The Sugar Detox: How Cutting Out Sweeteners Transforms Your Health

December 22, 2023 7 mins to read
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Sugar sugar and more sugar…we have a complicated relationship with sugar to say the least. For the longest time we thought fat was the main issue, but it turns out it was sugar all along, in all it’s glorious forms! And to wage war against sugar, we have our sugar experts, Dr. Jason Fung who specializes in Diabetes – specifically reversing type 2 diabetes along with Dr. Becky Gillaspy, a chiropractor with a passion for nutrition. In this article we use their insights to dive into the surprising benefits of eliminating added sugar from our diets, it’s about so much more than just calories!

1. Elevated, Steady Energy Levels

Cutting out added sugar leads to an incredible shift in your body’s energy management. Initially, you might crave that sugar rush, but soon your body adapts, transitioning from a quick sugar-burner to a more efficient fat-burner. This process we call becoming ‘fat adapted’. This switch enhances your metabolic flexibility, reducing craving over-all and providing you with a more consistent energy supply. No more energy spikes followed by crashes.

2. Enhanced Insulin Sensitivity

It’s a given that sugar excess worsens diabetes, because if there is too much sugar eventually the receptors on the cell get tired of sugar knocking on their door, they become resistant to insulin and wont open up the cell to usher that glucose into cells to burn that leads to a build-up of sugar in the blood. Fasting is incredible for reversing insulin resistance but another part of that is removing sugar and simple carbs – which easily break down into glucose (sugar). Studies have shown that even modest reductions in sugar intake can have a marked impact on your body’s insulin response.

3. Decreased Inflammation and Pain

Here’s a game-changer: quitting sugar can dramatically reduce inflammation and associated pain. Inflammation is a primary driving force behind disease and allot of symptoms associated with it. Excess sugar triggers and inflammatory responses e.g. arthritis or psoriasis. Another great example if you have chronic pain, sugar could make it allot worse, and inversely removing sugar can reduce pain significantly – another reason why a keto or carnivore diet can be so beneficial. By reducing sugar intake, you may be able to alleviate allot of your symptoms or severity of them and enjoy a more active, pain-free lifestyle.

4. Simplified Weight Management

Sugar plays a sneaky role in weight gain by stimulating insulin, which promotes storage of that sugar (glucose) into glucagon (in fat). Lowering your sugar intake naturally leads to lower insulin levels, making it easier for your body to shed excess weight. Research supports this, with studies linking reduced sugar consumption to significant weight loss. Again if you are struggling a keto or carnivore diet takes things a step further and can be very effective for weight-loss.

5. Boosted Mental Health

The brain is very sensitive and sugar is probably one of the worst things for brain health! Excess sugar and insulin resistance can lead to brain cell death and even deplete essential vitamins like B, crucial for brain health, and increase inflammation, linked to depression and anxiety. Reducing sugar can lead to enhanced cognitive clarity and an overall sense of well-being.

6. Refined Taste Sensitivity

Sugar is a drug…literally! Sugar to your tongue sort of desensitizes it to other more subtle flavors as it seeks that excitatory sugar. Many people find that after cutting back on sugar, their preference for sweetness decreases, and they start appreciating the natural flavors of foods more profoundly. There are allot of flavors out there, so give sugar a break!

7. Reversal of Fatty Liver

Excessive sugar, particularly fructose, contributes significantly to fatty liver disease – a growing concern. However the liver is incredible at healing, and by cutting out sugar, you can reverse this effect – studies have shown a reduction in liver fat when sugar intake is decreased.

8. Improved Gut Health and Immunity

Did you know 70-80% of your immune system is in your gut! and you produce roughly the same amount of neurotransmitters in your gut as you do in your brain!? It’s no wonder sugar which can cause inflammation and oxidative stress, wreaking havoc on your gut microbiome can weaken your immune function and contribute to a range of mental health issues including anxiety and depression. Eliminate sugar from the diet benefits so many areas of your health it’s incredible. I know I know…this isn’t what you wanted to here.

9. Youthful Skin and Reduced Toxins

Sugar’s effect on the skin is profound. It can lead to glycation, where sugar molecules damage collagen and elastin, leading to aging signs like wrinkles and loss of elasticity. Many women buy all these fancy anti-aging creams, lotions, and expensive spa treatments…but tit turns out cutting sugar out of your diet is one of the most effective ways to maintain youthful, healthy skin and reduce overall toxin levels in your body.

10. Lowered Risk of Chronic Metabolic Diseases

Lastly, a reduced sugar diet can significantly lower your risk of developing chronic metabolic diseases. Sugar can slow metabolism and excessive fructose intake, in particular, is linked to conditions like gout, which makes sense because sugar feeds fungus like candida… excess sugar intake can also lead to metabolic syndrome.

Next Steps: Embracing a Sugar-Free Life

Life is short and we all like to enjoy sugar every now and again. I’m not saying you can’t go to the cafe and enjoy a donut once and a while. It’s more about choosing a lifestyle long-term that reduces sugar and simple carbs, opting instead for healthy fats, protein, whole foods and complex carbs. Fasting either the OMAD (one meal a day diet) or 16-8 (16hrs of fasting followed by 8 hr eating window) are extremely effective tools to add to your routine – 2 meals a day can become your normal meal plan for a healthier, smarter and happier you!

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