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Pull the sweet tooth
June 18, 2023

Pull the sweet tooth

There's simply no way around it; if you want to enjoy a long life free of pain and pills, you have to pull the sweet tooth.

In this instance the extraction devices are in our own hands, not the dentist's; nor that of the nutritionist. Only we can make the painful excision.


We humans get angry when we don't get our own way. Instead of grasping the nettle, painful though it may be, we go in search of ways to wriggle around the problem; in this instance artificial sugars.

World Health Organisation

In this last week the WHO came out strongly against non-sugar sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose and stevia yet again; in this instance to lose weight.

Slowly but surely the evidence that they decrease body fat is being eaten away; and the proof that they contribute to type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and mortality is growing.


Splenda is the brand name for sucralose. It's one of the non-caloric sweeteners used in energy drinks such as Prime.

Scientists publishing in the Journal of Toxicology report that sucralose damages our genes and the tight junctions of the epithelial cells lining the intestines; causing leaky gut syndrome.

The FDA says sucralose is safe.

"Eat honey, my son, for it is good, and it is sweet to your taste."

- Proverbs 24:14

Commercial honey

Unwilling to pull the sweet tooth, you may have gone looking in another direction. Surely honey is a natural product and can't be bad for us? It is even mentioned several times in the Bible.

Unfortunately once commercial bottlers get hold of raw honey, they process it, changing its natural properties. Pollen and important phytonutrients are lost. It is heated denaturing the enzymes and altering the the GI dramatically; from a low glycemic food to higher than sugar.

Natural unprocessed honey is difficult to find; you have to locate a small hobbyist beekeeper. And even there you have to be careful; many "warm" it but at the point of contact it is exposed to real heat.

It's generally reckoned that about a half of commercial honeys have been adulterated; either with sugar, artificial sweeteners or high-fructose corn syrup.

Limit yourself to three or four teaspoons per day and if diabetic keep a careful eye on your blood sugar readings.

They are expensive but use of a continuous glucose monitor, even for a month, would give one a very good indication of which foods are contributing to the disease.


American Heart Association

The AHA recommends 6 or less teaspoons of sugar per day. I would suggest that is reasonable, the problem being that it is so difficult to stop at six.

After that first slice of cheesecake, already that is 30g of added sugar, we find it impossible to refuse a second. Such is the nature of addiction.

Pulling the sweet tooth means having cake only on special occasions like Father's Day; yes, do spoil him but not again until Thanksgiving!

My Journey With Sugar

My own journey with sugar was fairly typical. I have dreadful teeth and eventually was 10kg heavier than I am now. There were ominous signs of prediabetes.

Finally I came to my senses. The arthritis in the lower limbs that I treat on a daily basis is so frequently associated with obesity. My blood pressure was raised and sometimes went into orbit with a systolic of over 180.

Like all addictions I suppose the victory is won between the ears.

Having made the decision to pull the sweet tooth, cake flour products of course had to go with it, it was not long before the figures started to move in the right direction.

Cake without sugar is a misnomer; all the natural flavours in the flour have been extracted so excessive amounts of sweetening and salt have to be added to make it tasty.

My latest blood pressure reading, in my mid-seventies is 123/76.

HbA1c is now a very nice 5.4; despite a very high carb diet. Remember it's not the starches that do us in. It is those that have been refined; including honey.

Researchers have found that most type-2 diabetics can put the disease completely into remission without the use of any medication; by a complete overhaul of lifestyle. Something that most of us are unwilling to do. Having to pull the sweet tooth is a "bridge too far."

So nearly half of those enjoying the typical food found at the grocery store are having to face injecting themselves with insulin or take oral hypoglycemic medications like Metformin.

That was my "bridge too far." We strive for a life without medication. So I decided to pull the sweet tooth.

Early Strategies

1. The two most difficult were to permanently give up ice-cream and chocolate. I still have the freedom to enjoy them on high and holy days; very occasionally. It took about two months for the cravings to pass.

