sugar! Of course, there is also the possibility that diet can’t address the health problems that I have. However, I am always reading and learning more so that I can try to make the best decisions for my health.

    • John Sloan says:

      Thanks for this interesting commentary. My approach to criticism of healthy eating takes a very traditional perspective in looking critically at the evidence (lack of it) in populations, for benefit. But I also endorse a less “scientific” idea about diet’s potential benefit that emphasizes food’s individual, cultural, and aesthetic force. Emphasis on individual. I doubt anybody will find a diet panacea, and of course I’m suspicious of imaginary biologic mechanisms offering to explain getting sick or getting better. If you want to be scientific about diet, show us the clinically significant positive population studies, or content yourself with a clinical trial with a sample size of one and don’t waste your time exploring why it worked. You would have to repeat the exploration millions of times!

  3. Mrs Richmond says:

    My mom (from Winnipeg) forwarded me your sugar article. It was posted in the Winnipeg Free Press. My husband (we live in Halifax) is a family doctor that shares your view on sugar consumption. When I read your article I promptly forwarded it to him. He said he is looking forward to reading your book about it. When will you be releasing it? I’d like to get it for him.
    Thanks for the other “take” on sugar consumption.

    • John Sloan says:

      Wonderful to hear there is at least one other informed person on my side of the fence. An editor is working on the book manuscript, and and if we don’t find a traditional publisher it will go online. Sometime in the next 3-4 months?
      John Sloan

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