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Thirty Days Without Sugar (Why Would You Want to Do That?)

  [ 37 votes ]   [ 5 Comments ]
By Dr. Scott Olson, ND* • • January 6, 2009

Dr Scott Olsons Sugar Free For 30 Days DietAfter years of observing the harmful effects of sugar-laden diets, Dr. Olson delved into the latest research and subsequently wrote Sugarettes, a highly praised new book on sugar addiction and health.

Think you could go 30 days without sugar? Added sugar is in almost every food that we eat, from the obvious cakes, candy, and cookies to the not-so-obvious salad dressing, peanut butter, and even ketchup.

Now, to help people lead longer, healthier lives, I’m challenging you to spend 30 days without sugar. And while you might think you can go 30 days without sugar, the better question might be why would you want to go 30 days without sugar?

In a nutshell, here’s how sugar-laden diets lead to illnesses and shorten our lives, and if you’re interested, a summary of some steps & tools that can help you kick this killer addiction while losing weight healthfully.


Even though sugar is in so many foods, most people don’t take the time to consider what the sugar is doing to their health. Let’s take a look and see how sugar affects our health:

We all joke about being addicted to sugar, but the truth is, animal studies show that sugar is an addiction every bit as powerful as other addictions like drugs, alcohol and cigarettes.

Recognizing sugar as an addiction explains a lot of our behavior involving sugar - including hoarding, binging, and using sugar to change our mood. This is very similar to other addictions, and explains why we go on diets, lose weight, and then gain it back again.

If you have ever questioned whether sugar is a real addiction, and whether it affects your health, try the 30 Sugar Free Days Challenge and see for yourself.

Weight Gain
Despite what medical and nutritional professionals have to say, sugar leads to weight gain. Part of the problem is that sugar contains calories - but is also special in its ability to add to our waistlines.

Sugar acts as fuel for the body, and whenever we eat a lot of sugar, there is a lot of sugar-energy in our blood stream. The body only needs a certain amount of energy at any given time. And once the body’s basic energy needs are met, it has to deal with all the extra sugar. For most people, that extra sugar gets stored as fat.

Keeping sugar out of the diet means this fat storage never takes place. Being overweight or obese increases risk for a number of diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and even certain cancers. It is estimated that obesity cuts life expectancy by as much as five years.

So many weight loss programs are designed to help you shed pounds, but often do nothing to address your health. Why not have both good health and weight loss?

Insulin Insensitivity
Sugar in our blood stream over a long period of time leads to insulin insensitivity. This means that the cells of your body are insensitive to insulin (the hormone that controls high blood sugar).

Insulin insensitivity is responsible for the disease called metabolic syndrome and is a step away from diabetes. Diabetes is an awful disease with many bad effects that reduces life expectancy by 10 to 15 years.

Toxic Effects
Though it is not very well known, sugar is toxic to our blood vessels. In much the same way that cigarette smoke damages the lungs of the smoker, sugar damages the blood vessels of the sugar-consumer.

Diabetics, who have a much higher amount of sugar in their blood, have an equally high amount of this blood vessel damage. Diabetic kidney disease, heart disease, eye disease (retinopathy), nerve disease (neuropathy), and strokes all have a common cause: sugar destruction to blood vessels.


Breaking the sugar habit is not easy. At every step you are going to encounter your addiction. But the effort is well worth the results: You will live a longer, healthier life with sugar out of your diet. Taking “Dr. Scott’s 30 Sugar Free Days Challenge” is a step toward your better health – with a significant potential weight loss benefit too.

If you might be interested, visit my 30 Sugar Free Days website to check out details of the steps and tools that would be involved. In summary, aside from the optional first step of buying Sugarettes, participation in the challenge involves:

• Downloading a free 30 Sugar Free Days E-book explaining the program and listing foods you can & can’t eat, with an explanation of foods that act like sugar.

• Trying a preliminary 2- to 5-day “test drive” to learn how hard the program might be & how you need to prepare.

• If possible, finding somebody to take the challenge with you - and joining the online sugar addiction group on Yahoo, or the 30 Sugar Free Days group if you’re on Facebook, for support and to ask me questions.

