In the 70’s, each American consumed about 4 pounds of sugar per year. Now, that amount is closer to 160 pounds. That is a lot of sugar!
50% of that sugar we eat comes from fructose, which translates into 10% of the American diet. Crazy isn’t it?
And I’m not talking about the natural sugar from oranges and strawberries…
This is from the 50 gallons of soda pop we drink every year!
Knowing that, it is appropriate to say that we all need to detox from sugar.
Refined sugars raise blood sugar levels, trigger inflammation and make people fat, which often leads to type 2 diabetes…
Detoxing from sugar will help you lose weight and it will be a kickstart for better health.
Here’s how you should detox from sugar in 10 steps
1. Do you need to detox from sugar? Take the test…
– Do you eat continuously, even when you are not hungry?
– Do you feel lethargic after eating?
– Do you get a headache, nausea and fatigue (withdrawal symptoms) when you stop eating sugars?
– Do you have allergy symptoms, acne, irritable bowels, gas, bloating or pain?
– Do you always want more sugar?
– Are you overweight?
– Have you been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes?
– Are your blood sugar and triglyceride levels too high?
2. Don’t be a chicken, go cold turkey
In order to detox from sugar, you need to give your 100%.
Smokers can’t quit smoking if they still have one cigarette every day. They will stop craving it when they quit completely…
It goes the same way with sugar…
During 1 week, avoid all artificial sweeteners, sugars of all forms, and products that come from flour. And since you’re there, do not consume any processed food…
Stick to whole foods only. This is how you will reset your hormones and neurotransmitters.
3. Say no to liquid caloriesWith the exception of green vegetable juices, you should know that all sugar calories that come in the form of liquids are worse than solid foods.
Sugary beverages go straight to the liver, resulting in weight gain.
If you wish to detox from sugar, avoid sodas, fruit juices, sweetened ice teas and coffees, sport drinks, and other commercial beverages.
And drink at least five 12 ounces glasses of water daily.
4. Choose high quality protein
Choose high quality plant protein that will make you feel full until the next meal.
While animal-based protein is carb-free, plant protein comes with the good carbs, not the refined ones.
Lentils, chickpeas, quinoa, beans, hemp seeds, tofu, tempeh, chia seeds, almonds, and pumpkin seeds are a few examples of a great source of protein.
You should aim for 3 servings of legumes each day (1 serving = ½ cup of cooked beans, ¼ cup hummus), and 3 servings of whole grains (1 serving = ½ cup cooked grains).
5. Go nuts with the carbs
Yes, you can have unlimited carbs during this sugar detox…
But wait, only the good ones!
Avoid all the processed and refined carbohydrates like bread, pasta, pastries, and pizza.
You can go crazy on kale, spinach, arugula, broccoli, eggplant, zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, and asparagus…
Avoid potatoes, beets and squashes for a week… But only for a week!
You should have 5 servings of vegetables (1 serving = 1 cup raw or ½ cup cooked greens), including 2 servings of greens, 1 serving of cruciferous, and 2 servings of other vegetables.
6. Choose good fats
Choosing healthy unsaturated fats from whole foods will also help you during the detox process…
>p>Nuts and seeds, avocados, coconuts, and olives are good examples of healthy fats.
In the contrary to what people think, oils are not healthy fats. Even olive oil…
Oils are just made of fat. They do not come with fiber and other nutrients, like the fats found in whole foods do.
Avoid trans fats and saturated fats because they trigger inflammation in the body. Those bad fats are found in junk food, pastries, deep fried food, processed food, meat, fish, eggs, and dairy.
7. Fight inflammation
A detox from sugar also involves avoiding Gluten and dairy products, which are known to provoke food sensitivities, allergies, and inflammation…
Gluten and dairy can cause discomfort just like artificial sugars, resulting in IBS(irritable bowel symptoms), weight gain, and insulin resistance.
Foods that contain gluten and dairy may be harmful but yet, we crave them all the time!
Detox from them for 3 weeks and you will see the cravings disappear. That’s all the time needed for your body to adjust to a new diet…
Eating whole plant foods has been shown to fight inflammation and alkalize the body within just a few hours. So go ahead and try it…
8. Fruits are OK
Fructose from industrial sugars is associated with high blood pressure, weight gain, and declining liver function.
But studies have shown that fruit fructose is not…
When you compare a diet that restricts both fruits and industrial sugars to a diet that only restricts fructose from industrial sugars, the second diet wins.
Industrial fructose like high fructose corn syrup and table sugar is the real problem…
Industrial fructose does not contain any nutrients like whole fruits do.
On the other hand, fresh fruits are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
You can choose to avoid fruits for the duration of your detox, but do not be afraid of them after… Fruits are totally OK. Actually, they are necessary!
9. Avoid all added sugars
Added sugars are empty calories. They contain absolutely no essential nutrients, that’s a sure thing.
If you are trying to cut down on calories and lose weight, this is where you should start: your sugar consumption…
After this detox, I encourage you to avoid all added sugars if possible.
There’s even concerns in the scientific literature that calories from sugar is very dangerous.
High fructose corn syrup and table sugar can lead to liver toxicity. These sugars are able to raise the amount of fat in your liver, just like alcohol…
Fatty liver disease is a major public health issue around the planet. It can literally kill you!
Read labels before you buy anything and avoid products that contain added sugars.
10. Choose a healthy sugar
Still have a sweet tooth? What are the best choices when it comes to sugar?
Stevia is a great alternative…
Stevia is a sugar substitute that is extracted from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana. And it’s 150 times sweeter than sugar!
But the healthiest sweetener is date sugar… because it is not sugar!
To make date sugar, dates are pulverized into powder or are crushed into syrup. This means that date sugar is like a whole food, also providing fiber, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals…
So, when are you starting your sugar detox?
Have you ever quit eating sugar before? How did that make you feel?