Sugar Cleanse: Should You Do It?
We live in a day and age where sugar is added to just about everything. From granola bars to salad dressing and everything in between — seeing as the average American consumes around 20 teaspoons of sugar per day, it’s pretty clear that most of us are addicted to the sweet stuff.
Sugar is addicting, and while many people may think adding a little here and there is no big deal, news flash — it is. Now to be clear, not all sugar is bad. It occurs naturally in many types of fruits, veggies, grains, and dairy. But, health issues arise when most of our sugar intake comes from icky added sugars — like those commonly found in baked goods, candy, and soda pop.
So from that perspective, a sugar cleanse could help you reduce your added sugar intake and, in turn, embrace a much more nutrient-dense diet.
Never heard of a sugar cleanse? Don’t worry — we’ll tell you everything you need to know. Read on as we explore this popular wellness trend and uncover all the benefits to help you decide if it’s right for you!
What Exactly Is Sugar And Why Is It So Bad?
In a nutshell, sugar is the umbrella term for sweet-tasting, soluble carbs — many of which are used in food. While there are many different types, the most common are:
Glucose: A simple sugar your body creates naturally with the food you consume, glucose is your body’s preferred carb-based energy source.
Regardless of what form of sugar we eat, our bodies break most of them down into glucose. However, too much glucose accumulated in your system can cause your blood sugar (otherwise known as blood glucose) to rise, possibly to unhealthy levels, which can put you at risk for many serious health problems.
- Fructose: A natural sugar found in fruit, honey, and most root veggies. Though it’s a natural form of sugar, consuming too much can be bad for health— especially when it’s added to processed foods in high-fructose corn syrup, which is not good for you by any means. Of all the naturally occurring sugars, fructose is the sweetest and is metabolized in your liver.
Sucrose: The scientific name for white table sugar; this is the stuff that many Americans sprinkle on cereal and add to ice cream, baked goods, and most processed foods. Sucrose is made up of a mixture of fructose and glucose.
The glucose gets sent to your bloodstream, causing an unhealthy spike in blood sugar, while the fructose is sent directly to your liver to be metabolized.
- Lactose: the sugar naturally found in milk and dairy products; lactose is made up of glucose and galactose (another type of sugar). You need a specific enzyme called lactase to break down lactose into glucose and galactose so that your body can absorb it. If you don’t have that special enzyme, you may be lactose-intolerant.
Why Do We Care About Detoxing From The Sweets?
Believe it or not, research shows that your not-so-innocent sweet tooth could be doing quite a bit of damage to your health, leading to things like weight gain, high blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, as well as an increased risk for declining metabolic health.
Many experts say consuming too much should be considered just as dangerous as smoking cigarettes as a diet rich in sugar promotes all the leading causes of death in America.
What Are The Effects Of Sugar On The Body?
The most immediate effect sugar has on the body is through your blood sugar. When you have a snack that includes simple carbs in the form of cookies, soda pop, bread, or anything containing table sugar (sucrose), it enters your bloodstream almost immediately, causing a rapid spike in the sugar content in your blood.
When this happens, your body experiences a quick energy high (aka sugar rush), and your pancreas kicks into gear, releasing insulin to balance out the blood sugar. As your body kicks the sugar in your blood, this leads to the infamous sugar crash when your energy dips.
Constantly putting your body through this cycle is very dangerous, as it can lead to many diseases that can significantly affect your quality of life.
What’s more, snacking on too much sugar also feeds bacteria in your gut. Your gut is home to trillions of tiny microscopic bacteria (both good and bad), and what you consume immensely influences which bugs are in control. Bad bugs thrive on simple carbs — especially sugar. When you overeat, you promote the growth of yeast and candida, both of which can cause digestive issues, brain fog, and more.
To keep the discomfort in your body down to a minimum, the World Health Organization (WHO) strongly recommends a maximum sugar intake of less than 10 percent of daily energy intake. However, health experts also say there’s no nutritional reason to include added sugar into your diet. If you’re craving something sweet, it’s best to get your fix from healthy fruits and veggies that are naturally sweet.
Bottom line: added sugars are the enemy and best to avoid.
Why Does Giving Up Sugar Feel So Terrible?
Sugar addiction is no joke. Once you are hooked on the sweet stuff, cravings can be extremely challenging to resist, taking you down a slippery slope towards weight gain and many other health complications.
Your efforts to cut back on sugar, however, will pay off immensely, though! In the short term, you might notice that your energy levels improve, and after a little bit of time, those horrible cravings and your fatigue will diminish. Plus, the long-term benefits of cutting back on added sugar are pretty hard to ignore:
- Younger-looking skin
- Healthy body composition/reduced risk of obesity
- Enhanced mood, mental clarity, and focus
- Sustained energy
- Improved oral health by reducing cavities, tooth discoloration, and bad breath
So What Exactly Is A Sugar Cleanse?
A sugar cleanse simply when you abstain from eating sugar — specifically added sugar — for at least a week and up to a month. The idea is that by the end of the cleanse, you’ll reduce your sugar intake, curb sugar cravings, and, more importantly, improve your overall health.
You might think of a sugar cleanse as a short-term mission, but the goal is to help you reassess your relationship to the sweet stuff in the long term. For some, that means cutting out added sugar from their diets indefinitely, and for others, it may mean re-introducing it in small healthy amounts post-detox.
Should You Do A Sugar Cleanse?
Reducing your sugar intake will help you in more ways than one. From keeping body-damaging While it may be difficult initially, your body will thank you later for the effort you put in throughout your sugar cleanse. Without a healthy balance of sugar in your blood, it’s easy to fall victim to mood swings, sleep troubles, weight gain, and a whole host of other icky problems.
Here at BioHealth, we understand how dangerous added sugar can be — which is exactly why you’ll never find it in any of our products.
Whether your goal is to boost performance or immunity, our Phyto-perfect products can get you there. Exceptional flavors, clean ingredients, and remarkable results — what’s not to love?
DIETARY MANAGEMENT OF OBESITY: CORNERSTONES OF HEALTHY EATING PATTERNS | NCBI
Sugar intake from sweet food and beverages, common mental disorder and depression: prospective findings from the Whitehall II study | NCBI
Sugars intake for adults and children | WHO
What is Sucrose? – Food Insight | Foodinsight.org
The sweet danger of sugar | Harvard Health