Fat-is-Normal-CoverHere is how Rick Warren, Daniel Amen and Mark Hyman describe what they call the white menaces:[1]

One of the biggest threats to our health is the dramatic increase of sugar in all forms in our diet in the last hundred years. Hunter-gatherer populations consumed about 22 teaspoons of sugar a year; now the average American consumes 22 to 30 teaspoons of sugar every single day. In 1800, the average person consumed 5 pounds per year;7 now we average 152 pounds a year. Our bodies are not designed to handle that amount of sugar. Paracelsus, the ancient Greek physician said, “The dose makes the poison.” At the current dose, sugar is poison. The average 20-ounce soda has 15 teaspoons of sugar. Would you put that much in your cup of coffee or tea?

Sugar has many names: cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, brown sugar, dextrose, agave, maple syrup, honey, and of course, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is now the single biggest source of calories in our diet. All of these are harmful when eaten in excess. Sugar-sweetened drinks like soda now make up 15 percent of the calories consumed by the average American. One can of soda a day increases a kid’s risk of obesity by 60 percent and a woman’s chance of getting diabetes by more than 80 percent.

Other dangers are refined or processed white foods that spike blood sugar, but we don’t think of them as sugar. They are white flour, white rice, and white pasta. These white foods act like sugar in the body. We should substitute with better options, such as bread made from whole kernel rye, or black or brown rice.

Since 1950, more than 600,000 packaged and processed foods have been introduced into the marketplace. Eighty percent of them are full of sugar, often tablespoons and tablespoons, hidden and disguised by all sorts of names. It is in bread, ketchup, and salad dressings. In fact, the average serving of commercial spaghetti sauce has more sugar than a serving of chocolate sandwich cookies, which is why later in this chapter we will show you how to effectively read labels.


I lost 40 pounds by walking every day and eating colorful foods. It is a simple as that.

[1] Warren, R., Amen, D., & Hyman, M. (2013). The Daniel Plan: 40 Days To A Healthier Life. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.