What Can Your Sugar Cravings Say About Your Health
As discussed above, a sugar craving could mean that your body is lacking a vitamin or nutrient, or that your blood sugar levels are off.
Registered dietitian Farah Fahad recommends adding more protein to your meals, so your blood sugar levels dont drop. The body is a well-built machine, and if you are not giving it the right foods, it will say, Give me sugar! she explains. It wants energy for all the thousands of biological processes that are happening.
Sometimes Its Possible To Create Changes In Life To Get These True Cravings Met:
- Leave or speak up in a relationship that isnt working for you
- Read a book that teaches skills to communicate differently to people that leave you feeling angry/taken advantage of
- Find more creative ways of rewarding yourself
- Change your job, or negotiate different conditions.
If its possible to make the change then do so, and notice what happens to those sugar cravings. But sometimes it feels impossible to make these big changes and we can feel very stuck. Often just the insight of what you are truly craving loosens the grip of power that it has over you. So rather than saying to yourself, Whats the matter with me, I just cant resist sweet food, you can instead start to see the craving as an attempt to get an important inner need met. You can begin to have a different conversation with yourself, Ah I see, Im craving this sugary food because of XYZ.
Sugar doesnt have to be the enemy, to be battled. When we switch our mind-set to see the sugar as an attempt to take care of ourselves, we can start to think creatively about our choices. Think of a child you know. Yes, they might want to keep eating sweet food until theyre sick, but as a parent, you likely allow sugar in moderation, and then engage them in a distracting activity that will appeal at least as much. What might be your equivalent? After all, as adults we too need a good balance of work, rest and play.
So How Do You Stop The Sugar Cravings
According to Dr. Ross, the amino acid L-glutamine will stop those sugar cravings in their tracks.
She recommends supplementing with 500mg 3-4 times per day usually during the times when youve got the lowest blood sugar.
You guys! L-glutamine is so cheap. I bought 120 500mg capsules of NOW Foods L-Glutamine for just $8.99!
Thats an entire months supply possibly as much as Ill ever need.
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Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth Safely
For times when you just feel you need something sweet, look to options that also have some health benefits, or at least arent especially bad for you. Fresh fruit is a great nutritious substitution when a craving for something sweet hits, as is Stevia, the all-natural sweetener which has zero calories and is 300 times sweeter than sugar . For a snack that is going to slow down the release of sugar and keep you fuller for longer, you should opt for a something that combines protein and carbohydrates. I recommend oat cakes topped with a protein-packed spread, such as Jaffa Quake from Greande . This chocolate orange flavoured spread contains 20% protein and has 87% less sugar than other brands, and will help you to satisfy your sweet tooth whilst keeping your healthy eating regime on track.
Eat More Healthy Fats
Healthy fats stabilize blood sugar levels and keep us feeling full over a longer period of time.
Therefore, just by eating more healthy fats and cutting back on sugar, the body starts to use more fat whenever it needs energy.
So what are the best fats to help curb sugar cravings?
raw nuts, coconuts, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, avocado oil and fatty fish will give you the most benefits.
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Using The Wrong Types Of Sugar Substitutes
If youre craving sweet soda, your first instinct might be to reach for a diet beverage as a healthy substitute. However, this may be a reason youre craving sugar.
According toHarvard Health, artificial sweeteners can change our relationship to the taste of food, making us more likely to choose artificial sugars in place of natural sugars, like those found in fruit. If you get used to sugar substitutes, you may inadvertently start reaching for other sweet foods with high caloric value, not realizing how many calories youre consuming.
The good news is, not all sugar substitutes are created equal. Check out our guide to thebest artificial sweetenerto learn more about how different types of sweeteners affect your body.
Why Is Sugar Bad For You
Its common knowledge that sugar is bad for you, though the reason why is not as discussed as often. Besides being bad for your oral health, sugar has been found to increase inflammation and encourage yeast overgrowth. It has also been shown to have a connection to all sorts of complications, including autoimmune diseases, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, and cancer.
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The Best Natural Supplements To Stop Sugar Cravings
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Sugar cravings are much more powerful than an urge to snack. Theyre part of a fundamental feeding response we all have that drives us to seek out sugary, starchy foods when our blood sugar levels fall. Sugar and carbohydrate cravings can lead to binge eating, which results in whiplashing insulin levels. Gorging on sugar causes a brief spike in energy, followed by sluggishness, irritability, and fatigue. Stopping sugar cravings is an essential part of good health.
