Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Book Review: The 10 Day Sugar Detox

Next up for review is The 10 Day Sugar Detox. The author, Dana White, is a Registered Dietitian.

Introduction
As the title suggest, this book is about eliminating sugar from your diet. The 10 Day Sugar Detox provides 4 diets plans to help you do this: The Orange Plan is designed for vegetarians. The Yellow Plan is for omnivores. The Green Plan is grain free and legume free. The Blue Plan is grain, legume and dairy free. The book is broken down into 3 sections. The first discusses the health effects of sugar, the second presents the meal plans and the third section presents over 100 recipes. The book is 295 pages. It is well written and I truly enjoyed reading it.

5 Things I Really Liked About The 10 Day Sugar Detox
1) I totally agree with the authors take on the negative health effects of sugar and the need to eliminate it from the diet. The recent research literature really supports this view. I have found over the years that sugar is highly addictive, and even small amounts can deeply impact one’s ability to eat healthy and hit weight loss goals. 

2) I like that there are 4 different plans. This is relevant if you suffer from allergies, digestive orders or just don’t want to be too restrictive.

3) The recipes are really creative. 

4) The author gives a very nice explanation of the impact of added sugars on blood glucose levels. Dramatic swings in blood sugar adversely affect a large number of systems in the body with very serious consequences.

5) The author also gives a really nice explanation of sugar withdrawal. I have seen this for years in my clients and certainly in myself, when I gave up sugar almost 20 years ago. It is important to expect this reaction to occur and to know that it is totally temporary.

5 Things I Didn’t Agree With In The 10 Day Sugar Detox
1) The author mentions that legumes should be avoided because they cause inflammation. I have never seen this in the research literature. As a low glycemic carbohydrate that is high in fiber, I would make the argument that legumes help to reduce inflammation in the body. I was surprised that they were restricted in 2 of the 4 meal plans.

2) The author has an unusual method of citing references that was a bit confusing. For example, she would write; “A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows...” but there would be no corresponding number for the reference. At the back of the book, all of the references are listed alphabetically, not even by chapter. This makes it time consuming, if not impossible, to find the particular reference to which she was referring.

3) The book restricts lactose, which is the sugar found in milk. Lactose has a very mild impact on blood sugar and, in my experience, is not at all addictive like higher glycemic forms of sugar. I’m not sure why she would group it with the other added sugars.

4) After the detox, the book recommends reintroducing sugar, but at half the rate that it was originally consumed. I found this a bit surprising. The author does a very nice job explaining how sugar is just as addictive as alcohol or cocaine, but allows it to be added back to the diet after the 10 day detox. Can you imagine telling an alcoholic that after treatment it is OK to drink again, just half as much?

5) The recipes include a bunch of foods that I have my clients strictly limit. For example, the recipes consistently call for: coconut milk (which has 8 grams of sugar per serving), coconut oil, full fat cheese, full fat yogurt, bacon, prosciutto, pasta and other red meats. Most of these foods are either high glycemic load or high in saturated fat, which has the potential to raise LDL cholesterol and increase risk of heart disease and stroke.

Is The 10 Day Sugar Detox Worth Reading?
Absolutely! I enjoyed this book. Sugar is probably the most unhealthy thing in the American diet today, and we eat a ton of it. Sugar not only has a negative impact on our physical health, it is also highly addictive. This book presents some nice plans to help the reader get off the sugar roller coaster. I would just get a little tighter on the saturated fat and red meat in the recipes and would recommend that once you are off sugar, stay off. After 2 weeks or so of minor withdrawal symptoms, it is not nearly as hard to do as you may think. 

 

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