2. Commercial bread turned out to be easier. The flavour of home-baked sourdough with 100% flour is so superior; and had the added benefit that there was no need for jams, syrups and jellies. The taste with just plain butter is simply divine.

Commercial bread may have been easy to give up but more difficult was to acquire true wholemeal flour. It meant purchasing a bread-oven and a wheat mill.

So there was a double benefit; cut the sugar and refined flour together.

3. I have long been a beekeeper but heated my honey in various ways. Discovering the published research of a group of German scientists confirming that truly raw, unprocessed honey has a low GI of 54 gave me the impetus to change my methods.

Today we produce only completely natural, unheated and unprocessed honey. Using a decapping fork or a roller I have no further need of the hot knife that I had employed for sixty years.

We consume honey in small quantities. It's still a simple sugar; about 3 teaspoons per day. The sweet tooth has been successfully pulled.

Obviously not everyone is going to keep bees for their natural honey though, seriously, it's worth a consideration.

There are both anecdotal and cited reports that beekeepers live to a very ripe old age. It's a supremely healthy lifestyle.

So finding a local beekeeper and purchasing raw honey to replace sugar and artificial sweeteners is on the cards. It may be expensive; we should be happy to pay extra for good food. And you don't eat a lot.

3 tsp of natural, raw honey adds up to about a pound a month.

Interestingly diabetics given natural honey actually have lower fasting blood glucose in the morning; still, I would test yourself if you're on the verge of that precipice.

Insulin resistance

Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have clearly shown in both mice and humans that saccharin at the normal dose allowed for humans by the FDA for three months is deadly; in over a half of them there were clear signs of insulin resistance.

Given a very sweet meal those who had been taking saccharin instead of sugar were unable to handle it; their glucose shot ominously high.

They found that this happened because the saccharin clearly interfered with the microbes of the normal flora in the gut; those that produce a host of extremely important chemicals in the body like dopamine and butyrate. Amongst many other functions they help reduce inflammation in the body; including in the pancreas.

Inflammation of the pancreas is at the core of diabetes.

Saccharin also causes bladder cancer in rats.

These artificial sweeteners are today found throughout common foods in the grocery store that we take for granted; in colas, energy drinks and chewing gum. They go into baked goods, gelatins and frozen dairy products like ice cream instead of sugar.

Fermented foods

Supporting the normal flora, those so-important bugs in the intestine with naturally fermented foods prepared in your own kitchen would be a game changer.

For those who hate the kitchen and insist on "convenience foods" it can be done by seeking out those who make and sell probiotics such as sauerkraut, tempeh and kefir.

Kefir for me is the simplest. In just five minutes you can make a divine smoothie.

But diversity of bugs as well as the numbers is important; so regularly enjoying several different probiotic foods is a good idea.

Only beekeepers are likely to start fermenting meads, but you could brew your own natural beers and wines.




Your journey with ominously raised blood glucose will no doubt be quite different to mine.

The evidence from the scientists is strong. Pull the sweet tooth and take a walk after every starchy meal. You too could get on top of this demon that threatens to cut short your life; or at the very least give you raised blood pressure and a lot of pain in your joints and muscles.

Unequivocally as a doctor I recommend you do it. As a Christian I remind you, as I was explicitly inspired, our bodies, are the temples of Almighty God. Pull the sweet tooth, or much pain and suffering lie ahead.

Medical costs

Currently the Council for Medical Schemes estimates that in South Africa the health-care sector loses about R25bn each year to fraud, waste and abuse.

The consumer of course has to pay for this through raised premiums.

This no doubt happens in all countries of the world; only the extent of the corruption varies.

Though we were very angry at the time, the medical insurance industry did us a great favour on our return from the Netherlands 13 years ago. They wanted to increase our premiums dramatically simply because we had been absent for nearly a decade.

So we decided to go without any medical insurance, a radical step and certainly not for all. But it accomplished two great things for us.

1. It gave us the impetus to pull the sweet tooth and become, in the eyes of some, radical health-nuts.

2. It has saved us an awful lot of money in insurance premiums. I'm not exaggerating, millions of rands.

Dark times ahead

The writing on the wall is there for all to read. The deadly combination of Covid and the war in Eastern Europe have together cast a very dark shadow over the world. A recession or worse is not impossible.