Sugar cravings are not caused by diabetes and usually have no connection to any dangerous health condition. They can be caused by a variety of circumstances, like a low level of hormones like leptin, which promotes a feeling of fullness. Low levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain can also cause sugar cravings, as indulging in sugar and simple carbohydrates prompts a brief increase in dopamine. Gorging on sugar causes a rapid but very short bump in serotonin. The combination of elevated dopamine and serotonin leaves us feeling greatbut not for long, and the crash leaves us feeling worse. To feel good hour after hour requires a healthy diet, but supplements to beat sugar cravings may still be necessary.
How To Fix A Sugar Addiction
- Eat regularly. Eat three meals and two snacks or five small meals a day. For many people, if they dont eat regularly, their blood sugar levels drop, they feel hungry, and are more likely to crave sweet sugary snacks.
- Choose whole foods. The closer a food is to its original form, the less processed sugar it will contain. Food in its natural form, including fruits and vegetables, usually presents no metabolic problems for a normal body, especially when consumed in variety.
- Have a breakfast of protein, fat and phytonutrients to start your day off right.Breakfast smoothies are ideal for this. The typical breakfast full of carbs and sugary or starchy foods is the worst option since youll have cravings all day. Eating a good breakfast is essential to prevent sugar cravings.
- Try to incorporate protein and/or fat with each meal. This helps control blood sugar levels. Make sure they are healthy sources of each.
- Add spices. Coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom will naturally sweeten your foods and reduce cravings.
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Give Into Your Craving Then Move On
“If a craving for something sweet like a piece of chocolate or a scoop of ice cream persists, just have it,” says Jessica Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN,;and author of 52-Week Meal Planner. “Trying to satisfy cravings with other ‘healthier’ foods or restricting yourself from having a food you’re craving often leads to overeating. As is often said, the forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest.” So, eat your piece of cake, don’t feel bad, and then move on.
Why We Crave Sugar And How To Beat The Habit
It is the end of January, and Instagram is bursting with self-effacing pictures of people who swore off sugar at the beginning of the month, only to fail. My boys both decided to cut back on the sweet stuff that became commonplace over the holidays, but they too are struggling. The soda they drank every time we went to a party, the leftover pie that seemed bottomless and the Pop Tarts I bought as part of my resolution to rethink restriction continue to call their names. Why is sugar so powerful, and how can we beat it?
Sugar has been shown to have an effect on the brain similar to that of an addictive drug. In fact, quickly removing it from your diet can cause withdrawal symptoms, including fatigue, depression, headaches and muscle aches. No wonder it isn’t easy to quit.
Not easy, but not impossible, although there are a few questions to answer before weaning yourself off sugar. First, is your blood sugar unbalanced? Next, are you getting enough of the right nutrients? Last, do you sleep enough, and are you able to manage stress? The answers to those questions will help you figure out what, specifically, you need to address to beat sugar successfully. And there are some additional hacks that can help anyone trying to tame their sweet tooth.
30 mouth-watering recipes approved by health experts
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Use Artificial Sweeteners Cautiously
Replacing sugar with low- or no-calorie sweeteners can help cut calories, but the safety of regularly consuming these artificial sweeteners is often questioned.
It has also been suggested that weight gain is a possible side effect, despite the reduced calorie count. This is due to the fact that artificial sweeteners may encourage eating behaviors that increase cravings not only for sweets but for food in general.
Eat More Protein And Good Fats
Sometimes, the cause of food cravings might be as simple as snacking on too many processed carbohydrates on a regular basis and not getting enough protein and fats.
Carbs like sweet potatoes provide a quick and easy source of energy for the body, and they certainly have their place. When you get into a habit of eating too many carbs, however, the result can be blood sugar fluctuations that lead to cravings.
Proteins are made up of amino acids, which are vital for balancing hormones and avoiding sugar cravings. Healthy fats from whole foods like avocado help fuel the body, while increasing satiety to ward off immature feelings of hunger.
Over the long-term, eating healthy fats and proteins can help with sugar cravings. They provide your body with essential fatty acids, amino acids, and micronutrients it needs to remain in balance and not crave foods unnecessarily.
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How To Curb Sugar Cravings
If you find yourself battling a serious sugar addiction, take things one day at a time. Before you satisfy cravings, drink a tall glass of spring water, Goodman suggests. We often misinterpret our bodys signal for thirst as a signal of hunger. By drinking water first, you may be giving your body exactly what it wants;and alleviate the craving. If youre still craving sugar, try incorporating more protein into your diet alongside fermented foods and supplements that ensure youre getting your daily dose of vitamins, like Ritual, which boasts a number of vitamins and minerals specifically important to women.
Fahad agrees, saying that fruit cravings are fine and just an indicator your body is craving nutrients. However, its important not to overdo it. If you feel like youre overdoing it with fruit, pair it with fat or protein, she says. For example, eat a banana or apple with almond butter, berries with coconut yogurt, etc.
