The Sugar Busters Diet

The main focus of the Sugar Busters diet is reducing refined sugars and carbohydrates (starches, bread, pasta, etc). The authors of this low carb diet plan blame the current epidemic of obesity and diabetes on our over-consumption of carbohydrates.

Type - Low carb

Are special products required - No

Is eating out possible? - Yes

Is the plan family friendly? - No

Do you have to buy a book? - Yes

Is the diet easy to maintain? - No

So how does it work?...

The Sugar Busters program is a low carbohydrate centered plan, based on regulating the proportion of calories. The author emphasizes the role of glucagon, a hormone that makes your body use stored energy (glucose) by releasing it into the blood stream.

The idea of this diet is to increase glucagon production while minimizing insulin production. Insulin is like the opposite of glucagon and is made when your body doesn’t release glucagon. Insulin stimulates fat storage, while glucagon stimulates fat burning so if the glucagon production is high, weight loss should result.

To keep the glucagon level high, the authors of this diet plan recommend a diet with a low proportion of carbohydrates. The required fiber also helps keep the level of blood sugar constant which steadies glucagon/insulin levels. Exercise is also central to the diet because it goes further to repress insulin levels and increase glucagon levels.

The Diet Plan...

The authors of the Sugar Busters Diet recommend 45% of your calories to come from carbohydrate sources. Protein should make up 20-25% of your diet with fats making up the remaining 30-35%. The authors emphasize the importance of fiber, going so far as to exclude vegetables that do not have high enough content (less than 2.5 grams) which include carrots and beetroot.

The carbohydrates should not be highly refined, and so many common staples are completely out: cakes, breads, candy, white flour, pasta, potatoes, and anything else that’s sugary and overly processed.

Carbs eaten should be whole grain and have high fiber content and fruits are allowed as snacks.

The Sugar Busters diet plan also allows for eating lean meats in order to get your protein and fat requirements, as well as a small amount of alcohol if you so choose. Interestingly, the plan encourages you to limit how much fluid you drink with your meals, but over the course of the day a full 6-8 glasses of water should be consumed. You are also allowed coffee, tea, and diet soda in moderation.

Is it good for you?...

The Sugar Busters diet has some parts right, but others are dubious at best. It’s true that limiting carbohydrates, particularly those high on the glycemic index, will aid your metabolism by increasing glucagon production and decreasing insulin. Additionally, any diet plan high in fiber will help regulate your metabolism and increase overall health. However, the authors claim that it is their specific ratio of carbs to protein that does this at optimal levels, which is unsupported by scientific research.

Some of the other claims of Sugar Busters also lack merit, including their rationale for limiting your mealtime fluid intake – they maintain that digestive juices can be diluted at mealtime causing less than optimal digestion.

In general, reducing the amount of refined sugar and carbohydrates in your diet will have health benefits and will probably result in weight loss. Scientists do link obesity to refined sugars which are lurking everywhere in today’s marketplace. They do not link diabetes to sugar intake directly, as the authors say, but because diabetes is linked to obesity, there is an indirect relationship. While it would probably be optimal to give up our sugary drinks and desserts, it’s not realistic for many people to cut them out so completely as the Sugar Busters diet would have you do.

Example Day...

• Glass of orange juice
• Bowl of porridge made with skimmed milk

• Turkey sandwich on wholegrain or wholemeal bread with mustard lettuce and tomato

• Grilled or baked pork fillet
• Brown rice cooked with sliced onion in fat free, unsalted chicken or vegetable stock
• Steamed green beans

• Apple of other fruit
• Small handful of nuts

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