Tag Archives: sugar

The One Long-Term Detox Some Health Experts Recommend

Detoxes, fasting, juicing, cleansing—all popular diet trends people take up to lose weight or otherwise improve their health. These are all temporary measures meant to kick-off a healthier lifestyle and not intended as long-term solutions.

However, there is one detox that is considered sustainable by some experts—a sugar detox. Permanent abstinence from sugar can help people lose weight, generally improve their health and perhaps even create more radiant skin.

People can have a real dependency on sugar. When we consume sugar we get “feel good” chemicals from our brain. Some experts even believe a percentage of the population have a real addiction to sugar because of this reward response in the brain.

The problem with sugar isn’t so much cake, cookies and ice cream but all the hidden sugar in everyday foods we eat. Salad dressing, breads, and pre-made sauces of all kinds can have quite a bit of sugar that we can’t even taste because we are so used to consuming it.
Detoxing from sugar has the benefit of readjusting our sense of taste allowing us to enjoy natural sugars which will help stay our cravings for things that are loaded with it in the future.

If you are wanting to try a sugar detox you are going to have to start reading labels. In the beginning though you may even want to cut out fruit and higher sugar vegetables.

As always, it is recommended that even a an average, healthy person check with their doctor before trying an kind of “extreme” diet change.

Sugars and Added Sugars

So what is the difference between sugar and added sugar? I’ve noticed food labels giving total sugar and added sugar listings lately and wondered what was up with that. According to the government site, fda.gov, manufacturers had until January 1, 2020 to switch to the new label outlining sugars and added sugars. Smaller manufacturers have until January 1, 2021 to comply so you may not see it on all labels.

You will see a listing now of “Total Sugars” with a gram count and under it will say “includes [number]g Added Sugars” under it. In addition to these changes, the calories are in larger type and serving sizes are updated. This has been in the works since May 2016.

The old label was over 20 years old. Products such as honey and syrup will most likely not have “added sugars” per se, but you will see an added percentage of a daily total one serving is. Vitamin D will be added to the label but Vitamins A and C are not required to be on the labels any longer. Servings sizes may look different as well. For instance, if ice cream serving was previously 1/2 cup, it may show 1 cup now but the calories will reflect that change as well per serving.

FDA.gov
Comparison of labels side by side

Hints for Changing up Christmas Baking

If you are looking to reduce and have all sorts of temptations around, there are some things you can do to lighten your recipes.

Consider cutting fats in half by substituting with unsweetened applesauce.

Try using less sugar, you most likely won’t miss it, and many recipes will still work.

Substitute some of the sugar with stevia.

Look for alternative recipes – like these for brownies: 5-minute Espresso Walnut Brownies

Search the Internet for healthier options

Search Pinterest for lower fat/sugar baking recipes.

If you go to a party, bring something you made that you know will be a healthier option. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find some converts.

Incorporate ingredients like nuts or dried fruits to make it healthier.

Substitute whole wheat pastry flour for some of the all-purpose flour.

Quitting Sugar

How do you quit sugar? These are some things that work against you: your brain, environment, habits, gut, and friends.

Brain: Sugar is addictive so you are tolerant and then you want more. Eating sugar causes your brain not to know it is full. It also keeps you feeling tired and lethargic. You need to get rid of the mindset that sugar gives you pleasure and that quitting will deprive you.

Environment: This applies to ads you see and the grocery stores. You will need to ignore these. Just seeing foods can make you think you are hungry. Understand the environment you are in and how it can affect your cravings.

Habits: Everyday routines becomes a habit. Your brain tries to conserve effort and you run on autopilot. Don’t eat without being aware of what you are doing. Along with environment, if you live in areas where food is nostalgic or if the area is known for certain unhealthy items, like Philly cheesesteaks, or beignets in NOLA. Don’t react to advertising.

Gut: Sugar contributes to leaky gut. Sugar can alter the microbe proportions in your gut. Fermented foods, prebiotics, and probiotics can be helpful.

Friends: Friends and family can be enablers. To get something sweet, go to fruit.

Restricting processed foods is the key to to stopping sugar.

Ultra-processed foods linked to cancer

The BMJ reports a study done by French researchers has found a link between eating ultra-processed foods and cancer. Even just a 10% increase in ultra-processed foods can have an effect. They divided foods into 4 groups: unprocessed or minimally processed, processed culinary ingredients, processed, and ultra-processed.

Food prepared by adding sugar, salt, or prepared by industrially prepared is considered processed. Ultra-processed foods mostly are found to have higher content of total fat, saturated fat, added sugar, added salt, lower fiber, and lower in vitamins. Some may be packaged with bisphenol A (BPA) which interrupts hormone balance. They often have added ingredients that may not be even be considered food.

Examples of each group
Unprocessed or minimally processed: fresh fruits, vegetables, rice, pasta, eggs, meat, fish, milk
Processed culinary ingredients: salt, vegetable oils, butter, sugar, or other things extracted from food
Processed: canned vegetables with added salt, sugar coated fruits, meat products preserved by salt, cheeses, fresh made bakery breads, products made with additional salt, sugar or other items under the processed culinary ingredients category
Ultra-processed: mass produced packaged breads or buns, packaged snacks, mass produced desserts, sodas, sweetened drinks, meat balls, poultry or fish nuggets, meats containing nitrites, soups, instant noodles, packaged meals (frozen or shelf-stable), anything that uses hydrogenated oils, modified starches, flavoring agents, colors, emulsifiers, nonsugar sweeteners, cosmetic additives.

The study showed the 10% increase increased the number of cancers detected to be increased by 12%. On the average, 18% of the people studied had an ultra-processed diet and there were 79 cancers per 10,000 people each year. By increasing ultra-processed food by 10% would add another 9 people per year.