Simon Says: Treat yourself to a life without sugar

June 26, 2013 9:00 AM

Fran Simon


Dermatologist Dr. Patricia Farris, right, a 1982 Tulane medical school grad, is co-author of The Sugar Detox: Lose Weight, Feel Great and Look Years Younger with registered dietitian Brooke Alpert. (Photo by Nathalie Schueller)

Eating less sugar is good for your skin, says Tulane University alumna Dr. Patricia Farris, a New Orleans dermatologist who has co-written a new book, The Sugar Detox: Lose Weight, Feel Great, and Look Years Younger.

The Sugar Detox outlines a systematic way to eliminate unhealthy sugar from your diet. Sugar cravings will be gone by the end of the 31-day plan, says Farris, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at Tulane.

“There are lots of yummy, sweet treats on the diet, like fruits and even chocolate. So you don’t have to do without completely.”

Farris says it’s possible to reset your palate to appreciate less sweet foods. “Our testers universally noticed that after following the ‘3-Day Sugar Fix’ (with no sugar) they really tasted the natural sweetness of foods.  Fruits like apples taste super sweet and even dairy tasted sweet to them. Also eliminating artificial sweeteners, which are super sweet, helps as well.”

One word of warning:  If you think avoiding desserts means you are not eating much sugar, you would be mistaken, says Farris. Refined grains such white rice and most breads, crackers and pasta are basically sugar in disguise, she says. The typical American eats 11 servings of grains each day.

Noting the “How to Dine Out” chapter in The Sugar Detox, I looked for but didn’t find tips for eating out in New Orleans. So I asked Farris strategies for dining in Big Easy restaurants.

She replies, “Just say no to French bread, white rice and bread pudding. The same for jambalaya, red beans and rice and king cake. I don’t have a favorite dinner menu, but I eat out all the time and since we live in a place with the best chefs in the world I never have any trouble finding things on the menu that are Sugar Detox–approved. This summer I’m eating lots of fresh fish and Creole tomatoes covered with lump crabmeat. Yum!”

Fran Simon is managing editor of New Wave.

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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000