How To Cleanse The Body Of Sugar
Cutting out sugar isn’t easy, considering that 74 percent of packaged foods contain sucrose, dextrose, glucose and other added sugars. This popular ingredient is fueling the global obesity epidemic.
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High sugar consumption has been linked to metabolic disorders, cardiovascular problems, inflammatory conditions and everything in between. Given these risks, it makes sense to limit or remove sugar from your diet and seek healthier substitutes.
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How Does Blood Sugar Work
Blood sugar is the amount of glucose you have in your bloodstream. How does glucose get in there? From the food you eat. When your body digests food, especially carbohydrates, it breaks down the different nutrients and sends them all into the bloodstream. One of those nutrients is glucose.
So, your blood sugar rises when you digest food.
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How Do You Do A Sugar Detox
In the simplest terms, a sugar detox cleanses your body of excess sugar. There are different ways to do this, but the most effective one is to quit cold turkey and go completely sugar-free for a few days. Then you can gradually introduce natural, healthy sugar , back into your diet.
Why would you want to do this? Because, unfortunately, the negative effects sugar has on your body and mind are countless.
Before we get into the details of detoxing from sugar, lets go over the different kinds of sugar and how they can affect your health.
Dr Frank Lipman On Sugar
As a serious sugar addict still struggling with my addiction I know first hand how difficult it is to get off sugar, and to stay off it. Part of the reason its so hard to kick the habit is that over time our brains actually become addicted to the natural opioids that are triggered by sugar consumption. Much like the classic drugs of abuse such as cocaine, alcohol and nicotine, a diet loaded with sugar can generate excessive reward signals in the brain which can override ones self-control and lead to addiction.
Sugar comes in many different forms. Four of the most common are:
- High fructose corn syrup
Fructose is a natural sugar found in fruits and veggies but consuming too much can still be bad for your health. It would be hard to over consume fructose from eating fruits and vegetables alone, but it is often used as an added sugar in processed foods. The only organ in your body that can break down fructose is the liver. It turns fructose into triglycerides , free radicals , and uric acid .
Sucrose is white table sugar. This is the stuff that many Americans sprinkle on cereal and what is added to baked goods, ice cream, and most processed foods. Sucrose is composed of a mixture of glucose and fructose. The glucose gets sent to your bloodstream, causing a spike in blood sugar, while the fructose is sent to your liver to be metabolized.
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Potential Signs Youre Eating Too Much Sugar
Upset stomach, irritability, and sluggishness are all possible warnings youre overdoing it on the sweet stuff.
Sugar gets a bad rap, but the truth is that its a vital source of energy and essential to our survival. Of course, not all sugars are the same. Fructose found in fruits and vegetables and lactose in dairy-rich foods are natural sugars we dont have to be as concerned about because these foods also have fiber and calcium, for example. Added sugars, however, which are often found in processed foods, are those we could do without, and most of us consume too much of them.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 20202025, the average American consumes 270 calories of added sugars, or 17 teaspoons, each day.
Added sugars are anything thats added to food to make it taste sweet, and this includes natural sugars like honey and maple syrup. Even though they may be more wholesome than table sugar, its still contributing more calories but not much in the way of vitamins and minerals, says Jessica Cording, RD, a health coach in New York City and author of The Little Book of Game Changers.
Sugar is sneaky and can hide under 61 different names, according to the University of California in San Francisco. Despite your best efforts to make healthy food choices, you could be getting more sugar than you bargained for.
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Your Sex Life Will Get A Boost
Eating too much sugar is detrimental to your sex life. When you cut back on sugar, your libido improves, as does your bodys ability to get revved up for sex. For women, sugar disrupts sexual hormonal balance. For men, eating too much sugar can lead to erectile dysfunction and low libido due to the insulin spike that takes over after eating sugar. Let this be one of your motivating reasons for cutting sugar from your diet. Chances are, youll have better sex, and more of it!
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Avoid All Sugary Drinks
Sugar from beverages gets absorbed into your bloodstream almost immediately. That much sugar all at once is too much for your liver to handle, so it gets stored as belly fat instead. Since these drinks dont fill you up and the energy boost is short lived, you drink another and another. Stick to drinks like unsweetened fresh green juice, unsweetened tea, and water.
