In this case, “detox” doesn’t mean checking into a rehab facility to wean yourself off alcohol. What “detox” refers to, in the dieting world at least, is a dietary detoxification plan. This is a temporary dieting plan (as are most diets) that involves following a regimen (usually pretty extreme) in order to cleanse your body of “toxic” substances such as pesticides, chemicals, additives, pollutants…or food that just isn’t very good for you. Sometimes people “detox” in order to clear their minds, sharpen their focus, or lose weight quickly.
Then, I picked up Dr. Mark Hyman’s book Blood Sugar Solution. In it, he explains how common allergens like gluten, dairy, alcohol, and caffeine affect our bodies, even if we’re not technically allergic. Certain foods are more likely to cause inflammation, which is a stress response that the body produces when we are fighting off something. A little inflammation helps you heal and then goes away, a ton of it hurts you and becomes constant. Inflammation and insulin resistance go hand in hand, and one of the ways to combat diabetes is to remove the triggering foods.
“Early on in my practice, when I would notice that people had real addiction to sugar, we’d start trying to wean them of sugar or limit their intake or eat in moderation … but the word ‘moderation’ is so clichéd and not effective,” Alpert said. “It was just ineffective to ask people to eat less of something when they’re struggling with this bad habit. You wouldn’t ask an alcoholic to just drink two beers.
There is no obvious but an indirect link between type-2 diabetes and obesity as obese people are particularly vulnerable to developing Diabetes Mellitus 2 and obesity is a driving factor because it triggers insulin resistance, a condition in which the body produces insulin that is insufficient. Having insulin resistance, the body tends to build up glucose in the blood instead of being absorbed by the cells, leading to type-2 diabetes.
Stefani Sassos, MS, RD, a registered dietitian within the Good Housekeeping Institute, explains that excessive sugar can spike your blood sugar levels... and then turn into a sudden drop off afterwards. This is why you may feel super fatigued in the moment, or push through a huge mood swing, in any given afternoon. Over the long run, however, eating too much sugar can greatly influence your risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes, chronic dietary inflammation, and severe fatigue, among other physical risks. "There's a ripple effect on your body, as it can get accustomed to lots of sugar," she adds, citing habits like a daily office donut or sugary sweet coffee drink. "Over time, it becomes this difficult thing to decipher: Am I addicted to this, did I train my body to crave this food?"
The content here is for information purposes only. By delivering the information contained herein is does not mean preventing, diagnosing, mitigating, treating or curing any type of medical condition or disease. When beginning any natural supplementation regiment or integrative treatment, the advice of professionally licensed healthcare providers is advisable to seek.
Dr. Hyman’s research made sense to me, so I thought I’d give his diet a try. With little less than a month until my follow-up doctor’s appointment, I wanted to jumpstart my progress. I read his 10-Day Detox Diet, which cuts out not only the inflammation triggers of gluten, dairy, caffeine, and alcohol, but also all grains, most fruit, legumes, and starchy vegetables, to help maintain balanced blood sugar levels. I welcomed the return of humanely-produced lean protein and an almost laughable amount of healthy fats — nearly 20 g per meal — which was absolutely shocking to someone who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, when fat was the enemy. Could this really produce results? I was about to find out.
Frontload your meals with protein and fiber: This is crucial if you've managed to eat or drink too much sugar early in the day. Protein and fiber, when paired with a carbohydrate of choice, can stabilize your blood sugar and help you avoid that dreaded crash. Be sure to choose snacks and meals that are high in fiber and protein naturally: hard-boiled eggs, for one, or even a small omelette; a handful of nuts at your desk; an apple with peanut butter, or even some crudité and hummus.
In type 2 diabetic patient, his pancreas doesn’t produce or use enough insulin, required for a body. This condition is called insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone, which regulates the movement of glucose in blood and cells, needs to make energy. For some people, type 2 diabetes may be managed through diet and exercise. Others may also need medication, and sometimes insulin injections, to manage blood sugar.
Deciding to do a longer detox or adopting a prolonged low-sugar or no-sugar diet (after speaking with your healthcare provider first) could help you improve your health beyond simply targeting sugar. You may realize that you finally need to correct other lifestyle choices that cause fatigue, like poor sleep hygiene, or even take a look at your hormone levels in a screening with your doctor.
There are different detox regimens, some harsher than others. Most of them are very-low-calorie liquid diets. Some detox plans aim to clean you out with the use of fiber supplements, enemas, or herbal teas that act as laxatives. And some plans have you fast for a few days, after which you gradually add back food. There’s no shortage of detox plans, either, so you can take your pick. Just Google “detox diet.” Or, check yourself into a spa and get pampered while you purge your system of bad things (of course, be prepared to pay a hefty sum, too.).
You may believe that cutting out all sugar entirely from your diet is the best solution. Sassos, however, says this isn't the case for those with years of unhealthy sugar habits under their belt: Simply cutting out sugar or cycling through compensatory behaviors (like "running it off" after eating third helpings of dessert) can lead to even more unhealthy eating patterns down the line. Whether you like to call it a detox or think of it more like a "reset," she argues a long term lifestyle change is the surest way to kick the bad habit.
Interested in seeing if cutting back on sugar more drastically may improve your day? A good way to get started, especially for those who have never targeted sugar in their diets before, is following a 7-day program. The experts behind Sugar Shock: The Hidden Sugar in Your Food and 100+ Smart Swaps to Cut Back have crafted a day-by-day guide that won't deprive you of all sugar at once.