Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sugar Busters!: What You Can Eat

Sugar Busters!: What You Can Eat: "Sugar Busters!

The following represents the food choices you can have on the Sugar Busters! diet /weight-loss program.

What You Can Eat

While the authors say there are only a few things you cannot eat on the diet, these banned foods include some of the more common staples of the American diet: 'You must virtually eliminate potatoes, corn, white rice, bread from refined flour, beets, carrots, and, of course, refined sugar, corn syrup, molasses, honey, sugared colas, and beer.' A short list, but note that you must stop eating all refined sugars.

The basic plan is to eat high-fiber vegetables, stone-ground whole grains, lean and trimmed meats, fish, and fruits. If you choose alcohol, you should drink red wine. Bake, broil or grill meat, and cook with an oil that is high in mono- and polyunsaturated fats and low in saturated fats, such as canola. You eat three meals a day of moderate portions, and you can have snacks such as fruit and nuts, although fruit should be eaten by itself. And fruit is preferred over fruit juice, and best eaten a half hour before the meal.

You should eat:

Meats, including:

* Lean beef and pork
* Canadian bacon
* Poultry
* Game meats, such as venison
* Fish and shellfish

Vegetables, including:
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Mushrooms
  • Asparagus
  • Artichokes
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Eggplant
  • Onions

Fruits, including:

  • Apples
  • Lemons and limes
  • Pears
  • Cherries
  • Raspberries
  • Kiwis
  • Grapefruits
  • Apricots
  • Melons other than watermelon
  • Tomatoes
  • Tangerines and oranges

You also can have dairy products, and whole grains and cereals --- just don't add sugar to them! Spices and dark chocolate are also permitted. You should not eat:

  • Baked beans
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Ripe bananas
  • Raisins
  • White bread, pasta, rice
  • Potatoes
  • Beer
  • Bacon, fried chicken, most cold cuts
We will take a look at more about this diet / weight-loss programs later.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Sugar Busters! : What It Is This Diet / Weight-Loss Program?

Sugar Busters! : What It Is: "Sugar Busters!

This is a review of the Sugar Busters diet / weight-loss program from WebMd.

"Cut Sugar to Trim Fat" proclaims the dust jacket of Sugar Busters! Inside the book, you read that "Sugar is toxic!" And that's the basic premise of the diet. The authors tell you to eliminate all sweets made with refined sugar and certain fruits and vegetables with a high-sugar content because they wreak havoc on your biochemical system. The diet also promises to lower your cholesterol, achieve optimal wellness, increase your energy, and help treat diabetes and other diseases.

So proclaims the diet that became a self-published phenomenon in New Orleans, until a major publisher released Sugar Busters! in 1998. It's still selling so strong in the hardcover edition that the paperback hasn't been released yet. The four authors are H. Leighton Steward, a former CEO, and three doctors from the Big Easy: Morrison C. Bethea, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon; Samuel S. Andrews, MD, an endocrinologist; and Luis A. Balart, MD, a gastroenterologist.

Although the authors say that counting calories or measuring food is not a part of the Sugar Busters! plan, they suggest you "look at portion size," which is another way of cutting calories -- even though they claim that "calories are not the answer to weight gain or loss." In addition, the authors point out that moderate exercise will not significantly affect weight loss if you continue to eat foods with high sugar content. Finally, they caution that the diet / weight-loss program is not for exercise fanatics.

We will examine what you can eat on the Sugar Busters diet /weight-loss program in our next posts.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

How the Sugar Busters Diet / Weight-Loss Program Evovled

The following story was written by David Mendosa with regards to how the Sugar Buster Diet / Weight-loss program evolved from one man's food lifestyle into a very popular low carbohydrate diet / weight-loss program today. Sugar Busters even promotes its on product line of foods.

It was over a business meal in a fancy Buffalo, New York, restaurant that the hottest new weight-loss and insulin-control program was born.

The program is called Sugar Busters! (For reading ease, we're dispensing with the "!" for the remainder of this article.) More then 300,000 copies of Sugar Busters: Cut Sugar to Trim Fat have been printed and shipped since Ballantine published the book in May. That's enough to drive the book to the top of bestseller lists from New York to Los Angeles.

