Sugar Busters: How To Do It

Marmalade on bread
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General Recommendations

The Sugar Busters authors recommend about 40% of calories in the diet be from high fiber, low glycemic carbohydrate, 30% from protein and about 30% (but as much as 40%) from fat, primarily unsaturated fat. On the other hand, they state in one place in the book that people may eat as much as 50-55% carbohydrate and still stay within the bounds of the diet - I don’t know where the extra 10-15% of carbs is supposed to come from, given the protein and fat recommendations.

Forbidden Carbohydrates:

White bread (includes any bread with white flour in it), white rice, white flour, sugar and products with added sugar, most jams and jellies, some high glycemic fruit (bananas, raisins, pineapple), most root vegetables (potatoes, beets, parsnips), corn. 

Acceptable Carbohydrate Foods:

Most fruits and vegetables not mentioned above, including legumes, whole grain products, and low-fat dairy products, as long as no sugar is added to any of them.

Meats, Fish, Eggs:

Eat lean meats - remove skin from poultry, trim fat from lean beef, lamb and pork. All fish and seafood allowed. Whole eggs allowed. Nothing breaded. Lean cuts of beef and pork are listed on the South Beach Meat List.


Unsaturated fat is emphasized, but saturated fat is not as forbidden as it is on, for example, the Zone and South Beach diets. Butter is OK in moderation, for example. The pantry list has cheese on it.

Nonetheless, saturated fat should not be more than 10% of the diet (but no real guidelines on how to achieve this).

Alcohol and Caffeine:

A glass of an alcoholic beverage with a meal is OK – dry red wine is preferred. Beer is off-limits. Limit caffeine to 2-3 cups of caffeinated beverage per day, and less is better.

Timing of Meals:

People can divide their eating between anywhere from 3-6 meals per day, depending upon schedule and what works best for each person. No eating after 8 PM. Fruits and juices should ideally be eaten separately from other foods, but they are not rigid on this.

Portion Sizes:

The books don't give specific measurements for portions, but simply recommend one plate of food, but not overfull. Put reasonable portions on the plate and don’t go back for seconds.

Pros and Cons:

Pros and Cons of the Sugar Busters Diet

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