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Chronic Disease and a High Sugar Diet

Tuesday, August 15, 2023 10:01 AM

In addition to promoting systemic inflammation and speeding up the aging process, a high sugar diet is associated with heart disease, declining brain health, cancer and more.

And while I could fill a book with the studies that establish this correlation, I’d like to share two recent ones that I think are particularly meaningful:
Sugar and Declining Brain Health: In a recent study published in the journal Neurology, researchers found a direct relationship between brain shrinkage and blood sugar. They also found a direct relationship between memory loss and elevated blood sugar. What’s more, it wasn’t just “diabetic” levels of blood sugar that caused these effects – even relatively moderate elevations caused harm to the brain and memory.
• Sugar and Heart Disease: The Journal of the American Medical Association published a report this month entitled Added Sugar Intake and Cardiovascular Diseases Mortality among US Adults. Researchers evaluated how added sugars in the diet related to the risk of death from a cardiovascular event. The study showed a direct correlation between the amount of added sugar in the diet and the risk for death from a cardiovascular event. What’s more, when the researchers compared people whose added dietary sugars accounted for less than 10% of their total calories to those whose added sugar exceeded 25% of daily calories, those consuming the most added sugar had a 300% higher risk of death from a cardiovascular event!
How to Do a Sugar Detox
Detoxing from sugar and adopting a long-term, low-sugar lifestyle isn’t just important to improve your body composition: it’s absolutely essential to prevent chronic disease.
Doing a sugar detox is especially important:
• If you ever feel controlled by cravings for sweets and carbs – or you just can’t say no
• If you become irritable or have mood swings based on blood sugar
• If you feel you need sweets or carbs for a boost of energy during the day
• If you just can’t stop once, you start eating sweets
Did you answer “yes” to any of these questions? If so, your health would greatly benefit from a firm commitment to completely QUIT sugar for at least three to four weeks.
When I say sugar, of course I mean processed foods containing sugar like candy and soda. But I’m also talking about natural forms of sugar – honey and maple syrup – as well as starches that are rapidly converted into sugar.
And while many “sugar detox” programs still allow some level of carbohydrate and even fruit as part of their detox program, this strategy typically isn’t sufficient to fully elicit the important metabolic and hormonal changes that can help you break your sugar addiction including:
• Resetting your metabolism from a “sugar burner” to a “fat burner”
• Eliminating wild fluctuations in mood and energy levels
• Resetting appetite and reducing leptin resistance
• Resetting your taste buds so you no longer require sweet foods to feel satisfied.
In fact, most people find they achieve the biggest benefit and quickest results by focusing their consumption solely on grass-fed meats, pastured poultry and eggs, wild fish, bone broth and stock, healthy fats (lard, tallow, grass-fed butter, duck fat, coconut oil) and non-starchy vegetables.
Here’s what your sample sugar detox daily menu might look like:
Breakfast: Pastured eggs with grass-fed butter or coconut oil, pastured pork sausage and avocado
Lunch: Atlantic mackerel or wild salmon burger or grass-fed beef burger, mixed green salad with olive oil and vinegar
Dinner: Duck breasts, leafy greens and bell peppers sautéed in duck fat with garlic
Snacks: Bone marrow, bone broth, olives, Brazil nuts
(Please Note:  My sample menu is a very low carb/potentially ketogenic menu that may not be appropriate for everyone.)