Sugar and Your Body

Posted on March 31st, 2014 by in Healthy Living, Nutrition

smoothieBy Mark Hyman, MD

Americans consume 146 pounds of flour and 152 pounds of sugar per person per year—and flour raises your blood sugar more than table sugar. Sugar and flour are now proven to be biologically addictive. In some animal studies, sugar was found to be more addictive than cocaine. Sugar and refined carbs have also been linked to liver disease, which affects 90 million Americans, including children who will need liver transplants.

Sugar, flour, and processed foods drive the body’s production of insulin—the fat-storage and hunger hormone—leading to uncontrollable sugar and carb cravings. These chronically high levels of insulin are the root cause of weight gain and disease. This is why, if current health trends continue, by 2020 one in two Americans could have diabesity—a catch-all term for metabolic conditions ranging from pre-diabetes to full-blown type-2 diabetes.

The answer is simple: Add anti-inflammatory and detoxifying foods and take out the inflammatory ones (including sugar, flour, gluten, and dairy). Your body is so smart that it knows exactly what to do once the hormones and brain chemistry get reset—heal and lose weight.

A group of 600 people from my online community tried my 10-Day Detox Diet, and recorded their results. They lost a combined 4,000 pounds and an average of two inches from their waists, dropped their blood sugar by 20 points and blood pressure by 10 points, and experienced a 62 percent reduction in all symptoms from all diseases.

The most powerful medicine is whole, fresh, low-glycemic food—good-quality protein, including organic sustainably raised meats, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, and non-GMO soy foods like tofu or tempeh; lots of fruit; and unlimited non-starchy vegetables. Think of sugar as something to be used carefully and occasionally. Dairy and gluten can be an occasional treat (after the 10-day detox).

I never tell my patients to count calories. Your body will naturally know how to regulate when you’re eating what’s best for you. It’s hard to overeat on the right foods – try eating 1,000 calories of broccoli (about 25 cups)!

Mark Hyman’s Breakfast Detox Shake

Get in a ton of powerful, craving-busting, fat-burning nutrients and super foods in one sitting by combining great protein, good fats, fiber, and super foods. Combine any or all of these ingredients: wild blueberries, cranberries, hemp, chia and pumpkin seeds, almond and coconut butter, and unsweetened almond or hemp milk. This drink will fill you up, keep you satisfied longer, and speed up your metabolism for the whole day.

Mark Hyman, MD, was co-medical director of Canyon Ranch for nearly 10 years and is now the chairman of the Institute for Functional Medicine and founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center. His new book is The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet. Mark also teaches at Kripalu.

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