Even if that is a totally misguided opinion, placing great emphasis on wellness and the prevention of disease in the family makes great sense.

Pulling the sweet tooth and a return to the "functional foods" that promote health and help prevent disease would save us a bundle of cash and a lot of pain.

Doing good

As you know, if you read this newsletter regularly, I reference Dr Mardy often; this psychologist challenges us to higher thoughts. This week it's about doing good. I leave you with two of his quotes.

"Employ whatever God has entrusted you with, in doing good in every possible kind and degree, to the household of faith, to all men."

- John Wesley

"Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do."

- Voltaire

If just one person in the whole world decides to pull the sweet tooth after reading this newsletter, then I am happy and my day is complete. I've done my good deed for June.

Dr Mardy's quotes of the week


At about the same time that I pulled my sweet tooth, I happened to ask my dentist whom I needed to consult all too regularly, how often he flossed his teeth. "After every meal," said he.

That astounded me, as it probably does you. Instead of flossing perhaps once a month, I decided to do it at least once a day and when possible after every meal.

I have not had one filling in five years since that blessed day. It's a part of our central theme; the best person to take care of your health, is you.

So pull the sweet tooth, and floss those remaining regularly.

What's new?

If you have found this newsletter interesting, pop occasionally into What's New at our site. I dip regularly into the latest research; like this one on the dangers of non-caloric sweeteners.

My current interest is an ongoing one; the importance of the happy hormone, dopamine. This week I have discovered that it is supremely important in the health of our eyes too.

You may not know it but there is another pandemic ripping through the world, more subtly than Covid; it doesn't kill but it does make your children go blind. It's called nearsightedness or myopia.

Researchers are recommending three things.

1. Limit screen time to half an hour and take a short break.

2. Do some eye exercises; for example, blink rapidly ten times and then close them for 20 seconds.

3. Spend more time out of doors; natural sunlight is proving supremely important to the eyes too.

4. To which I would add, plant some broad beans, also known as favas; they are the only common natural source of dopamine. You are unlikely to find them in cans or in the grocery store.



It is my belief that caring for the body, and for Mother Earth are spiritual issues; both are spurned by the great majority of folk, with devastating effects for them and the planet.

Could you make a serious effort this week to dramatically cut your sugar consumption; and do your level best to avoid all artificial sweeteners?

The first great benefit is that you can strike that dirty four letter word from your thoughts for ever. You'll never have to diet again!

Did you know that 45 million Americans go on a diet every year, spending $33 billion on weight-loss products; twelve months later very few have lost a pound. I cannot think of many things more irksome. I'd rather pull the sweet tooth.


To sum up

Healthy old age is attainable for most of us; the chances are made up roughly by 20% from our genes that we have no control over, but 80pc by lifestyle.

Pulling that sweet tooth is central to that change of lifestyle if it is your heart's desire to live long in the land.

Take care of yourself; look after the planet. Plan to live to a strong and zestful ninety, and who knows perhaps even one hundred.

Don't feel all alone; no one can escape the difficult decisions that must be made if we want to enjoy long and healthy lives.

Till next month,


Create a cyan zone at your home

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WHO Warns Against Artificial Sugars for Weight Loss

1. Bernard Preston Homepage.

2. Back Issues for Create a Cyan Zone at your home.

x Pull the sweet tooth

x If you suffer from heartburn plant a susu

x Refined maize meal and stunting

x Should agriculture and industry get priority for electricity and water?

x Nature is calling

x Mill your own flour

x Bake your own sourdough bread

x Alternative types of water storage

x Wear your clothes out

x Comfort foods

x Create a bee-friendly environment

x Go to bed slightly hungry

x Keep bees

x Blue zone folk are religious

x Reduce plastic waste

x Family is important

x What can go in compost?

x Grow broad beans for longevity

x Harvest and store sunshine

x Blue zone exercise

x Harvest and store your rainwater

x Create a cyan zone at your home

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