Sugar detox program for those who crave sweets

July 15, 2013 3:18:27 PM PDT
Do you often crave sweets?

You could be a sugar addict.

It might not be easy to kick the habit, but the author of a new book says she's come up with steps that can help you overcome the urge.

There are countless guides on the sugar cleanse, even one for so-called sugar addicts.

The latest book: The 'Sugar Detox' by registered dietitian Brooke Alpert.

"We re really anti adding sugar into foods," Alpert said.

Brooke advocates going cold turkey for three days, cutting out all sugar, from the obvious, like candy and cakes, to even healthy choices: all fruits and vegetables.

The idea is to break the cycle of sugar addiction, but it's not easy.

And there's a reason why: studies show the body thinks sugar is a drug.

After the detox, over the next four weeks more natural sugars are slowly added back into the diet.

"So week one you add back the apples, the yogurt, you bring back red wine and each week we gradually add more and more," said Alpert.

More dairy, fruit, and whole grains, even a little dark chocolate.

The plan allows for dessert twice a week, but you have to give up another serving of carbs, and while you can eat so-called 'good fruits' like apples and berries, Brooke advises staying away from fruits like watermelon, bananas and pineapples.

"While they are healthy for you, they are high in sugar and this is a low sugar diet," she said.

Dr. Ronald Tamler is director of the Mount Sinai Diabetes Center.

He says for most healthy people there is no harm in giving up sugar cold turkey for a few days, but that doesn't guarantee long term success.

"There are many paths that lead to a healthier you, and a three day diet may not be something that is sustainable in the long-term," said Dr. Tamler.