Fad Diet Series: Zero Sugar Diet

An increasing number of people are making an extraordinary step in their diets: they are getting rid of sugar completely. Inspired partly by Year of No Sugar: A Memoir, people are trying to cut added sugar completely from their diet in order to lose weight, improve health, and support a more natural lifestyle.

The Trouble with Sugar

There are many, many negative effects of sugar cited by supporters of the zero sugar diet. Here are a few things that are definitely wrong with added sugar.

Added sugar adds calories, but it doesn’t add nutrition. Because none of us are really short of calories, this is an unnecessary addition to our diet that only really serves to increase weight.

Sugar can make it hard for your body to regulate your food intake. Simple sugars can mess up the system that your brain uses to tell you when you’re full, so you keep eating even when you should be done.

Sugar also interferes with your body’s hormones. When you eat something with a lot of sugar in it, your blood sugar jumps up, which causes your pancreas to produce a lot of insulin. This can then cause your blood sugar to drop, which causes your body to respond by producing adrenalin to try to up the blood sugar again. This contradictory response is stressful for your body.

Sugar also diminishes the effectiveness of your immune system, which makes you more vulnerable to illness.

How the Zero Sugar Diet Works

It’s simple: you eat no food with any added sugar. No sucrose. No fructose. No molasses or honey. Nothing that is added sugar. In practice, this is a bit harder. You typically end up doing a lot of cooking for yourself.

The claim is that you’ll feel healthier, have more energy, lose weight, and get sick less often.

Is the Zero Sugar Diet Effective?

If you follow the zero sugar diet, the odds are good that you’ll be cutting out a lot of calories every day, resulting in a much lower intake. This should result in weight loss. Some of the other claims are a little bit harder to verify. Anecdotally, people rave about it, but this is still too extreme a diet to have a wide enough following that can give us good evidence.

No matter what, though, we can all benefit from cutting down our sugar intake. Refined sugar was basically added to the human diet about 150 years ago, and since then our consumption of it has skyrocketed. The average American consumes about 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day. The American Heart Association recommends only 9 teaspoons a day. The World Health Organization is proposing new guidelines of only 6 teaspoons a day.

If you would like to talk to a weight loss doctor about what fad diets might be able to help you, and which ones aren’t worth the trouble, please call 303-596-3943 or contact Med-Fit Medical Weight Loss Clinic in Denver.

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Dr. Angela Tran