One-month sugar detox: A nutritionist explains how and why

If you have read about the latest trends in nutrition, the idea of a diet detox may have been exciting.

But if you’ve tried juicing, fasting or cleaning in an attempt to lose weight or boost your well-being, you’re probably aware that cutting foods dramatically as a long-term lifestyle solution to healthy eating isn’t efficient.

Yet according to some researchers, there is one kind of prolonged detox that is worthwhile. Reducing your dietary sugar will help you drop pounds, improve your health and even make your skin more radiant.

“Sugar makes you fat, ugly and old,” said Brooke Alpert, a registered dietitian and co-author of “The Sugar Detox: Lose the Sugar, Lose the Weight — Look and Feel Great.” “What we’ve discovered over the last few years is that sugar keeps us overweight. It’s also a leading cause of heart disease; it affects the skin negatively and leads to premature aging.”

Sugar addiction

Here’s more bad news: We can’t avoid sugar intake. “People really have a problem — a true sugar addiction,” Alpert said. “We’ve got sugar, we feel good about it, we get an upper feeling, and then we crash and need to get more.”

According to Robert Lustig, pediatric professor and director of the Center for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco, about 10 per cent of the US population are real sugar addicts. Research indicates however that sugar causes incentives and cravings comparable in magnitude to those caused by addictive drugs.

One of the main problems in our diets is the amount of added sugars which are often concealed in food. While ice cream cake is an obvious source of sugar, the white stuff can be filled with other foods that may not even taste sweet — such as salad dressings, tomato sauces, and breads.

“People don’t know that obviously healthy food is filled with sugar — and so we’re essentially eating sugar during the day, from morning to night,” Alpert said.

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