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Cut sugar, cut calories: All about the Sugar Busters Diet

Last updated on: June 11, 2012 12:28 IST

Cut sugar, cut calories: All about the Sugar Busters Diet



Fight the battle of the bulge by cracking down on your sugar intake -- here's how.

We all love adding sweetness to our lives. When we are happy, we want to treat ourselves to sweets. When we are sad, they help boost our mood. When we show thanks, we treat others to sweets. Whenever guests visit, we don't leave them before they do the traditional mooh meetha. When we ace an exam, we celebrate with sweets; when we fail, others bring us sweets to cheer us up.

So, is there anything to worry about with so much sweetness in our lives?

Yes, there is. Too much sweetness can bring bitterness in the form of diabetes. This explains why we see the emergence of various concepts which claim to battle your sugar cravings.

And this explains why we get to come across popular concepts like the Sugar Busters Diet, designed by Samuel S Andrews MD (endocrinologist), Morrison C Bethea MD (cardiac surgeon), Luis A Balart, MD (gastroenterologist) and H Leighton Steward (a corporate CEO).

In the following pages, we bring you a complete breakdown of the Sugar Busters Diet.

Read on to learn more...

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Photographs: Courtesy


Salient features of the Sugar Busters Diet

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  • It tells you how, what and when to eat and exercise.
  • It encourages you to avoid refined sugar and processed grain products.
  • It encourages you to make a commitment to choosing the right carbohydrates -- low insulin-producing carbohydrates. Insulin causes you to convert and store excess sugar as fat and also to store the excess fat as fat.
  • It involves eating high-fibre vegetables, fruit and whole grains. The fibre in both these food products has a beneficial effect on your digestive process and overall health. Meats are an important source of protein, but should be lean and trimmed.
  • It encourages the intake of low-fat products when it comes to milk and cheese, while strongly advocating careful attention to saturated fats. Too many saturated fats and trans fats and oils used in fast food preparation are very harmful, not only to your waistline, but also to your heart and blood vessels.
  • Hydration is important and everyone is encouraged to drink six to eight glasses of water daily.
  • It is important to eat three regular meals daily and appropriate snacks are allowed. But moderation in portion size is most important. If you are not careful enough, you may end up eating too many health foods too.
  • Late-night snacking is not allowed. Eating at night before going to bed only raises your insulin levels and encourages cholesterol production, since most of the cholesterol is manufactured while you are sleeping.
  • Exercise is an important part of any successful nutritional lifestyle. You should strive to exercise at least twenty minutes daily four days a week, so as to raise your resting heart rate.
  • It encourages the voice of moderation.
  • If you choose alcohol, you should drink red wine.
  • Fruits are preferred over fruit juice and best eaten a half hour before the meal.

Image: The Sugar Busters Diet involves eating high-fibre vegetables like spinach
Photographs: Courtesy

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What should you avoid?

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  • All refined sugar products and sugar itself
  • Potatoes
  • Corn
  • White rice
  • Bread made from refined flour
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Refined sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Molasses
  • Honey
  • Sugared colas
  • Beer
  • Baked beans
  • Ripe bananas
  • Raisins
  • Bacon
  • Fried chicken

Image: You have to avoid all refined sugar products and sugar itself
Photographs: Courtesy
Tags: Corn , Potatoes , White

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What should you include?

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  • Lean meats, fish, poultry, dairy products, whole grains and cereals.
  • Vegetables like beans, lentils, peas, spinach, lettuce, squash, zucchini, mushrooms, asparagus, artichokes, cabbage, celery, cucumbers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, eggplant and onions.
  • Fruits like apples, lemons and limes, pears, cherries, raspberries, kiwis, grapefruit, apricots, melons other than watermelon, tomatoes, tangerines and oranges.

Image: Lean meats should be included in your diet
Photographs: Courtesy
Tags: Brussels

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The pros and cons

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  • In the short term, the Sugar Busters plan is likely to result in weightloss because it eliminates many foods, including baked goods and other sweets. And your food choices will be better, such as substituting whole grains for white bread, for instance.
  • You may become irritable and tired due to the restriction of carbs. You may also feel low on energy. This may not be the case with everyone, but it may trigger lethargy.
  • Sugar Busters stresses eating healthy foods, such as whole grains, legumes and beans and lean meats. And cutting out refined sugars in processed foods is a plus point.
  • Counting calories or measuring food is not a part of the Sugar Buster Diet, but it may become confusing for a layman without any portion sizes mentioned.
  • The authors themselves caution that the diet is not for exercise fanatics.
  • High-protein diets increase calcium excretion and possible side-effects include kidney and liver damage, fatigue, weakness and irritability.

It's good to stay sweet while imparting sweetness to other people's lives, but it's not sweet to go overboard with it. In fact, we don't know what brings sweetness to every individual -- what may work fine for one may not go down well with others. The Sugar Busters Diet may truly restrict unnecessary or extra fat, sugar or refined carb intake for some, while many others may just fail and surrender to the call of their taste buds.

Image: The Sugar Busters Diet may leave you feeling low on energy
Photographs: Courtesy

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