It’s the addictive white powder that’s been called the Number One threat to our national health.
Heroin? No. Cocaine? Nope.
We’re talking about sugar, the sweetest evil. Sugar consumption has been linked to just about every serious medical condition plaguing the nation – obesity, diabetes, and chronic inflammation, which can lead to just about every disease, including cancer. Dosing ourselves with sugary treats and drinks all day to boost our energy strains our systems and leads to crashes that we try to fix with even more sugar.
In short, sugar can be as damaging as smoking or using drugs – and just as addictive. In lab tests, mice hooked on sugar walked across electrified metal plates to get their dose of junk food. Denied their fix, the mice curled up and shook like heroin junkies in withdrawal.
But it’s not impossible to break the sugar habit. One method is a three-day detox followed by a reduced-sugar maintenance diet. Those first days might be rough, especially if you are a power user of sugar, but the pay-off is well worth the discomfort.
Even those in good health should consider this program as ditching the sugar might reduce such things a moodiness, achiness and joint stiffness.
During the three-day detox don’t eat anything with more than 15 grams of sugar per serving. That obviously rules out cookies, cake, ice cream, soda, alcohol, et cetera. But there are other hidden traps to avoid. Many seemingly healthy foods — yogurts, fruit juices and even wheat breads, are packed with sugar. Learn to read labels.
Replace sweet snacks with health fats – nuts, avocado (guacamole, anyone?) and health animal proteins are excellent substitutes. You are going to want to come up with snacks that soothe you, as these three days may be filled with cravings, headaches and crankiness as your body adjusts to lower sugar intake.
At the end of the detox, you move into maintenance mode. That just means continuing to limit your sugar intake to 15 grams per serving, which means more label reading. You are going to be amazed how much sugar is in everything from spaghetti sauce to salad dressing. When you do consume sugar foods try to pair them with proteins, which will slow down the body’s uptake of the sweet stuff and reduce blood sugar spikes.
Your rewards for this effort could be quick and obvious. Almost immediately, you might experience fewer mood swings, aches and fatigue.
In other words, kicking sugar might make you even sweeter.