Sugar is a big problem for people around the world, but especially in America. My grandmother had type II diabetes, and passed away last year due to complications of diabetes; sugar – or lack thereof – is something I’m pretty passionate about.
Americans consume 152 pounds of sugar per year. This averages 16% of their daily calories from sugar. The USDA recommends people consume no more than 40 grams of added sugars daily. That is 10 teaspoons; roughly the same amount as 1 can of soda.
This recommendation is for good reason. “Too much sugar makes you obese which causes insulin resistance, high cholesterol and triglycerides, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes,” says Brooke Alpert, the founder of B Nutritious. “It [sugar] also causes glycation where circulating sugar molecules bind to proteins like collage and elastin causing premature aging.”
Brooke Alpert, MS, and Patricia Farris, MD, co-authored the book The Sugar Detox which is designed to help people break this unhealthy relationship. The Sugar Detox is a controlled program to help you get off sugar and to get the the long term benefits of a low sugar living.
The fact of the matter is sugars – including starches and honey – are addicting, and that is why people get stuck in these unhealthy relationships. “Getting off sugar is as difficult as getting off of any other addicting substance,” Brooke explains. “Some say it’s more addicting than cocaine. People who are addicted will go through withdrawal including headaches, fogginess and just feeling bad.”
Nobody wants to go through withdrawal, and some people believe sugar is counting on that, but there is more to it than that.
Sugar fuels every single cell in our brains, so our brains see sugar as a reward. Beyond that, sugar is a simple carbohydrate, and when we drink a soda or eat sweets, we get a little rush that feels soooo good. Protein is a good way to help curb the cravings. Protein doesn’t have the same rush and crash that we get from sugar, and we also feel fuller longer, making us less likely to crave that mid-day candy bar out of hunger.
To make the transition, Brooke and Patricia put their detoxers on an actual detox. “We take our dieters off sugar totally for the first three days,” says Brooke. “It is a true detox. No added sugar, fruit, grains, dairy or alcohol. It’s tough but it does the trick. You begin to appreciate the natural sweetness in foods again. You immediately begin to feel better. Less achy, less joint pains and more energy. No more highs and lows of the sugar high.”
Getting off sugar doesn’t have to be as immersive as a 3 day detox. Brooke explains you can simply start with baby steps. Stat by reducing the amount of sugar you put in your coffee, or reducing the amount of honey you stir into your tea.
Another good trick for kicking sugar? Hit the yoga mat. Exercise – especially yoga – can make you more in-tune with your body. When you start doing healthier things like going for a walk, doing some yoga, or going to that weekly spinning class you’ve been avoiding, you naturally start to become repulsed by unhealthy foods.
But no matter how you start kicking sugars, the facts are clear: giving up sweets or soft drinks can go a long way to helping you make the shift to healthier living.
Order The Sugar Detox and start to kick the habit.