Side Effects Of Sugar
In many ways, sugar is the new fat. Where fat was vilified in the 20th century, sugar has well and truly taken its place in the 21st. And its not hard to see why. Everything from obesity and diabetes to cardiovascular disease and cancer has been linked with excess sugar consumption. And for those with digestive issues, there are two key reasons why you should be worried about the white stuff.1. Sugar suppresses the immune system – theres evidence to suggest that sugar can decrease immunity and if you have a compromised digestive system already, thats the last thing you need. 2. Sugar promotes inflammation given that low-grade inflammation is the of many chronic diseases, sugars inflammatory response is really concerning for those already suffering with chronic health conditions and autoimmune disease.
Now that we know the not-so-sweet truth about sugar addiction and how it is ruining our health, lets find out the answer to our burning question, why do I crave sugar?
The Science Behind Sugar Cravings
Do you crave a sweet treat after every meal? Or at the same time every day? Sugar cravings are common and can often be explained by simple things, like the side effects from certain foods in your diet or a bad habit that has reprogrammed your brain.
But some sugar cravings can be a result of an underlying nutrient deficiency.
So next time you reach for a dessert after breakfast or candy from the jar on your colleagues desk at work, stop and consider the psychological and biological reasons that are motivating your sweet tooth.
Whats happening in your brain
Several areas in your brain play a significant role in the crave sensation. The horseshoe-shaped hippocampus, located in your temporal lobe, is responsible for making short-term and long-term memories and plays a significant role in reward-seeking behavior.
The hippocampus enables you to remember the taste of dark chocolate versus milk chocolate.
In each hemisphere of your brain, there is a caudate nucleus, which influences reward-seeking behavior, but is also responsible for forming new habits good and bad like snacking the minute you walk through the door after work, without even noticing it. These habits are more like a conditioned response, meaning, even after a half day of work you have the urge to snack.
Habits formed by the caudate nucleus are hard, but not impossible, to break.
Diet factors that can cause cravings
Its the same reason you can crave sugar on a high carbohydrate diet.
What to do?
Why Am I Craving Sugar Top 2 Causes And How To Stop
6 mins readHeres why low blood sugar leads to cravings: Your body needs energy, and since sugar triggers a serotonin release, your body will start to crave foods that will give your blood fuel, or hyperglycemia , as a result, but your body treats has sugars, to me it feels like the maximum i could ever eat, They make you want more sweetness and you, your blood sugar level might drop below normal (i.e, Symptoms to look for are frequent urination, 97% of women and 68% of men get them on a weekly basis, they definitely can, excessive thirst, Dont cut down on sugar completely craving sugar
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Stay Away From Low Calorie Diets
The number one reason why you constantly crave something sugary might be this: you dont eat enough regular food. If you dont eat as much as your body needs, its simply craving more energy. When you get hungry, you want to have something quick and fast, and sugary foods seem to hit the spot best.
This is a typical scenario when you under eat in order to maybe lose weight. Do you want to try one of these 1,500-calories-a-day diets that show up in many magazines as the summer gets closer? Well, you can bet that youll find yourself not only hungry but also struggling with bad sugar cravings.
Eating so few calories is just not a sustainable weight loss strategy. If you try a new food plan and notice that your sugar cravings get more intense, take it as a sure sign that you should be eating more actual real food.
How To Replace Cravings
When a craving for an unhealthful food arises, it may help to eat a more healthful alternative instead. Below are some of the most common snacks that people crave and suggestions of alternatives:
- Potato chips: Try replacing chips with a salty snack that is higher in healthful fats and protein, such as salted cashews or peanuts. However, bear in mind that nuts without salt are a more healthful option, as too much salt can be harmful. Air-popped popcorn is another healthful replacement for potato chips.
- Chocolate: Opt for chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa so that it is rich in antioxidants. As dark chocolate has a more intense flavor than milk chocolate, people may feel satisfied with a smaller portion.
- Candy or pastries: When craving sugary foods, try replacing them with sweet fruit, such as peaches, cherries, or melon. Keeping dried fruits, such as prunes or raisins, on hand may also be helpful for cravings on the go.
- Soda: Sparkling water with a squeeze of fruit juice or a slice of orange can replace a craving for soda. It provides a similar feeling to soda but has fewer calories and less sugar.
- Cheese: Try replacing full fat cheese with low fat, low sodium versions for a more healthful option. Nutritional yeast, a nutty, savory food, can lend a cheesy flavor to foods. Nutritional yeast is rich in B-complex vitamins and folic acid, and it often contains vitamin B12.
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Can Artificial Sweeteners Help
Some studies suggest artificial sweeteners may leave you craving more sugar. That could make it harder to control your weight. The problem is, some experts say, that artificial sweeteners don’t help you break your taste for sweets. Pay attention to your body. Are sweeteners making you crave even more sugar? If so, look elsewhere for that sweet taste.
What Is The Root Cause Of Sugar Cravings
The root cause of sugar cravings is a micronutrient deficiency. The human body is intelligent and gets us to crave foods that contain the nutrient we may be missing. For example, you may be strongly craving chocolate because you have a magnesium deficiency chocolate is a rich source of magnesium! Moving forward, make sure youre checking your vitamin levels and aiming to eat foods rich in the nutrients you need, without the high levels or sugar.
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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.
Tips Help You Successfully Kick The Sugar Habit
Quitting sugar is not easy. And what may work for one person, may not work for another.