One of the diners in that Buffalo restaurant that fateful night six years ago was H. Leighton Steward, who at that time was CEO of New Orleans-based Louisiana Land and Exploration Company, a Fortune 1,000 company that was the largest owner of coastal wetlands in the country. Steward is now vice chair of Burlington Resources, which recently merged with LL&E. A geologist by training, he was carrying 220 pounds on a 6'4" frame and concerned about his weight. His dinner partner that night was Victor Rice, who then chaired Verity Corporation and is now chair and CEO of LucasVarity PLC. Steward knew that Rice had lost 52 pounds.

"I watched what he ate that night," Steward recalls. "We had a big bunch of hors d'oeuvre and sautéed mushrooms and vegetables and stuff, and then we ate a big spinach salad with bacon chips all over it." There were several lamb chops on Rice's plate, and he had just ordered a second bottle of red wine.

"Victor, it was sure nice of you to get off your diet tonight so we could have this nice meal," Steward told the other businessman.

"Leighton, I am on my diet," was his response.

Steward was stunned. Rice's wife had found a French book in Europe by someone named Michel Montignac. "I had to get the English edition of the book, Dine Out and Lose Weight, out of our London office, because I looked for it for months here," Steward recalls.

Following Montignac's book, Steward lost 20 pounds by eating steak, lamb chops, cheese, and eggs. But although his wife recognized that he was looking good, she was worried because he always had high cholesterol. She insisted that he see a doctor.

The doctor was Morrison Bethea, a cardiothoracic surgeon in New Orleans. Steward didn't have a cardiovascular problem, but Bethea was friend and sometime golfing partner.

Both doctor and patient were surprised that Steward's total cholesterol had dropped 21 percent while his HDL or good cholesterol stayed the same. "Gosh, Leighton, you're on to something," was Bethea's response.

But they still didn't know why the diet worked. Montignac had never figured it out either.

"I cycled on this for 10 days," Steward says now. "How I could eat eggs and this stuff and watch my cholesterol drop like a rock was about to drive me crazy. When I figured out why it lowered my cholesterol, Mo confirmed it for me in about 3 seconds. He had just never thought about it."

"Look, I am on a low-sugar diet," Steward told Bethea. "I have a lower average level of sugar in my body all day, so I don't need as much insulin. It must be insulin stimulating my liver to make cholesterol."

Bethea told him he was right. "I can tell you why. When we get diabetics in the hospital and they can no longer control the diabetes with exercise or pills or diet, we have to start giving them insulin injections. When we give them that first injection, the major side effect will be that their cholesterol will go through the roof. Let me go talk to the guys."

The first guy they talked to was Dr. Sam Andrews, an endocrinologist. He said that all of his insulin-dependent patients did have elevated cholesterol. Because of the cholesterol connection they brought in a liver expert, Dr. Luis Balart, who practices gasteroenterology and hepatology.

After talking about it for years, they decided they had to write the book. The problem was time: one of them is a high-powered executive and the other three are busy doctors.

So did they have it ghost written? "No ghost writer," Dr. Bethea replies. "You are looking at the writers. All four of us divided up the chapters. I made an outline and assigned chapters. We all four wrote different chapters, and then Leighton Steward and I rewrote everything so it would look as if it was written by one person and not four."

The book just published by Ballantine is in fact a revised and much enlarged edition of a book they self-published in 1995. That edition sold more than 210,000 copies, a phenomenal number for a self-published book. That was with a zero marketing budget, Dr. Bethea says.

"We knew it would do okay, because our concept is sound," he continues. "If anybody looks into the scientific validity of it, they will see that. And secondly, it works. And any time you are promoting a product that you have done simply and understandably and it works, it's going to be a success."

Steward and all three doctors live in New Orleans, and that city, "the Big Easy," is where Sugar Busters originally took hold before spreading around the country. Maybe that's because the personal spread in New Orleans has reached critical mass. "Being the most obese city in the country, people here are trying to do something," Dr. Andrews says.

