Feature Archive

Sugar Busters!

What It Is

"Cut Sugar to Trim Fat" proclaims the dust jacket of Sugar Busters! Inside the book, you read that "Sugar is toxic!" And that's the basic premise of the diet. The authors tell you to eliminate all sweets made with refined sugar and certain fruits and vegetables with a high-sugar content because they wreak havoc on your biochemical system. The diet also promises to lower your cholesterol, achieve optimal wellness, increase your energy, and help treat diabetes and other diseases.

So proclaims the diet that became a self-published phenomenon in New Orleans, until a major publisher released Sugar Busters! in 1998. It's still selling so strong in the hardcover edition that the paperback hasn't been released yet. The four authors are H. Leighton Steward, a former CEO, and three doctors from the Big Easy: Morrison C. Bethea, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon; Samuel S. Andrews, MD, an endocrinologist; and Luis A. Balart, MD, a gastroenterologist.

Although the authors say that counting calories or measuring food is not a part of the Sugar Busters! plan, they suggest you "look at portion size," which is another way of cutting calories -- even though they claim that "calories are not the answer to weight gain or loss." In addition, the authors point out that moderate exercise will not significantly affect weight loss if you continue to eat foods with high sugar content. Finally, they caution that the diet is not for exercise fanatics.