Americans eat an average of seventy pounds of sugar each year. Most of that is not table sugar that we add to our breakfast or coffee; most of it is the hidden sugars, such as high fructose corn syrup and refined grain products. Sugar can wreak habit with our health and our looks. Authors Brooke Alpert and Patricia Farris have designed The Sugar Detox to help us get control of our sugar consumption.
Brooke Alpert is a nutritionist who noticed that many of her clients seemed to be eating enough, but not too much, and getting a moderate amount of exercise, but felt and looked tired much of the time. Dermatologist Patricia Farris noticed the same things about her clients. Both professionals found that when they weaned their clients from the excessive amounts of sugar consumed by Americans, they looked and felt better.
The authors put together the sugar detox plan to help people get away from eating so much sugar. The book starts with a three-day diet and a three-day skin care plan in the first chapter. Enthusiastic readers can jump right in to the detox by soaking in a tub of bathing salts while sipping herbal tea. The diet portion of the plan contains full meals and snacks, so you’re not hungry. This isn’t so much a weight loss plan as it is a “get healthier” plan, although eating less processed foods and more whole foods tends to shed the weight.
Most of the book details a one-month plan to stay off sugar. General guidelines make it easy to tailor their plan to any dietary needs or preferences and continue after the month is over. A detailed meal plan makes it easy to follow. Recipes are included, such as Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes for snacks or Cajun Dirty Brown Rice for a meal. Exercise is also an important part of the plan.
After the details of the three-day detox plan are laid out, the authors get into why eating so much sugar is a bad idea. They offer these ten ways and reasons to kick your sugar habit (adapted from The Sugar Detox).
- Go cold-turkey for three days. It only takes three days off of sugar to recalibrate your taste buds.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners. Those tiny pink, blue, and yellow packages designed to help you avoid real sugar actually make you crave it even more.
- Although you might feel energetic immediately after a sugary treat, beware of the lows that follow the sugar high. These sweets cause a rise and fall in blood sugar levels that leave you tired and foggy. The best way to keep your energy level up is to keep your sugar consumption down.
- Tired of pesky break-outs? One way to avoid flare-ups is to go low on sugar. Sugar triggers the hormones that cause oil production and acne.
- A diet full of sugar and refined carbohydrates is bad for more than just your waistline. Puffiness and dry, patchy, and irritated skin can all result from these poor dietary choices.
- Sugar damages collagen and elastin fibers, causing premature aging, wrinkling, and sagging. If you want to turn sugar into something good for you skin, use it as a body scrub. Just blend it with a little of your favorite oil like almond, safflower, or olive.
- Watch for hidden sugar. The following popular supermarket products almost always have too much: nut butters, marinades, tomato sauces, salad dressings, and protein bars.
- Eliminating sugar is the best way to improve your general health. Even if you’re not worried about your weight, a high sugar diet is linked to everything from diabetes, to heart disease, to cancers.
- Dark chocolate is a great healthy way to have a dessert. Just remember to opt for 65% cocoa minimum.
- Substitute spice for sugar. Spices like cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and more add tons of flavor to food without any extra sugar. Plus these spices help prevent glycation.