While some people jokingly refer to themselves as sugar addicts, the truth is no laughing matter. Refined sugar causes real, clinically verifiable addictive patterns in your brain and ruinous effects on your body. The average American consumes between 22 and 30 teaspoons of added sugar every day. That’s sugar that you could easily cut from your diet entirely by making intelligent dietary decisions—or you could if sugar didn’t have you hooked. A sugar detox is a way to break the hold sugar has over you.
Basically, a sugar detox is when you cut all sugar out of your diet for a set period of time. ALL sugar. That means no honey, no maple syrup, no agave syrup, no white bread, no alcohol, no natural sweeteners, no artificial sweeteners, no high fructose corn syrup. You’ll be amazed by how much better you’ll feel when you cut the added sugar.
Natural Sugars vs. Added Sugars
It’s important to make the distinction between natural sugars and added sugars. Natural sugars are those found naturally in fruits and vegetables. Bound to other nutrients like protein and dietary fiber, these sugars are broken down more slowly and provide a healthier source of energy.
Added sugars are often refined and stripped of these nutrients, leaving only empty calories. These refined sugars are then added to processed foods and beverages. You may feel a temporary surge in energy from these refined sugars, but they burn fast, and you’ll crash hard afterward. These sugars are absorbed very quickly, which leads to a spike in blood sugar, followed by a sharp increase in insulin, which is in turn followed by a steep drop in blood sugar. Low blood sugar causes hunger, and the whole process repeats in a vicious cycle.