Not too late to take the challenge

Not too late to take the challenge

A few of my friends usually sit with me at the same table during dinner meetings we attend together, and the time before the meal is for getting reacquainted and updated. But last time, instead of cheery smiles from my table mates, I received glaring stares and shaking heads.

The gentleman seated across from me spoke up and glumly said, “I’m on day four.” The woman to my right blurted, “Me too. This is hard to do.”

I had no idea what they were talking about until another person admitted they also had accepted my 10-day sugar detox challenge.

I congratulated this de-sugared trio. I believe becoming aware of the amount of sugar ingested is important. Two weeks ago I wrote an article encouraging people to give a relatively short 10-day sugar detox challenge a try. I’m proud of my friends for accepting the challenge.

As previously stated, sugar is disguised in many various forms in our foods. Synonyms for sugar include dextrose, fructose, agave nectar, corn sweetener, malt sugar, honey, syrup, sucrose, turbinado, maltose and glucose, to name just a few. At least I got my friends reading labels.

Beware of sugar alcohols with names like mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, isomalt and maltitol. These chemically made sugars are not digested in the same way. They aren’t fully absorbed by the body. Instead, the small intestines ferment these carbohydrates, causing indigestion, gas, bloating and diarrhea. They usually have half the calories but twice the digestive upset.

My friends wanted tips and ideas for surviving the next six days of the challenge. I reminded them to put all sugary treats and candies out of sight. Hide the candy dish and don’t look at the candy bars in the checkout line. Cookies, cakes, pies and other sweet treats are fun to eat, but for 10 days I encouraged them to take a break. Sweetened soda pop is forbidden on the 10-day abstinence.

If you are seriously considering this trial, choose a 10-day period when you will not be terribly tempted by birthdays and baking sessions. It is a relatively short challenge. Take note of how you feel before you begin and after. Pay attention to your energy level, pain and moods.

For those dealing with prediabetes and diabetes, abstaining from sugar for 10 days will improve your cell sensitivity to the insulin response. Blood-sugar spikes will level out, shutting down insulin surges.

Remember natural sugars in fruits and vegetables are encouraged. Chomp on a raw carrot or beet to satisfy your sugar-taste fix. Avoid adding sugars to recipes.

Reset your taste buds, your brain and your body. The most amazing thing you will discover is that after the 10 days, your taste buds will change. The first mouthful or taste of candy, cake, cookie, pie, soda or sugar cereal will be just too sweet to eat.

That is the powerful result of this detox experiment. With grocery prices rising at an alarming rate, eating less sugar saves money. Besides, you will feel better too.

Bobbie Randall is a certified diabetes care and education specialist and registered, licensed dietitian. Email her at

Loading next article...

End of content

No more pages to load