Sugar Busters: Cut Sugar to Trim Fat

Sugar Busters started as a book published in New Orleans in 1998 by doctors Sam Andrews, Luis Balart, and Morris Bethea, along with the CEO of a Fortune 500 Company, Leighton Steward.

The Premise: According to the authors, the culprit of bad dieting is not too much fat, but too much sugar. If we reduce our intake of high-glycemic index carbohydrates, or high GI foods, we will lose weight.  Simple carbohydrates like pastas, white breads, potatoes, soft drinks, and ice cream are examples of such foods.  When we ingest high GI foods, they break down in our bloodstreams quickly, causing sugar levels in our body to rise quickly.  Our bodies react by releasing large amounts of insulin.   

The authors of “Sugar Busters!” call this problematic because our bodies end up secreting too much insulin, which causes excess sugar to be stored as fat. Our bodies go through a virtual roller coaster of blood levels and starch cravings, and we still feel hungry. Therefore, we eat more starchy foods, and that leads to excessive fat storage and weight gain.

We must consume low glycemic, or low GI foods, that break down slowly and gradually release glucose into our bloodstreams. If our insulin levels remain steady, we have a sustained feeling of satisfaction, less cravings, and weight loss results.

The Diet: Sugar Busters entails the following rules and food restrictions:

  • Honey, molasses, corn starch, corn syrups, and any kinds of syrups or refined sugars are out. 
  • Dairy products with sugar should be eaten sparingly, if at all. 
  • Starchy foods are only permitted in small amounts, so say goodbye to white breads, crackers, cereals, pasta, potato chips, corn chips, cookies, cakes and potatoes. White, bleached, or enriched flours are prohibited too. 
  • The only kinds of flours and grains that are permitted are 100 percent whole wheat, whole grains, stone ground products, and whole grain flours.
  • Almost all vegetables are ok on this plan, save white potatoes (yams and sweet potatoes are acceptable in small amounts). 
  • All fruits are allowed with the exception of bananas, raisins, pineapple, and watermelon. 
  • Low-fat dairy products (cheeses, etc) are encouraged as long as they are low in sugars. 
  • Lean proteins (lean cuts of beef, chicken breast, white meat turkey, fish and eggs) are crucial on this plan.

What to get excited over: This diet is pretty simple; You know exactly what needs to be eliminated. There is no calorie counting or carbohydrate counting.  It’s high in fiber and low in saturated fat.  There is no skipping of meals, and snacks are encouraged.  As long as you stick to the plan, three small meals plus three small snacks a day are allowed.  The selection of food is actually quite large, but it does take some getting used to.  Once that happens, people tend to feel healthier, more satisfied, and less hungry. This is a fantastic plan for diabetics.  Weight loss on this plan is also realistic at an average of 1-2 pounds per week.

Things to consider: Certain kinds of fruit juices are allowed, which seems odd since fruit juices are very high in sugar and calories, regardless of whether or not they use so-called “all natural” sugars and sweeteners.  The reliability of the glycemic index is questionable. Originally the diet prohibited carrots, but it was later discovered that the glycemic index’s information on carrots was inaccurate.

Verdict:  This is recommended for those who are not looking for a terribly structured diet.  Those who are looking for more structure might find this diet difficult to follow. This diet is also a good choice in that it is rich in whole grains and fiber, but if you’re looking for “exact meals” and a totally structured plan, Sugar Busters is not the diet for you.


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