Can you “detox” sugar?
Sugar is on the tip of everyone’s tongue with heated arguments around regulating sugar, health warnings and taxes. But the big question is – will cutting sugar out of your diet really change your health?
There’s no doubt that sugar is big business; today’s consumption of added-sugars is 478.8g for men and 344.4g per week for women, which works out as an average of 16 to 11.7 teaspoons per day respectively.
The World Health Organisation and Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition in England advise:
- Less than 9 teaspoons per day for men.
- Less than 6 teaspoons per day for women.
- Less than 3-6 teaspoons per day for children.
The sugar in our diets is almost exclusively from added-sugars hidden in foods, mostly sugar-sweetened beverages (e.g. soft drinks, milk drinks, energy drinks), and packaged and processed foods (especially cereals and baked goods). The prevalence of sugar in foods may be shocking, but food manufacturers use sugars with many different names, eg, corn syrup, maltodextrin, erythritol, brown rice syrup, agave nectar or syrup.
While a bit of honey in your tea may be harmless, regular consumption of foods laced with added sugars is a different matter. Large-scale studies of sugar-sweetened beverages have shown strong links to heart disease, obesity, and type-2 diabetes. In most cases the risks are similar in magnitude to smoking or not exercising.
Perhaps surprisingly, other diseases now strongly associated with sugar are gout, arthritis, autoimmune disease, fatty liver disease, depression and dementia.
Despite the popularity of sugar detox or reduction diets, only recently has light been shed on the health effects of quitting sugar. And it appears that detoxing sugar could indeed transform your health.
Sugar is now viewed as the new tobacco, with comparable health implications and controversy surrounding its regulation. The evidence clearly shows that too much is toxic, but many find it hard to quit. The problem is that modern, processed foods are sugar-coated, literally and figuratively. The taste buds become accustomed to the sweetness, and so a short, sharp sugar detox can be the most effective way to rehab from this sweet addiction.
Fortunately, there are natural supplements that can help rebalance blood sugars and make the ‘cold turkey’ period easier. Check out the new Viridian 7 Day Sugar Detox Kit, available at bodykind.