• If you decide to proceed, consider signing up for my personalized e-mail coaching support, including meal plans, recipes, and a newsletter. The e-mail coaching can be a big help (and if you get involved soon, you can still sign up for it free while we’re working out the bugs).

* Dr. Scott Olson is a board certified naturopathic physician, nutrition & supplement researcher, author, and health coach specialized in health and healing through diet, nutritional supplements & botanicals, alternative therapies, and exercise/lifestyle. Visit his website ( to learn more.

Note: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is generic and is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure any illness, condition, or disease. It is very important that you make no change in or addition to your healthcare plan or health support regimen without researching and discussing it in collaboration with your professional healthcare team.

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Article Comments Post a Comment

without sugar
Posted by: Tohui
Jan 7, 2009
I think is good and true, refine sugar increases my pain.I dont consume a lot but I think it will be good to do the challenge and break the addiction.
Reply Reply

I did this 5 years ago
Posted by: Sandy10m
Jan 7, 2009
I was a sugar-holic. There was no doubt about it. I was completely addicted to sugar. Then 5 years ago my nutritionist told me that I needed to wean myself off sugar and stop eating it because it was hurting me. I went cold turkey instead, giving up all carbs, even fruits and vegetables, to break the addiction. I promised myself I could eat a Baskin Robbins double fudge banana royale sundae for dinner on the 30th day as motivation to continue. The first week was full of terrible cravings, but I drank water and ate nuts instead of eating sugar (walnuts, pecans, NOT peanuts). There was no headache like a caffeine addiction, fortunately. However, it took me 8 days until my body reached "low blood sugar." I'm not sure why that is (maybe I had that much sugar stored up in my tissues?), but that's when I started to get the low-grade hypoglycemic headache. My nutritionist then told me to eat a teaspoon of honey and see what happened. I did that, and the headache went away. She congratulated me and said that I could now eat some of the vegetables (no potatoes or carrots, but lots of other veggies). I went the entire 30 days without cheating, and when it was time to eat that Baskin Robbins sundae, I didn't NEED it, and I didn't WANT it either. Life is so much better without the sugar addiction. Good luck to you all in making it happen!
Reply Reply

My struggle with sugar
Posted by: fm55
Jan 13, 2009
Years ago, I wanted to lose about 15 pounds. A friend of mine suggested a weight control center in the area. I figured I would give it a try because my friend had lost 40 pounds on the system. When I got there, the counselor asked me what I struggled with the most. I said "sugar, I feel as if I have to eat a chocolate bar every day". She turned to me and said, "there is no sugar on this diet". I was shocked. I had eaten sugar most of my life. I figured I would give the diet a try for two weeks since I signed up and paid for my membership. After two weeks, I could not believe how much better I felt and the energy that I had - for instance I was working 8 hour days and then going to the mall and walking around for another 3 hours. I have learned "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction". This is so true. The little "up" you get from the sugar you eat, is normally equalled out shortly with "feeling down". It is not worth it. I try and stay away from sugar as much as I can now.
Reply Reply

quinoa, flaxseed and millet flour, brown rice, buckwheat (a fruit)
Posted by: SallyMSO
Jan 21, 2009
Dr. Olson, I have fibromyalgia, and thought I had Celiac Sprue, but don't, but... I notice my body is happier off grains, but it does tolerate quinoa, flaxseed and millet flours, brown rice, and buckwheat. I downloaded your ebook, and couldn't find them mentioned in a good or bad light. Could you please help me with this. Thanks! I can almost do the no sugar thing, but I love my one small glass of dark red Cabernet Savignon wine, and my two squares of 85% cocoa dark chocolate. And, it does help to have the above grains mentioned occasionally. I find that my body does not really like beans. I do, but my body doesn't. (black beans, baked beans, etc.)
Reply Reply

26 days and counting
Posted by: tpribors
Mar 9, 2009
I have not eaten sugar or sugar substitues for 26 days. I craved sugar badly the first 3 days and even got a headache. After that, I was ok. I haven't lost any weight. Is this because I still eat gluten free grains?
Reply Reply

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