What is a sugar detox?
A sugar detox is when you abstain from eating sugar, specifically added sugar, for at least a week and up to a month in order to reduce sugar intake, curb sugar cravings, and improve overall health.
There are no hard or fast rules when it comes to sugar detoxes, but your focus should be on cutting out added sugars from your diet: that means paying attention to nutritional facts and avoiding sugary sodas, most desserts, processed foods, and even some condiments like ketchup, which can include four grams of sugar per tablespoon.
"There's now lots of emerging research that too much sugar can lead to heart disease and cancer and inflammation," says Lisa Young, RDN, an adjunct professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University. "So while you might not see the results of cutting out added sugar tomorrow, over time, it's a very big positive for your health."
In fact, a 2017 study estimated if Americans cut their added sugar intake by 20% for 20 years, about 20 fewer people per 100,000 would develop type 2 diabetes, and 10 fewer per 100,000 would develop heart disease. These effects increased the more added sugar was cut.
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