Dr. Hyman is a practicing family physician, an eight-time #1 New York Times bestselling author, and an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and advocate in his field. He is the Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. He is also the founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center, chairman of the board of the Institute for Functional Medicine, a medical editor of The Huffington Post, and has been a regular medical contributor on many television shows including CBS This Morning, the Today Show, CNN, The View, the Katie Couric show and The Dr. Oz Show.
Dr. Hyman recently took time to answer some of your toughest medical questions.
1. "Detox" is quite the buzzword now. What's the key to not only detoxing successfully from sugar, saturated fats, processed foods, etc., but maintaining those healthy changes in the long-term?
Well, most people see a detox as something you do for a few weeks or whatever once or twice a year, where you practically starve yourself or otherwise suffer, and then you go back to your regular routine. Detoxification constantly occurs, so you always want to provide your body the correct nutrients to do it effectively.
The joke about my 10-day blood sugar detox is that many people feel so good doing it during those 10 days that they stick with it for life. They feel better, they lose weight, and they ditch awful symptoms like headaches and fatigue. That alone motivates them to stick with it long-term, and of course the benefits only increase over time.
2. What's the hardest thing for people to understand when it comes to the relationship between sugar and wellness?
Sugar can become addictive. We have studies that show sugar can become eight times more addictive than cocaine. The evidence is there. So the “everything in moderation” cliché doesn’t really work for most people. The average American is eating almost a pound of sugar every day, and that has disastrous consequences on weight, wellbeing, and risk for chronic illnesses like diabesity.
3. If a 10-Day Detox seems a little daunting to some, what's a simple step anyone can incorporate into their daily lives in order to be healthier?
Just pull the white stuff. Sugar, obviously, but also white flour and white potatoes. That will eliminate most processed foods. I’d like you to eventually take that a step further and address food sensitivities like gluten and dairy, but that strategy alone will get great results.
4. Can you talk a little about diabesity and how you came to coin the term?
The term diabesity runs the spectrum of imbalance ranging from mild insulin resistance to pre-diabetes to full-blown Type 2 diabetes. The scariest part is that 90 percent of those suffering from this serious health condition don’t even know it.
5. The power of health is strong, and feeling strong and confident is really the best motivator in becoming healthy. What's the greatest health benefit you've seen in the people you work with after completing your 10-Day Detox Diet?
They lose weight and become more confident. That might sound superficial, but losing that weight gives them the confidence they need to stay the course. When you lose weight, you reduce your risk for numerous diseases like diabetes and cancer. It’s a win-win: You look and feel better, but you also give yourself better health in the bigger picture.
6. What's your favorite food? Your guiltiest pleasure?
Almond butter is a not-so-guilty pleasure I could eat almost every day. Here’s a great treat for your readers: Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Cups. They’re a hit around the holidays. You can get the recipe here.