Please Ditch the Sugar Madness
I don’t want to be alarmist, but simple sugar is probably the most harmful food that you can eat. It’s true.
You may say, ah, sugar gets a bad rap but not only does sugar provide empty excess calories, sugar – from a variety of hidden sources you may not even imagine – is at the core of inflammation, chronic illness and aging.
Why be concerned?
Sugar leads to weight gain, contributes to insomnia and wreaks havoc on your body. Acne breakouts and even a low sex drive also have direct links to excess sugar intake.
Sugar is insidious. It shows up in “healthy” foods and lurks in savory foods, salad dressings, bread and caffeinated drinks. Many people don’t even realize they are addicted to sugar until they learn to recognize the signs.
Signs of sugar addition include:
1. Acne. Skin breakouts occur because of inflammation in the body. Sugar causes inflammation.
2. Increases risk of cavities.
3. Sugar dulls taste buds to the sweetness in foods.
4. You suffer low energy – until you get a boost from sugar.
5. You have food cravings. When you’re craving a bagel, for example, what your body is really craving is sugar.
6. Low sex drive
7. Weakened immune system
9. Weight gain
The dangers of sugar
A diet rich in sugar – in its many forms – can fuel myriad forms of cancer, researchers believe. Studies suggest that certain types of tumors thrive on sugar and use it as energy to mutate within the body. In fact it may not be the sun but sugar that leads to the most common form of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC) as it is dependent on sugar to proliferate.
What other havoc does sugar wreak?
1. In the brain, sugar interrupts the supply of important neurotransmitter precursors; particularly the one produces dopamine and serotonin. Too much sugar can lead to depression and anxiety.
2. Sugar decreases the “good” cholesterol in your body and increases “bad” cholesterol and that leads to an increased risk of heart disease.
3. The pancreas, which regulates the blood sugar levels in your body, can be damaged if it’s continually processing sugar.
4. If you ingest high levels of sugar your liver works harder to process those levels. If your liver cannot process the sugar, it is converted to fat cells. This leads to weight gain and the increased risk of fatty liver disease.
5. High levels of sugar in your body causes the migration of bacteria from your colon to your small intestine. The small intestine is virtually bacteria free before this migration; sugar in the intestine can lead to gas, abdominal cramping and bloating.
Sure it tastes good but is there really any other good reason to have it as part of your diet?
If so it is time for a sugar detox?
If you’re eating like many people do, then yes, it’s time for a sugar detox. You need to do it mindfully. It’s not healthy to completely cut sugar out of your life all at once. Sugar (glucose) fuels the body. Natural sugars like those found in grains, beans, fruits and vegetables contain sugar, but they also have nutrients our bodies need – like phytochemicals, antioxidants and fiber.
It isn’t easy to do a sugar detox or to cut sugar from your diet and your life, but it can be done. Frankly, if you want to live a long, healthy life it should be done.
When doing a sugar detox, look at foods with added sugars, corn syrup and processed foods that contain hidden sugars.
You can’t cut sugar completely from your diet, but you can cut added sugars. Become a label reader and make note of the grams of sugar in the foods you’re buying. Better yet, eat whole foods, fruits and vegetables – not boxed store bought foods.
Begin your sugar detox
1. Go slowly. If you’ve been ingesting sugar for decades, your taste buds expect foods to taste a certain way. When you cut back, make small changes: decrease the amount of sugar or flavored cream you put in your coffee. Reduce it gradually to give your taste buds time to adjust. This will make the detox more successful. Don’t replace sugar with sugar substitutes as you’re replacing one “chemical” with another.
2. Understand the various names under which sugar is disguised. Processed foods are loaded with sugar, but not all of them list the ingredient as “sugar.” Sucrose, fructose and corn syrup are a few of the many names given to added sugar. Many drinks are laden with sugar – juices, sodas and coffee drinks from chain stores; read the label or ask what’s in the drink.
3. Prepare meals at home. When you cook at home you know what ingredients are in your meals and you can control the sugar added (or not added)
How to successfully detox and why you need to start today!
Eat the “right” kind of carbohydrates.
Vegetables have carbs. Eat non-starchy vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, kale, collard greens, green beans, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, fennel, tomatoes (technically a fruit). Avoid starchy veggies during your initial detox. Starchy vegetables include, potatoes of any kind, beets, squash. Also void grains and legumes for at least ten days.
Start your day with protein.
Protein is key to keeping your blood sugar and insulin balanced and will help curb cravings. Eat protein at every meal. Proteins include: eggs, nuts, seeds, grass-fed meat and fish.
Fat isn’t the enemy.
Sugar is more of an enemy than fat. Sugar will make you fat, but fat helps balance blood sugar, is the fuel your cells need and helps make you feel full. Eat “good” fats like: nuts and seeds, extra virgin olive oil, avocados, coconut butter and fish.
Don’t give into cravings.
When you’re feeling low energy or when your blood sugar drops, you will find you’re craving sugar. If you’re traveling or at work or shopping when you’re hungry it’s easy to grab a sweet, sugary snack as a quick pick me up. Keep “emergency foods” with you at all time. These emergency foods can include: pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, nut butters, unsweetened blueberries, salmon or turkey jerky. Reach for your emergency snacks and avoid the sugar in processed foods.
Protect your body from inflammation.
Sugar imbalances in your blood leads to insulin resistance and diabetes. Sugar, flour and trans fats lead to inflammation. Giving up sugars and flour and starchy veggies for even three days can help put out the flames of inflammation.
When you’re feeling anxious or are under stress, your cortisol levels go up and this makes you feel hungry, causes belly fat storage and leads to diabetes. When you’re feeling stressed, take slow, deep breaths to activate the vagus nerve. This nerve will shift metabolism from fat storage to fat burning and can move you from a stressful state to a more relaxed state.
Get a good night’s sleep.
Insomnia drives carb cravings and impacts your appetite hormones. When you’re sleep deprived there is a rise in hunger hormones and a decline in appetite-suppressing hormones and this leads to sugar and carb cravings. When you’re tired you crave an energy boost and you most typically get that boost from sugar. Take steps to get a good night’s sleep.
Protect your body.
Undergoing a sugar detox will make you feel cruddy. Let’s be honest about that. Once you get through the first ten days, though you will find you have more energy, your skin will clear up and you may rediscover your long lost sex drive.
Set a goal.
Give yourself a timeframe under which to do your detox. You may decide to “give up sugar” for a weekend to test it out. That won’t give you a true detox, but it can be a way to ease into it. I recommend a ten-day detox.
If you’re going to commit to your health, then truly commit to your health. Make note of how you feel on each day. Know that there will be days during the detox when you will experience unreasonable hunger and cravings and days when you will feel lousy because your body is trying to reset itself. Focus on whole foods, exercise and congratulate yourself for every day you are successful!
Boost your nutritional levels.
Look at your diet with a critical eye and make note of the vitamins and minerals you simply aren’t getting from what’s on your plate. Adding supplements to your daily routine helps your body function at optimal levels and helps you lead a longer, happier life.
When you’re doing your sugar detox, give your body the best chance it can for success by restoring, or resetting it, back to “factory settings.” A supplement like Restorex, a daily supplement that is scientifically-formulated to target and restore every aspect of your body at its cellular level. Restoring your system back to the way it was meant to function, coupled with your sugar detox, will help your body from head to toe.
It may not seem easy at first but after a few weeks, you will break the cycle, and find your self with more energy, an improved mood and deeper sleep!