Have A Spoonful Of Peanut Butter
After a sugar binge, you may want to swear off all calories. However, eating food with other nutrients helps ward off that undesirable sugar crash caused by quick digestion. A spoonful of peanut butter or handful of nuts gives you fat and protein to slow digestion, says Jennifer Powell Bolton, PhD, RDN, a professor of nutrition at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Or try hummus with vegetables, which have fiber that helps slow the absorption of simple sugars. Not sure if youre nearing the limit? These are the nine clear signs youre eating too much sugar.
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Realize Whats Going On
As sugar floods your bloodstream, the pancreas releases insulin to control blood glucose levels. This suppresses the fullness hormone leptin, which makes your brain give you the green light to grab more candy. Glucose is rapidly digested, and your spiked dopamine and blood sugar levels fall quickly. The crash depends on the person. It can be 15 minutes to a couple of hours after eating, says Bontempo. Your instinct is to eat more sugar to get another jolt of energy, but its really important to resist. Once your willpower bank is tapped, it becomes increasingly challenging to make healthy choices. Here are more scary things too much sugar does to your body.
Increase Your Protein & Fat Intake
Eat right for your breakfast it has a significant influence on the rest of your day. Having protein in your meals gives you lasting energy and reduces your cravings for sugary food. Eggs, peanut butter, beans, legumes, protein smoothies, fatty fish, and nuts are all high in protein.
An increase in healthy fat intake also helps in sugar detox. Healthy fats include avocado, unsweetened coconut products, grass-fed butter or ghee , nuts, and seeds. Aim for 1-2 tablespoons of healthy fat with each meal.
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Sugar Detox Withdrawal Symptoms
Numerous studies have found that added sugars can produce changes in neurochemistry and behavior similar to those of other addictive drugs. When initially cutting out sugar after long-term use, one may experience withdrawal symptoms. Sugar detox symptoms should resolve within a few days, but may include:
Why Healthy Blood Sugar Is Important
When your blood sugar level is constantly high, it can cause a condition called insulin resistance. If your insulin is constantly at work, it can stop being effective. Instead, excess glucose stays in your bloodstream and your blood sugar is constantly elevated . In the meantime, your body keeps releasing more insulin , which ends up promoting fat storage instead.
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Youll Have Healthier Teeth
A 2013 study published in International Scholarly Research Notices: Dentistry explains how sugar is linked to cavities and tooth decay. To preserve your teeth and prevent bigger problems like root canals, youll want to do your best to stop eating sugar. Always floss and brush your teeth, at least twice a day. Your teeth will love you for it!
Stop eating sugar and youll lower your risk of heart disease dramatically, because too much sugar in your diet heightens your risk of high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes three primary risk factors for heart disease and cardiovascular decline.
Tips For Cutting Back On Added Sugar
If youre used to regularly eating sugary foods like cake, ice cream, sweetened breakfast cereal, candy, and cookies and regularly drink sugar-sweetened beverages, it may take time to reduce your reliance on added sugar.
For some people, cutting all forms of added sugar from their diet is helpful. However, others may find this method too extreme.
Fortunately, even making small changes to your sugar intake can significantly affect your overall health. Follow these helpful tips to slowly reduce your added sugar intake over time.
The tips above can help you slowly cut back on added sugar and improve the quality of your overall diet.
Here are some tips to help you beat the side effects and avoid or at least limit some of the symptoms related to cutting sugar out of your diet.
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Choose Fruits Over Desserts
Most desserts like ice-cream, cake, or cookies are filled with crazy amounts of sugar. It causes a blood spike, one reason you feel tired, hungry, and craving more sugar. Choose healthier alternatives like easy to pack apples and mandarin oranges.
Fruits not only bring down your sugar cravings but also increase the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in your diet. Berries such as raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, pears, and plums are the lowest in natural sugar.
But if you are craving a sweet dessert, you can binge on a few chunks of dark chocolate. It has high cocoa content that makes it relatively less sugary yet tasty. You can also enhance foods with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or lemongrass instead of sugar.
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Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Sugar
The sugar statistics in the U.S. are pretty dreary. They say the typical American eats 6 cups of sugar every week. Thats 152 pounds of sugar in a year! Why are we eating so much sugar? First of all, its everywhere. As the most popular food additive in processed foods, sugar is hard to avoid. Secondly, its highly addictive. Most of us are addicted to sugar, whether we realize it or not. To stop eating sugar is a difficult task, but it can be done, and the rewards are many! Lets take a look at 12 things that happen when you stop eating sugar.
