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Sweet Savvy - A Refined Sugar Detox for the New Year

Healthy New Year's Resolution 2024 - The Refined Sugar Detox


The holidays are a time of sharing, celebration, joy, and LOTS OF SUGAR. If you feel you need a sugar detox to kick off a healthy New Year after indulging during the holidays, we get it!

Too much sugar is associated with several health conditions, including diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), high cholesterol, insulin resistance, and PCOS.1-3

Prioritize your well-being this New Year with a refined sugar detox!

Healthy Couple Sticking To Their 2024 New Year's Resolution - The Refined Sugar Detox

A Healthy New Year’s Resolution – The Refined Sugar Detox

What is refined sugar?

Refined sugar is a processed food produced from beets or sugarcane. During processing, plant fibers and essential nutrients are removed, and the sugar is concentrated. The processing requires many potentially harmful chemicals that remove color and perform other functions to produce the white crystals known as refined sugar.3

What are the health risks associated with refined sugar?

Refined sugar boosts caloric intake, more than 500 calories per day in some parts of the world, and it is not essential for good health and nutrition.3

Refined sugar intake is considered a significant public health concern. Research shows consuming too much refined sugar raises the risk of developing cardiovascular disorders and obesity. Furthermore, research also shows high consumption of sugar is associated with weight gain, cancer, poor dental health, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), PCOS, glucose intolerance, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes mellitus.1-3

Healthy Couple Choosing Their 2024 New Year's Resolution - The Refined Sugar Detox

Use your Sweet Savvy to Avoid Refined Sugar:

  • Read all labels.
    • You might be shocked to see how often refined sugar is added to food. Spaghetti sauce, bread, and yogurt are common sources of hidden refined sugar.
  • Do not drink refined sugar.
    • Sugar-sweetened beverages are a significant source of refined sugar. Soda pop, mocha lattes, chocolate milk, and even sweet tea have loads of refined sugar!
  • Think about when and where you might be offered or tempted by sugary treats so you can be prepared. 
    • Work, family gatherings, gifts from friends and family, restaurants, coffee shops, special events, and shopping trips can expose you to refined sugar.
    • Eat a healthy, balanced meal before attending an event or going to a location where foods high in refined sugar will be available so you can say “no thank you” to refined sugar!
    • If you find yourself at a restaurant or friend’s home for an impromptu meal without preparing, request extra vegetables or protein to satisfy your hunger before dessert arrives.
  • Always keep convenient, healthy snacks nearby to immediately quench sugar cravings. 
    • Nuts, clean protein bars, and whole fruits are good choices to avoid refined sugar.
  • Consult with your doctor about the following dietary supplements that could reduce sugar cravings and optimize blood sugar management during your Refined Sugar Detox:
  • If you stumble a bit and chug down a mocha peppermint latte or indulge in a different sugary scandal, be ready to deploy Plan B!
    • Enjoy a walk or other physical exercise to balance your blood sugar level after refined sugar intake
    • A cup of black coffee or sugar-free caffeinated tea may boost sugar metabolism
    • Forgive yourself and do better tomorrow!

Avoiding refined sugar does not mean you have to avoid all sweet treats because there are many refined sugar substitutes available. Keep reading to learn more about the healthy alternatives, and try our delicious recipes below!

Healthy Couple Cooking Healthy Meals for Their 2024 New Year's Resolution - The Refined Sugar Detox

What are Healthy Alternatives to Refined Sugar for Cooking & Baking?

Sweeteners with Naturally Occurring Sugars and Essential Nutrients

  • Pitted Whole Dates, Date Syrup, or Date Sugar
  • Maple syrup
  • Honey
  • Applesauce
  • Fruit Juice Concentrates
  • Coconut Sugar
  • Palm Sugar

Keto-Friendly Sweeteners

  • Stevia
  • Monk Fruit (Luo han guo)
  • Sugar alcohols, such as Erythritol
  • Allulose

Try baking the delicious cookies below to reduce your intake of refined sugar and flex your sweet savvy!

Organic Gluten-Free Paleo Hot Cocoa Cookies

Organic Gluten-Free Paleo Hot Cocoa Cookies Recipe


  • ½ cup organic superfine almond flour
  • ½ cup organic peanut butter
  • 1 large organic egg
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup organic unsweetened cocoa powder processed with alkali (Dutch-processed)
  • ½ cup organic date sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons organic maple syrup
  • ¼ cup organic refined sugar-free mini chocolate chips (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF and place parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  • Place the egg, vanilla extract, and maple syrup in a large bowl. Whisk the liquid ingredients thoroughly.
  • Add the remaining dry ingredients to the egg mixture and mix until combined.
  • Use your fingers, a spoon, or a cookie scoop to scoop out approximately 2 tablespoons of dough into your hand. Gently roll between the palms of your hands to create a ball, then flatten it into a cookie shape. Place on the parchment paper. Repeat until all the dough is gone.
  • Bake the cookies at 350ºF for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 or more minutes before removing from the baking sheet. Enjoy!
Organic Sugar-Free Keto Sugar Cookies with Icing

Organic Sugar-Free Keto Sugar Cookies Recipe with Icing

Ingredients for the cookies:

  • 2.5 cups organic superfine almond flour
  • ½ cup organic powdered erythritol
  • 2 large organic egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons organic pumpkin pie spice

Ingredients for the Sugar-Free White Icing:

  • ½ cup organic powdered erythritol
  • 1 tablespoon filtered water


  • Put the two organic egg whites in a large bowl and beat them until they hold soft peaks.
  • Slowly mix in the ½ cup organic powdered erythritol and beat until stiff peaks form.
  • Add the 2.5 cups of organic almond flour and organic pumpkin pie spice.
  • Stir until combined into a dough ball.
  • Place the dough ball on a large piece of parchment paper.
  • Place another large piece of parchment paper on top of the dough ball.
  • Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough until it is ½ to 1 centimeter thick between the two sheets of parchment paper.
  • Place the rolled dough in the freezer to chill for approximately 15 minutes – this makes it easier to cut shapes out of the dough.
  • Preheat the oven to 300ºF.
  • Remove the dough from the freezer, lift the top parchment paper sheet, and use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Place each cookie on a baking sheet lined with fresh parchment paper.
  • Bake for approximately 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let the sugar-free sugar cookies cool completely.
  • In a small bowl, mix ½ cup powdered sweetener with 1 tablespoon of filtered water. Top all cookies with a thin layer of the sugar-free icing. Add more filtered water to thin the icing if needed.
  • Let the icing set and enjoy!


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  8. Wang Z, Ronsmans C, Woolf B. Triangulating evidence for the causal impact of single-intervention zinc supplement on glycaemic control for type 2 diabetes: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trial and two-sample Mendelian randomisationBr J Nutr. 2023;129(11):1929-1944. doi:10.1017/S0007114522002616
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