At Turnpaugh Health and Wellness Center, we understand the importance of taking care of our bodies and minimizing our sugar intake. That’s why we recently hosted a sugar detox month to educate our clients on the negative impacts of sugar and how to reduce sugar consumption.
Sugar is one of the most widely-consumed and addictive substances in the world, and it can have serious health consequences if not managed properly. Consuming too much sugar can lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses. It can also cause inflammation in the body, leading to joint pain, skin issues, and fatigue.
In today’s society, sugar is ubiquitous. It’s in our food, drinks and even our personal care products. The average American consumes about 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day. That’s about 300 calories! And while it may sound like a lot, it can be difficult to spot all of these hidden sugars in our diet because they’re often called by different names on food labels, such as “high fructose corn syrup”, or they can be listed under ingredients that don’t seem as sweet, like molasses.
By cutting out sugar for a period of time, you can help your body reset, as well as reduce your cravings for sweets. You’ll likely experience increased energy levels, improved mental clarity, and better digestion. Additionally, the long term benefits of reducing your risk for chronic disease are incredible!
Improved energy levels
When you’re eating a lot of sugar, your body has to work extra hard to process it all. This can leave you feeling tired and sluggish throughout the day. But when you cut out excess refined carbohydrates from your diet, it’s easier for your body to get its energy from fat stores instead of constantly breaking down glucose into usable fuel–which means more consistent energy levels throughout the day!
Sugar is an addictive substance that hijacks our brain’s reward centers by releasing dopamine into our bloodstreams every time we eat something sweet (or drink soda.) Over time, this causes us to crave more sweets as our brains become accustomed to getting their fix through food rather than other sources like social interactions or exercise–and eventually leads many people down an unhealthy path toward obesity and depression due to their inability to control their cravings for sugary treats.
Eating too much sugar can cause bloating because it feeds bad bacteria in our gut while starving the good bacteria. This imbalance can affect our entire digestive tract, and symptoms like gas pains may occur.
There are two main types of sugar: natural sugars, which occur naturally in foods like fruit and dairy, and added sugars, which are added to foods during processing. While natural sugars can be part of a healthy diet, added sugars are the ones that can be dangerous for your health.
Added sugar is a common ingredient in many foods and beverages. It’s often added to foods to make them taste sweeter, or it can be naturally present in fruit juices and milk.
Added sugars are any type of sugar that has been added to food during production or preparation–it doesn’t include naturally-occurring sugars like those found in fruit juices or milk products (though some people may still consider these “added.”) The most common types of added sugar include white sugar (also known as table sugar), brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), molasses and honey.
Natural sugars come from fruits and vegetables but also have other nutrients such as fiber that help slow down their absorption into your bloodstream so they don’t cause spikes in blood glucose levels like processed sweeteners do.
As mentioned earlier, there are many sneaky sources of added sugar that you may not be aware of. Some common culprits include:
Be sure to read labels carefully and choose low-sugar alternatives whenever possible.
If you’re interested in doing a sugar “detox” or just removing added sugars once and for all for amazing health benefits, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to eliminate all sources of added sugars from your diet. This includes obvious sources like candy and soda, but also less obvious sources like bread, pasta sauce, and even some types of yogurt.
Instead, focus on eating whole, nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats. You can also incorporate low-sugar alternatives like stevia and monk fruit sweeteners.
While cutting out sugar can be incredibly beneficial for your health, it’s important to be aware of some potential pitfalls. Some people may experience sugar withdrawal symptoms like headaches, mood swings, and fatigue during a sugar detox. These symptoms typically only last a few days, but it’s important to listen to your body and take care of yourself during this time. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Ease into cutting sugar by eliminating something new every few days, instead of changing everything at once
So when you are ready, this is the plan that we typically recommend to patients
To get started, try our recipe for a delicious and healthy green smoothie:
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup baby spinach
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)
Blend all ingredients together until smooth and enjoy!
Enjoy! And remember, we have a whole team here ready to support you when you need it!
Follow us along on Instagram (@Turnpaugh_health) as we dive into the topic of healthy aging for the month of April!