Wait, don't take away my fuel! You might be thinking: "Eliminate my buddy, my source of joy, or the one ingredient that makes me less grouchy?" Yes, pretty much.
Well, if this sounds familiar, you need a sugar detoxification. Once we explore the reasons of how sugar addiction is harming the body, you might re-examine lifestyle choices. Since the 1960s and at the beginning of the 1970s, there is a bigger light shining on the sugar industry, and how much the average American is consuming. The average person in the U.S. takes in 152 pounds of sugar per year, along with 126 grams of sugar per day. Dr. Robert Lustig works at the department of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. He has dedicated efforts to expose how toxic this white delight is. "Politicians have to come in and reset the playing field, as they have with any substance that is toxic and abused, ubiquitous and with negative consequence for society," he said in an interview with, The Guardian. He likened sugar to cocaine and cigarettes. “We don't have to ban any of them. We don't have to ban sugar. But the food industry cannot be given carte blanche. They're allowed to make money, but they're not allowed to make money by making people sick."
Sugar is linked to diabetes, heart disease, weight gain, cancer, and people are getting ill. Natural sugars from fruits are digested slowly, compared to refined sugars that overload the liver. The reason is simple. Scientific American shared there is little nutritional value in sugar. "Super sugary, energy-dense foods with little nutritional value are one of the main ways we consume more calories than we need, albeit not the only way. It might be hard to swallow, but the fact is that many of our favorite desserts, snacks, cereals and especially our beloved sweet beverages inundate the body with far more sugar than it can efficiently metabolize.” The Sugar Association has spent millions of dollars to counteract the anti-sugar message. On its website, the organization posted that sugar is receiving a bad rap, and everything needs to be consumed in moderation—we can agree with that opinion. “When critics of “sugar” talk about its high or increased consumption, they inaccurately and misleadingly lump natural sugar (from sugar cane and sugar beets) together with man-made sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup and all the other caloric sweeteners manufactured from starch,” President and CEO of The Sugar Association wrote.
Sugar is in everything we take in. Yogurts, cereals, breads, juices, and processed foods carry high sugar content, we can't escape it. In the last three decades there is an epidemic of children becoming grossly overweight, and sugar is a culprit. Obesity has doubled in children during the last three decades. Adults are not too far behind as there are 78.6 million adults who are obese in the United States. Again, this is not all related to sugar. We overeat, and have poor health habits. But what can be done to limit sugar intake? Take care of this issue now, or pay the price later mentally and physically.
Detox sugar for 30 days and cut down on caffeine nutritionist Cherie Calbom said. "You can do it for 30 days--you can change your lifestyle. During this time, avoid even healthy sweeteners like honey, and substitutes, which overwhelm the taste buds. Cut caffeine intake. There are multiple benefits to cutting back on your caffeine, including the temptation to use sugary creamers and accompanying sweets along with actually causing sugar cravings." She also encourages us to drink more water.
Don't drink your calories. This means sodas, juices, shakes, or sweetened teas. Drinks will add more calories and sugar to the diet than you think. So opt for herbal teas, and water instead. You can add fresh lemon or cucumber to the water for taste. Get your proteins going as well, especially for breakfast to avoid an energy crash. Instead, of just toast, go for eggs with cheese, and a side of fruit. Add healthy fats to the menu, author Dr. Mark Hyman wrote. “Fat is not a four-letter word. Fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar does. Fat makes you full, balances your blood sugar and is necessary for fueling your cells. Along with protein, have good fats at every meal and snacks including nuts and seeds (which also contain protein), extra virgin olive oil, coconut butter, avocados, and omega-3 fats from fish.” Another warning: The lack of sleep will make you grab for a quick fix. The average person sleeps seven hours per night. No sleep creates more stress, and weakens overall health. Lack of sleep also causes mood disturbances, headaches, aliments, like aches and pains, and a weakened immune system. We tend to grab high-sugar foods and crave junk food to keep us going when tired. WebMD explained: "Not only does sleep loss appear to stimulate appetite. It also stimulates cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods. Ongoing studies are considering whether adequate sleep should be a standard part of weight loss programs."
Eat the right amount of carbohydrates and less starchy vegetables like potatoes. Add kale, spinach, collards, and other leafy greens to your diet. Hyman recommended the following list to add to the detox: “Asparagus, green beans, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, tomatoes, fennel, eggplant, artichokes, and peppers. Also skip grains and beans for 10 days. It supercharges the results so you lose weight and feel great.” During this process remember to prepare for doubts and withdrawals from sugar. It can be as bad as caffeine, so remember the reasons you are doing this sugar detox. Enlist a friend to help you, and your doctor to help answer questions. Recall those sugar lows, and scrambling to find a quick fix? This is not fun, so remember this when fear strikes, and you need a dose of candy. Here is the reason for the sugar blahs, and one of the reasons to keep stay on track. “Your body needs to move glucose out of the bloodstream and into your cells for energy. To do this, your pancreas makes insulin, a hormone. As a result, your blood sugar level may have a sudden drop. This rapid change in blood sugar leaves you feeling wiped out and shaky and searching for more sweets to regain that sugar "high." So that midday sugary treat has set you up for worse eating,” WebMD reported. If you remember the sugar crashes, it will keep you focused. Stay away from starches like pretzels, crackers, and pasta as well. This turns into sugar! Go for the fruit instead. You don't need as much sugar as you think.