Last updated: Aug 04, 2016

Sugar has never been considered a health food, but lately, the science against it keeps growing stronger. New evidence shows going overboard on the sweet stuff can lead to high cholesterol and blood pressure and a greater risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, not to mention excess weight gain. 

Problem is, most people are eating more sugar now than they ever have. The average person consumes about 20 teaspoons of added sugar a day—300 calories worth!—which is four times more than the amount recommended by most health experts, including the American Heart Association. Annually, all those teaspoons add up to 170 pounds of sugar.

So why are we so addicted to sugar? First off, it is literally addicting. When you eat something sweet, you get a surge of dopamine, the chemical in your brain that brings you pleasure. Added sugar is also tough to dodge. Sweetener hides in foods that don't even taste sugary, like breads, sauces and condiments. What's more, it's so hard to decipher the difference between added sugars and the kinds found naturally in whole foods. Eating naturally occurring sugars—like fructose in fruit and lactose in dairy—is generally considered healthy because they contain nutrients with metabolic benefits, such as fiber and antioxidants. Added sugars (sweeteners put into food for flavor) have no such perks.

Those unhealthy added sugars are the type Health had in mind when we created the 30-Day Sugar Detox. This month-long program takes the guesswork out of ditching added sugars from your diet. In four weeks time, you'll have more energy, look slimmer and feel healthier than ever. 

When you sign up, you'll get: 

•    Life-changing lessons on scoping out added sugar, featuring Health's contributing nutrition editor, Cynthia Sass, RD

•    Easy-to-follow recipes that are delicious and low in added sugar

•    The latest research on sugar addiction from Health's contributing medical editor Roshini Rajapaksa, MD

•    Science-backed tips to conquer sweet cravings from Health's contributing mental health pro, Gail Saltz, MD

•    A crash course in healthy desserts, featuring Health's food director, Beth Lipton

•    Weekly grocery lists curated by Cynthia

•    A printable food diary template for tracking your meals, energy, sleep and more

•    Access to the 30-Day Sugar Detox Challenge community, where you can share the tips and tricks that are working for you, and learn new healthy hacks from others who are taking the course

Join us now and say goodbye to your sugar addiction for good!