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30-Day Sugar Detox? Here's How To Do It!

30-Day Sugar Detox? Here's How To Do It!

Experts say there’s no one person on the planet who wouldn’t benefit from cutting back from added sugars – even kids. Added sugars are basically empty calories – you don’t get any nutrition from them. On top of that, they are associated with numerous diseases, including type 2 diabetes and obesity. Hence, it’s not surprising for people to take interest in sugar detox. How can you do it effectively and safely?

What You Need To Do A Sugar Detox

Experts say women should only have about 24 g of sugar per day. That’s equivalent to just 6 teaspoons. Men, on the other hand, could have as much as 36 g or 9 teaspoons.

But reports say many people are going above that limit. And it’s not surprising, considering how most packed foods have added sugars in them – even those that do not taste sweet, like salad dressings, barbecue sauce, and ketchup.

Reports also noted that sugars produce cravings and rewarding feelings similar to what addictive drugs provide.

But, increased sugar intake is associated with serious conditions, like obesity, that make people more vulnerable to other illnesses, such as cardiovascular diseases. Added sugars also increase the risk for acne, cavities, and diabetes.

Hence, it might be a good idea to do a sugar detox.

How To Do Sugar Detox In 30 Days

If you want to do a sugar detox safely, consult your doctor or dietitian. Each person is different, and you might find that one strategy that worked for a friend may not work for you.

For instance, starting the detox by cutting back on sugar to ensure moderate intake may work for some but not for others. Hence, Brooke Alpert, a registered dietitian and author of the book, The Sugar Detox: Lose the Sugar, Lose the Weight — Look and Feel Great, says it may be a good idea to go cold turkey for a few days.

Here’s a summary of her recommendations:

Week 1

  • In the first 3 days, eat no added sugars. Also, avoid fruits, starchy vegetables, grains, dairy, and alcohol. Basically, for three days only consume healthy fats, non-starchy veggies, and protein.
  • Avoid using artificial sweeteners, too.
  • On the fourth day, you can add an apple and a type of dairy that’s unsweetened and full-fat.
  • The rest of the first week, you can have some starchy veggies and high-fiber crackers. You can even have a glass of red wine towards the end of your first week of sugar detox.

Going cold turkey for the first 3 days “re-calibrates” your palate. By the fourth day, the apple would taste like candy because you start tasting the natural sugars in foods.

Week 2

For the 2nd week, you can have an extra serving of dairy, more starchy vegetables, and antioxidant-rich berries.

Week 3

Alpert said the third week of sugar detox is quite livable. You can add healthy grains, like oats and some more sweet fruits, like grapes. For a treat, you can have another glass of red and a serving of dark chocolate daily.

Week 4

Week 4 of sugar detox may feel almost “normal.” You can have two starches daily on top of the high-fiber crackers. A glass of red is allowed daily for 5 days. By the end of the fourth week, you can have a filling sandwich.

Reminders

As mentioned earlier, each one of us is different. Hence, even going cold turkey for 3 days might not work for you. If you want to do a sugar detox, the best course of action is to talk to your doctor. This is particularly important if you have an underlying health condition or are taking maintenance medication.

Learn more about Healthy Eating here.

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Isocaloric fructose restriction and metabolic improvement in children with obesity and metabolic syndrome, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/oby.21371, Accessed March 11, 2022

Sugar addiction: pushing the drug-sugar analogy to the limit, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23719144/, Accessed March 11, 2022

One-month sugar detox: A nutritionist explains how and why, https://edition.cnn.com/2017/06/09/health/sugar-detox-food-drayer/index.html, Accessed March 11, 2022

Sugar Detox – Week 1, https://www.cscc.edu/campus-life/recreation-wellness/pdf/Sugar%20Detox%20-%20Week%201.pdf, Accessed March 11, 2022

Obesity, https://medlineplus.gov/obesity.html#:~:text=Obesity%20means%20having%20too%20much,for%20his%20or%20her%20height., Accessed March 11, 2022

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Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated Apr 07
Fact Checked by Kristel Lagorza