Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sugar Detox

Sugar Detox

If it’s impossible to slim down despite your best efforts, your problem may be fructose. This simple sugar occurs naturally in fruits, sweet vegetables, and honey, but is also added as high fructose corn syrup to most baked goods, drinks, sauces, and prepackaged foods.
Recent studies have found that fructose very quickly turns into body fat, in some cases never even yielding energy for the body to use, says Richard Johnson, author of The Sugar Fix (Rodale, 2008). Fructose also puts a damper on a hormone called leptin, which signals our brain that we’re satiated and it’s time to stop eating. To end your own sugar fix and lose weight, follow this plan from Johnson:

1 Cut down on fructose. Start by avoiding high fructose corn syrup and table sugar. Look for these in any processed food, including ketchup and other condiments, sauces, salad dressings, jams, peanut butter, meat products, and commercially produced desserts. Eat no more than 35 grams of fructose per day.

2 Say no to sugary drinks. Sodas are obviously out—12 ounces of cola has more than 20 grams of fructose— but pay attention to juices. One eight-ounce serving of orange juice has 10.7 g of fructose, cranberry juice can have up to 13 g, and apple juice 16. Avoid smoothies, sweetened coffee beverages, wine coolers, and any bottled drink that lists high fructose corn syrup on the label. Stick to water, and unsweetened coffee and tea, instead.

3 Eat some starch. Starchy foods (whole wheat pasta, potatoes, and even whole-grain bread) may stay on the menu. They are rich in glucose, which stimulates insulin release, “a normal and healthy physiologic reaction,” says Johnson.

4 Take care of yourself. Boost your metabolism with 30 minutes of exercise per day, Johnson says. Get 10 to 15 minutes of sun twice a week for vitamin D (your body makes it from sunshine), and 250 mg of vitamin C daily for the antioxidants. Eat small amounts of dark chocolate on occasion— it helps lower blood pressure.

5 Take the no-fructose challenge. Eating fructose triggers the body to produce more of the enzymes that metabolize it, which leads to more cravings. You can break this cycle by going cold turkey for two weeks. Skip sweetened food and drinks, including desserts, fruit and fruit juice, even honey. Read labels and don’t eat anything with high fructose corn syrup. (You can still eat potatoes, pasta, rice, vegetables, meat, fish, legumes, nuts, and cheese.) After two weeks, eat fructose in moderation.

Is sugar . . . MAKING YOU FAT (AND SICK)?
Fructose is added to everything, says Johnson, and while it may have helped our ancestors prepare for winter or famine, that need no longer exists. Having too much fructose in your diet can set you up for a cluster of health concerns that increase your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Look for these symptoms and get tested for the following:
►Excess weight, especially near your waist
►Low HDL or “good cholesterol”
►High blood pressure
►High blood glucose levels and/or insulin resistance
►High levels of triglycerides (energy stored in fat cells) in your blood

Johnson recommends eating less than 35 g of fructose a day, but keeping track of it can be tricky. Here’s a handy list of fructose-rich foods, excerpted from Johnson’s book, The Sugar Fix:
TABLE SUGAR, 1 tablespoon 2.0
PINEAPPLE, 1 slice 4.0
MOLASSES, 1 tablespoon 5.5
GRANOLA, 1/2 cup 7.0
BANANA, 1 medium 7.1
RAISIN BRAN, 1 cup 7.6
APPLE, medium 9.5
WATERMELON, 1/4 melon 11.3
GRAPES, seedless, 1 cup 12.4
APPLE PIE, 1 slice 16.5
CARROT CAKE, 1 slice 27.0
CHOCOLATE CAKE, 1 slice 37.0

When you rely on sugary treats for a hit of energy during a dull or jam-packed day, you’ll be guaranteed a bout of irritability when the “high” fades. While sugar is a genuine addiction—eat too much and your brain gets hooked on its own chemical surges, as it would with any drug—it is possible to learn new habits, says Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D., a specialist in addictive nutrition and author ofPotatoes Not Prozac (Simon & Schuster, 2008).
Try these steps to end a sugar habit and regain control of your moods. But go slowly, says DesMaisons, and remember that this is a cumulative process. You’ll have better long-term success if you give yourself at least two weeks to one month to adapt to each change.