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What Is Your Sugar Craving Telling You About Your Health
Your sugar craving is telling you, you have an insulin problem and are over eating sugar and refined carbohydrates. Nearly 2/3 of Americans are overweight because they grossly overeating sugar and refined carbs. Even skinny people can become addicted.
Continuing on the path of over consuming these foods will set you up for metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, and the development of heart disease and type II diabetes. Your sugar craving is also telling you, youre lacking key nutrients in your diet. Meaning youre not eating enough non-starchy vegetables and fruit and eating too much junk.
Have you ever noticed how you can eat an apple or carrot and dont repeatedly crave it over and over again the way you do sugar? How is that possible? Dont apples and carrots have naturally occurring sugar? They do! The big is these foods have minerals and vitamins your body needs. They also have fiber to balance the sugar which means you dont get a blood sugar surge.
That fiber slows the absorption of sugar causing less of a spike. In fact, if youre going to eat sugar eating it with something like a salad is best. Sounds yummy, huh? Your body is smart. It knows what it needs. A sugar craving is your bodys way of telling you Im not getting what I need, stop feeding me junk and FEED ME real food!
Retrain Your Taste Buds
You don’t need sugar as much as you think you do. In fact, you can train your taste buds to enjoy things that aren’t as sweet. Try cutting out one sweet food from your diet each week. For example, pass on dessert after dinner. Start putting less sugar in your coffee or cereal. Over time, you will lose your need for that sugar taste.
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Why Am I Always Craving Fruit
2) Low Blood Sugar. When your blood sugar level falls below normal, cravings for a quick fix food like fruit start to happen. Your bodys craving the sugar and natural energy from fruits aka glucose! This is why people who are following a restrictive diet, or eat very little sugar, can experience cravings for fruit.
Chromium or zinc or something else. Or, it could be that you just have a sweet tooth and are craving sugar. Fruit has a lot of sugar, and you need those carbs for energy and for the functioning of your brain. Maybe your body’s glucose levels are too low. Fruits are a good way of balancing your blood sugar.
How To Get Enough Magnesium
If you think your sugar cravings might be a sign that you have low levels of magnesium don’t worry there are plenty of healthy food choices that let you load up on the mineral.
While magnesium may not be a miracle cure for every ache, pain, and ailment, getting your daily quota does help ensure that your body has what it needs to function optimally.
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Food Cravings That Can Signal A Nutrient Deficiency
Craving a big, fluffy hunk of warm bread does not mean your body is deprived of grains. Food cravings have little to do with nutrients and plenty to do with the brain chemistry of pleasure and reward.
Sugar cravings are extremely common, especially among women. In fact, up to 97% of women and 68% of men report experiencing some sort of food craving, including cravings for sugar .
Orange cravings reveal other factors like stress, mood swings, or a desire for citrus fruit s. Remember that a lack of nutrients does not imply a lack of desire. This article goes into detail about the various reasons. Now you have any queries regarding it, like why am I craving orange juice or craving citrus during pregnancy.
This may be why we can feel addicted to chocolate or sugar. Another reason we may crave chocolate is due to a magnesium deficiency . Women may also pine for chocolate due to hormonal changes, or, snacking frequently on chocolate could mean the body has a vitamin B shortage.
Ive always heard that craving salty or sweet foods can actually be your bodys way of telling you it needs something. The other day, I had a serious sweet tooth and before I knew it I found myself researching what my craving really meant. What I discovered was that there is a pretty surprising list of cravings and their real meanings.
Sugar Craving Cause: You Ate Too Much Starch And Not Enough Fat And/or Protein
When you eat a heavy, starchy meal, like a giant bowl of grandmas spaghetti, youre pretty much setting yourself up for a guaranteed gelato craving. All that pasta with no fiber or protein is like a big bowl of sugar that will lead to a blood sugar spike and crash, leaving you yearning for more sugar! Those calories in that bowl of spaghetti are absorbed fast and dont keep you feeling full or satisfied.
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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.
Quick Answer: Why Am I Craving Chocolate So Bad
Why am I craving chocolate so bad? Because dopamine is released into your brain when you eat chocolate, it can actually lower your levels of stress. This is why people often crave chocolate in stressful situations, or crave it when they are in need of comfort or reassurance. Clearly, emotions play some part in the cravings that you have.
Why am I craving chocolate so bad? Because dopamine is released into your brain when you eat chocolate, it can actually lower your levels of stress. This is why people often crave chocolate in stressful situations, or crave it when they are in need of comfort or reassurance.
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What Is Sugar Addiction
What about sugar addiction?
This is the idea that sugar is just as powerful to your brain as heroin or cocaine or any other illicit drug that has a very powerful physiological response.
Now, the science is not really clear when it comes to that. I do have a link below if you want to have a look in terms of how they judge addiction and whether or not sugar meets the criteria.
We know that the addiction to these types of foods, whether you actually call it addiction, is very powerful, but a lot of that is coming from psychological stuff. And lets not discount psychology when it comes to our eating habits because it can be the most powerful thing.
I talked a lot about the kind of physiological reasons why their sugar cravings, but then the last one of course was habit.
That is a psychological reason and sugar addiction may not really be a thing. Its not equivalent to being addicted to cocaine.
Whats probably happening is that we have a strong feeling about hyper palatable foods. So these are the kinds of foods, the highly processed foods that contain both sugar and fat together.
The donut is a perfect example.
Theres other things that you might not consider sugar. French fries and chips that might be your favourite for instance.
Ice cream, those kinds of things that are both sweet and creamy and theres a great feeling when youre eating them.
They just taste good. Theyre designed to taste good.