Mary Poppins says a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, but you’re likely consuming too much sugar every day. The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar each day, which can lead to a host of health problems, including heart disease and diabetes. The average American adult should have no more than six teaspoons of sugar per day, according to the American Heart Association.
A sugar detox may help you break the sweet addiction.
Research shows sugar is addictive, inducing chemical reactions in the brain that are similar to those created by addictive drugs. Reducing sugar in your diet can help you lose weight, balance your mood and improve your skin.
How do you undergo a sugar detox? First, begin by going cold turkey for one week. Do not consume any foods with added or naturally occurring sugars at this time, including fruits, dairy, grains, and alcohol. Focus your diet on protein, vegetables and healthy fats. During this detox period, you may feel hungrier, crabbier and experience headaches. However, these feelings are temporary.
After one week, your palate resets and sugar will taste sweeter than before. Take it slow with your newly calibrated taste buds and begin to add foods with naturally occurring sugars, like fresh fruit, to your diet. Don’t consume any added sugars for at least one additional week. Many packaged foods have added sugars, including tomato sauce, so pay attention to ingredient labels during this time. By the end of the detox period, you likely won’t have a strong craving for sugary foods.
Going forward, treat sugar as an occasional gift, like a slice of cake at a birthday party, rather than an everyday necessity.