1 Eat breakfast with protein. Within 30 minutes of waking, have a meal with at least ten grams of protein to stabilize your blood sugar. Scrambled eggs or tofu, nut butters, and veggie sausage patties are all good options.
2 Keep a journal. Note everything you eat to help you become aware of how much sugar you’re eating and when cravings occur. You’ll be less likely to slip into unconscious sugar consumption.
3 Stop snacking. Eat three meals a day, on schedule and with protein. You can still have small amounts of sugar of all types (even desserts), but only with your meals. Eating a full meal helps slow sugar delivery.
4 Take these supplements. To optimize your body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates, take vitamin B complex (50 mg), vitamin C (500 mg), and zinc (15 mg).
5 Eat a potato every night. Although fairly high on the glycemic index, potatoes can combat mood swings and sugar cravings, says DesMaisons. Eating a whole one at night creates an insulin response that delivers the amino acid tryptophan (a precursor to serotonin) to the brain.
6 Switch to brown foods. Sneak high-fiber whole grains into your diet—eat whole wheat instead of white bread, brown rice not white—to help stabilize blood sugar.
7 Cut down on sugar. Avoid all refined and sweetened foods such as cereals, candy, packaged cookies, and presweetened beverages. Cut out sweet fruits (bananas, kiwi, apples) and eat less-sweet fruits like berries, instead.

Is sugar . . . MAKING YOU MOODY?
Look for these signs to see if you’re “sugar sensitive,” says Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D.
►Low-level anxiety or depression
►Frequent sugar-craving binges
►Withdrawal symptoms and irritability

GLUCOSE is the body’s main source of energy, mostly derived from starchy foods like vegetables and grains.
FRUCTOSE helps the body store calories, found in fruits and honey and other natural sweeteners like molasses, maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, jaggery (unrefined palm sugar), and unrefined cane sugar. These sources also contain trace amounts of minerals and other nutrients. Too much fructose or refined sugar can lead to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or even cancer.
GALACTOSE occurs in dairy and breast milk.

If you walk around feeling foggy headed and dog-tired, you may be suffering from a sugar side effect: yeast overgrowth.
A natural part of our body’s intrinsic flora, yeast coexists with friendly bacteria in the intestines and the vaginal canal to help break down undigested foods and eliminate debris. But if the delicate balance between the two organisms is upset by something like illness, the birth control pill, or a broadspectrum antibiotic, yeast can take over. Since yeast feasts on sugar, a diet that’s heavy on either fructose or glucose will only contribute to yeast overgrowth.
“As yeast grows, it can migrate into the small intestine where it latches onto the lining, creating micro-punctures in the intestinal wall—leading to what naturopaths call leaky gut syndrome,” says Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D., Natural Health advisor and coauthor of The Yeast Connection and Women’s Health(Future Health, 2005). Yeast’s waste products then get into the bloodstream and cause you to feel “toxic” and fatigued. To banish yeast overgrowth, follow this plan from Dean:

WEEK 1: Evaluate your pantry. Go through your pantry and look at labels to get a feel for how many of the foods you eat actually contain sugar. (For a list of the many names used to stand in for sugar, go to
WEEK 2: Cut out dairy. Eliminate all dairy (which contains galactose sugar), except unsweetened yogurt—the probiotic content may be beneficial. Use unsweetened almond, rice, or oat milk instead of animal milk.
WEEK 3: Toss out refined wheat. Replace refined wheat, which is immediately turned into glucose in the body, with wheat-free pastas, breads, and crackers, and alternative whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, and amaranth. Eliminate all sources of white flour.
WEEK 4: Stop eating sugar, including fruit. In the last week of your cleanse, remove all remaining sugars, including fruit, starchy vegetables (like sweet potatoes, carrots), commercially produced foods, and sweetened beverages (even the ones with more natural sugars).
WEEKS 5–6: Remain sugar free for two weeks. Help your body flush out the toxins by drinking several cups daily of the classic Chinese cleanse: one cup of water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, .25 teaspoon of ginger, and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper, sweetened with stevia, if needed.

An overgrowth of sugar-fed yeast can cause:
►Bloating, poor concentration, low energy, diffuse pain (these symptoms might feel worse on humid days or in moldy places)
►Intense sugar cravings
►Vaginal burning, itching, or discharge
►Burning, itching, or tearing of eyes

Carolyn Dean recommends this anti-yeast colon-cleansing formula:
MIX TOGETHER one tablespoon each of psyllium husk powder, bentonite clay, and liquid caprylic acid, such as Caproyl. (Order all at
SWALLOW the mixture quickly, and chase with eight ounces of water.
DO THIS during the last phase of your detox for best effect. “The mix creates a gel-like broom that pulls the yeast in, kills them, and absorbs the toxins when they die,” says Dean.

By Hillari Dowdle


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