Sugar is everywhere. Its consumption in the world is has grown dramatically over the past fifty years. And it continues to increase: according to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, the average UK citizen (aged 19 to 46) consumes 59g of sugar per day. In some country the daily average is even higher: 15 teaspoons, equal to 75 g. Too many.
A vicious circle
Why is it so difficult to give up sweetness? They explain this in the recent book Sugar Detox four American experts: doctor Kurt Mosetter, biochemist Wolfgang Simon, star chef Thorsten Probost and health journalist Anna Cavelius.
"Sugar is addictive: it makes us feel good, full of energy, happyThey explain. Its effect on the psyche is similar to that of a drug. But as soon as his income decreases we enter a "withdrawal crisis", we feel nervous and tired: symptoms that lead us to search for sweet again in a vicious circle. It's risky...
There is not only the risk of diabetes
«Excessive sugar consumption is mainly associated with type 2 diabetes, a disease that is spreading. When we eat too many, our blood sugar (i.e. their level in the blood) goes up. The the pancreas then releases the insulin, a hormone that causes glucose to enter cells so that it is "burned" to produce energy ", explains the doctor Diana Scatozza, dietician.
«The unused one comes minimally transformed into glycogen (ready-to-use reserve fuel) and for the rest in triglycerides, which end up in the arteries (favoring the appearance of cardiovascular disorders), in adipose tissue (making us gain weight) and in the liver, altering the functioning and paving the way for insulin resistance. The hormone thus makes it increasingly difficult to "remove" the sugars from the blood and diabetes appears ».
Recent studies have also shown that a unbalanced relationship between insulin (which kicks in when the blood sugar goes up too much) and glucagon (which, on the contrary, goes into action when it goes too low) plays an important role in development of many other ailments: osteoporosis, hypertension, fat metabolism disorders, renal insufficiency, muscle aches, fatigue, overweight, polycystic ovary.
Too many sugars can also contribute to the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.
The problem is that our psyche is also affected: according to a recent study by the University College of London, those who overdo sugar are more likely to show states of depression and anxiety and panic disorders.
The benefits of a "sugar-free" diet
Now that you know how badly abusing sugar can do you, it's time to list the benefits you will get (in terms of health) if you can achieve theaim to break the addiction, as proposed by the creators of the “Sugar Detox” program.
“First you will notice one weight loss»Say doctor Kurt Mosetter and biochemist Wolfgang Simon. «If you reduce the intake of this nutrient, the body will be forced to burn ready-to-use energy reserves first accumulated in the liver in the form of glycogen, then the fat deposits, so your body will lean. Not only: your skin will appear radiant and skin spots and dryness could disappear, especially if you increase the consumption of fresh vegetables ».
Ci you will also gain in energy. In fact, while sugars give you a quick lash, followed by a sudden drop, a sugar free diet will make you feel in strength and shines longer.
«It will also improve the quality of sleep. And the intestines will be better, no longer irritated by excessive sweetness. Finally, you will notice one reduction of anxiety, caused by the craving for junk food ».
All you have to do then is try to follow the program developed by the American team: here it is in the gallery below.
Step 1: get ready
The first part of the program includes aaccurate analysis of your diet and your lifestyle.
Try to understand what the foods higher in sugar that you bring to the table. To do it, keep a food diary on which to mark everything you eat every day, possibly at the end of each meal.
A warning: "Be honest with yourself, do not leave out anything (not even drinks) and add considerations about your mood, describe how and how much you rest, when you feel hungry and if this feeling is related to anxiety, nervousness, fatigue»Recommends Dr. Diana Scatozza« Also take note of the moments of the day when you feel physically more active, specifying if you do sports ».
At this point it starts give you some "healthy" goals, putting it in black and white in your diary. For example write: starting from day X, eat meals consisting exclusively of healthy and nutritious foods.
The authors of the "Sugar detox" program suggest that you start the diet on the weekend, to be able to shop, cook and eat in arelaxed, fun and motivated atmosphere, perhaps involving the partner or other family members.
Another tip: «Clean out the refrigerator and pantry», Says Dr. Diana Scatozza« Via sweets and other foods rich in sugars. So if you get hungry, you will not have dangerous temptations on which to throw yourself ».
Step 2: Switch to ok foods
It is not enough to eliminate foods that are high in sugar. “You must also know what is the best way to replace them»Warn Dr. Kurt Mosetter and his colleagues who, in phase 2 of their step by step program, suggest that favor fresh, high quality food, unprocessed, because they taste better and provide valuable nutrients.
And they add: «The the best diet for detoxification is the Mediterranean one. It includes abundant seasonal fruit and vegetables, cereals and derivatives (preferably wholemeal), such as bread, pasta and rice. And then potatoes, legumes, seeds and dried fruit, aromatic herbs and garlic, salt water fish, white meat and extra virgin olive oil».
But how to deal with sugars? Should they be abolished? The answer from the pool of American experts is no, at least not all: «Just learn to recognize the healthy ones and use them in the right way»Say« The stevia, for example, it is ok as a sweetener for hot or cold preparations. The same goes for the D-galactose. THE'isomaltulose is ideal for preparations to be cooked in the oven, the ribosio for drinks and spoon desserts ».
Step 3: Go on a diet
Breakfast for 11 weeks
It is the best time to consume carbohydrates. Here are the ok foods to choose from:
• wholemeal bread or rusks
• fresh fruit (only apples, pears, bananas)
• natural yogurt and ricotta
• chicken or lean cold cuts (such as bresaola).
Lunch for 8 weeks
Until 14 pm it is possible to eat:
• slow release carbohydrates (whole grains, legumes) +
• fish (sea or freshwater)
• soy derivatives
• vegetables in abundance.
Dinner for 8 weeks
No carbohydrates, at least for the first 8 weeks.
Focus on protein. You can bring to the table:
• meat (chicken, turkey, occasionally beef)
• vegetables and salads
Snacks for 11 weeks
In the mid-morning and mid-afternoon, focus on sugar-free snacks by choosing from:
• 1 hard-boiled egg
• 1-2 slices of ham
• cottage cheese
• 1 cup of vegetable broth (see recipe).
From the ninth to the twelfth week
In these last 3 weeks of the detox program, you can consume slow-absorbing carbohydrates until 6 pm.
In the lunch menu (or dinner, if you make it very early) you can include:
• soy derivatives
• amaranth, buckwheat, millet, corn, quinoa, brown rice, basmati rice, red rice or baked potatoes (all as a side dish)
• seasonal vegetables or salads
• whole grain bread
• fresh fruit (grapefruit, strawberries, raspberries).