The Sugar Busters diet is nothing if not simple. It restricts very few foods: potatoes, corn, white rice, bread from refined flour, beets, carrots, plus sugar in most of its forms. Moderate amounts of fructose and lactose are fine.

Essentially, the restricted high-carbohydrate foods are those high on the glycemic index. That index measures how much your blood sugar increases after eating.

Counting calories or weighing or measuring is not a part of the Sugar Busters plan. "We want you to look at portion size," says Dr. Bethea. "We are giving you a nice way to figure this out. Do you know what a dinner plate looks like? It's got a flat bottom and flared sides. Your meat and two or three vegetables ought to fit neatly on the bottom of the plate. It shouldn't be stacked. It shouldn't be up on the sides."

Dr. Bethea says they have been very pleased with the response of people with diabetes. Still, "we caution anyone who is diabetic who goes on Sugar Busters to consult with a physician. If you are taking insulin, you need to let the physician know so it can be adjusted. If you are on an oral hypoglycemic agent, you may not need it any longer. We are not saying to go out and treat yourself. This needs to be done in concert with your physician."

Sugar Busters is not a low-carbohydrate or high-fat diet. The diet is about 40 percent carbohydrate and 30 percent or less fat, of which no more than 10 percent should be saturated fat.

"You might be eating more protein than normal," Dr. Balart says. "We are not saying no carbohydrates. We are saying choose the correct carbohydrates."

"Because of the grain, Sugar Busters is also a high-fiber diet," Dr. Andrews adds. "We encourage people to eat whole grain, and whole grain is really high fiber. By increasing fiber you do several things. You decrease the glycemic index, you promote good intestinal function, the fiber itself can help lower your triglycerides, cholesterol, and blood sugar, maybe even contribute to some weight loss."

Sugar Busters is, of course, a low-sugar diet. "If you eliminate sugar from your diet, you do lose your taste for sugar," Dr. Andrews maintains. "It takes a week or so. Once you do that you don't have to rush to the cookie jar after you eat supper."

The response to the Sugar Busters diet from dietitians has been muted. Cinda Chima, a registered dietitian and director of clinical nutrition at MetroHealth System in Cleveland, says there were some fine things in the book.

"Focusing on higher fiber whole grain products is an excellent idea," she says. "Most people would benefit from it." Nonetheless, she doubts if it is especially important in blood sugar control in amounts normal consumed.

"I also don't know how practical the glycemic index is," Chima says. "The response to foods in the context of a mixed meal is blunted or is less important."

"I am still convinced that it is a matter of calories in and calories out," she concludes.

The lukewarm reception by dietitians in general doesn't surprise Dr. Andrews. "They are saying that potatoes and sucrose have about the same glycemic index so you can eat both of them. Their thinking is really strange."

Sidebar: Busting the Sugar

Remove the sugar from your diet, say the authors of Sugar Busters, the hot new weight-loss and insulin-control book. Sounds easy. We all know that table sugar is those white crystals we sprinkle on our cereals and sometimes in our coffee.

The book names refined sugar, corn syrup, molasses, honey, and sugared colas as sugars to be avoided. All of these will quickly raise your blood glucose level.

But there is probably no ingredient that is more ubiquitous or goes by so many names than sugar. What we call sugar—whether white, granulated, or table—is one type of sugar called sucrose and is only the tip of the crystal.

Maltose, more commonly called malt sugar, works the quickest. Glucose, the primary sugar in corn syrup, is not far behind. And dextrose is the same as glucose, says Dr. Sam Andrews, one of the authors. So too is maltodextrin.

Sucrose, processed from sugar cane or sugar beets, has the next quickest effect. It includes brown sugar, turbinado sugar, and the sugar in molasses. There are actually more than 100 different sucrose substances.

Two types of sugar have a less dramatic effect on blood sugar levels and are acceptable in moderation. Lactose is the sugar in milk products, and fructose is found in fruits. However, crystalline fructose and high-fructose corn syrup have a much greater effect on blood glucose levels than does fructose alone.

The so-called sugar alcohols, which include maltitol, sorbitol, and mannitol, are absorbed much slower and are also acceptable in moderation, Dr. Andrews says.