BOOK REVIEW: 21-Day Sugar Detox by Diane Sanfilippo – 1 thumb down

21DaySugarDetoxThe 21-Day Sugar Detox received many, many 5-star reviews at, but except for the recipes, it didn’t resonate with me. Here’s a copy of my review at and why I rate it one-thumb down.

The 21-day Sugar Detox program IS NOT A WEIGHT LOSS program. Rather, it’s a highly restrictive sugar detox program for sugar addicts. Going through the recommended diet without the prospect of losing a pound is not appealing or inspiring. Every serious food addict knows that being overweight or obese is a persistent and disturbing side effect of out-of-control eating. An eating program that does not also solve the concurrent weight problem is flawed in a major way.

In addition to caloric and artificial sweeteners, Sanfilippo limits consumption of fruit, refined carbohydrates, grains and legumes, some starchy veggies and some dairy products. Her preference for tropical oils over olive oil, a heat stable monounsaturated fat with well-documeted highly protective health qualities, defies all logic and is a totally unnecessary dietary hardship.

After the 21-day period, Sanfilippo says “so-called” natural caloric sweeteners are okay in small quantities. Her definition of natural sweeteners includes concentrated substances like brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup and others. She says these sweeteners are “less processed” and been “made for hundreds of years.” Huh? What about the dramatic impact on blood sugar or that fact that highly concentrated caloric sweeteners provoke binge eating in some food addicts?

I would have liked Sanfilippo to be more aware of and focus on the specific issues that plague sugar addicts. This is, after all, a book about breaking free from sugar addiction. She attributes sugar addiction to a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which may or may not be the complete reason people pig out on sugary confections and wheat products. In any case, this concept is explained more comprehensively and convincingly by Dr. William Davis in his book, “Wheat Belly.”

Unfortunately, Sanfilippo’s explanation of how to initiate the program is incomplete and confusing, but her food lists and her 21-day menu are both good. You can more or less figure out what to do from these two resources. In fact, Sanfilippo’s recipes are the very best part of the book and are the primary reason I gave it a 3 rating instead of a 2 at I wish she would have included calories and other nutritional info in the recipes, though.

This book was disappointing because Sanfilippo doesn’t say anything about the evils of sugar and refined carbohydrates that we haven’t heard many times before. Except for the recipes, I recommend instead “The New Atkins for the New You.” The writing is better. The science is better. The results are better.

Here’s a link to the 21-Day Sugar Detox at Amazon:

Here’s a link to The New Atkins for the New You at Amazon:

Here’s a link to Wheat Belly at Amazon:

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Posted in Sugar-Free Lifestyle