Sugar Busters Diet Disadvantages

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There are a number of disadvantages to the Sugar Busters diet:

  • Eliminates some valuable minerals and nutrients from the diet
  • Restricts some fruit and vegetables, which are essentially healthy
  • Not suitable for vegetarians
  • High in saturated fats which may be unhealthy in the longer term
  • Potential for health risks to people on this diet long term
  • Diet may be difficult to maintain over the longer term
  • This diet has not yet been tested over the long term
  • Weight lost initially is mainly due to water / fluid loss
  • Expect fatigue, weakness and irritability at the start of the diet
People with impaired kidney function or any other health condition should consult their doctor before trying this or any other diet

References and Explanations

  1. This diet is low in many essential nutrients, such as vitamin D, vitamin E, calcium and iron, plus it is also low in phytonutrients (such as antioxidants) which are essential to fight free radicals
  2. There are no real options for vegetarians on this diet, who will need to go to a registered dietician to modify the diet for their dietary requirements (but then the diet they now have is effectively no longer the same)
  3. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). Report: Analysis of Health Problems Associated with High-Protein, High-Fat, Carbohydrate-Restricted Diets Reported via an Online Registry, 25 May 2004. Accessed on 10 January 2008. The author of the PCRM report notes that while low carbohydrate diets do show “modest short-term weight loss”, there have been no studies on the long term health effects of these diets. The report goes on to discuss the negative health impacts of high fat (especially high saturated fat) diets
  4. It may be difficult to maintain the Sugar Busters diet over the longer term, due to its restriction on all high GI foods, not just junk food (sweets, processed foods) but also higher GI natural foods (fruit, bread, grains)
  5. National Institutes of Health – Effectiveness of a Low Carbohydrate Diet Versus a High Carbohydrate Diet in Promoting Weight Loss and Improved Health. Ongoing clinical trial from April 2005 – June 2009 with 240 participants. This study will look at the effects of a low carbohydrate diet versus a high carbohydrate diet on weight loss over a longer period (of four years). The study also aims to measure the risk of cardiovascular disease (blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as blood pressure levels), bone health, kidney function and endocrine (insulin and glucose in particular) mechanisms over the course of the study in both groups. The sponsor of this clinical trial is the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
  6. Astrup A, Meinert Larsen T, Harper A. Atkins and other low-carbohydrate diets: hoax or an effective tool for weight loss? The Lancet, 2004; 364:897-899. Accessed on 10 January 2008. This study confirms that most of the initial weight loss is due to fluid loss and it should be cautioned that this could potentially cause an electrolyte imbalance in the body which needs to be monitored
  7. A drastic cut in calories, plus a drastic lowering of blood sugar levels by no longer eating high GI carbohydrates means that fatigue, weakness and irritability will be the outcome, especially for the first week or so (it is different for everyone), while the body adjusts to the diet



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