The sugar busters diet is one of the most popular carbohydrate-restricted diets today (1). It needs one to abstain from refined flour and sugar.
Sugary foods can promote insulin resistance, a condition in which the body’s cells do not respond to insulin (a hormone that signals to cells to absorb blood sugar).
The sugar busters diet helps prevent this by discouraging the consumption of refined sugars such as jams, jellies, cookies, cakes, sweets, etc. Let’s find out about this diet in detail.
How Does The Sugar Busters Diet Work?
Reducing your intake of refined sugars can aid weight loss. It also fights inflammation and improves energy levels. This diet also ensures that the insulin levels are maintained.
The sugar busters diet encourages the consumption of meat, poultry, unsaturated fats, dairy products, and fruit and vegetables.
Is The Diet Helpful For Weight Loss?
Cutting down on calories can help you with weight loss (2). With the sugar busters diet, you would be eating about 1200 calories a day (800 calories less than usual). Unhealthy, refined foods are off the limits (including products like bread, cake, cookies, crackers, pretzels, doughnuts, bagels, and muffins).
What To Eat And What To Avoid?
- Foods with low glycemic index are allowed. These include whole grains, brown rice, oatmeal, and millets, which promote satiety as they are rich in fiber (3).
- Legumes are allowed as they are high in fiber and protein and low in calories.
- You can also eat lean meat, seafood, and whole eggs.
- Low-fat dairy products like unsweetened yogurt, cheese, butter are allowed (but without added sugar, of course).
- Steer clear of processed sugary drinks, canned juice, cold drinks, and fruit juices.
- Vegetables are recommended as they are rich in fiber. But do avoid potatoes and beets, and fruits like bananas.
- You may go for sugar-free ice cream and chocolate, though only in moderation. Keep away from artificially sweetened soft drinks, jams, jellies, salad dressings, sauces, soft drinks, and juice.
- Beer is also restricted. If you want to take alcohol (in moderation), you may drink red wine.
A Sample Diet Plan
|Mid-morning||8-10 soaked almonds|
|Snack||1 kiwi/10-12 grapes|
This diet not only restricts sugar, but also those carbohydrate-rich foods that have a high glycemic index.
Interestingly, it also restricts hidden sugar. Most of the sugars consumed nowadays are hidden in processed foods that are not usually seen. For example, 1 tablespoon of ketchup contains around 4 grams (around 1 teaspoon) of free sugars. A single can of sugar-sweetened soda contains up to 40 grams (around 10 teaspoons) of free sugars (4).
The sugar busters diet emphasizes on high-fiber vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fish, healthy fats, low-fat dairy, and fruits.
These also happen to be the foundation for weight loss.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of The Sugar Busters Diet?
- It is simple and clear. It requires no special preparation. All you need is the knowledge of the foods you can take and foods you must avoid.
- It is high in fiber. It also is high in phytonutrients, making it an ideal diet for individuals dealing with diabetes.
- It is low in saturated fat. Though unsaturated fat is emphasized, you may consume saturated fat in moderation (including cream or cheese without any added sugar).
- It is accessible. It is easy to follow and the food options are accessible everywhere.
- It has some contradictions. This diet advocates to eliminate processed foods, which is good. But avoiding foods with a relatively high glycemic index, like bananas, can lead to deficiencies.
- It can get inflexible. Most of the forbidden foods include staples such as rice, pasta, and potatoes. So, maintaining the restrictions can get difficult.
- It’s science is questionable. The diet encourages high protein intake, possibly increasing calcium excretion. In the long run, it may lead to certain side effects including kidney and liver damage, fatigue, weakness, and irritability.
Popular Diet Recipes
1. Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
- 4 cups of fresh broccoli florets
- 2 cups of cubed, cooked chicken
- ½ a cup of cream of chicken Soup
- 1/3 a cup milk
- ½ a cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon of butter, melted
- Heat the oven to 400°F. While the oven is heating, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil add the broccoli florets and boil until tender.
- Grease the baking dish with butter, and place the layer of broccoli and the second layer of chicken pieces into a pie plate.
- Blend the soup and milk in a small bowl. Pour the soup mixture over the layer of broccoli and chicken. Add another layer of shredded cheese. Stir the bread crumbs and butter in a small bowl. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the cheese.
- Bake for 15 minutes. If required, bake again for 5 to 7 minutes or until the chicken mixture is hot.
- Let it stand for 5 minutes before serving.
2. Cheese Quesadilla
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 4 flour tortillas (8 inches)
- ½ a cup of cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 2 tablespoons of thinly sliced green onion
- 1 tablespoon of minced fresh cilantro
- 2 teaspoons of chopped ripe olives
- 1/4 cup of salsa
- Sour cream, optional
- Lay the tortillas flat on the griddle. Spread butter over one side of each tortilla. Spread the cream cheese over the unbuttered side of half of the tortillas. Sprinkle with cheese, onion, cilantro, and olives. Top with the remaining tortillas, with the butter side up.
- Cook on a griddle over medium heat for 1-2 minutes on each side or until the cheese is melted. Cut into wedges. Serve with salsa and sour cream, if desired.
The sugar busters diet allows you to eat foods high in fiber, including whole grains, brown rice, oatmeal, and millets. It can help you control weight and aid diabetes treatment, as it restricts several unhealthy foods.
The World Health Organization has reduced the recommended sugar intake by half, to 5% of the total caloric intake. This equals to about 4 to 6 teaspoons of sugar a day, for an average 2000-calorie diet (4). With the sugar busters diet, this should be achievable.
What do you think about the sugar busters diet? Will you follow it? Do share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment in the box below.
- “Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load of Popular Weight-Loss Diets” Medscape General Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- “Use of low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets among Americans: correlates, duration, and weight loss” Medscape General Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- “Healthy Food Choices for People with Diabetes” American Diabetes Association.
- “WHO calls on countries to reduce sugar intake among adults and children” World Health Organization.