How To Detox Sugar From Your Body
Rules for the Sugar Detox
No ADDED SUGARS. This means cane sugar, stevia, coconut sugar, anything that ends with -ose in your packaged foods . Ditch all the sugar-y drinks, soda, kombucha . I also avoided natural sugars like honey, maple syrup and dates. I think those are definitely healthier, but for the detox, I stayed away from them. Another subjectartificial sweeteners. I think this goes without saying, but these are a big no-no, whether youre on a sugar detox or not, just stay away!
No alcohol. This was the hardest part for me, which makes me sound like an alcoholic, but hey, I love a good glass of wine!
Very little gluten and very little dairy. Next time around, I wont have any dairy or gluten. I dont really eat them much, but did have a piece of sprouted toast with avocado one day, but that was it.
Lastly, fruit! I personally believe fruit is really healthy, and I would never suggest eating no fruit. There are so many amazing health benefits! But, for this detox, I did cut back a bit. Mostly because I usually eat a LOT of fruit. If youre not a big fruit eater, dont worry about it! Its also perfect when you get a craving for something sweetjust grab a handful of berries.
Clean Out your Fridge & Pantry
This is a good step to take BEFORE you start. You dont want to have chips, candy, granola, sweetened creamer, flavored yogurt, etc. sitting around tempting you while you do your detox. If anything, consider this a good time to clean out your fridge and pantry!
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When Rats Were Given The Choice Between Water Sweetened With Saccharin And Intravenous Cocaine 94% Chose The Saccharin Water
One study out of France, presented at the 2007 annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, showed that when rats were given the choice between water sweetened with saccharin and intravenous cocaine, 94% chose the saccharin water. When the water was sweetened with sucrose , the same preference was observedthe rats overwhelmingly chose the sugar water. When the rats were offered larger doses of cocaine, it did not alter their preference for the saccharin or sugar water. Even rats addicted to cocaine, switched to sweetened water when given the choice. In other words, intense sweetness was more rewarding to the brain than cocaine.
The American Psychiatric Association defines addiction to include three stages: bingeing, withdrawal and craving. Until recently, the rats had only met two of the elements of addiction, bingeing and withdrawal. But recent experiments by Princeton University scientist, Professor Bart Hoebel, and his team showed craving and relapse as well. By showing that excess sugar led not only to bingeing and withdrawal, but to cravings for sweets as well, the final critical component of addiction fell into place and completed the picture of sugar as a highly addictive substance.
The Best Way To Wean Off Sugar Naturally
The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar a day, according to the Cleveland Clinic — significantly more than the recommended 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men.Most of that sugar comes from sugary drinks, snack foods, baked goods, cereals and other processed foods. If youre concerned about your sugar intake, Dr. Mark Hyman suggests going cold turkey. But according to Sherry Pagoto, Ph.D., of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, you can also wean yourself off the sweet stuff by gradually retraining your taste buds.
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What Does Insulin Do
Insulin is a hormone. To put it quite simply, you can think of hormones as body messengers that communicate and respond to everything from hunger signals to reproduction, to emotions and a heck of a lot more. Because we are an intelligent and integrated feedback loop, some hormones have more than one, and/or, overlapping functions.
Insulin is produced in the pancreas . Its major responsibility is to help regulate blood sugar.
When you eat foods that contain any form of sugar, that sugar gets broken down into glucose. By the way, when I say that foods containing sugar Im not just talking about sweet foods. Im also talking about any carbohydrate containing foods. In this case, flavor is secondary to chemical make-up because thats what ultimately determines how its going to be digested.
Let me give some examples of foods that will get broken down into glucose:
- Desserts: ice cream, cookies, cakes, pies, candy, dried fruit
- Sweet drinks: gatorade, creamers, soda, koolaid, juices
- Simple carbs: bread, pasta, crackers, cereals
- Complex carbs: quinoa, oats, brown & wild rice, corn, sprouted wheats, plantains, cassava, turnips, squashes
- Fiber-rich: most fruits, most vegetables, peas, beans, legumes
However, if you overly consume those foods that break down into glucose you can accidentally put yourself into a state of insulin resistance.
Health Benefits Of Reducing Sugar Intake
A few health benefits of reducing your sugar intake have been mentioned throughout this article so far, but lets do a quick round up of those benefits, and add a few more.
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