I get asked a lot, “Should I give up sugar?” and my answer is always “Yes, at least for a month.”  Sugar sweetened foods taste great! I love my mom’s cupcakes and my mother’s and mother in law’s pound cakes, but I only eat these items on occasion.  The idea is to eat 80%- 90% “clean” and treat yourself the rest of the time.  However, if your diet primarily consists of ultra processed foods and sugary drinks, I encourage you to change your diet and then once your diet is under control enjoy a sweet treat occasionally. 

   Added sugars are dangerous and worst off they are addicting.  First, what are added sugars?  According to Heather Yoshimura of Rupa Health, “Added sugars are sugars that are not naturally occurring in foods but are added during the processing or preparation of food and beverages.   These sugars come in various forms such as sucrose, dextrose, and table sugar.”  In fact, I believe there are well over 56 (I have even seen this number as high as 75) names for sugar that can be found on food labels.  Added sugars are not only in desserts, cookies, ice cream and pastries but they lurk in sodas, coffees, energy drinks, fruit juices and condiments.  Heather goes on to explain, “During food processing, added sugars are incorporated to enhance flavor, texture and color.”  There are men in lab coats making ultra processed foods hyper palatable just so you will eat more and thus buy more.  There truly is something to the fact you can’t just eat one chip.  It isn’t you.  You are not weak.  It is sugar and sugar’s impact on your brain.  Sugar lights up your brain in the same way cocaine does and decreases dopamine receptors just like drugs leaving you needing more to get the same “high”.  Sugar can leave us sleep deprived, hungry, moody, with intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms.  A diet high in sugar can cause pre-mature aging, inflammation and worse it can lead to insulin resistance and eventually Typ2 Diabetes.  A high sugar diet can also lead to other diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. 

     Added sugars are different from naturally occurring sugars which are the sugars found in fruit.  These sugars come with the benefits of nutrients, antioxidants and fiber found in fruit.  God made fruit and fruit is good.  I do encourage clients to pair fruit with nuts, nut butters, hummus and or cheese as these foods are high in protein and fats which will decrease any rise of blood sugar that the fruit alone might cause.  My favorite sweet is a date filled with almond butter and dark chocolate drizzled on top.  It is so simple and easy to make and gives me just enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. 

     If you are reading this, do you have a sweet tooth?  If you are shaking your head yes, I encourage you to do the following.

  • Cut out added sugars for a month.
  • Fill your plate at each meal full of fiber (lots of veggies and whole grains) Your gut loves fiber and this will feed your good bacteria
  • If you are not sure where the added sugar is coming from, keep a food journal and note when you have cravings. Is it always in the afternoon?  What are you eating for breakfast and lunch?  What are you drinking? Are you staying hydrated?
  • Learn to read food labels.
  • Get plenty of sleep, at least 8 hours.
  • Manage your stress.


   Giving up sugar alone can be so hard! Because I know this, I am holding group coaching sessions around eliminating sugar.  The sessions will be every Tuesday in March for an hour at 4 online.  If you are interested in joining the Sugar Detox Squad, reply to this email or simply click here to sign up.  Group coaching has many wonderful benefits like a lower price point and lots of support and accountability from the other participants.  I look forward to seeing you!!