A 7-day plan can help you optimize your diet to be closer to the ADA's recommended daily sugar intake, and also to make better choices after you've eaten too much sugar (it happens!). If you find yourself feeling more energized and better, you may think about a longer diet change in the future — Sugar Shock also provides a 21-day meal plan and shopping list. That plan could help you grow into good lifelong diet habits with targeted recipes, meal plans, and shopping lists.
While it felt like an undertaking to commit to such a change, I figured that I could do practically anything for 10 days, so why not give it a shot? As I prepared to make everything that passed my lips for the next week and a half, I filled my shopping cart with raw nuts and coconut oil, hemp and flax and chia seeds, a lot of avocados, and a farmers market’s worth of leafy greens and cruciferous veggies. I was ready to detox.
Detoxing for a day or even a few days is probably not too harmful…if you’re in good health. However, detox diets aren’t recommended for anyone with chronic conditions, like diabetes, or heart, liver, or kidney disease, or for certain populations, like pregnant women, children or teenagers, and older adults. Short-term side effects of detox diets include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lightheadedness, and swings in blood glucose levels. Longer-term, and more serious, effects include loss of lean muscle mass, irregular heartbeat, heart or kidney damage, bowel perforation (if enemas are involved), infections, and severe dehydration. So, resist the temptation to detox and remember that any benefits you might derive from it will be very short lived. As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race!
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Tara Bellucci is a lifestyle writer and marketing consultant focused on helping entrepreneurs boost their small businesses. Her work has appeared on Apartment Therapy, The Kitchn, and Boston.com. A co-founder of the Boston Food Swap, she hosts monthly events where people swap homemade and homegrown food. She writes openly about her health journey at MindMouthMantra.com.
Restructuring your daily meals for longer than a week can help you realize that sugar might not be totally to blame for all of your sluggish behavior. Sassos says making a longer diet change can push you to also prioritize getting enough sleep each night, and also work on ensuring you're properly hydrated each and every day. "Getting enough sleep and drinking enough water are often neglected," Sassos says. "No one prioritizes this in their routine, and yet they're the simplest things that you can do for your body for overall health and to wardoff sugar cravings."
Understand the general principles of diabetic dieting to better determine what requirements a detox plan must satisfy before being sound for diabetics. According to the Mayo Clinic, diabetics regulate their blood sugar levels through diet by controlling both the quantity and type of carbohydrate consumed, with slower digesting carbohydrates being preferable as they impact blood sugar levels less significantly. These slow-digesting carbs consist mainly of fruits and vegetables, making these staple items in any diabetic diet.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the importance of the emotional support that I received from my mother and daughter. After I recovered from the diabetic coma, they took care of me when I was released from the hospital. Their support allowed me to “detox” my mind and remove all of the negative thoughts that I was getting from my endocrinologist.