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From Detox To Elimination Diets, Skipping Sugar May Be The Best Bet

From Detox To Elimination Diets, Skipping Sugar May Be The Best Bet

January 19, 2015 2:06 PM ET – Allison Aubrey –All Things Considered– npr.org

Oh, sugar! If this time of year has you rethinking your diet, there is one surefire change you can make to improve health: Cut back on sugar.

When it comes to detox diets, we totally get the appeal.

Who’s not drawn to the idea of flushing all the toxins out of our bodies — a sort of spring cleaning of our insides?

And yes, several years back, I even remember trying — if only for a day — the trendy cayenne-pepper liquid cleanse (as seen in this Mindy Kaling clip from The Office) as part of a cleansing/detox diet.

But it turns out, as we’ve reported, the whole idea that you need to go on a special, draconian diet to detox your body really has no scientific backing.

We spoke to Dr. Ranit Mishori, a faculty member in family medicine at Georgetown University Medical School who has reviewed the literature on colon cleanses. She told us that lots of her patients are asking about detox and cleansing diets, especially at this time of year. Her advice: Steer clear.

The way she explains it, our bodies have an excellent built-in system for getting rid of toxins. Our kidneys and livers, for instance, both play an important role in helping to filter out potentially harmful compounds.

“The liver has all kinds of different enzymes that break down the chemicals considered to be harmful, potentially, and then it excretes [them]. It does it very, very efficiently,” she says. “It does it 24 hours a day. And there are no supplements or super foods that can boost the liver and kidneys to do it better than they already do.”

Of course, this doesn’t mean that healthful eating isn’t important. But the point is, you don’t need to live on liquids and cayenne — or any other crazy fad diets out there. Most of us would be better off making more straightforward changes to our diets that are known to be beneficial.

So what kind of simple, good-for-you changes should you consider? Mishori offered her top three tips: “Cutting on sugar is always a good idea. Cutting on processed foods is always a good idea. Being better hydrated is always a good idea,” she told us.

Diets don’t need to be all-or-nothing. When it comes to sugar, the idea is to reduce consumption and be more mindful.

Currently, as we’ve reported, the typical American consumes about 22 teaspoons a day of sugar, which is about three times more than what’s recommended. And the evidence is piling up that this is doing all kinds of damage to our bodies.

For instance, a recent paper in BMJ Open Heart described how consuming too much sugar can raise the risk of high blood pressure.

And, as we’ve reported, a study in JAMA Internal Medicine concluded that Americans who consumed the most sugar — about a quarter of their daily calories — were twice as likely to die from heart disease as those who limited their sugar intake to 7 percent of their total calories. Or, as I previously broke it down:

“To translate that into a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, the big sugar eaters were consuming 500 calories a day from sugar — that’s 31 teaspoons. Those who tamed their sweet tooth the most, by contrast, were taking in about 160 calories a day from sugar — or about 10 teaspoons per day.

“The American Heart Association advises that women consume no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar daily. This is about 100 calories. And men, no more than 9 teaspoons, or about 150 calories from sugar. (This does not include foods such as fruits and vegetables that naturally contain sugar.)”

So the bottom line is, if you want to make one change this year, cutting back on added sugar is probably a good choice.

Sweet Tooth Gone Bad: Why 22 Teaspoons Of Sugar Per Day Is Risky

From NPR-by ALLISON AUBREY -February 04, 2014

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/03/271130613/sweet-tooth-gone-bad-why-22-teaspoons-of-sugar-per-day-is-deadly

We’ve written lots lately about the potentially addictive qualities of sugar and the public policy efforts to limit consumption.

Now comes a new study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, which finds that Americans who consumed the most sugar — about a quarter of their daily calories — were twice as likely to die from heart disease as those who limited their sugar intake to 7 percent of their total calories.

To translate that into a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, the big sugar eaters were consuming 500 calories a day from sugar — that’s 31 teaspoons. Those who tamed their sweet tooth the most, by contrast, were taking in about 160 calories a day from sugar — or about 10 teaspoons per day.

Unfortunately, most Americans have a sugar habit that is pushing toward the danger zone.

“The average American is consuming 22 teaspoons a day. That’s about three times what’s recommended,” says Laura Schmidt of the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine.

Now, we should point out, we’re not talking fruit here. Researchers did not include the sugar naturally occurring in fruit or milk. Instead, the study focused specifically on the risks of addedsugar — the refined sugars and corn syrups added to foods such as baked goods and sugary sodas.

So, how much added sugar is OK?

Well, the American Heart Association advises that women consume no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar daily. This is about 100 calories. And men, no more than 9 teaspoons, or about 150 calories from sugar.

The World Health Organization says people should get no more than 10 percent of their daily calories from sugar.

And the last time the federal government weighed in on sugar was in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, which make only a broad recommendation to reduce consumption of added sugar.

So how best to reduce sugar?

Some steps are fairly obvious. For example, eliminating one 12-ounce can of sugar-sweetened soda can cut about 9 teaspoons of sugar.

But other common sources of added sugar can take you by surprise. For example, this morning I ate a small, 4-ounce cup of low-fat organic peach yogurt. I chalked it up as a very healthful breakfast, but when I looked at the nutrition label, it had 17 grams of sugar.

“You just shot most of your wad” for the day, Schmidt points out.

So, yeah, swap those sweetened yogurts for plain yogurt. A typical 6-ounce serving of vanilla yogurt has about 6 teaspoons of sugar — which is about as much as a regular size Snickersbar.

Bottom line: Read the labels. Most nutrition labels list sugar in grams. Four grams of sugar is equivalent to about one teaspoon.

And, don’t get forgot to count sugar if you’re eating out. There can be lots of sugar added to breakfast foods.

For instance, stopping at Starbucks to pick up a blueberry muffin with your latte? That muffin, according to the Starbucks website, contains 29 grams of sugar, or roughly 7 teaspoons.

And an Apple Crumb doughnut at Dunkin Donuts will set you back 49 grams of sugar — that’s more than a day’s worth of added sugar.

There’s a lot of variability in baked goods. For instance, another option at Dunkin Donuts, theCocoa Glazed doughnut, has much less sugar, 13 grams.

http://www.npr.org/emailafriend?storyId=271130613

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Sweet thing….? or Toxic?

Not long ago I came across a book (The Belly Fat Cure, by Jorge Cruise) about cutting down my sugar intake and how it affects our energy and health – not just our weight. I’m not talking just cutting back on carbs or loading up on protein and it isn’t just about going on a diet or losing a few pounds. …..

I followed the suggestions in that book and found my energy and health improved greatly. I felt much better. The more I read in other journals the more I learned that sugar may not only be just an obesity / weight issue for all of us but it may really negatively have an impact on heart health and cancer.

There was a recent re-run on 60 Minutes Aug 5th, 2012 of how sugar may be toxic. I recommend that you watch that when you have the time.

Please, for your own health and those around you, watch these clips!

Here are a few short video summaries

Is sugar toxic?

http://www.cbs.com/shows/60_minutes/video/2217403027/preview-is-sugar-toxic-

http://www.cbs.com/shows/cbs_this_morning/video/2218288670/war-on-sugar-is-it-toxic-

Can Sugar affect the heart?

http://www.cbs.com/shows/cbs_evening_news/video/2209309502/can-sugar-affect-the-heart-

Addicted to sugar

http://www.cbs.com/shows/cbs_this_morning/video/1056784979/addicted-to-sugar

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