Additionally, Fahad recommends making sure you are getting enough magnesium, which she calls a key for energy to enter our cells. MedlinePlus, which is part of The National Library of Medicine, states: “Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps to maintain normal nerve and muscle function, supports a healthy immune system, keeps the heartbeat steady, and helps bones remain strong.”
What Does This Have To Do With Sugar
According to Dr. Ross, sugar addiction is one of our worst enemies. Because of it, we eat a diet rich in the refined carbohydrates of industrialization, displacing the nutrient-rich foods that can actually supply us with enough dietary amino acids we need to stave off neurotransmitter deficiencies.
But overcoming that addiction is next to impossible with willpower alone.
Thats because, according to her findings, sugar is 4 times as addictive as cocaine!
Thus, every fibre of our being will be screaming for sugar even if its displacing the very foods we need to eat more of in order to start feeling better.
Some people have strong wills, and they can just plow through their sugar addiction even while their body is suffering intense withdrawal. Eventually , the cravings become more managable. After a month of avoiding refined sugar, the cravings disappear to almost nothing.
If youre one of those will power driven people, congratulations! I envy you.
For the rest of us, we need a little help.
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But Does It Really Work
YES. Within ten minutes of a dose of L-Glutamine, my sugar cravings disappear. If they dont, I just take another dose.
Its that simple, and it works every time!
According to Dr. Ross, my body will have been weaned off sugar within a month, and I wont need to supplement with L-Glutamine any more.
Thats because it really does only take about that long to beat a sugar addiction to the point that you no longer have cravings. And, if I undergo a particularly stressful time of my life, I can now reach for the L-Glutamine instead of the sugar to help me cope.
Or if I do what many addicts do and completely fall off the wagon, thats okay. I now know how to beat my sugar cravings back again.
And now you do, too!
Use More Sweet Spices To Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
Vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, fennel seed and cardamom all have unique sweet tastes that can be used in baked goods, coffee, smoothies, oatmeal and more.
And as an added bonus, these spices all come with health benefits that cant be beat. For example:
- Vanilla is an antioxidant that lowers cholesterol and helps with anxiety and depression.
- Cinnamon is an anti-inflammatory that regulates blood sugar and improves diabetes.
- Nutmeg relieves pain, improves digestion and is great for oral health.
- Fennel seed is great for bloating, irritable bowel and constipation.
- Cardamom is antimicrobial, improves depression and helps relieve respiratory issues like asthma.
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How To Help Curb Sugar Cravings
Sweet treats can be part of a balanced diet when enjoyed in moderation. But what happens when moderation turns into frequent sugar cravings? The truth is almost everyone gets sugar cravings, so the question becomes how to manage them.
The good news is that researchers have studied sugar cravings and their findings may help you get some relief. Learn why you have these cravings so you can learn how to curb them.
Aim For Progress Not Perfection
Heres a free roadmap to the Bulletproof Diet. The more foods you eat in the green zone, the better youll feel. The more foods you eat in the red zone, the worse youll feel. Foods in yellow may be great for some people and terrible for others, depending on factors like genetics and gut sensitivity. Test them out to see what works for you and what doesnt. Occasional treats also get classed in the yellow zone.
Some days you may be perfectly in the green. Other days you may eat a couple things from the red zone. Thats fine. Change exists on a spectrum. As long as youre on a general upward trend, youre doing well.
And as far as guilt, keep in mind that sugar is like a drug it lights up the reward and craving centers in your brain , and you fall into withdrawal when you start to cut it from your diet . Youre not a weak person if you slip up now and then. Youre rewiring your brain to be stronger. Its a process. Be patient with yourself.
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How To Beat Sugar Cravings With Glutamine
If youve been wondering how to beat sugar cravings without relying on will power alone, I am about to make your day. Maybe your week! Or your month! Heck, why not call a spade a spade and say Ill make your whole year?
Once upon a time, I was privileged to sit in on a series of mind-blowing lectures by Dr. Julia Ross. In the course of those lectures, she casually let slip the most stunningly useful bit of information Id ever heard how to conquer sugar cravings with a simple, affordable amino acid supplement.
First, I have to say this. In real life, Dr. Julia Ross is one of the most stunning, radiant people I have ever met! Ive seen dozens of pictures of her, and every single one fails to capture just how vibrant and glowing she is. When I saw her, my first thought was, WOW. Just WOW. I want what shes having! I was sitting many rows back in rather large audience hall, and even from that far away her smile was completely breathtaking.
You guys, whatever she does, it works!