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?"
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As with most detoxes, it gets worse before it gets better. I had intense gluten withdrawal, which caused headaches, irritability, and the craziest cravings I had ever experienced. I felt like I would die (or someone in my immediate vicinity might) if I didn’t immediately eat a pizza-pasta-bread sandwich. Thankfully, it passed in a couple of days, and the other side saw a lifting of “brain fog” that I didn’t even know I had. So much energy! Such clarity! It felt pretty great.
It’s not a surprise that New Year’s resolutions tend to focus on losing weight, getting healthier, and feeling better. And like most people, you want the weight off yesterday and you want to feel better now! So, even though, deep inside, you know that the smart, sensible way to lose weight and gain more energy is by taking it slow and steady, some of those quick weight-loss plans seem pretty tempting. Maybe what’s caught your attention is a “detox” diet. What can it hurt, you ask?
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According to information from the Mayo Clinic, diabetes is a disease which occurs when the body is no longer able to properly regulate its blood glucose (sugar) levels. Treatment for diabetes involves both prescription medication and regulation of dietary intake to keep blood sugar levels naturally low. While it can be difficult to reconcile the recommendations of diabetic dieting with those of many detox plans, there are nevertheless some plans which purport to achieve detoxification effects without compromising the principles of a diabetic diet.
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.
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.