Shocking statistics reveal that Americans consume about 150 lbs of sugar a year and the UK is not far behind. Even though it has devastating effects on your health food manufacturers continue to put it in every product imaginable. It is considered to be one of the most addictive substances in the world so it's not surprising that people are asking how to detox sugar.
A sugar detox simply means avoiding sugar to improve your health but because it is in so many foods many people find it hard to do. When you start to read the product labels you might be surprised to see how much hidden sugar you have every day. It is so addictive you might not realize how much you were depending on it for a quick energy or mood boost.
Why do you need to detox sugar?
Your body turns glucose that it obtains from carbohydrate into energy. Protein and fat can be used as well but they have to be turned into glucose first. The carbohydrates from a diet of whole grains, vegetables, beans and lentils are broken down slowly and the sugars are released slowly into your blood stream. These foods contain the vitamins and minerals that are needed by your cells to convert the glucose into energy.
On the other hand refined carbohydrates and sugars like white flour products, white sugar, glucose, honey, syrup, dextrose and high fructose corn syrup all get absorbed rapidly into your blood stream causing a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. Insulin is then released from you pancreas to bring it back to normal. These refined products have been stripped of all their nutrients so your cells have to rob your tissue stores of nutrients to turn the glucose into energy.
Health problems associated with refined sugar
The sudden rush of sugar into your blood stream can give you an quick energy boost but over time your body becomes depleted of nutrients, your metabolism becomes inefficient, you suffer from lack of energy and poor weight regulation.
Your blood fats increase as your liver converts excess sugar to triglycerides and bad cholesterol. Eventually this leads to a number of health problems such as diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, mood swings, yeast overgrowth, osteoporosis, premature aging, poor immunity, degenerative diseases and increased risk of cancer.
A sugar detox is well worth it if you want to lose weight, curb sweet cravings, control diabetes, improve your energy levels, and lower your risk of many health problems. But be prepared for some withdrawal symptoms such as headache, fatigue, anxiety, depression, irritability and sleep problems if your diet is high in added and hidden sugar.
How to detox sugar?
Avoid adding sugar to your food and drinks and avoid obviously sweet foods. Exclude sugar hidden in many processed foods such as ketchup, many sauces, pickles, soups, dips, peanut butter, salad dressings, frankfurters, bread by reading labels. Many fruit drinks and sodas are laden with sugar.
It may be hard at first to avoid sugar if you rely a lot on convenience foods but you can replace sugar foods with fresh fruit, vegetable sticks, salad, unsweetened yogurt, almonds, almond butter, a handful of seeds, hummus. Avoid using artificial sweeteners or buying food or drinks containing them as they are not safe either. Try Stevia, a natural sweetener, instead.
What to eat instead
Buy plain unsweetened yogurt instead of sweetened and add your own fruit. Try oatmeal for breakfast and add some raisins or other fruit to sweeten instead of having a sweetened cereal. Look out for sugar free muesli. Make your own dressing with virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar or lemon juice. Replace candy bars with more healthy fruit sweetened bars. Eat fruit instead of dessert.
Reduce sugar cravings and stabilize blood sugar with a diet of whole grains, vegetables, beans and lentils or lean, free range poultry, meat and eggs. Refined carbohydrates like white flour, white rice and refined cereals have the same effect as sugar.
If you have been used to eating a diet high sugar foods you should reduce the sugars gradually. High carbohydrate foods can have the same lifting effect as alcohol and cocaine for some people. In fact alcohol is a chemical cousin to sugar. It upsets blood sugar too so avoid it when doing a sugar detox.
Nutritional support to reduce sugar cravings
If you have a serious craving for sugar you can take some nutritional supplements to restore the nutrients that you are lacking. The B vitamins, Vitamin C, chromium, and zinc can help with sugar withdrawal symptoms. Try the amino acid L-Glutamine 500mg 30 minutes before meals 3 times a day. Increase dose to 1000mg three times a day if you still get cravings after 1 week. Combine with Chromium 200 mcg three times a day with meals.
This sugar detox plan will help you will break sugar addiction and sugar cravings. As a result you should have more energy, lose weight more easily and improve your general health.