Sugar detox: Is it worth it? - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

FOX Medical Team

Sugar detox: Is it worth it?

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

Americans eat an average of 22 tablespoons of sugar each day. Excess sugar has been linked to weight gain, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. But giving it up isn't easy.

When it comes to fitness, Anne-Rose Baker of Cumming is a bit of a heavy lifter.  A competitive cheerleader growing up, the 31-year-old high school English teacher works out at CrossFit TriForce with her husband Patrick, for fun.  As part of a gym competition, the two tried to give up sugar using the new book The 21 Day Sugar Detox.

"I think just the idea of being told you can't have something, I feel like mentally your body is going to want it more," Anne-Rose said.

Patrick joined the detox to support Anne-Rose, but then found out no sugar meant no beer -- no alcohol period -- on Georgia football weekends.

"I was, like, ‘Wow...This 21 days is probably going to be tougher than I thought it was going to be," Patrick said.

There are lots of "no" foods: no peas, no white potatoes, no pasta, no chips, no corn, no bread, no bagels, no cake, no crackers, no sodas – including diet sodas – and no fruit.

So what can they eat?

"Pretty much any kind of meat," Anne-Rose said.

Other "yes" foods include about 30 vegetables, lots of fish, some nuts, whole dairy and unsweetened coffee and tea.

"It was a roller coaster, it was a total roller coaster.  The first week, I felt awful," said Anne-Rose.

Patrick agreed, "We started on a Saturday, and that first Sunday I was just laying in a fetal on the couch the whole time."

That first weekend, both their football teams bite the dust.

"Let's see. I think he had to go through two Georgia losses without beer," said Anne-Rose.

But do we really need to go this far to detox from sugar?

Emory internist Dr. Sharon Horesh-Bergquist said that treating sugar like a toxin --  you give up and then back -- kind of misses the point.

"I think a person needs to follow a good lifestyle as a good lifestyle," Dr. Horesh-Bergquist said. "It's not something you do for a short amount of time and feel that you've purged yourself of all the bad food that you ate before. I think it's something you have to maintain."

But by the second week sugar-free, Anne-Rose and Patrick were getting the hang of it.

And after 21 days: the moment of truth. Anne-Rose lost 5 pounds, while Patrick lost 10. While they said they liked the newfound energy, they don't know if it was enough to swear off sugar completely.

"But I think the best thing is I now know how to eat and that's basically something for life," Anne-Rose said.

If you want to cut back on sugar without going cold turkey, try cutting back on the processed foods you eat -- meaning all the stuff that comes already made for you in a bag or a box. Also, increase fresh foods that come out of the ground, like vegetables and fruits.

  • More Health NewsMore>>

  • Cancer survivor celebrates 5 year mark with donor

    Cancer survivor celebrates 5 year mark with donor

    Monday, August 18 2014 6:08 PM EDT2014-08-18 22:08:02 GMT
    If Erin Blonshine ever wondered if her perfect match was out there, now she knows. His name: Johannes Saur. Blonshine, a 29-year-old teacher, says "It's very surreal to stand next to him and know that on the inside our immune systems match."
    If Erin Blonshine ever wondered if her perfect match was out there, now she knows. His name: Johannes Saur. Blonshine, a 29-year-old teacher, says "It's very surreal to stand next to him and know that on the inside our immune systems match."
  • Report: CDC scientist kept quiet about flu blunder

    Report: CDC scientist kept quiet about flu blunder

    An investigation into a potentially dangerous blunder at a government lab found that a scientist kept silent about the accident and revealed it only after other employees noticed something fishy.
    An investigation into a potentially dangerous blunder at a government lab found that a scientist kept silent about the accident and revealed it only after other employees noticed something fishy.
  • Can you convert a bully?

    Can you convert a bully?

    Thursday, August 14 2014 4:24 PM EDT2014-08-14 20:24:59 GMT
    As a child abuse prevention specialist at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Amber McKeen knows bullying.
    As a child abuse prevention specialist at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Amber McKeen knows bullying.
Powered by WorldNow
Untitled

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices