Organic Spa Blog

The Sugar Coat

We have all seen food fads come and go. Remember when fats were the devil? Many women banned olive oil from their salad dressing only to learn the hard way that healthy fats are necessary for many things, especially if you want to keep your hair, skin and nails soft and supple.

Now it’s sugar’s turn. But this time it is hard to refute the fact that sugar—found in 80 percent of all available food for purchase in the US—is largely responsible for the obesity and diabetes epidemics in this country. Hard science is showing us that when you cut back on sugar, you lose weight. On a personal note, I saw my youngest brother drop 30 pounds by limiting sugar, carbs, fruit juices and other foods that convert to sugar.

If your sweet tooth is getting the better of you, if you have packed on a few too many pounds, or if you want to understand how and why sugar is hidden in or added to almost everything we eat, here are a few good resources for you:

Why Diets Fail (Because You’re Addicted to Sugar)
By Nicole M. Avena, PhD and John R Talbott (Ten Speed Press; $24.99)

John R. Talbott, a best-selling author and global economist, never thought he would write a diet book. But when his weight ballooned up to 252 pounds, he read an article by Gary Taubes in the New York Times Magazine called “Is Sugar Toxic?” As a result, he decided to stop eating sugar, along with most fast-digesting starches. In six short months, Talbott not only felt great, he lost 52 pounds.

In order to understand the science, Talbott reached out to Dr. Avena, a neuroscientist and renowned expert in nutrition and addiction and they ended up co-authoring this book. Based on the latest research, Why Diets Fail shows how sugar is not only addictive, it triggers the same brain response as other addictive substances like alcohol, nicotine, even cocaine, and makes people overeat. This book shows us how to stop.

The Sugar Detox: Lose Weight, Feel Great, and Look Years Younger
By Brooke Alpert, MS, RD, CDN and Patricia Farris, MD, FAAD (Da Capo Press; $24.99)

Hammering home the fact that sugar is hidden in just about everything—not only processed foods that are loaded up with high fructose corn syrup, but healhy carbs, juices and dairy that convert to sugar—the authors of The Sugar Detox serve up a one-month plan to break the addiction. The book includes recipes, quizzes, tidbits, even skin treatments to help reverse skin damage caused by the aging effects of sugar.

Beat Sugar Addiction Now!
By Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, with Chrystle Fiedler (Fair Winds Press; $16.99)

This book is the grand-daddy of the sugar-busting oeuvre—Dr. Teitelbaum has been on sugar’s back for years. One of the leading integrative doctors in the US, he is founder of the Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Practitioners’ Network and a national expert on the connections between sugar and chronic illness. In this easy-to-follow, interactive book, Dr.Teitelbaum breaks down the four types of sugar addiction, helps you identify where you fit in, and then offers strategies and treatment protocols that enable you to break free.

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