How To Stop Sugar Cravings
By Anthony Mayatt, Jun 12 2016 07:10PM
Sugars are simple carbohydrates found naturally in fruit and milk. However most of our intake comes from sugars that are added to processed foods and beverages. Cane sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, agave, honey, evaporated cane juice, maltodextrin and other forms of sugar are added to products such as sodas, cakes, cookies, and sweets.
They are also added to many processed foods such as breakfast cereals, fruit juices, pasta sauces, yogurt, soymilk, barbecue sauces, and bottled teas. For example fruit juice/chocolate bars can all cause a spike in blood glucose, followed by a big blast of insulin to get the sugar out of the bloodstream, which causes blood glucose levels to dip. Then if you eat something sugary again, the cycle will repeat itself! Instead you should be consuming foods which aim to stabilise your blood sugar levels, in order to prevent any dips throughout the day.
Artificial sweeteners have also been added to a huge amount of foods for those who want a sweet taste without the calories. These sweeteners range from about 180 times sweeter to as much as 13,000 times sweeter than sugar. Recent research has linked artificial sweeteners to a number of health problems, including metabolic syndrome, a decrease in kidney function, and possibly even a disruption in the regulation of blood sugar caused by changes in the microbiota.(the name given today to the microbe population living in our intestine).
How to stop these unwanted cravings:
- Eat more fibre. I can't express how important fibre is, especially in stabilising blood sugar levels. It is also an essential prebiotic, which feeds the good bacteria in our guts. Some sources include flaxseeds, artichokes, chia seeds, all types of beans, figs etc.
- Include more Omega 3 fatty acids through mackerel and salmon etc. If you're vegan you can crush/grind seeds such as pumpkin seeds. Crushing them allows access to the omega 3 content of the seeds. Mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are also essential, which you can obtain through nuts seeds, and avocados. (do not over do it on the avocados as they are a histamine food)
- Eat breakfast like a king in order to help stabilise blood sugar levels throughout the morning.
- Snack on fruit, (no the sugar content doesn't matter, people are getting confused and wrongly identifying fruit sugar as added sugar) as sugar in the form of glucose is what our bodies run on, and we need it to fuel our cells and live!
- Boost your Serotonin a.k.a your 'happy hormone', which can be raised through diet, exercise, and the right sleeping schedule. When you have lots of serotonin you are less likely to crave sweet foods.
- Enjoy fermented foods and drinks, as you'll be amazed by how the sour taste takes away those sugar cravings. They also help to promote good bacteria in the gut.
- Meditation can help ward off cravings by helping reduce stress. In 2015, a neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital named Sara Lazar discovered that meditation not only has the power to reduce stress, but it can change the brain — by increasing gray matter in the auditory and sensory cortex. Stress creates the hormone cortisol, which increases your blood sugar. This is a vicious cycle that damages your adrenals and creates sugar cravings.
- Have plenty of nutrient rich greens and sea vegetables – Sea vegetables are high in minerals!
Did you know? That sugar can generate a supranormal reward signal in the brain, with the potential to override self-control mechanisms, which can then lead to addiction. Also findings from research demonstrate that intense sweetness can surpass cocaine reward, even in drug-sensitized and addicted individuals.(Magali Lenoir et al 2007)
By Jenny Tomei
Carole Bartolotto (2015).Does consuming Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners change taste preferences .
Schulte, Brigid. "Harvard Neuroscientist: Meditation Not Only Reduces Stress, Here’s How It Changes Your Brain."Washington Post.
Magalie Lenoir, Fuschia Serre, Lauriane Cantin, Serge H. Ahmend (2007). Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward.
Very interesting article, Anthony. I've always thought that sugar can be physically addictive, but it's incredible to see that research has found it to be on the level of drugs!
Hey Paul. Yes it really it bad for the body and is one of the main reasons for obesity levels now and certainly more needs to be done to help combat the excessive levels people are consuming.
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