A typical American consumes 66% of added sugar in their diet per year! Beyond being a source of empty calories without any nutrients or healing benefits to the body, excess sugar in the diet has been correlated with a slew of poor health outcomes, from Diabetes to Alzheimer’s.
If you often tend to feel sluggish, overweight or bloated, then you most likely need a sugar detox. A sugar detox benefits you by resetting your taste buds to a lower sugar palate. It also inherently reduces your processed carbohydrate intake and may even shrink your waistline!
Still not convinced why you need a sugar detox? Here are some more compelling reasons for why a week-long detox will benefit you greatly.
Reduces Brain Fog
Overconsumption of sugar causes the pancreas to constantly pump out insulin (a hormone that takes the excess sugar out of the blood and stores it in the body as fat) and eventually leads to insulin resistance. Insulin regulates not only blood sugar but also the function of brain cells. When the body becomes insulin-resistant, it can no longer effectively move glucose into the cells when needed for energy and the extra sugar sits in the bloodstream. Subsequently, our body and brain cells don’t function well, making us less alert, focused or energized.
Aids in Weight Loss
In general, numerous studies have shown added sugar to be a direct cause of increased body fat. Additionally, much of the processed food in the US is made using high-fructose corn syrup, a special highly processed sugar that particularly burdens the liver and has been linked to insulin resistance, diabetes and cancer. This specific type of sugar (commonly found in sodas, processed foods, and even crackers and cereals) is stored as body fat far more rapidly than any other sugar.
Helps Manage Mood Swings
Feeling moody is often a result of sugar overconsumption. Consuming high-sugar foods or drinks such as a vanilla latte or candy causes a quick spike in blood sugar. This spike quickly dips down (aka a “sugar crash”) and may cause you to feel a little “down in the dumps.” This is because high-sugar foods lead to the release of a feel-good neurotransmitter called serotonin in the brain. The over-activation of this pathway owing to regular intake of high-sugar foods to manage stress can deplete the supply of serotonin overtime, leading to symptoms of depression. Thus, instead of helping to manage your stress, these foods add to your stress and affect your mood.
Excess sugar is a gut irritant and can contribute to symptoms of both constipation and diarrhea. In fact, fructose can be particularly damaging when consumed in processed form. It is usually found in foods such as sweetened yogurts, breads and agave syrup. Fructose is a type of short-chain sugar that is easily fermented by the gut bacteria when consumed in excess and can exert an osmotic effect on the digestive tract. In other words, it increases fluid delivery to the large intestine, causing gas, pain and osmotic diarrhea. While most people typically have a threshold for fructose, excess processed sugar consumption can put you at high risk of bloating and digestive issues.
Ready to feel clear headed, lighter, brighter and de-bloated?
Starting early fall, join our nutritionist, Megan Gerber, on a one-week sugar detox to nourish and reset your body with a simple, healing, whole foods approach! Contact us today!